Quinoa Stuffed Peppers – Organize Yourself Skinny


Quinoa stuffed peppers are protein-rich, lean, and delicious. The sausage and cheddar cheese take these peppers to the next level. Make these quinoa stuffed bell peppers ahead to have ready for a quick healthy dinner during the busy week.

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Stuffed peppers recipes are my jam – they check all of the boxes! They are delicious, healthy, and easy to prepare, and you can make them ahead of time! Some of our favorites are these Taco Stuffed Peppers, Italian Stuffed Peppers, Cheeseburger Stuffed peppers, and this Quinoa Stuffed Peppers recipe.

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Reasons You’ll Love This Recipe.

  • Easy to prepare. Preparing the quinoa stuffed pepper filling is easy! A healthy dinner will be ready before you know it.
  • Delicious. There’s so much flavor in these sausage-stuffed peppers with quinoa.
  • Healthy. Each portion-controlled stuffed pepper is gluten-free and contains protein, fiber, and nutrients.
  • Make-ahead. Assemble the ingredients ahead of time to pop into the oven during the busy week or prepare on Sunday to reheat for lunches or dinners. You can also freeze these stuffed peppers ahead of time. I’ll give more meal prep and freezer tips below.

Ingredients

  • Quinoa. Quinoa is a complete protein, fiber-rich, and packed with nutrition; it’s also gluten-free. It is considered a seed instead of a grain but can be swapped for rice in many recipes. You can purchase quinoa at any grocery store next to the rice; if you have access to a wholesale store, I recommend checking there for great prices on big bags of quinoa. I use white quinoa, but any quinoa variety will work.
  • Chicken stock. You can cook the quinoa in water, but I prefer using chicken stock (or any stock) to infuse more flavor into the quinoa. 
  • Poultry Italian Sausage. Hot Italian sausage gives these stuffed peppers a spicy, delicious flavor. I love using poultry sausage to reduce the fat and calories without skimping out on flavor. You can purchase raw poultry Italian sausage next to the other sausages in the meat section or ask your butcher.
  • Mushrooms. Bulk up these stuffed peppers by adding mushrooms to the filling. I like sliced white mushrooms, but you can also use portabello mushrooms.
  • White onion and garlic. These two ingredients add to the flavor of this stuffed pepper filling.
  • Italian seasoning. Whenever I can use my homemade Italian seasoning mix, I do! It adds incredible flavor to these quinoa stuffed peppers. Of course, you can also use store-bought Italian seasoning or a blend of dried oregano and dried basil spices.
  • Parmesan cheese. I recommend purchasing a big chunk of parmesan cheese for the best flavor and shredding it fresh. 
  • Cheddar cheese. Any cheese will work in this stuffed pepper recipe, but we love shredded cheddar cheese. Again, for best results, shred the cheese fresh.
  • Canned tomato sauce. Tomato sauce brings the rest of the ingredients together into a filling. Bell peppers. Any color pepper will work. I recommend purchasing bell peppers with a flat bottom, so it’s easier for them to stand up in the casserole dish.

How to Make Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

  • Start by cooking the quinoa: Place the quinoa into a bowl and cover it with water. Give it a couple of stirs until the water gets slightly cloudy. Pour the quinoa into a mesh strainer and run water over it. Then place the quinoa in a small pot with the chicken stock and cover it with a lid. Bring the stock and quinoa to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer and cook for about 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let it sit for another 5 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and then continue with the recipe.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Over medium-high heat, add one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet and cook sausages until it is almost cooked but still slightly pink inside. Break up the sausage into small pieces as it cooks.
  • If needed, add in the other tablespoon of olive oil and then add mushrooms, onions, and Italian seasoning. Cook until the mushrooms are tender and the onions are translucent. Using a large spoon to break the mushrooms into pieces as they cook.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in 1 cup of tomato sauce, cooked quinoa, parmesan cheese, and 1 cup of cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper. Give the quinoa mixture a taste for seasoning; if it needs more salt, stir it in.
  • Spread the rest of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  • Stuff each pepper to the top with stuffing and place into the casserole dish.
  • Divide the rest of the shredded cheese among the stuffed peppers.
  • Cover and bake for 45- 50 minutes or until the peppers are tender and the filling is hot.
  • Serve hot.
close-up view of quinoa stuffed peppers.

Serving Suggestions

These quinoa stuffed peppers are a complete meal on their own, but you can also pair them with:

Cooking Tips

  • Quinoa has a bitter coating, so don’t forget to rinse it before cooking; if this is your first time cooking quinoa, check out my how-to-cook quinoa for more tips.
  • There’s no need to cook the bell peppers beforehand; they will be tender and delicious with the instructions and cooking time I provide.

Substitutions

These quinoa stuffed peppers are versatile, so swapping in and out your favorite filling ingredients is easy. Here are a few of our favorites.

  • Swap in different vegetables. Anything goes! We love spinach, kale, artichoke hearts, broccoli, corn and Brussels sprouts. 
  • Use a different cheese. Mozzarella cheese, provolone, or pepper jack is tasty.
  • Swap in ground turkey or ground beef for the sausage.
  • Leave out the sausage to make it vegetarian. You can add a can of black beans, cannellini beans, or garbanzo beans for extra protein.
  • To make vegan stuffed peppers, leave out the sausage, use veggie stock, and either leave out the cheese or you can use dairy-free cheese.

Make-ahead tips

For the week: 

Option 1: Assemble the quinoa stuffed peppers, cover them with foil, and place it into the refrigerator. When you’re ready to cook, continue with the recipe. Remember that you might need to add 10 minutes to the recipe since they will be cold when they go into the oven. The uncooked stuffed peppers can stay in the refrigerator for 2-3 days!

Option 2: Cook the quinoa, sausage, and veggies ahead of time. Store in the refrigerator, and then assemble the peppers when ready to eat. 

Option 3: Cook the peppers completely to eat all week. Make quinoa stuffed peppers on Sunday for dinners or lunches during the week. 

For the freezer: 

Option 1: Assemble stuffed peppers entirely and freeze. Flash freeze on a sheet pan and then wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze in a couple of large freezer bags. Or freeze the peppers in a disposable pan! 

On cooking day: I prefer to let the peppers thaw somewhat before cooking them, but you can cook them straight from the freezer. If you cook them straight from the freezer, you’ll need to add 30 – 45 minutes of cooking time.

Option 2: You can freeze stuffed peppers into portions and then warm them up in the microwave.

Check out my how to freeze stuffed peppers for all of my tips.

More Quinoa Recipes

close up of quinoa stuffed peppers

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Quinoa stuffed peppers are protein-rich, lean, and delicious. The sausage and cheddar cheese take these peppers to the next level. Make these quinoa stuffed bell peppers ahead to have ready for a quick healthy dinner during the busy week.

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Course: dinner recipe, Main Course

Cuisine: American

Keyword: quinoa stuffed bell peppers, quinoa stuffed peppers

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Servings: 8 people

Calories: 414kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry white quinoa
  • 1.5 cups chicken stock can also use water or any stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.5 lbs Poultry Italian sausage links about 5-6 links, casing removed.
  • 1 10-ounce package of sliced white mushrooms
  • 1 cup dced white onion about 1/2 of an onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic about 3-4 medium-sized cloves
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 15-ounce can of tomato sauce divided
  • 1 ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese divided
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 bell peppers tops cut off and seeds removed.

Instructions

Cook the Quinoa

  • Place the quinoa into a bowl and cover it with water. Give it a couple of stirs until the water gets slightly cloudy. Pour the quinoa into a mesh strainer and run water over it.

  • Then place the quinoa in a small sauce pot with the chicken stock and cover it with a lid.

  • Bring the stock and quinoa to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer and cook for about 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.

  • Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for another 5 minutes.

  • Fluff the quinoa with a fork and then continue with the recipe.

Assemble and Cook the Stuffed Peppers

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  • Over medium high heat, add one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet and cook sausages until it is almost cooked but still slightly pink inside. Break up the sausage into small pieces as it cooks.

  • If needed, add in the other tablespoon of olive oil and then add mushrooms, onions, and Italian seasoning to the sausage.

  • Cook until the mushrooms are tender and the onions are translucent. Using a large spoon to break the mushrooms into pieces as they cook.

  • Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in 1 cup of tomato sauce, cooked quinoa, parmesan cheese, and 1 cup of cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper.

  • Give the quinoa mixture a taste for seasoning; if it needs more salt, stir it in.

  • Spread the rest of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.

  • Stuff each pepper to the top with stuffing and place into the casserole dish.

  • Divide the rest of the shredded cheese among the stuffed peppers.

  • Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45- 50 minutes or until the peppers are tender and the filling is hot.

  • Serve hot.

Notes

Make-ahead tips
For the week: 
Option 1: Assemble the quinoa stuffed peppers, cover them with foil, and place it into the refrigerator. When you’re ready to cook, continue with the recipe. Remember that you might need to add 10 minutes to the recipe since they will be cold when they go into the oven. The uncooked stuffed peppers can stay in the refrigerator for 2-3 days!
Option 2: Cook the quinoa, sausage, and veggies ahead of time. Store in the refrigerator, and then assemble the peppers when ready to eat. 
Option 3: Cook the peppers completely to eat all week. Make quinoa stuffed peppers on Sunday for dinners or lunches during the week. 
For the freezer: 
Option 1: Assemble stuffed peppers entirely and freeze. Flash freeze on a sheet pan and then wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze in a couple of large freezer bags. Or freeze the peppers in a disposable pan! 
On cooking day: I prefer to let the peppers thaw somewhat before cooking them, but you can cook them straight from the freezer. If you cook them straight from the freezer, you’ll need to add 30 – 45 minutes of cooking time.
Option 2: You can freeze stuffed peppers into portions and then warm them up in the microwave.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 414kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 1254mg | Potassium: 652mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 4125IU | Vitamin C: 180mg | Calcium: 254mg | Iron: 10mg

Did you make this recipe?

Have you tried this Quinoa Stuffed Peppers Recipe yet? If so, I’d love for you to rate this recipe and leave a comment below. We all learn from each other’s experiences. Also, it would be awesome if you could share a picture on Instagram and tag it #organizeyourselfskinny. I can’t wait to see it.



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