Stuffed bell peppers was a regular dinner in my house growing up. Making a vegan version of this classic was something on my list for quite a while. When Matt and I saw these juicy, beautiful bell peppers at our local grocery store, we knew it was time.
Since most of the recipes on here are Italian, these are definitely Italian-style stuffed peppers. I wanted these stuffed peppers to taste just like the ones my mom made when I was growing up and I think we nailed it, with a few minor adjustments.
First off, this recipe is vegan where my mom’s recipe definitely wasn’t. That’s okay – we recently posted our new favorite sauce, cauliflower walnut bolognese, and it was the PERFECT substitution. Next thing, I used quinoa instead of rice because I was trying to be healthier and I love quinoa. Feel free to substitute rice if you want.
This recipe is super easy to make and one of my favorites on the blog. Since there’s only two of us, we had leftovers for lunch for many days following which is so nice because we’re lazy and it gets expensive to buy a lunch downtown everyday.
This is definitely one of those recipes that will make your coworkers jealous because it’s hearty, saucy, and meaty. Plus, the roasted pepper smells AMAZING.
Italian-style roasted bell peppers, stuffed with quinoa, sautéed onion, and a vegetarian cauliflower-walnut marinara sauce. Topped with vegan cheese (optional) for a hearty, satisfying, healthy meal.
- 6 large bell peppers
- 1 cup dry quinoa (about 3 cups cooked)
- 3/4 cup walnuts
- 2 cups cauliflower cut into florets
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper each
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup onion chopped
- 1 cup zucchini diced (optional)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3 cups marinara sauce (separated)
- 1 1/2 cups vegan mozzarella (optional)
Preheat your oven to 400°F/200°C
Prepare your quinoa. Add quinoa to a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water for 30 seconds. Drain well. In a saucepan, add 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Once boiling, stir the quinoa and turn the heat to low. Cover and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Use a fork to fluff and separate the grains.
Meanwhile, add cauliflower florets, raw walnuts, dried oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper to a food processor. Pulse until evenly ground (see photo). Pour onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through to prevent over-browning.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and diced zucchini, if using. Sauté until soft, about 3-5 minutes.
In a large bowl, add cooked quinoa, cauliflower-walnut mixture, sautéed onions and zucchini, and 2 cups marinara sauce. Mix until well combined.
Lower oven heat to 375°F/190°C. Cut the tops off the bell peppers; discard seeds and membranes.
Spread 1 cup of marinara sauce evenly on the bottom of the pan. Stand bell peppers up in the pan. With a spoon, evenly add the stuffing to each pepper.
Cover and bake at 375°F/190°C for 45 minutes. In the remaining 15 minutes, top with vegan cheese and return pan to oven uncovered.
*Nutrition label does not include vegan mozzarella cheese.