Smokey Beans & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

By Chef Katie Mae

Makes 4 peppers | Ready in 1 hour | Stores 5 days in fridge


½ small onion, diced (3 oz)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
½–1 teaspoon smoked paprika or liquid smoke
1 cup uncooked quinoa (6 oz)
1 cup water
15 oz fire-roasted tomatoes, no salt added
2 cups cooked black beans (12 oz)
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
5 cups baby spinach (2.5 oz)
4 large red, yellow, or orange bell peppers


1. Cut tops off peppers and discard the seeds. Feel free to save the tops and roast them with the dish.

2. Add the onions, garlic, and spices to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Dry-sauté for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking dish or rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

4. Add the quinoa, water, and fire-roasted tomatoes and cover with a lid. Bring the water to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy.

5. Transfer the quinoa to a large mixing bowl. Add the black beans, nutritional yeast, and spinach. Mix well.

6. Generously stuff the peppers with quinoa mixture until all peppers are full. Place the tops back on the peppers and then cover the dish with foil.

7. Bake for 30 minutes covered. Then remove the foil and increase heat to 400°F. Bake for 15 more minutes, or until peppers are soft and slightly golden brown. For softer peppers, bake for an extra 5 to 10 minutes.


Parboil the peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes to cut the cooking time in half. To parboil: add the peppers to a large pot of boiling water and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water; set aside.

Red, orange, or yellow bell peppers are the best choice for this recipe because they are sweeter than green bell peppers.


These Smokey Beans & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers make a totally scrumptious dinner!

I often want super simple food, without any fuss, like a big bowl of steamed sweet potatoes, beans, and greens topped with avocado.

But other times, I get an itch for something with a little more flare. Something dynamic to give my tastebuds a little extra excitement. Something like stuffed bell peppers, slowly baked, and then roasted to sweet perfection.

Baking the bell peppers (especially the last 15 to 30 minutes, uncovered, at a higher temp) makes them caramelize slightly, and the result is tender, sweet, lightly golden brown deliciousness. It gives you more umami, bringing out their sweet flavor.

Don’t worry though—this outstanding flavor comes from easy to find ingredients and simple action steps. This recipe is gourmet flavor without the gourmet hassle.

These Smokey Beans & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers can be a complete meal give you a serving of legumes, whole grains, and veggies, including leafy greens! Plus, a bit of buttery avocado for your healthy fat.

Want gourmet flavor tonight? Pick up your peppers, cook your quinoa, and have fun stuffing!

And if you like this recipe, please do share it. If you’re trying to turn people to plants, plant-based dishes with flavor like this are the best recipes to pass on. Thank you!!



  1. Mary R.

    When I’ve tried to make quinoa it always tastes gritty. What am I doing wrong?

    1. theculinarygym

      Hi Mary, Hm … do you mean literally grit, like bits of sand? Or just that it’s a bit crunchy (“al dente”)?

      If the former, you should probably try another brand. You will find people discussing this matter on this discussion board:

      One of the members there said the following: “I would recommend Eden Foods, Alter Eco, Ancient Harvest, Bob’s Red Mill (make sure it’s the Bolivian quinoa!), or the trader joe’s brand. They all use royal quinoa, which is well cleaned.” [You can Google the politics of Bolivian quinoa if you wish].

      If the latter, then try cooking the quinoa longer: You might want it more crunchy in a crisp salad, but softer in a dish with a creamy sauce or dressing. One website says, “For crunchy quinoa I would simmer the quinoa for up to eight minutes. For mushy soft quinoa you can leave it in the water for fifteen minutes.”

      I hope this helps!

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