mexican stuffed peppers with quinoa & black beans (gf, df, v)

Mexican stuffed peppers with quinoa and black beans. A hearty main dish you’re going to love. Try it with the homemade enchilada sauce!

Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa & Black Beans // One Lovely Life It’s Meatless Monday time, and do I have an amazing recipe for you! I’ve been thinking about doing a Mexican-style stuffed pepper for a while, and finally came up with the perfect combination.

Believe me, dear reader, this is something you’ll want to try.

Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa & Black Beans // One Lovely Life Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa & Black Beans // One Lovely Life

If you’re new to quinoa, this is a great way to try it. These were SO full of flavor and were absolutely delicious. I loved the quinoa stuffing mixture –quinoa, black beans, green chiles, cilantro, and more. I snuck several spoonfuls to taste before stuffing the peppers. Even Sophie liked it!

The cheese was more of a garnish than a necessity, so you could easily leave it off if you’re eating dairy-free or vegan. I also highly recommend making your own enchilada sauce. It’s completely delicious and just the right amount of spicy.

Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa & Black Beans // One Lovely Life

4.9 from 49 reviews
Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa & Black Beans
Serves: 8
  • 4 bell peppers (any color), sliced in half stem-to-tip, seeds removed
  • 1c quinoa, uncooked
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 1 (15oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 roma tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 (4oz) can diced green chiles (don't drain)
  • ¼c cilantro, minced
  • ¼tsp salt
  • ¼tsp pepper
  • olive oil, if desired
  • ½c Monterrey Jack, grated*
  • ½c cheddar cheese, grated*
  • 1 recipe red enchilada sauce (or 1 (28oz) can)*
  1. Add quinoa and onion to a large saucepan with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil 5 minutes, cover, turn off heat and let steam 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  2. In the meantime, microwave pepper halves 2-3 minutes to soften slightly. (Prepared this way, the peppers should come out crisp-tender. If you want them crisper, you can omit this step.)
  3. Pour quinoa/onion mixture into a mixing bowl. Stir in black beans, tomato, green chiles and their juices, cilantro, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. If the mixture seems to dry, drizzle in a bit of olive oil (I didn't need any).
  4. Pour enchilada sauce into a 9x13" baking dish. Divide filling among peppers. Nestle stuffed peppers into the enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with cheeses.
  5. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 375 degrees 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and cook about 5 minutes longer. Serve peppers drizzled with enchilada sauce.
*Gluten & Dairy Free Notes: Be sure your enchilada sauce is gluten free. La Victoria brand makes a gluten free red sauce. If you're vegan or dairy free, just skip the cheese. It's more for garnish, and these are delicious with or without it.




  1. Kristin says

    Hi Emily! We are expecting our first child (a girl!) due in a few weeks, and I am prepping meals for the freezer to enjoy after the baby arrives. These stuffed peppers look amazing. I was wondering, do you think they would freeze well? At which point would you freeze them? Thanks so much!

    • says

      Kristin – YAY! I’m so happy for you. These peppers would freeze great. A few tips: I wouldn’t microwave or pre-cook the peppers before assembling them. I’d completely make them start-to-finish (including the baking), then cool, cover, and freeze them.

  2. says

    Delicious! My mom would make stuffed peppers at least every 2 weeks for us- though it was filled with meat. I try not to eat too much meat and this recipe is great.

  3. says

    I just found your blog via Pinterest and I am head-over-heels already! Love your style. And this recipe is right up our alley. Can’t wait to try it!

  4. says

    I found this recipe on pinterest recently and just tried it tonight… it was delicious! I’ve added you to my reader to find some more yummy recipes :)

  5. Sharon says

    Very yummy, made the enchilada sauce in my vitamix blender, did not microwave the peppers beforehand as I don’t like to use a microwave, just baked the dish about 20 min longer/covered and it was excellent… with leftover sauce baked some thin chicken breasts in the oven for the kids and chicken was tender and great…

  6. Kelly Bishop says

    I made this yesterday!!! So yummy! I’m a vegetarian and I’m always looking for good veggie recipes. I didn’t have a tomato on hand so I drained a can of tomatoes and it worked out well. Definitely adding this recipe to collection. So glad I found this website :)

  7. Laraine says

    Found this on Pinterest and the whole family loved it. Will be making these again!! Thanks for sharing

  8. Julee says

    These were great. Question about freezing them. When you go to cook them do you thaw first or just toss them in the microwave frozen?

    • says

      Julee – you can do either. If you cook them frozen, I’d toss them in the oven and then you’ll just need to cook them a bit longer. If you microwave them, just cook them till they’re warmed through. When I’m making a freezer meal, I usually pull it out of the freezer and put it into the refrigerator in the morning and then pop it in the oven that evening. Do whatever works best for you!

    • says

      Lisa – quinoa is a small, protein-packed seed that acts just like a grain (i.e. rice). My regular grocery store carries it in the health food section, and my healthier grocery store keeps it in bulk bins or by the rice and beans. Best of luck!

  9. Beth says

    My husband and I loved this!!! Thank you for such a great recipe, I have already made this for dinner twice in the last several weeks. I think it is going to be a staple dish at our house!

    • says

      Crystal – It’s a homemade recipe, but using the Spark People recipe calorie calculator, one serving (the recipe makes 8) would be around 250-275 calories. That’s including cheese and the homemade enchilada sauce recipe. Hope that helps! Another reader also calculated that the recipe is about 6 weight watchers points plus. I haven’t checked that (I don’t follow Weight Watchers), but there it is just the same :)

  10. Kristen Zimmerman says

    I made these over the weekend for the boyfriend and I. OMG they are amazing. I did however use white rice and green salsa instead of the enchilada sauce and quinoa. I’m still kind of nervous about trying quinoa. Overall, I will be making these again.

  11. Jeanne says

    We tried these tonight and they were delicious! I had everything I needed except the cilantro. Next time I’ll make sure I have some but we really enjoyed them anyway. I can see making these into a freezer meal too like some of the others suggested. Thanks for the recipe.

  12. Marianne says

    You inspired me to try quinoa! I’m really digging it :). I added a little bit of chicken for my picky family, but kept everything else the same. Fantastic! Can’t wait to make these again!

  13. Siggi says

    Made those today and we all loved them! First time i used quinoa and we all love it. Thank you for sharing this lovely recipe with us! I did add a little lemon juice and cayenne pepper to the filling for a little spice.

  14. Jessie says

    Made these tonight for dinner and they were AMAZING! We did add ground turkey and taco seasoning, but this is the first time we ever made quinoa and we were blown away. Thanks so much for sharing this! :-)

  15. Susan says

    I too found your recipe on Pinterest. I made it last night. My family loved it! It was an awesome use of quinoa. I can’t wait to try more of your recipes. Thanks!

  16. says

    Excellent! Found this on Pinterest and while I have always LOVED Italian Stuffed Peppers (with hamburger meat–haven’t had in forever though), this recipe with quinoa and black beans was wonderful. I would either cook peppers a little longer in microwave or skip the step and cook longer in the oven, as my peppers could have been done a bit more. The fiber in the black beans and quinoa along with all the protein makes it a great choice for a meatless meal!

  17. Sarah says

    This was absolutely fantastic!!!!! I’m new to mexican (spicy) food and loved it! My husband said it’s his favorite dish of all time! I actually put them in the crock pot for about 3 hours and they turned out perfect.

  18. says

    I made this last night and my family loved it! For my 2 year old son, I actually used all the items we used to stuff the pepper and put it in an enchilada :) Great recipe!

  19. Alecia says

    I had never tried quinoa before but a friend sent me this as I’m watching carbs these days, and being the enchilada lover I am I had to try it. Absolutely delicious!! So easy!!! I even made the enchilada sauce as suggested and I will NEVER use canned again! Needless to say this a new favorite for me! Thank you!

  20. Courtney says

    Just made this for dinner tonight and it was AMAZING! Didn’t even miss the meat! Even my 14 month old couldn’t get enough of it (just didn’t put the enchilada sauce on top of his). Thanks!! :)

  21. bellago says

    This recipe is great! I have also used the quinoa mixture as a side dish with chicken or sliced the chicken over the quinoa mixture. Great Flavors. Thanks. My whole family likes this one.

  22. amanda says

    just wanted to let you know I made these (+ your enchilada sauce recipe) tonight for dinner and they were super yummy!!! easy to make too! :)

    • says

      Sharnell- Using the Spark People recipe calorie calculator, one serving (the recipe makes 8) would be around 250-275 calories. That’s including cheese and the homemade enchilada sauce recipe. Hope that helps! Another reader also calculated that the recipe is about 6 weight watchers points plus. I haven’t checked that (I don’t follow Weight Watchers), but there it is just the same

  23. Kirsten says

    I am waiting for the quinoa to finish right now and I can’t wait to taste these! SO EASY! Thanks for the recipe I will let you know how it goes!

    • says

      Sarah – Using the Spark People recipe calorie calculator, one serving (the recipe makes 8) would be around 250-275 calories. That’s including cheese and the homemade enchilada sauce recipe. Hope that helps! Another reader also calculated that the recipe is about 6 weight watchers points plus. I haven’t checked that (I don’t follow Weight Watchers), but there it is just the same

  24. brandi says

    Would you be able to subsitute rice for the quinoa? not sure how my family would feel about that, and could you add meat or not reccomend it? I think this sounds amazaing, but my boyfriend is a meat man, so just curious. thank you

    • says

      Brandi – Sure! Cooked rice is a great substitute. As for adding meat, I think some chorizo sausage would be awesome. Or, you could add cooked, shredded chicken or cooked ground beef, if you prefer.

  25. Donna Requa says

    I have never posted anything, but tonight I made these and they are great. This was my first time using Quinoa and will be using it again. My husband loves meat in everything, so I had some leftover taco turkey meat, and added it on top of them. It was wonderful. Will definitely be making these again. I didn’t have enough red enchilada sauce so added a little tomato sauce, which was totally fine.

  26. Tej says

    I made these last week and they were a hit! We were a bit skeptical about trying quinoa – but I loved it! The enchilada sauce was also very yummy. I could eat the stuffing by itself…loved everything about this dish!

  27. ALS says

    Wow, thank you for this amazing recipe. My whole family, 10 month old, 5 year old, and the husband loved it. First dish they have all loved, if you dont count spaghetti. It was delicious and easy. I agree with the others that the stuffing is even good just by itself. Sprinkled some daiya cheese on top but honestly preferred it without.

  28. Nicolle says

    Hello Emily, I love this recipe and wanted to prepare it for the family for Thanksgiving. Is there a way to prep the peppers and everything and then just bake the day of?

    • says

      Nicolle – I’m SO SORRY I didn’t get this in time!!! Yes, you can prepare the peppers ahead of time and bake them the day of. I would only make them 1 day ahead.

  29. Suzanne Williams says

    This receipe was amazing! I will definitely be making this often. Very easy and packed with healthy stuff!

  30. Stacy S. says

    I love this recipe! This is one of my favorites, I make it over and over. I’m nutritarian (whole foods, plant based diet) so I just omit the cheese and it is excellent! Thank you for the recipe!

  31. says

    Those peppers look delicious. I bought some green bell peppers to make them SOON. Could you make ahead and freeze. I love doing that with recipes I make so my hubby can ‘make’ dinner (and its not just mac and cheese and hot dogs and corn).

  32. Erin says

    Just made these today after finding them on pinterest – wow – amazing! We already like quinoa, but I really enjoyed it in this dish especially!

  33. vickie says

    i loved this recipe , made it twice, once meatless & once with ground turkey. I made extra filling added eggs & some more cheese & made tex mex meatballs. My 16 year old son gave both 5 stars. awesome recipe thanks

  34. Khaki says

    I didn’t have fresh cilantro (used dried) or tomato so Isubbed HOT Rotel tomatoes in the can. Use Poblano peppers. Added garlic and some squirts of tomatoe paste. Added al ittle cheese in the mix, too. Top with some plain Greek yougurt with a squeeze of lime and cumin! FABO!

  35. Kate says

    Just made these tonite and they were delicious! We have never had quinoa before but I have been wanting to try it. My family loves anything Mexican inspired and I’ve also been wanting to make a stuffed pepper lately, so this was a perfect fit! Thanks for the recipe! The whole family loved it… Even had seconds! :)

  36. Dee says

    Sounds sooo good. Is there a way to get the nutrional info. on this? I mainly would like to know the calorie and fiber count.

  37. Laura Andress says

    Made this for us & LOVED it! New staple. I’m not too familiar w/ gluten free diets. Would love to make this for a new mom who is G-Free. Is this recipe G-free, including the sauce?

  38. Katie says

    This looks delicious! Sorry if you answered this already, but do the peppers freeze well? I am all about make-ahead meals and would love to add this to my rotation. Thanks!

  39. Maygan says

    I made this tonight, it was really good! I’ve never tried quinoa before and wasn’t sure how to make it so this was really helpful. Thank you!

  40. Garagesale queen says

    I made this yesterday for lunch… husband and I both loved it! Can’t wait for the leftovers tonight! Will be making this again……..and again! Thanks for posting it!!!

  41. Renee says

    Just finished these and was very pleasantly surprised at how filling and delicious they were!! I made the sauce from scratch which is very easy and I think made a big difference!! Thank you for the awesome recipe and I will be sharing with my weight watchers group on Saturday !!

  42. Kacey says

    I made this recently for my family and we all LOVED it. Ate the entire dish up in one sitting. I would really like to make them again with softer peppers… you think I should just microwave them for longer? Bake the entire dish for longer? Do you have any suggestions?
    This was really wonderful and so tasty, thank you!

    • says

      Kacey – that’s exactly what I’d recommend! I think if you microwave them a bit longer to soften them up more, you shouldn’t have any trouble. There’s also no harm in baking the dish a little longer. The worst that will happen is your cheese will brown a bit more :) Glad you like them!

  43. Christina S says

    This was hands down, Ah-mazing! My boyfriend needed some extra protein for his 14=hr job days this week, so I ended up adding ground turkey to it as well for him to take to work for lunch. Used canned tomatoes since the fresh tomatoes at the store are not very good (not in season) Also made my own enchilada sauce. Thank you for sharing this recipe!! I am ready to make it without meat next time for Meatless Monday!

  44. Joanne says

    Soooo yummy!! I wanted to try to incorporate more quinoa into our diets and this is absolutely delicious. I’m a newbie in the kitchen and I’m so glad I tried this out! The Enchilada sauce is so good too~ my favorite!

  45. Melanie says

    Fantastic recipe!!!! My family has been requesting I make this again!!! It tastes amazing and I love how I feel after eating such a delicious and healthy meal!!!

  46. Celina says

    Instead of red enchilada sauce could green enchilada sauce work too or would I have to change up the ingredients?

  47. Bernadette Tomasso says

    Made these tonight and they were DELICIOUS!!! Our company were not vegetarians, so we put in a little less quinoa and beans, and added turkey burger. So good!

  48. says

    I tried this recipe today and I really loved it! I used organic tri-color quinoa and Mexican 4-cheese blend! Fabulous! Will be making again and again! :-)

  49. Jodi says

    Hello. By chance, do you have the nutritional details, as far as calories, carbs, etc? Thanks so much. The recipe looks great!!!!

  50. Alisha says

    Hello :)
    I am super excited to make this next week :)
    Is half a pepper normally a serving? (Filling enough for a meal?)
    And also how would I prepare the peppers without using the microwave?


    Alisha <3

    • says

      Alisha – yes, a pepper half is a serving :) You could steam the peppers for a few minutes or just bake the dish a few minutes longer. Best of luck!!!

  51. says

    These were awesome! I’ve used your red enchilada sauce recipe for enchiladas as well and it’s so nice having an excellent and easy sauce to go to. Loved these, definitely making them again!

  52. says

    A+ easy enough for a guy to make. Reading through comments above, it’s hard to believe how many people think you need to add animal meat to this meatless Monday dish. The quinoa has lots of protien in it already. Read “Eat to Live” – this book has taught me how to eat more nutritiously and improve my health and fitness. This dish fits the diet plan.

  53. Fern says

    Could you give me the recipe for the enchilada sauce? This looks delish and I would love to make it :)

  54. Robyn says

    Absolutely delicious. I will probably add garlic to the onions when the quinoa is boiling but other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you for sharing.

  55. Mary B. says

    Any idea about the nutrional values – I’m in weight watchers and would love to have an idea. Thanks

  56. Sandy says

    I made this recipe last night, delicious!! I also made the enchilada sauce which was equally delicious. Thank you for sharing.

  57. Julie says

    This was so good! I used ground turkey instead of the quinoa, and added corn to the mix. Loved it! Thanks for the idea! I’ve enjoyed looking at your blog, just stumbled onto it today. =).

  58. brandi says

    Have these baking in the oven right now. I have been working down the recipes from your two week healthy eating and have loved them all! My family doesn’t even notice a lot of them are meatless. Thanks for sharing all these yummy healthy recipes :)

  59. Donna says

    Made this tonight and added corn and taco seasoning… Plus substituted rotfl for green chilis. I used 1/2 green 1/2 red enchilada sauce. We poured some quest over the top and ate it with sour cream and tortilla chips. My kids don’t love bell peppers, but it was fantastic anyway!

  60. Summer says

    Getting ready to make these for the second time in two weeks! So easy and yummy. I never would have thought to use quinoa. Thanks for the idea! :)

  61. Amber says

    Just wanted to say I tried this tonight and it was delicious! I used some leftover ground turkey instead of the black beans. Yum! I’m so glad I’ve had good luck trying new recipes this week. These were juicy, flavorful, and I didn’t feel guilty eating one whole pepper by myself! I’ll have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. It’s too bad my husband is out of town because even though he is a voracious meat-eater he likes quinoa.

    I just made these two recipes the other day too and they were awesome:
    Eggplant casserole:
    Bok Choy with oyster sauce:

    You have a beautiful family!


  62. nisha says

    I make these ALL the time. At least 2-3 x a month. They are so great!!! delicious, healthy and love the protein from the quinoa. It’s hard for me to get protein being a vegetarian. I should mix in tofu into the quinoa mix as well!

  63. Caitlin says

    I love this recipe. I started making it after I saw it on pinterest with my mom when we were sharing vegetarian dishes. Now i’m in college and I love making this with my roommate for an easy dish. I love how healthy it is and that it makes wonderful leftovers. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  64. liz says

    This is a staple in our home. Only thing we change is we add the juice of one fresh lime to the mixture. We don’t usually put cheese on, seriously doesn’t need it! Thank you so much!

  65. Kayn says

    This turned out really well. My vegetarian daughter suggested adding corn and cooked-then-squeezed spinach for an even healthier version. Thank you for the recipe. I always have a hard time trying to decide what to make when she visits.

  66. Ckc says

    Thank you for the lovely photos and recipe. It was really fun making enchilada sauce from scratch. We enjoyed this delicious dish! :)

  67. Mady says

    These look really good !! I would like to take these for lunch. How well do these reheat in the microwave (only option at work).


  68. Tonja says

    Just made these stuffed peppers just as the recipe called for (and the homemade enchilada sauce) with one substitution, and they were way TOO HOT! I did not have any fresh tomatoes, so I used one can of Rotel diced tomatoes with chiles (Original flavor), and did not add the separate can of green chiles since the canned tomatoes already had them. My mouth is still on fire! (Had to drink with almond milk to get it down.) I don’t know what went wrong! Do not use the Original Rotel tomatoes people! Yikes!!!

    • Tonja says

      FOLLOW-UP COMMENT: It wasn’t the Rotel tomatoes with the extra HEAT. It was in the homemade enchilada sauce which means it must be coming from those chipotle chili (packed in adobo)! I did rinse them as directed! Beware of those chipotle chili peppers!

  69. Coca Cola Guy says

    This is insanely good! I also added a little bit of ground turkey. This is a great alternative for diabetics!

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