Cheesy Quinoa Black Bean Stuffed Bell Peppers

Easy cheesy stuffed bell peppers with quinoa, black beans, cheddar, green onions, and cumin.

Quinoa Black Bean Stuffed Bell Peppers
Elise Bauer

One of my favorite recipes from childhood is one for stuffed bell peppers. (We love them so much both my mom and dad have their own versions!) I've been experimenting with a quinoa stuffed version and have settled on this one as a great meatless approach to stuffed peppers.

Although quinoa looks like a grain, it's actually a seed, native of South America, gluten-free and high in protein. It loves dairy. Milk, farmers cheese, cheddar cheese—all go well with quinoa.

This is a rather simple dish, not that many ingredients, and is flexible in the ingredients. You can use poblano chiles instead of bell peppers for a spicy version. Or add some cooked Mexican chorizo to the stuffing for a meatier take. Want to use homemade beans? Here's how to make them ahead on the stove or in a pressure cooker.

Personally I love the more vegetal taste of the green bell peppers with this dish, but any color will do. You can also stir in some corn or toasted sunflower seeds.

Cheesy Quinoa Black Bean Stuffed Bell Peppers

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 70 mins
Total Time 80 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings

For a non-vegetarian option, cook up some Mexican chorizo on medium heat until cooked through, and mix that in with the stuffing!

Although I've focused on the orange and red bell peppers in the photographs, personally I prefer the green bell peppers with this dish.


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (white or red or both)

  • Salt

  • 6 large bell peppers, any color

  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained

  • 4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, 2 cups for stuffing, 2 cups for topping

  • 3 to 4 green onions, finely sliced

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)


  1. Cook the quinoa:

    Place 1 cup of quinoa, 2 cups of water, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

    Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes, covered. Spread cooked quinoa out in a baking dish to cool quickly.

    Elise Bauer
  2. Steam the bell peppers:

    Cut the top 1/2 to 1 inch off of the bell peppers and remove the core and seeds inside. (If you want, you can finely chop the pieces of good bell pepper you've removed and include them in the stuffing, otherwise, save them for another use.)

    Fill a large pot with an inch of water. Place a steamer rack in the pot, place the pepper shells on the steamer rack, cut side up. Bring to a boil, cover and steam the peppers 5 to 10 minutes, until they begin to soften.

  3. Make the filling:

    In a large bowl mix the cooked quinoa, drained black beans, 2 cups of the grated cheddar cheese, most of the green onion (save some for topping), cumin, and cilantro if using.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
  4. Stuff the bell peppers:

    with the stuffing you've prepared. You should have plenty of stuffing, you can pack it and mound the stuffing in the peppers. Place 1/4 cup of water at the base of the peppers.

  5. Bake:

    Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes. Then remove from oven, uncover, top with the remaining 2 cups of cheese, and return to the oven to cook, uncovered, until the cheese has melted about 5 to 10 minutes.

    Sprinkle with remaining finely sliced green onions to serve.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
488 Calories
27g Fat
36g Carbs
26g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 488
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 15g 73%
Cholesterol 75mg 25%
Sodium 865mg 38%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 8g 28%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 26g
Vitamin C 31mg 153%
Calcium 594mg 46%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 527mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.