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Mexican Inspired Stuffed Peppers

N and I love Mexican inspired food and with Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, I couldn’t resist making one of our favorites – a plant based twist on Chile Relleno. Not only is this dish plant based, it’s also vegan friendly, gluten free, dairy free, and not deep fried!

Traditional Chile Relleno is typically a dish made with peppers stuffed with meat and cheese – and then battered and fried until golden. For this version, I’m swapping out the meat and cheese for rice, quinoa, beans and veggies. We’re also steaming the peppers to cook them instead of deep frying to cut back on the extra fat.

There is often a misconception that plant based foods aren’t filling, and that without meat and other animal byproducts, “I’ll just be hungry again in 10 minutes”. These stuffed peppers actually make a great meal! Because we’re stuffing them with beans, brown rice and quinoa, they are packed with protein and can easily be the star entrée on your cinco de mayo menu.

You can use all kinds of peppers for this recipe – anaheims, poblanos, pasilla peppers (I used pasilla). Just try to find peppers that are evenly rounded and can be cut in half to look like little boats. Make sure the peppers are fresh for maximum flavor.

I found all the ingredients for this recipe at Sprouts Farmers Market! I love their bulk section for rice and quinoa – I can get exactly the amount I need without the extra packaging and at a great price. Finding fresh and frozen veggies at Sprouts is so easy and affordable. They always have great deals on produce. Go on “Double Ad Wednesday” and get deals from both the prior week and the current week or download their mobile app for exclusive coupons. We always have a stash of the frozen organic corn on hand for quick recipes like this one.

We made these peppers for our Cinco de Mayo party recently and they were quite the hit! We made them in advance by steaming the peppers for only 5 minutes, stuffing them, and then finishing them in the oven at 350 degrees (covered in foil) for 15 minutes after our guests arrived. I served these stuffed peppers with a little fresh pico de gallo and lime and a good margarita or limade! Festive, filling, and delicious.


Mexican Inspired Stuffed Peppers (Vegan)

A plant based, healthier twist on chile rellenos!

  • Author: Ana
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 25


  • 4 large pasilla or poblano peppers
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ½ tsp. oil
  • 1 cup Sprouts brand frozen organic corn
  • 2 jalapenos or fresno chiles, diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • ¼ medium white onion, diced
  • Lime wedges and cilantro for garnish


  1. Bring a pot of water with a steamer basket to a boil.
  2. Cut the tops off the peppers and carefully remove the seeds. Cut peppers in half lengthwise so they form “boats”.
  3. Once the water is boiling, add peppers to steamer basket. Steam for 10 minutes or until tender.
  4. In a saucepan, mix 1 cup cooked brown rice, 1 cup cooked quinoa, 1 can black beans, ½ tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. chili powder, 2 cloves garlic, ½ tsp. oil, 1 cup Sprouts brand frozen organic corn, and 1 jalapeño or Fresno chile. Cook for 5 minutes or until corn is warmed.
  5. Stuff steamed peppers with the rice / bean mixture.
  6. Top with a quick pico de gallo made with 1 tomato, ¼ medium white onion, and the remaining jalapeño or Fresno chile.
  7. Serve hot garnished with lime and cilantro as desired!

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Editor’s Note: Thank you Sprouts Farmers Market for sponsoring this post!