Cumin, oregano, and garlic bring out the flavor in these Spicy Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers! Top with tomatoes, avocado, black olives, and countless other ingredients!
I was a senior in high school when I tasted my first stuffed pepper. And I remember being in awe of how delicious it was in spite of how simple it had been to make. Since then, I’ve played around with stuffed pepper ingredients, and today I present to you Spicy Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers! They are so mouthwateringly good, and true to history, easy to make. You don’t need a culinary arts degree to get the most out of these flavors. Cumin, oregano, onion, and garlic are the perfect pairings with a simple batch of quinoa and peppers of your choosing.
Spicy Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers are perfect for small gatherings, a creative family meal, or date night in. These would also make for a delicious meal bar where guests can top their peppers with whatever they desire. And because many of the steps can be done at the same time, you have a meal in about 30-45 minutes, give or take a few.
So let’s jump into this recipe and make a few Spicy Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers of our own!
INGREDIENTS FOR SPICY QUINOA-STUFFED PEPPERS:
Below are base ingredients you will need for Spicy Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers. However, this is a recipe you can change up to suit your palate! Choose your favorite pepper, add whatever toppings strike your fancy, and adjust the spices to your liking!
- Peppers. I used green peppers in this recipe, however you can use whatever colors you like. Yellow, orange, or red peppers would taste just as delicious.
- Quinoa. This recipe follows a 1 : 2 ratio of quinoa to liquid, and you can use either water or vegetable broth.
- Herbs, garlic, and onion. These ingredients bring out the spicy in Spicy Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers. And they are so so so so so good together.
- Tomatoes, avocado, black olives, and any other toppings you’d like to try. If you really want to take the spicy up a notch in this recipe, then add green chiles or jalapeños!
- Salt and pepper. I love a little extra salt with quinoa, and you can never go wrong with pepper!
HOW TO MAKE SPICY QUINOA-STUFFED PEPPERS:
It isn’t difficult to prepare a batch of Spicy Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers. Below are steps I follow to not only get the best flavor but also to save on time since a few steps can be done concurrently.
- Set the oven to 350 degrees. At the same time the oven is heating up, combine the quinoa, sea salt, olive oil, and water or vegetable broth in a saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil.
- While the quinoa is heating up, drizzle olive oil in a 9 x 13 inch pan, and place the halved peppers open side UP in the pan. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees. When the peppers are done baking in the oven, remove them and set aside. NOTE: Keep the oven set at 350 degrees.
- Once the quinoa is boiling, add in the cumin, oregano, garlic, and onion. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the water has evaporated. Then scoop the quinoa mixture into the baked pepper halves, cover with foil, and return the stuffed peppers to the oven to bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered another 5 minutes, or until the quinoa is crispy on top.
- Remove the stuffed peppers from the oven and top with desired ingredients. Serve immediately.
BEST PRACTICES FOR SPICY QUINOA-STUFFED PEPPERS:
- These are best enjoyed the same day they are prepared. However, you can enjoy them as leftovers the next day.
- This recipe isn’t ideal for meal prep. But, if you want to take them for lunch and don’t mind uncooked peppers, prepare the quinoa mixture ahead of time and take it to work with fresh peppers cut in half.
- Make sure to stir the quinoa in the saucepan as it cooks. Otherwise, you’ll have a sticky mess stuck to the bottom and sides of your saucepan.
- Many of the steps to make Spicy Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers can be done at the same time. For example, you can bake the peppers at the same time you cook the quinoa and prepare the toppings.
- ½ cup quinoa
- 1 cup water or vegetable broth
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 onion, diced (white or red is fine)
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced
- 1 can black olives, sliced
- ½ avocado, diced (more as desired)
- Olive oil
- Coarse black pepper for garnishing, optional
- Set the oven to 350 degrees. Then slice 4 peppers lengthwise, drizzle olive oil into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, place the peppers in the baking dish open side UP, and set aside. When the oven reaches 350 degrees, then place the dish in the oven, and bake for 15 minutes.
- In a saucepan, combine quinoa, water or broth, and sea salt, cover, and bring to a boil. When the quinoa begins to boil, then add the cumin, oregano, onion, and garlic, and cook on a medium heat covered for about 15 minutes or until the water has evaporated. Stir frequently to prevent the quinoa from burning or sticking to the saucepan.
- Then scoop the cooked quinoa into the baked peppers, cover with foil, return the stuffed peppers to the oven, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 5 minutes, or until the quinoa is crispy.
- Remove from the oven and serve immediately. Top with tomatoes, olives, avocado, black pepper, and any other toppings as desired.
- For best results, enjoy shortly after baking. Or consume within 24 hours.