Southwestern stuffed peppers with chicken and quinoa are healthy, hearty, and so delicious! Perfect for a weeknight dinner or enjoy them all week in your lunch.

Close up overhead view of bell peppers stuffed with quinoa, chicken, black beans, tomatoes, and cheese.

Brightly colored bell peppers, stuffed to the brim with a savory mixture of black beans, quinoa, shredded chicken, corn, tomatoes, and topped with melted cheese, are a filling main dish. There is so much goodness in these stuffed peppers and they abound in nutrition. 

About quinoa

If you’re not familiar with quinoa (pronounced “KEEN-wah) here are some fun facts from good ol’ Wikipedia. Quinoa is a “grain-like” crop, and what you eat are the seeds. A one cup serving contains 4.4 grams of protein and has a balanced set of amino acids, which makes it a complete protein source, uncommon for food from plants.

Quinoa has a slightly nutty flavor and can be used in most dishes that you would normally use rice. It cooks in about 15 minutes.

Another great thing about quinoa is that it is versatile. You can use it to make breakfast pancakes (protein packed!), salads, soups, or dinner! I have lots and lots of recipes on my site that use quinoa.

Or …. you could make these southwestern quinoa stuffed peppers which are delicious, filling, and flavorful.

Filling being pulled out of a stuffed pepper with a fork. Others in background.

About these stuffed peppers

You’ll begin by cutting off the tops of the peppers, removing the seeds/core.

Peppers being prepped for filling.

Next, you’ll blanch the peppers in boiling water.

What’s blanching? It’s simply a brief stint in boiling water, just three minutes. It is often followed by a dunk in an ice bath.

Peppers being blanched.

Fish the peppers out of the water with tongs, and set them upside down to drain all the water out. Blanching the peppers tenderizes them so they’ll be easy to cut and eat.

Next, mix up the stuffing in a large bowl. Reserve some of the cheese for topping.

Colorful ingredients in a glass bowl: quinoa, chicken, black beans, tomatoes, and more.

Lightly stuff each pepper. It’s okay to mound it up and even let some spill out. We’re not fancy here.

Filled peppers before being baked.

Sprinkle a little cheese on top, and bake for 40-45 minutes until the stuffed peppers are heated through and golden brown. 

A filled pepper, baked.

So good! You don’t really need any sides with this meal because you’ve covered all the bases: protein, grain, vegetables. Hearty, flavorful, satisfying, with plenty of protein. What more can you ask for? 

What’s in stuffed peppers:

  • Bell peppers, any color
  • Quinoa
  • Black beans
  • Sweet corn (if you can get fresh, that’s perfect! Canned or frozen works well, too)
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Shredded chicken
  • Freshly chopped cilantro
  • Taco seasoning (make your own healthier taco seasoning)
  • Mexican blend cheese
Overhead view of ingredients needed to make stuffed peppers: peppers, chicken, beans, and more.

Make this recipe your own

  • Vegetarian: Leave the chicken out. Between the quinoa, beans, and cheese, these stuffed peppers have plenty of protein. Vegan? Omit the cheese or use a vegan cheese.
  • Out of black beans? Try pinto beans. I love to cook up a big batch of pinto beans in the Instant Pot and keep them on hand for recipes like this one. If you haven’t tried your Instant Pot for cooking beans, don’t wait! Beans go from dry to delicious in under an hour, no pre-soaking needed.
Close-up of a fork pulling filling out of a pepper.

Make Ahead Ideas

This is a really quick and easy meal to make if you have some of the ingredients prepped. I use quinoa and chicken from my freezer, thawed overnight. I also like to use my Instant Pot to make quinoa

Since this is a pretty large recipe, making six whole stuffed peppers, you could enjoy a couple for dinner one night, and save the rest for quick and filling lunches. 

Overhead view of six stuffed peppers in a white glass pan.

Storage Tips/Reheating

Store leftovers, individually wrapped if you like, in the fridge for up to three days. Unwrap and heat gently in the microwave until heated through. If you’re reheating more than one pepper, put them into a baking dish, cover, and reheat in the oven at 350°F until the peppers are warm all the way through. 

A stuffed pepper on a white plate on top of a colorful linen.

Like peppers?

Here’s a few more recipes you may like:

Overhead view of a green bell pepper stuffed with quinoa, chicken, black beans and more.

Southwestern Stuffed Peppers with Chicken and Quinoa

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

These southwestern stuffed peppers with chicken and quinoa are healthy, hearty, and so delicious!

Ingredients

  • 6 bell peppers (any color!)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ear sweet corn, kernels cut away from cob
  • 1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, diced or shredded (about 2 1/2 cups chicken)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 heaping tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 cup Mexican blend cheese, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Choose a dish that will accommodate 6 filled peppers.
  2. Prepare peppers: Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Wash peppers and cut off tops. Discard seeds and ribs. Submerge peppers in water and boil for three minutes. Using tongs or slotted spoon, carefully remove peppers and let cool upside down on wire rack, until you are able to handle them..
  3. Prepare filling: In very large bowl, mix together all other ingredients. Save ¼ cup of the cheese to sprinkle on top of the peppers.
  4. Filling the peppers: Set peppers upright in prepared baking dish. Fill peppers with filling, pushing down gently and heaping up slightly on top. Sprinkle with reserved cheese.
  5. Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes or until browned on top and heated through.
  6. Serve with more chopped fresh cilantro, salsa, sour cream, or avocado.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 filled pepper
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 242Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 112mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 21g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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