These southwestern stuffed peppers with chicken and quinoa are healthy, hearty, and so delicious! Try them today and have the leftovers tomorrow!

Four bell peppers on a wooden background; one green, one yellow, one red, one orange. Viewed from above.

Quinoa is a very “in” food right now. It seems like everyone is eating it. Have you tried it? 

If you’re not familiar with quinoa, here are some fun facts from good ol’ Wikipedia.

  • Quinoa is a from a “grain-like” crop, and what you eat are the seeds.
  • Quinoa originated in South America.
  • Per 100 grams (3.5 oz), quinoa contains 14 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 light and fluffy texture.
  • Quinoa has a slightly nutty flavor and can be used in most places that you would use rice.
  • Quinoa typically cooks in about 15 minutes (much faster than brown rice!).
  • Quinoa is pronounced “KEEN-wah.”

Did you learn anything new? I did!

Another great thing about quinoa besides the fact that it’s good for you 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.

Partially visible stuffed red bell pepper viewed from above, on a white plate.

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

This recipe calls for chicken but you could easily make these stuffed peppers vegetarian by leaving the chicken out. Between the quinoa, beans, and cheese, these stuffed peppers have plenty of protein.

I use canned black beans for this recipe, but stuffed peppers would be amazing with pinto beans, too. 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.

This is a really quick and easy meal to make. I use quinoa and chicken from my freezer, thawed overnight, so it’s simple to throw this together. I also like to use my Instant Pot to make quinoa

Fresh ingredients are on a wooden background; pictured are grape tomatoes, fresh corn in the husk, and a bowl of multicolored bell peppers.




Stuffed bell pepper viewed from above, next to a bowl of salsa.

Like stuffed peppers?

Here’s a few more recipes you may like:


Southwestern Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

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!


  • 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


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Choose a dish that will accommodate 4 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 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.

Did you make this recipe?

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Verdict:  I really like these stuffed peppers. The crispy fresh corn is probably my favorite part of this dish.
Husband’s take: He likes them too. At first I thought he wasn’t too crazy about them (a little “out there” for him, he prefers all things traditional), but he ate seconds and leftovers, always a good sign.
Changes I would make: I would probably add slightly more taco seasoning to these to make them a bit spicier (I can’t believe I just said that).
Difficulty: Easy to moderate.

A stuffed bell pepper on a white plate, on a wooden placemat, sprinkled with fresh cilantro.