Pepperoni Pizza Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
These pizza quinoa stuffed peppers have all the flavor and goodness of pizza…in a bell pepper! Pretty, delicious, and (mostly) healthy.
So, I recently turned 30.
I’m officially OLD.
All the more reason to watch what you eat, right? I feel like I’ve had a slightly obscene amount of sweets around here lately. The No Bake Peanut Butter Bars were especially damaging to my waistline.
I figured it was past time to have a savory recipe…and something slightly healthier. Slightly. We’ll just say it’s better than actual pizza. You have power packed quinoa, fresh basil, flavorful mushrooms. Oh, yeah…and tons of cheese and pepperoni. Minor details.
However, it’s all packaged up in a sweet red bell pepper rather than greasy crust. So that’s a win. Actually, a serving of 2 filled pepper halves is only 228 calories! Not bad, right?
I cut my peppers from top to bottom rather than the traditional way of stuffing peppers (by slicing off the tops), because I like this ratio of filling to bell pepper better than the alternative. Plus they are easier to cook (and eat!) this way.
This isn’t my first go-around with stuffing quinoa into a bell pepper. If you’re craving tex-mex, make sure to try my southwestern quinoa stuffed peppers. I think I love this recipe even more than that recipe, though. The gooey bits of fresh mozzarella, the slightly spicy pepperoni, and the fresh basil keep things lively.
These pizza and quinoa stuffed peppers could definitely be made a day in advance if you’re looking ahead. Just assemble them, and bake them when you’re ready.
PS: Also gluten free! If you would like to make this vegetarian, simply leave out the pepperoni.
This protein packed gluten-free grain is so versatile and healthy! Try:
- 2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
- 3.15 ounce package of sliced pepperoni, slices cut into quarters
- 8 ounces of perline (pearl) mozzarella, liquid drained
- 3/4 cup pizza sauce
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil, more for garnish
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 2 cups loosely packed fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 5 red bell peppers, sliced in half and hollowed out
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Prepare large baking dish (at least 9x13) by spraying lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except Parmesan cheese and bell peppers.
- Meanwhile, place red pepper halves in boiling water and cook for three minutes. Remove with tongs or slotted spoon, place on wire racks, cut side down to drain and cool, so that you can handle them.
- Fill pepper halves with quinoa mixture and place in prepared baking dish. Repeat until all pepper halves are full. Sprinkle on grated Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and peppers are heated through. Enjoy immediately
- If you can’t find pearl mozzarella you can cut up any type of fresh mozzarella into small pieces. Shredded mozzarella would be fine, too.
- Omit pepperoni for vegetarian main dish.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 2 pepper halves
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 228 Total Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 14mg Sodium: 419mg Carbohydrates: 31g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 8g Protein: 11g
Husband’s take: He approves. He likes this healthier take on pizza.
Changes I would make: None are necessary.