Secret Recipe Club: Mexican-Style Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Oh look, it’s the first Monday of the month.  Do you know what that means?  It’s time for the Secret Recipe Club again! (On a slightly related note, where the hell did February go? It feels like the past four weeks just zoomed by at light speed.)

Mexican-Style Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

My SRC assignment for this month is Melissa, who blogs over at I Was Born to Cook.  The blog’s name is a reference to Melissa’s Greek and Italian roots, and if the looooooong list of recipes in her Recipe Box is anything to go by, she ‘s doing a pretty bang-up job of living up to that name.

As usual, picking just one recipe was a challenge.  There were tons of delicious-looking treats that caught my eye as I browsed around Melissa’s blog, but after last month’s Nutella Granola pig-out (and with a wedding dress just 3 months away… eep!), I was determined to make something healthy this month.

Mexican-Style Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Lucky for me, Melissa has quite a few healthy meals in her repertoire, and I ended up spending a little while debating between the Mexican Egg White Omelets, the Blueberry Multigrain Pancakes, the Baked Quinoa with Chicken Sausage and Spinach, and the Chipotle Turkey Meatloaf.

In the end, though, it was these Meatless Mexican Stuffed Peppers – a vegetarian stuffed peppers recipe with a filling of brown rice, black beans and corn – that really caught my attention.

Mexican-Style Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

I’m happy to report these were a huge hit.  They’re a hearty vegetarian main dish that is pretty much a meal on its own, though I ended up serving mine with a simple salad of baby spinach just to round things out.

While the original version looked plenty delicious, I did make a few small tweaks to suit our tastes – I used fresh cilantro instead of dried, added a cup of tomato puree for a saucier filling, used frozen corn instead of canned, added a dash of hot sauce to give it some oomph, and kept the peppers whole instead of slicing them in half.

Next time, I might also parboil the peppers for 3-5 minutes before stuffing, since they did come out a little crunchy even after half an hour in the oven.  Other than that, though, these were pure perfection.

Mexican-Style Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

And did I mention how super-easy they were, too?  The peppers could easily be filled a day or two ahead of time, and then popped into the oven for a quick weeknight meal. (Or to setup a photo shoot, which may or may not be what I did here.)

After wolfing down a couple of these peppers, I’ve come to two conclusions – Melissa was definitely born to cook, and these peppers were made to be devoured.

Now it just remains to be seen if I can lay off the treats long enough to fit into that wedding dress! :)

One Year Ago: Korean Style Steak and Sweet Chili Green Beans
Two Years Ago: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Three Years Ago: Lamb Shanks with Pomegranate and Chickpeas

5.0 from 2 reviews
Meatless Mexican Stuffed Peppers
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This quick and easy meatless main dish is full of flavour, not to mention loads of heart-healthy fiber and protein.
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 6
  • 6 medium-sized bell peppers (red or green)
  • 2½ cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (540 ml) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1½ cups frozen corn niblets
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • Hot sauce to taste (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Start by preparing the peppers. Slice the top off each pepper about 1" from the stem end, then remove any seeds or ribs left inside. If any of the peppers are a little crooked, slice a little off the bottom until they stand up straight. Arrange cut side up in a baking dish, and set aside.
  3. Next, make the filling. In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, heat the canola oil. Add the onion and garlic in canola oil, and saute for 5-7 minutes or until soft. Stir in the rice, beans, corn, tomato puree, chili powder and cumin, and continue cooking for 5 minutes or until everything is heated through.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro, then season to taste with hot sauce, salt and pepper. Spoon the rice mixture into the peppers, making sure not to pack too tightly.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until peppers are tender. Sprinkle the tops with cheese and continue baking for 5 minutes longer, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve right away.


  1. Ashley says

    Very yummy! If you like the peppers softer/less crunchy, just throw them in the oven on their own for 5-10 minutes while you prepare the filling. I plan to make and freeze a few batches of filling for easy dinners after our baby arrives, thanks for the recipe!

  2. Lynda Lien says

    I’ve made these several times & they are a big hit! Very yummy. But I found I had to parboil the peppers for 5-10 min before stuffing. Otherwise the pepper isn’t tender enough to cut, eat or digest easily!

  3. Liana G says

    Made these for my vegetarian daughter and made meat ones for the rest of the family, these were so delicious, better than the meat ones!!! I added a little chipotle fhili powder to give it a spicier kick!! Soooo good!

  4. says

    I love stuffed peppers, but they rarely find it onto the menu. May have to change that. Great healthier choice for the swap! Good luck with wedding planning!

  5. says

    It’s so funny. I was just trying to convince my (very picky!) husband that he wants to try stuffed peppers. He had them once and didn’t care for them. But these I think would fit the bill. Love the Mexican spin on them and they sound hearty and filling. I will definitely be making these!

  6. says

    I generally consider red peppers to be a serious luxury, but this might a recipe worth splurging on! The green look lovely (I like ’em a bit crunchy), but I bet the red taste even more wonderful.

  7. says

    This looks similar to a dish that my daughter created…..yours look amazing…I love stuffed peppers and these look perfectly delicious! I am pinning this one. I am from Group B and just stopping by for a quick peak. Great SRC share.

  8. says

    Stuffed peppers are a good dinner, but an even better lunch leftover! I never parboil mine, but you’re so right – most do come out with a bit of crunch if not given some heat in advance. Love this find, Isabelle – great pick this month!

  9. says

    Hi Isabelle,
    I just love the Meatless Mexican Stuffed Peppers, these peppers are just packed with flavor, can’t wait to try these. Thanks for sharing and have a good week.
    Visiting from Group B SRC
    Miz Helen

  10. says

    Colorful, healthy and delicious, with meals like that you’ll have to take that dress in! Great SRC choice.

    If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my SRC entry Loaded Potato Soup.


  11. says

    The stuffed peppers look amazing – Great SRC pick!!! I remember this time a year ago when I was in wedding dress countdown, so terrified of my dress not fitting but it all worked out in the end – and it will for you too!!!


  1. […] happened last Monday, aka Meatless Monday. I was looking for a fun new recipe when I stumbled upon Mexican-Style Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers. I went right to the grocery store, raced home, and went straight to work in the kitchen. If you […]

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