Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers with Almonds and Mint

Dinner one night last week was inspired by a dish that my old friend Andrea used to make. I never did get her actual recipe, but it was based on a wild rice blend. If you’ve been here before, then you know that I’m a big quinoa lover, and that I love quinoa-a-fying rice and noodle based recipes. So without further ado, I present to you my take on Andrea’s stuffed peppers…

Make-Ahead Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers with Almonds and Mint - Vegan and Gluten-Free

One of the reasons why I decided to make this recipe is because I have this lovely little mint plant on my balcony that is slowly being devoured by flies. I figured I might as well start using the mint before there isn’t any of it left! If anyone knows how to keep the bugs away from my mint plant, please leave a comment below!

Make-Ahead Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers with Almonds and Mint - Vegan and Gluten-Free

You have to cook the quinoa on the stove and then bake the stuffed peppers in the oven, so this is more elaborate than my “ready in under 30 minute” type recipes. But while it may seem like a holiday & special occasion dish,  you can actually prepare the filling and stuff the peppers the day before, and then bake them the next day, making them a good make ahead Sunday meal option. You can also freeze the unbaked peppers and pop them out as needed, making this fancy little recipe quite versatile after all!

Make-Ahead Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers with Almonds and Mint - Vegan and Gluten-Free

Notes

  • It may sound weird to combine mint and pasta sauce, but don’t skip the fresh mint, as it really adds so much to the recipe. Having said that, fresh basil would also work in a pinch.
  • It may not seem like it, but one stuffed pepper and a side of green veggies is actually quite filling. If you’d rather serve these as a side dish or appetizer, I suggest cutting and stuffing the bell peppers lengthwise, giving you a total of 8 stuffed half-peppers.
  • I meant to include a can of white cannelloni beans in this recipe, but realized afterwards that I had forgotten them entirely. So if you’re looking for a bigger protein punch from this dish, feel free to toss them into the quinoa mixture, keeping in mind that you may need a 5th bell pepper to account for the additional volume.
  • The quinoa filling is really delicious, so feel-free to use it on its own if you don’t have time for all the stuffed-pepper business.

Make-Ahead Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers with Almonds and Mint - Vegan and Gluten-Free

Make-Ahead Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers with Almonds and Mint - Vegan and Gluten-Free Make-Ahead Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers with Almonds and Mint - Vegan and Gluten-Free
Make-Ahead Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers with Almonds and Mint - Vegan and Gluten-Free Make-Ahead Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers with Almonds and Mint - Vegan and Gluten-Free

Make-Ahead Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers with Almonds and Mint - Vegan and Gluten-FreeMake-Ahead Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers with Almonds and Mint - Vegan and Gluten-FreeMake-Ahead Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers with Almonds and Mint - Vegan and Gluten-FreeMake-Ahead Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers with Almonds and Mint - Vegan and Gluten-FreeMake-Ahead Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers with Almonds and Mint - Vegan and Gluten-FreeMake-Ahead Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers with Almonds and Mint - Vegan and Gluten-Free

Vegan Make-Ahead Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers with Almonds and Mint
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Subtle mint and crunchy toasted almonds make these quinoa-stuffed peppers a great main dish or side. Vegan and gluten-free.
Author:
Recipe type: Main, Side
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 bell peppers (capsicum)
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 540g jar pasta sauce
  • 1+1/4 cup water
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup fresh mint
  • salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.
  2. If serving full peppers, use a paring knife to carefully cut the tops off the bell peppers, otherwise slice them lengthwise to serve them as half-stuffed peppers. Using a spoon, gently remove the seeds and scrape out the white flesh inside the peppers. Set aside.
  3. Mix quinoa, 1 cup of the pasta sauce, and 1+1/4 cups of water in a medium saucepan and bring to boil. Lower heat to lowest setting, cover saucepan and simmer until all liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, toast the almonds in a frying pan for a few minutes by sautéing them and being sure to not let them burn. When toasted, place them in a mixing bowl.
  5. Heat olive oil in frying pan over medium heat and cook the onions and garlic until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add to the mixing bowl.
  6. When the quinoa is ready, add it to the mixing bowl along with the remaining pasta sauce, nutritional yeast and mint. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Divide quinoa mixture evenly among the bell peppers, gently packing it down and making sure to fully fill each pepper. Top each pepper with its reserved top, if using.
  8. If making ahead, cool and chill the peppers in the fridge or freezer, being sure to protect them from freezer burn.
  9. (If frozen, defrost peppers in fridge overnight.) Arrange peppers upright in a parchment paper-lined oven-safe dish, cover snugly with foil and bake for 1 hour. Transfer to plates and serve.

Make-Ahead Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers with Almonds and Mint - Vegan and Gluten-FreeMake-Ahead Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers with Almonds and Mint - Vegan and Gluten-FreeMake-Ahead Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers with Almonds and Mint - Vegan and Gluten-Free

23 Comments

  1. Quinoa stuffed peppers is a favorite, but I love the mint you added!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thanks Pamela :) I think it adds a nice flavor. Let me know if you try it!

      Reply
  2. Stef says:

    good job vegangela! looks delicious!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thank you, let me know if you try it :)

      Reply
  3. Rika says:

    I’m also a big quinoa lover and love adding spices including harissa to quinoa. The mint plant is lookin’ gorgeous! I imagine mint works as a basil substitute for pasta sauce, I would love to try it. The quinoa-stuffed peppers are an ideal side dish to a holiday feast!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thanks Rika! Yes, mint works well with tomato sauce. It seems weird to me, but it works! Agreed that these would be nice for the holidays. Thanks so much for stopping by :)

      Reply
  4. Julia says:

    Hi Angela – these look delicious – I love stuffing peppers with rice, this quinoa filling is a great idea:)

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thank you! Your site is beautiful, adding it to my Feedly now!

      Reply
  5. Donna says:

    Oh my gosh, these looks amazing! I must try this sometime.

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thanks! Let me know when you do :)

      Reply
  6. Ooh these look yummy! Have never thought of putting mint with pasta sauce before but am always up for something new! I’m a big fan of adding seeds to quinoa to get some crunch, will definitely have to try adding almonds too :)

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      It sounds crazy but it tastes really great. Let me know if you try them :)

      Reply
  7. Genna says:

    25 min left on these in the oven- tried the white kidney bean variation, excited to see what comes out!

    Reply
  8. Lisa says:

    Sounds fabulous! How long are we to leave them in the oven if they are not frozen?
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • It’s 1 hour whether they’re “fresh” or defrosted. Enjoy!

      Reply
  9. Sam says:

    OH my GOOD LORD – this is amazing. My local grocery store was sold out of mint, but I followed the rest of the instructions to a ‘T’. THANK YOU! SO GOOD!

    Reply
  10. Meagan says:

    Super delicious!!! And I’ve only tried the filling so far…I’m making these for a “first meal” date tonight!
    Next time I will try the bean option, but the filling tastes so hearty and flavorful even without it.

    Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed the recipe. Hope the date went well :)

      Reply
      • Meagan says:

        So good. Making them again for company visiting this weekend and decided I need a mint plant as well! : )

        Reply
        • Yay! So glad you like the recipe. Thanks for writing :)

          Reply
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