These vegan stuffed peppers combine curried rice with veggies, soy protein (or chickpeas), and a cheesy topping. The result is a hearty, healthy, protein-dense meal. Super versatile, gluten-free, dairy-free, low-fat, and ready in 50 minutes – these meatless stuffed peppers will become a family favorite!
Veggie Stuffed Bell Peppers with Curried Rice
Vegan stuffed peppers have it all. They’re packed with nutrients, protein, flavor, and color. More so, they make for a hearty meal yet are light enough to enjoy year-round. Plus, the prep takes no time at all, and these stuffed peppers are super versatile!
I love simple ‘stuffed’ dishes like chickpea zucchini boats, lentil eggplant, potato skins, stuffed potato cakes, and these veggie stuffed bell peppers. You get an all-in-one meal that’s readily portioned, usually transportable, and -in this case- super meal prep friendly (both for fridge and freezer)!
While tons of stuffed pepper recipes are either Italian (stuffed with sausage and cheese) or Mexican (with beef and cheese), these meatless stuffed peppers combine rice and soy (optionally chickpeas) with a slightly curried sauce that’s made extra creamy with the addition of a special ingredient—peanut butter! (Nut-free option also listed!).
Versatile Vegan Dinner Recipe
There’s no need to over-complicate the filling either, though it’s super versatile based on what’s in season (and your pantry). Swap out the grain, veggies, up the spice, substitute the textured soy, etc. If you’ve never cooked with TVP before, now is the chance to dive right into this protein-dense vegan ‘meat’ alternative.
Textured vegetable protein (TVP) is something I keep stocked in my pantry for all sorts of vegan meals (including this vegan Geschnetzeltes, loaded nacho fries, goulash, and peanut butter noodles). It’s a dehydrated soy product with a very neutral flavor that can be reconstituted and will soak up the dish’s flavors around it for a high-protein, flavorful addition to any vegan meal. Prefer a soy-free option? Then chickpeas also work wonderfully.
Either way, these vegan stuffed peppers are made up of just a handful of fresh ingredients and several pantry staples for a budget-friendly, flavor-packed meal!
- Bell Peppers: You need 4 bell peppers to stuff (colors of your choice; red, orange, yellow, green) and an additional ½ cup chopped bell pepper for the filling.
- Rice: Use any pre-cooked rice; white, brown, basmati, etc. You need 2 cups of cooked rice. You could also substitute the rice for another grain like quinoa, couscous, etc.
- Protein: Choose from textured vegetable protein aka TVP (or the vegan ‘mince’ of your choice) or chickpeas. Tempeh or mushrooms (sautéed) would also work.
- Coconut milk: I used light canned coconut milk. Alternatively, use regular dairy-free milk, though coconut milk is creamier/ richer.
- Tomatoes: I used tinned crushed tomatoes, which are ‘juicier’ for the sauce.
- Aromatics: This vegan stuffed bell peppers recipe uses a combination of onion and garlic; adjust the amount to preference.
- Oil: Any neutral cooking oil will work—sesame oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, etc.
- Peanut butter: This may seem odd, but the richness/creaminess and flavor it adds are delicious. You can alternatively use another nut butter. For a nut-free alternative, use sunflower seed butter.
- Seasonings: I used a combination of curry powder, smoked paprika, and salt & pepper.
- Cheese: I used my homemade vegan cheese sauce. Alternatively, you can use your favorite melty vegan cheese.
- Chives: to garnish. Parsley would also work.
Optional add-ins and recipe variations:
- More vegetables: These vegan stuffed peppers are super versatile for what veggies you include instead. Instead of chopped peppers (or alongside), you could add mushrooms, zucchini, spinach, corn, broccoli, or any number of veggies you love.
- Low–carb: For a low-carb version of these veggie stuffed peppers, swap out the rice for cauliflower rice or broccoli rice.
- Spice: If you like your food with a kick, add a pinch (or more) of red pepper flakes, chili/cayenne powder, or even add some hot sauce to the filling mixture.
- Nutritional yeast: To add further depth of flavor (slightly cheesy, nutty, umami flavor) to the meatless stuffed peppers filling, add 1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast (or more—to taste).
- Nuts: adding some lightly toasted crushed walnuts or pine nuts to the top (or inside), these vegetarian stuffed peppers help to boost healthy fats and add a crunchy texture to the stuffed capsicum.
Please read the recipe card below for the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information.
How to Make Vegan Stuffed Peppers
- First, cook your favorite rice according to their package instructions.
If you don’t want it to go too mushy in the vegan stuffed bell peppers, cook it 1-2 minutes less than usual.
- Then finely chop the veggies (onion, garlic, and ½ cup bell pepper), and prepare the textured soy protein (if using it, otherwise skip this step). Next, soak 1 cup of the TVP with equal amounts of hot water or vegetable broth and leave to soak for 10 minutes. During this time, the TVP should fluff up and absorb the liquid. Then drain the excess liquid thoroughly.
- Next, prepare the bell peppers. Use a small, sharp knife to remove the ‘lids’ from each pepper and discard the seeds within.
- Cook the filling: Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet. Once hot, add the TVP (or chickpeas), onion, and garlic. Sauté over medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Then add the chopped bell peppers, crushed tomatoes, soy sauce, peanut butter, spices, salt and pepper, and coconut milk. Combine, then allow the mixture to simmer for 5 minutes over medium-low, stirring occasionally.
- Add the cooked rice to the skillet and stir well. Give the mixture a taste and adjust any of the spices/seasonings to preference. Then turn off the heat.
- Spoon the rice mixture into the 4 peppers, then top with the vegan cheese sauce (or your favorite cheese). Bake the stuffed capsicum in the oven for between 30-45 minutes, until tender and bubbling on top.
You’re likely to have a little leftover rice/veggie mixture – you can save this in the fridge and enjoy as-is, or freeze it for another time.
How To Serve?
Enjoy a vegan stuffed bell pepper alone or “beef up” the meal with the addition of garlic bread (or naan), a side salad (either a leafy one like fattoush or even a dish like this creamy cucumber salad), or roasted/grilled veggies (or even hash browns)!
How to Make Ahead and Store
Make ahead: You can prepare the filling 1-2 days in advance, then add to the peppers and bake when ready.
Store: Store any leftover peppers covered in the refrigerator for between 4-5 days.
Freeze: Allow the vegan stuffed bell peppers to cool entirely, then transfer to a tray and freeze until solid before transferring to an airtight container and storing for up to 3 months. Allow them to thaw in the fridge before reheating.
Reheat: You can reheat the stuffed peppers either in the oven (at 350F/180C for 15-20 minutes) or in the microwave, sliced in half, and placed flat on a plate for between 3-5 minutes. I recommend checking every 30-40 seconds.
Recipe Notes and FAQs
- To bake as pepper halves: Instead of whole vegetarian stuffed peppers, you can slice the peppers in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, and stuff them that way. To do so, I recommend baking the peppers for 30 minutes covered with foil, then remove the foil for the rest of the baking time.
- If you prefer more charred/caramelized peppers, pre-cook the peppers slightly before adding the filling. Either pre-roast the peppers until they’re slightly tender and browned, OR place under the broiler. Then fill with the stuffing and bake as written.
- Can I grill the veggie stuffed peppers? I haven’t tried, but that should be possible. To grill whole peppers, I recommend using kitchen string to secure the lid (or slice in half lengthwise and then secure with string), then add to the grill over moderate heat for a few minutes per side (3-5 minutes per side). To avoid the peppers becoming too charred or falling apart, you can wrap them in foil to cook on the grill (from the beginning or halfway) if you notice them becoming too dark.
More Hearty Vegan Meals
- Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
- Vegan Gyros
- Black Bean Quesadillas
- Curried Cauliflower Casserole
- Vegetable Chop Suey
- Chickpea Eggplant Curry
- Vegan Meatballs and Gravy
If you try this vegan stuffed peppers recipe, I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating below. Also, please don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan #elavegan – I love seeing them.
Vegan Stuffed Bell Peppers
- 4 bell peppers (color of choice)
- 2 cups cooked rice of choice
- 1 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP) or cooked chickpeas
- 1/2 cup light coconut milk
- 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers (any color you like)
- 4 tbsp crushed tomatoes
- 1 medium-sized onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp soy sauce GF (or tamari or coconut aminos)
- 1 tbsp oil (e.g. sesame oil or coconut oil)
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 1/2 tbsp curry powder
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Vegan cheese sauce (or your favorite vegan cheese) to taste
- Chopped chives to taste
- You can watch the video in the post for visual instructions.Cook your favorite rice according to packaging instructions. You will need 2 cups of cooked rice for this recipe (this is about 2/3 cup of dry rice).
- Next, soak 1 cup of the TVP with equal amounts of hot water or vegetable broth and leave to soak for 10 minutes. During this time, the TVP will fluff up and absorb most of the liquid. Then drain the excess liquid thoroughly.Skip this step if you are going to use cooked chickpeas.
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C (about 375 degrees F).With a knife, carefully remove the "lids" of the 4 bell peppers and also discard all the seeds.
- Heat oil in a skillet, add the chopped onion, minced garlic, the textured soy protein and fry for 4-5 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the chopped 1/2 cup bell peppers, crushed tomatoes, soy sauce, peanut butter, spices (curry, smoked paprika), salt/pepper to taste, and coconut milk to the skillet, and let simmer for about 5 minutes on low-medium heat. Stir occasionally.
- Now add the cooked rice and check if the mixture needs more salt/pepper/spices.
- Fill the 4 peppers with the rice/veggie mixture, add your favorite vegan cheese to taste, or make my easy vegan cheese sauce. Bake in the oven for about 30-45 minutes.
- You will probably have some rice/veggie mixture leftovers, which you can store covered in the fridge for a few days. Enjoy!
- Recipe serves 4. Nutrition facts are for 1 serving.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically
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