Enchilada stuffed peppers are perfect for a meatless dinner or a meal-prep lunch! They make for a great vegetarian and gluten-free dish, and are packed with brown rice, black beans, tomatoes, onions, enchilada sauce, melty cheese, and cilantro.
I love stuffed peppers AND enchiladas, so I thought, why not combine them?! And I am sure glad I did! These enchilada stuffed peppers combine all the delicious goodness of enchiladas into the convenient "home" of a stuffed pepper.
These vegetarian stuffed peppers are super filling from the combination of protein and fiber (from the black beans and brown rice). Enchilada sauces adds some richness and a mild spiciness, and the quick pico de gallo balances out the flavors at the end. All in all, makes for a super delicious weeknight dinner. Or, a fun make-ahead meal prep option that you can enjoy for lunch or dinner later!
- Bell peppers: I used red bell peppers, but you can use any color. Green bell peppers might be a little less sweet, though.
- Brown rice: Feel free to swap for white rice if that's what you prefer!
- Black beans: Pack a ton of protein and fiber to add to the filling power of these stuffed peppers.
- Enchilada sauce: I usually buy a packaged enchilada sauce to save time, but you can also make your own!
- Diced tomatoes and onion: These veggies go so well both in the stuffed peppers and the pico de gallo that's added on top.
- Lime juice: Adds a little bit of acidity to the pico de gallo to brighten up the entire dish.
- Shredded Mexican cheese: I personally think cheesy stuffed peppers are so delicious. You can also use mozzarella cheese if that's what you have on hand.
- Cilantro: Fresh herbs are such a great finisher to any dish, and this one is no exception! Add it to the pico de gallo and to garnish the finished stuffed peppers.
How to Make Enchilada Stuffed Peppers
I feel like it's easiest to think of this recipe as being broken down into 4 parts: cooking the rice, roasting the peppers, stuffing the peppers, and making the quick pico de gallo.
1. Cook the rice. Depending on the type of rice you buy, the cooking times may vary. Cookie & Kate has a great guide on cooking brown rice. I used Trader Joe's Organic Frozen Brown Rice, which is pre-cooked, so it was done in much less time than typical brown rice!
2. Roast the peppers: First, pre-heat the oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut your peppers in half length-wise (vertically). Remove the seeds and innards with your hands or a pairing knife.
Line up the peppers on the baking sheet, with the cut side facing up. Drizzle with olive oil and use your hands to rub the olive oil on both sides of the pepper halves. Sprinkle with salt. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes or until the edges are slightly darkened but not burned. Remove from oven.
3. Stuff the peppers: In a large mixing bowl, combine black beans, rice, cheese, enchilada sauce, onions, and tomatoes. Season with salt to taste. Use a spoon to stuff the mixture evenly into each halved pepper. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the remaining shredded cheese on top of the stuffed peppers and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Remove from heat.
4. Make a quick pico de gallo: While the enchilada stuffed peppers are in the oven, combine the remaining diced onion, diced tomatoes, lime juice, and chopped cilantro in a small bowl. Mix well and season with salt to taste.
Serve the stuffed peppers with pico de gallo drizzled on top or on the side. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve and enjoy!
Storage and Reheating
These enchiladas stuffed peppers are a great make-ahead meal. If meal prepping, don't add the pico de gallo to the peppers until you're ready to eat.
To store, simply place the stuffed peppers face-up in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When ready to eat, enjoy them cold or reheat in a microwave or on a covered skillet until hot.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Use pre-cooked or quick-cooking rice. This is a great hack to save time. Cook rice per package instructions.
- Looking for a delicious red enchilada sauce? The Whole Foods 365 Organic Red Enchilada Sauce is my favorite.
Variations and Substitutions
- Swap rice for quinoa: In a medium pot, combine ½ cup quinoa and 1 cup of water. Cook uncovered on medium-high heat until boiling. Once boiling, then reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. Then, turn off the heat and cover the pot with a lid for 5 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork.
- Make your own enchilada sauce instead of buying a packaged version. Ali from Gimme Some Oven has a great red enchilada sauce recipe here.
What to Serve with Enchilada Stuffed Peppers
These enchilada stuffed peppers would be so good served with a delicious salad like this shrimp taco salad or this quinoa black bean avocado salad.
If you made this recipe, I’d love to see your creation! Don’t forget to snap a picture and tag me @thebalancedbite on Instagram. Follow along on Pinterest and Facebook for more healthy & tasty recipes!
More Healthy Vegetarian Dinner Recipes:
- Lentil Orzo Stuffed Peppers
- Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash
- Vegetarian Enchiladas Verdes
- Quinoa Black Bean Avocado Bowl
- Mediterranean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Creamy Hummus Pasta
Enchilada Stuffed Peppers
- 4 large bell peppers, halved vertically, seeds and membranes removed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup dry brown rice
- 10 ounces enchilada sauce
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese (divided)
- 1 cup diced tomatoes (divided)
- ¼ medium red onion, peeled and diced (divided)
- Juice from ½ lime
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (more for garnish)
- Salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cook rice according to package instructions.
- Meanwhile, prepare the bell peppers. Place halved bell peppers on the baking sheet, cut-side facing up. Drizzle olive oil over bell peppers and rub the oil onto both sides of the peppers. Season with salt. Cook for 10 minutes.
- While the peppers roast, prepare the stuffing. In a large bowl, combine black beans, cooked brown rice, ½ cup shredded cheese, enchilada sauce, ⅛ cup diced onions, ½ cup diced tomatoes. Mix together well and stuff the peppers evenly with the mixture. Cook for 10 minutes. Add remaining cheese on top of the stuffed peppers and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Remove from heat.
- Make a quick pico de gallo while the enchilada stuffed peppers are in the oven. In a small bowl, combine remaining diced onion, ½ cup diced tomatoes, lime juice, and chopped cilantro. Season with salt to taste.
- Serve the stuffed peppers with pico de gallo drizzled on top or on the side. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
- Serve and enjoy!
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Chase Mazur says
Give me all the cheesy enchiladas in these tasty bell pepper boats! So creative and easy to prepare as a make-ahead lunch!