Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers


Last Updated on March 21, 2021

These rice and veggie stuffed peppers cooked in a delicious tomato sauce are the perfect comfort food for the cold weather! This recipe was made in partnership with the USA Rice Federation, but all opinions are my own.

vegetarian stuffed peppers

For as long as I could remember, my mom would make rice and meat stuffed peppers for my siblings and I at least once a week growing up. It was one of those dinners that all of us loved, and reminded us so much of our grandma’s cooking. 

Once I became a vegetarian, she started prepping them without ground meat and, they still tasted amazing! I knew I had to recreate this recipe myself with a spin, and I’m so happy I did because it’s one of my favorites cozy dinners! 

These vegetarian stuffed peppers are filled with long grain brown rice, sauteed veggies, and a plant-based ground meat that can easily be left out or swapped with real meat! They’re the perfect balance of whole grains, fiber and protein, and the ultimate comfort food for these chilly nights.

vegetarian stuffed peppers

September happens to be National Rice Month, a celebration of the U.S. rice industry, including farmers, producers and manufacturers, and this year marks the 30th anniversary of National Rice Month. Rice is such a huge staple in more than half of the world’s diets. There are so many varieties, including long grain, short grain, wild, brown and white to name a few.

They’re all a great source of carbohydrates (= energy), fiber, antioxidants, and even protein!

Long Grain Rice

For this stuffed pepper recipe I used high-quality, U.S.-grown long grain brown rice. Once cooked, it’s lighter, fluffier, and more separated than medium or short-grain rice. Brown rice is a 100% whole grain, rich in vitamins and minerals, especially the B-complex group. It has a chewy texture and a nutty flavor, and adds a nice boost of fiber to any meal!

Did you know long grain rice accounts for more than 60% of the rice grown in the United States? U.S.-grown long grain rice is grown in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.

Rice Benefits

Rice packs in more than 15 essential vitamins and minerals, including potassium, magnesium, folic acid and B vitamins. It’s also naturally free of sodium, cholesterol and gluten. Purchasing rice grown in the USA helps support local growers, while also reducing your food miles.

It’s a great boost of energy and whole-grains, which can help lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Rice is also shelf-stable, affordable, and can be used in SO many recipes.

vegetarian stuffed peppers

What you’ll need for these Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

The beauty of this recipe is that you can use any variation of veggies you have lying around! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Large bell peppers
  • U.S grown long-grain brown rice
  • Zucchini
  • Onions, I used both red and white
  • Tomatoes
  • Plant-based ground meat (or real meat!)
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Spices

These peppers are so flavorful, and loaded with tons of the veggies! They’re a great make ahead option for a busy week, and cater to a gluten-free and vegan diet.

vegetarian stuffed peppers

How to prep your stuffed peppers

I’m all about a one pot dish when it comes to weeknight meals. One of the best parts of this recipe is that you only have to dirty one pot to prep everything!

  1. Chop up all of your veggies and add them to a pot with the oil and spices to soften. I also chop up the top of my peppers so that they don’t go to waste!
  2. Then, you mix in your rice and give it a stir to “fry” it with the veggie mix.
  3. After a few minutes, you can add in the plant-based ground meat. You toss it all together with the veggies and rice until its cooked through, and then turn the fire off.
  4. Once your mixture is finished, begin to stuff the peppers. Whenever I have leftover rice, I leave it in the pot to cook with the sauce.
  5. Once your peppers are filled, add the sauce into the pot and layer your peppers.
  6. Cook them on a low heat until they’re nice and tender!

As I mentioned, this recipe is super customizable and can be altered to your liking. I know you guys are going to love it, and can’t wait to hear your thoughts! Be sure to check out some of my other vegetarian dinner recipes, like these lentil tacos or maple tahini tofu.

Thank you to the USA Rice Federation for sponsoring this post. I love working with brands I truly love and believe in.

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

5 from 1 vote
Course: Main


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Cooking time


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You can leave the plant-based meat out of this recipe and skip step #4. If you want to add more protein, black beans or lentils would be a great option.


  • 3/4 cup 3/4 U.S-grown long grain brown rice, uncooked

  • 2 tbsp 2 olive oil

  • 1 lb 1 plant-based meat (or real meat)

  • 6 6 medium sized bell peppers

  • 1 1 large zucchini

  • 1 1 small white onion

  • 1/2 1/2 large red onion

  • 2 2 tomatoes, chopped

  • 1 tsp 1 garlic powder

  • 1 tsp 1 paprika

  • 1 tsp 1 salt

  • 1 tsp 1 black pepper

  • Tomato Sauce
  • 28 oz 28 crushed tomatoes

  • 2 tbsp 2 olive oil

  • 2-3 cups water

  • 1 1/2 tsp 1 1/2 salt

  • 1 tsp 1 black pepper

  • 1 tsp 1 garlic powder

  • 1 tsp 1 paprika

  • Pinch of cayenne pepper, optional


  • Slice off the top of your peppers and set the peppers aside. Chop up the tops of the peppers, zucchini and onions really fine.
  • Starting with the filling, toss the chopped veggies into a large pot with 2 tbsp of oil with all the spices. Cook on a medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring every minute. You want to make sure your pot is wide enough to fit the peppers, so you only need to dirty one dish.
  • Add in the rice and toss together for a minute or two.
  • Add in your plant-based ground meat and break it up to form crumbles. Cook over a medium heat until it starts to brown. Once the meat browns, turn the fire off and mix in the chopped tomatoes.
  • Fill each pepper 3/4 of the way with the filling, and set them aside before placing them back into the pot. If there is some rice leftover, you can leave it in the pot to cook in the sauce.
  • Add all of your sauce ingredients into the pot. Start with 2 cups of water.
  • Place the peppers back into the pot with the sauce. Cover the pot and cook on a low heat for about 40-50 minutes, until the rice is fluffy and the peppers are tender.
  • Check the peppers mid way to coat them in the sauce, and add more water if needed. You want them to be covered 3/4 of the way so that the rice cooks through.
  • Once cooked, top with fresh cilantro and enjoy! Leftovers will last in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @somethingnutritious on Instagram- I’d love to see your creations!


  1. Made this but used turkey meat and had no brown rice but had quinoa. I also accidentally made way too much stuffing. My husband ate the half the stuffing before it went into the peppers while I was gone for an hour. They were so good. I would absolutely recommend these with or without the sauce, and apparently, my husband recommends these with or without the peppers.

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