Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa, Black Beans, and Pecans
Vegetarian stuffed peppers with taco quinoa, black beans, and pecans made easy in the Instant Pot. This post was sponsored by the American Pecan Council, but all opinions are my own.
Have you heard about nut “meat” tacos? Well, these taco stuffed peppers are a fun new take on them. These veggie stuffed peppers are filled with taco spiced quinoa, black beans, pecan pieces, tomatoes and corn. Topped with avocado, salsa, or guacamole, a sprig of fresh cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice, stuffed peppers are a flavorful and filling weeknight dinner, great to incorporate in weekly meal plans. We made these stuffed peppers even easier by cooking them in the Instant Pot. Let’s see how it’s done!
Instant Pot Quinoa
Step 1 in making vegetarian stuffed bell peppers is to cook the quinoa. The Instant Pot makes this very easy. If you’d prefer to make it on the stovetop follow the directions in this post all about cooking perfect quinoa. Cook the quinoa in the Instant Pot liner itself, or in a dish on the trivet, with one cup of water in the liner.
Remove the quinoa, give it a fluff with a fork, and add one cup to a larger bowl.
Vegetarian Stuffed Pepper Ingredients
The ingredients for this recipe are simple, and you might just have all of them in your pantry already.
- Raw pecan pieces for meaty texture
- Corn kernels for sweetness (fresh, frozen, or canned all work)
- Black beans
- Fire roasted tomatoes. You can also substitute salsa or enchilada sauce.
- Taco seasoning. Use one tablespoon for kid-friendly, and 2 for spicier.
- Fresh chopped yellow onion
- Chopped cilantro for freshness
Nuts as a Meat Substitute
Though you might think of pecans as a dessert nut, they actually work beautifully in sweet and savory dishes. Fresh pecans are a source of plant-based protein, good fats, and fiber, which helps you stay fuller for longer*. They also have flavonoids and essential minerals, including copper, manganese and zinc. Their versatility makes them the perfect addition to your weekly grocery list – a bag of pecans can provide crunchy flavor and nutrition to any of your go-to meals.
Pecan pieces are a great substitute for ground meat. I love the hearty texture they add to tacos and these stuffed peppers.
Mix all the ingredients together and your stuffing is ready for the peppers.
How to Cook Stuffed Peppers in the Instant Pot
The Instant Pot pressure cooker makes tender stuffed peppers quick and easy, but if you don’t have an Instant Pot you can make them in the oven. Cut the tops off the bell peppers and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Fill them up with the taco mixture and really pack it in. Add a cup of water to the pot and fit with the trivet or steamer basket. Place the stuffed peppers on top and pressure cook.
For an even more kid-friendly option, top the cooked peppers with cheese (I use dairy-free) and pop under the broiler for a few minutes to melt.
How to Serve Stuffed Peppers
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups (1 15 oz. can) cooked black beans
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 1 cup fresh pecan pieces
- 1-2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 2 cups fire roasted tomatoes
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
- 4 multicolor bell peppers
- 1 ripe avocado, diced (for garnish)
- 1 lime, sliced (for garnish)
- 2 radishes, sliced (for garnish, optional)
- In a large bowl, stir together the quinoa, beans, corn, pecan pieces, taco seasoning, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro.
- Cut the tops off the peppers and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and veins. Fill the hollowed peppers with the filling.
- Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot liner. Fit with the trivet or large steamer basket. Place the peppers onto the trivet. Lock the lid, with valve sealing. Select manual/pressure cook (high) and set for 5 minutes.
- When the cook time is finishes, naturally release the pressure for 5 minutes before manually releasing any remaining pressure. Carefully remove the lid and ensure the peppers are fork-tender.
- Remove the peppers and enjoy warm topped with avocado, lime, radish slices, and fresh cilantro.
- To bake these vegetarian stuffed peppers in the oven, place into a casserole dish, cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until peppers are tender.
- For a more kid-friendly option, top peppers with shredded cheddar cheese and melt under the broiler.
- These peppers are also delicious served with guacamole instead of avocado.
- Serve with tortilla chips and a green salad.
*One serving (28g) of pecans contains 18g unsaturated fat and only 2g of saturated fat.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 pepper
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 544 Total Fat: 27g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 22g Cholesterol: 0mg Carbohydrates: 67g Fiber: 21g Sugar: 12g Protein: 18g