Vegan Enchilada Stuffed Bell Peppers

These vegan enchilada stuffed bell peppers are bursting with flavor and texture.  They are stuffed with a satisfying plant-based mixture of quinoa, black beans, diced veggies and cilantro.  Plus, they are smothered in a homemade enchilada sauce that boasts bold flavor in this dish.  This Mexican-inspired spin on stuffed bell peppers is a nutritious crowd-pleaser and is very filling.  

Vegan Enchilada Stuffed Bell Peppers          

Vegan Enchilada Stuffed Bell Peppers

Almost every type of cuisine has a stuffed bell pepper dish.  With their vibrant color and unusual shape, stuffed peppers can provide a stunning presentation for your main course.  Today I am sharing my favorite Mexican-style vegan stuffed peppers recipe.  It is loaded with nutritious plant-based ingredients like quinoa, black beans, sweet potato and squash.  Bold flavor comes from a homemade enchilada sauce that makes this dish.  Definitely don’t skip on this easy version made from scratch with all pantry ingredients.  More fresh Mexican flavor comes from green onions, red onions and fresh cilantro.

Dairy-Free Enchilada Stuffed Bell Peppers

What ingredients do I need to make these Vegan Enchilada Stuffed Bell Peppers?

This recipe contains so many nutritious plant-based ingredients that I absolutely love.  Here they are:

Enchilada Filling for Stuffed Bell Peppers

Vegan Enchilada Stuffing for Bell Peppers

When making this dish on a busy weeknight I prepare the sweet potato in my Instant Pot the night before.  I also cook the quinoa in advance and use canned black beans to keep it simple.  This way, I can quickly combine ingredients and pop in the oven.  While it cooks I prepare/set out any desired garnishes such as avocado, lime, cilantro and green onions.  I love this dish with a huge dollop of my vegan sour cream which I make in advance.

Dairy-Free Enchilada Stuffed Bell Peppers

Health Benefits of Bell Peppers

Bell peppers range in color and flavor based on how ripe they are. A red bell pepper is riper and therefore sweeter and milder than a green bell pepper.  Red peppers contain 11 times more beta carotene and four times more vitamin C than green bell peppers. Vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds and keep teeth and gums healthy, and beta carotene benefits your immune system, vision, skin health and bone health.  Red bell peppers also contain an important phytochemical, lycopene, which could benefit prostate and heart health, according to the Produce for Better Health Foundation.  Select bell peppers that are brightly colored and firm with tight skin. You can store bell peppers for up to five days in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.

Vegan Stuffed Bell Pepper

Vegan Stuffed Bell Pepper

Vegan Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers

Health Benefits of Quinoa

I love the texture that quinoa adds to the stuffing mixture in this recipe.  Many people consider quinoa an ancient whole grain, but it’s actually a seed.  Quinoa is a good source of fiber with five grams of fiber per serving. Fiber keeps you fuller longer and aids in digestion and overall heart health.  According to the American Dietetic Association, quinoa is a complete protein with all eight essential amino acids — great for vegetarians and vegans.  In addition to containing more protein than many grains, this powerful seed also contains more nutrients, including important minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, copper, zinc and iron.  

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Health Benefits of Black Beans

Black beans are considered a legume and part of both the protein and vegetable group.  They also provide dietary fiber and important nutrients such as iron and zinc.  I love their texture in this dish and they absorb the enchilada sauce flavor well.

Vegan Mexican Stuffed Peppers 

Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite vegetables to incorporate into recipes whenever possible.  Their vibrant orange color lets you know you are getting all that immune-boosting vitamin A (also helpful for vision and bone health).  They also offer dietary fiber and potassium and are high in vitamin C.  They are convenient and versatile and somehow serve as both a comfort food and health food all at once.  They are incredibly filling and I love the sweet flavor and creamy smooth texture they add to this dish.  

Easy Enchilada Stuffed Peppers

More Mexican recipes you might enjoy:

In the mood for more Mexican food?  These are some of my favorite healthy Mexican recipes (all vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free):

Homemade Vegan Sour Cream

Homemade Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce

Spicy Chipotle Guacamole

Creamy Vegan Garlic Cilantro Lime Sauce

Creamy Black Bean Dip

Mushroom-Walnut Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa

Creamy Black Bean and Roasted Sweet Potato Tostadas

Chunky Strawberry Avocado Salsa

Strawberry Salsa

One-Pan Mexican Quinoa and Black Beans

Watermelon Mint Lime Slushie Margaritas (just add a splash of tequila!)

Easy Vegan Enchilada Stuffed Peppers

Now, Let’s Make Vegan Enchilada Stuffed Bell Peppers!

This Vegan Enchilada Stuffed Bell Peppers recipe is perfect for when you are craving Mexican food.  It is naturally vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free and refined sugar-free so it works well for many types of diets.

Vegan Taco Stuffed Peppers

I cannot wait for you to give this recipe a try!  Let’s get cooking!

Vegetarian Enchilada Stuffed Bell Peppers

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Vegan Enchilada Stuffed Bell Peppers

Vegan Enchilada Stuffed Bell Peppers


  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These vegan enchilada stuffed bell peppers are bursting with flavor and texture.  They are stuffed with a satisfying plant-based mixture of quinoa, black beans, diced veggies and cilantro.  Plus, they are smothered in a homemade enchilada sauce that boasts bold flavor in this dish.  This Mexican-inspired spin on stuffed bell peppers is a nutritious crowd-pleaser and is very filling.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 batch of easy homemade enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 yellow squash, diced
  • 1 sweet potato, cooked and skin removed (~ 1 cup sweet potato puree)*
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (stovetop method)
  • 1 cup cilantro, large stems removed and leaves chopped
  • 2 green onions, finely diced
  • 6 bell peppers, tops removed and insides cleaned out
  • Garnish ideas: diced green onion, lime, vegan sour cream, fresh cilantro leaves, thin jalapeno slices, diced red onion, more enchilada sauce, avocado chunks

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish in one even layer and set aside.
  2. Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat and add oil, onion, salt and pepper.  Saute for three minutes until onions are fragrant and start to become translucent.  Add yellow squash and saute for another 3 minutes.  Add sweet potato (no skin), black beans and quinoa.  Add 1/2 cup enchilada sauce and stir well to thoroughly combine and mash the sweet potato well.  Remove from heat and mix in cilantro and green onions.  Set aside.
  3. Place hollowed out bell peppers in the casserole dish so the open side is facing up.  Fill each bell pepper with the quinoa, sweet potato and black bean mixture.  Top each bell pepper with a spoonful or two of enchilada sauce.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes.  Remove casserole dish from oven and top bell peppers with any desired garnishes.  I love to add vegan sour cream, avocado, cilantro and red onions/green onions.  Serve the enchilada stuffed bell peppers immediately and enjoy while hot.
  5. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.  Reheat leftovers in the oven for best results.

Notes

Preparing the bell peppers: Be sure to select bell peppers that have a semi-flat bottom and can stand fairly upright on their own.  If they do not, slice a very thin portion off the bottoms so that they can easily stand upright.  Slice off the stem and a thin portion of the top of each bell pepper. Scoop out and discard the ribs and seeds. Discard the stems, and cut the remaining pepper tops into fine dice if desired (you can add this to your quinoa/black bean/sweet potato mixture to avoid wasting it – if you do you would add along with the yellow squash).

To cook the sweet potato, I love to use my pressure cooker.  Here is how I do it:  Add sweet potato to the steamer basket in your pressure cooker. You can layer multiple sweet potatoes at once if you are using for other recipes.  Add 1 cup of water to the pressure cooker and secure lid. Valve should be on sealed. Cook on manual high pressure for 30 minutes.  When cooking is complete, manual release and use tongs to transfer the sweet potatoes to a cutting board. Slice through each lengthwise with a knife. The knife should slide through very easily. If not, return to the pressure cooker to cook for another minute or two. Allow the sweet potatoes to cool until you can safely handle them. Peel the skin off and discard.

You could also roast the sweet potato in an oven but it could take 40-60 minutes to fully cook. Here are the instructions for that method: Place a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil on the bottom rack of your oven.  Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Pierce the sweet potato with a fork on one side then place directly on the middle rack (not on a baking sheet and not wrapped in foil).  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until tender and the skin is thin and toasty. Baking time will vary based on the diameter of your sweet potato. You may need up to 60 minutes for large sweet potato. The bottom baking sheet will catch any drippings for an easy cleanup.  Remove from oven and pierce with a knife to ensure it is fully cooked. Allow the potato to cool for 5-10 minutes for easier handling. Slice the potato in half and split the flesh down the center. Remove the skin.

For this recipe you will only use the inside of the cooked sweet potato (not the skin).  Keep the skin on when you cook it and then easily peel the skin off after it is cooked and cooled.

  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stovetop + Oven
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Vegan Enchilada Stuffed Peppers

This recipe is inspired by The Dizzy Cook’s Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes and her homemade MSG-free Enchilada Sauce.

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