Recipe: Mexican Stuffed Peppers

I love Mexican food and so things like tacos, fajitas, and quesadillas make their fair share of appearances on our menu. We also try to plan at least 2-4 meatless meals each week. Yes, we are omnivores and eat plenty of animal products, however, incorporating meatless meals is a great way to be frugal with your grocery budget while still packing a fair share of flavor and nutrients. I’m putting together an entire post for you about my favorite ways to save money on food, and none of them include eating beans and rice or ramen. These Mexican Stuffed Peppers are a new creation I came up with just recently. They are simple to make, you can customize them if you so choose, and they are delicious!

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 2 bell peppers any color
  • 1 c. quinoa uncooked
  • 2 c. broth water can also be used
  • 1 c. frozen corn
  • 1 c. black beans prepared
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese optional
  • sour cream, avocado, salsa, or guacamole for serving optional

Instructions

  1. Begin by cooking your quinoa in the liquid of your choosing. Combine the quinoa and liquid, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the grains have spiraled open.

    2. While the quinoa cooks, boil a small pot of water to cook your corn. Frozen corn only takes 5-6 minutes to cook on the stove top. Once cooked, drain and set aside.

    3. If using canned beans, drain and rinse them. Add them to the corn, then add the cooked quinoa and spices. Stir to combine.

    4. Cut your peppers in half from top to bottom, then remove and discard the seeds and any white fibrous core. Place the pepper halves on a foil lined baking sheet, using the foil to keep them steady if need be.

    5. Fill each pepper with equal amounts of the quinoa mixture, then top with the shredded cheese, if using.

    6. Place in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and they are warmed through.

    **To make this recipe vegetarian friendly, use vegetable stock or water for cooking the quinoa. To make vegan, omit cheese and sour cream.

Both Jason and myself feel plenty satisfied with just one half of a stuffed pepper. After all, they are filled with delicious whole grains, fiber, and protein. They also reheat well, which makes them perfect for meal prepping and sending with Jason to work. These are vegetarian if you use veggie stock or water, and you could make them vegan by omitting the cheese and sour cream. Mashed avocado or guacamole is a great option, as is salsa, for other serving alternatives! I use black beans I prepare in my Instant Pot (see how here!), which saves extra money versus buying canned. Here’s the cost breakdown for this recipe looks like:

Organic Bell Peppers (2 pk): $1.99 (Aldi)
Organic Quinoa: $0.78 (Costco)
Water or Stock: FREE! (by making your own like this!)
Organic Black Beans: $0.34
Organic Frozen Corn: $0.70 (Costco)
Cheese: $0.50 (Aldi)
Spices: $0.50
Sour Cream (if used): $0.22
TOTAL = $5.03 or $1.26 per serving

And, in the summer the cost of this meal will go down even further thanks to seasonal produce. We grow our own peppers, and if I remember right I paid $3.99 last year for my organic plant. We had at least 100 peppers so you can do the math on that savings 🙂

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