Sweet and Spicy Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

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Hearty, healthy with intriguing medley of  flavours and taste, this is a lip smacking nutritious quinoa stuffed bell peppers recipe you can make in few minutes. 

Reusing Leftover Quinoa

I am sure there are times when we have leftover quinoa. Be it a quinoa salad or just plain that you may have made the day before.

I had about 1 cup of boiled quinoa left which was a bit too little for another meal.

So I decided to top it up or in this case stuff it in a bell pepper and voila what I got was a sweet and spicy vegetarian stuffed peppers for dinner.

Adding extra bits of proteins or vegetables to leftover whole grains such as rice, tabbouleh, millet will make the little pots of estranged food feel more complete!

Ingredients for Making Quinoa Stuffed in Roasted Bell Peppers

This recipe is inspired by Moroccan or Mediterranean flavours.

The use of ‘Ras el Hanout’, a complex spice blend essential for many Moroccan dishes adds a ton of flavour to the underwise bland quinoa.

The ingredients you will need to make roasted stuffed peppers with quinoa are:

Fresh Ingredients :

Cooked Quinoa – 1 cup

Bell peppers – 4, either halved or the top cut

Onion – 1 medium, finely chopped

Garlic – 6 pods, minced or chopped

Cherry tomatoes – cut in halves,15 – 20

Feta cheese – 100 gms (optional, skip for a vegan version)

Pomegranate kernels – 1/2 cup ( optional)

Lemon juice – 2 tsps

Coriander leaves – a handful

Seasoning and Spices:

Ras el Hanout seasoning – 2 tsp

Sweet or smoked paprika – 2 tsp

Pantry items 

Sesame seeds – 3 tsps

Raisins and dried apricot – a handful

Salt to taste

Olive oil – 2 tbsp

The ingredients list may look exhaustive but apart from bell peppers, quinoa,onion, garlic, olive oil, assorted dry fruits and seasoning, you can pretty much add what you have in hand.

How to Make Quinoa Stuffed Peppers (Cooking Instructions with images)

STEP 1 

Boil quinoa in stock till done and keep aside .

Preheat oven to 180ºC. Smear the peppers with olive oil, salt and a generous sprinkle of Ras-el-Hanout seasoning and roast them for about 15 – 20 mins till it becomes crunchy soft.

Roasted peppers on a tray

STEP 2

Heat olive oil in a pan, add garlic and saute for a minute. Now add the onions and saute till it becomes translucent.Next add the cherry tomatoes and continue to saute for another 2 mins or so till the tomatoes begin to have a nice glaze.

Cook tomatoes for vegetarian stuffed peppers

STEP 3

Now add quinoa, and mix it well with the tomatoes and onion.
Next add the 2 tsp of Ras-El-Hanout, paprika, feta cheese and salt and mix in well with the quinoa.

Quinoa with spices and feta cheese

STEP 4 

Finally add the sesame seeds, dry fruits, pomegranate kernels, coriander leaves and lemon juice and gently give it a good mix.

Vegetarian Stuffing for roast peppers

STEP 5 

Stuff the quinoa mix inside the roasted peppers and serve warm or cold as a main dish or as a side dish.

Easy Vegetarian Quinoa stuffed bell peppers recipe

Cooking Tips To Help Make This Recipe

  1. Use vegetable broth for boiling quinoa and adding more flavour.

  2. Add regular tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes or leave them out if you do not like soft cooked tomatoes in your meals.

  3. You can add whole pulses such as sweet corn, black beans, kidney beans as well for a protein rich vegan quinoa with stuffed pepper option.

  4. Substitute Ras el Hanout with roasted cumin and coriander powder or choose any from this list of Mediterranean seasoning.

  5. Do not over bake the peppers. Cook only till it becomes slightly cooked. Soggy peppers does not not taste good when stuffed

Quinoa stuffed peppers-min

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Ingredients

Cooked Quinoa – 1 cup
Bell peppers – 4, either halved or the top cut
Onion – 1 medium, finely chopped
Garlic – 6 pods, minced or chopped
Cherry tomatoes – cut in halves,15 – 20
Feta cheese – 100 gms (optional)
Ras -el-Hanout seasoning - 2 tsp
Sweet or smoked paprika – 2 tsp
Sesame seeds – 3 tsps
Raisins and dried apricot – a handful
Pomegranate kernels – 1/2 cup (optional)
Lemon juice – 2 tsps
Coriander leaves – a handful
Salt to taste
Olive oil – 2 tbsp
*Ingredients Needed

Directions

1
PREPARE
2
Boil quinoa in stock till done and keep aside .
3
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Smear the peppers with olive oil,salt and a generous sprinkle of Ras-el-Hanout seasoning.
4
MAKE THE FILLING
5
Heat olive oil in a pan and saute garlic for a minute
6
Now add the onions and saute till it becomes translucent.
7
Next add the cherry tomatoes and continue to saute for another 2 mins or so till the tomatoes have a shiny glaze. Do not over cook.
8
Add the quinoa, and mix it well with the tomatoes and onion.
9
Next add the 2 tsp of Ras-el-Hanout seasoning, 2 tsp of paprika, feta cheese and salt and mix in well with the quinoa.
10
Finally add sesame seeds, dry fruits, pomegranate kernels, coriander leaves and lemon juice and gently give it a good mix.
11
Stuff the quinoa mix inside the peppers and serve warm or cold as a main dish or as a side dish. Here I have served it with sausages in onion gravy.
12
Read cooking tips section above for tips and cooking suggestions.