Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers Recipe with Rice and Broccoli
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Why We Love This Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe
Let’s talk about this Broccoli Cheese Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers Recipe. We all have our favorite comfort foods…
The broccoli-cheese-rice combo always leaves me satisfied and cozy, like I’m wrapped in a big fuzzy blanket. Although this beloved American dish is tantalizing, broccoli rice casserole is not normally the most healthy meal to serve your family and is often overlooked.
Today I’m sharing my version of broccoli rice casserole, but in the form of leaner vegetarian stuffed peppers. By reducing the fat and calories, then upping the veggie factor, I gave a healthy makeover to my comfort food of choice.
Talk about major wow factor.
It’s important to add onions, garlic, smoked paprika, and a generous amount of Old El Paso Green Chiles to the rice to give the Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers bold flavor and smoky essence. These Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers are loaded with fragrant creamy rice packed with broccoli florets and spice. Then baked to soften the peppers.
Ingredients You Need
Here’s everything you’re going to need to make these delicious and gluten-free Broccoli Cheese Stuffed Peppers!
- Bell Peppers – Use any color. Green peppers are more bitter while red and yellow peppers are sweeter.
- Butter, Onion, and Garlic – A trifecta of deliciousness right here. A great base for any savory recipe.
- Long Grain Rice – You can either use white rice or brown rice for an even healthier recipe.
- Vegetable Broth – To make this fully vegetarian, I used vegetable broth.
- Old El Paso Green Chiles – Bold flavor for a bold dish. Plus, Old El Paso makes it easy with their canned Green Chiles.
- Smoked Paprika – This adds a smokey flavor to complement those green chiles.
- Broccoli Florets – You can either use frozen or fresh, it doesn’t matter.
- Low-Fat Cream Cheese – Or you can use regular cream cheese. Your choice!
- Reduced-Fat Cheddar Cheese – You’re gonna want to shred this or buy pre-shredded cheese, making it easier to melt.
How To Make Stuffed Peppers
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9 X 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Cut the bell peppers in half from top to bottom. Remove the seeds and lay them in the baking dish, cut side up. I left the stem on and ate around it, but you can feel free to remove the stem if you prefer.
- Place a medium stockpot over medium heat. Add the butter, onions, and garlic. Sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes.
- Then stir in the rice, 3 cups of broth, Old El Paso Green Chiles, salt, and smoked paprika. Cover the pot and bring to a boil.
- Allow the rice to cook for 15-20 minutes covered until steam holes are evident on the surface and the broth has absorbed.
- Stir the small broccoli florets, low-fat cream cheese, shredded cheddar, and remaining 1/2 cup broth into the rice.
- Stir until the cream cheese melts into the mixture.
- To assemble, spoon the rice mixture into the bell peppers, stuffing them as much as possible. Bake for 15 minutes, then top with more cheese and bake for an additional 5 minutes! Serve warm and enjoy!
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers – Slow Cooker Instructions
Take these Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers to work as lunchbox leftovers. You can even bake them in the slow cooker if you so desire.
- To make these is a slow cooker (instead of the oven) make the cheesy broccoli rice mixture according to the instructions.
- Cut the bell peppers in half. Spoon the rice mixture into the peppers and place them down into the slow cooker crock. Cover and turn on low for 5-6 hours.
- Cover the peppers with the remaining cheese and cover again for 10 minutes.
Stuffed Bell Pepper Variations and Add-Ins
These healthy stuffed bell peppers are extremely versatile, and can be made with so many different additions! Try some of these variations that would be amazing:
- Ground Beef: I know that this recipe is vegetarian, but if you’d like some protein in there, ground beef would be the way to go. Or add in some shredded chicken!
- Beans: My vegetarian stuffed peppers recipe doesn’t have beans like a lot of other stuffed peppers recipes. But you can definitely add black beans to the mix!
- Corn: For more Tex-Mex flavor, throw in some corn as well! Frozen would work well.
- Mushrooms: For some additional fiber and vitamins, add some mushrooms! They give the filling and earthy note.
- Cayenne Pepper: Cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes would add a little bit of spice to the filling.
- Quinoa: For an extra healthy meal, replace the rice with quinoa or cauliflower rice!
- Vegan Stuffed Peppers: If you swap all dairy products with plant-based butter and cheeses, you will have a vegan version.
See The Recipe Card Below For How To Make Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers + VIDEO. Enjoy!
The beauty of these stuffed peppers is that they are fully balanced meal on their own, with veggies and carbs! But you can definitely pair them with different dishes if you want some variety. Since these are stuffed peppers with broccoli casserole, you can eat them with a side of protein and dinner rolls or pair them with more Mexican-inspired flavors! Try pairing it with some of my favorites:
Frequently Asked Questions
Definitely! You can prep these stuffed peppers and place them in the baking dish with plastic wrap on top. Then keep them in the fridge for up to a day before you bake and serve!
This could have to do with the size and thickness of your bell peppers or possibly the actual temperature of your oven. A lot of ovens run up to 25 degrees too hot or too cool. You can use a small hanging thermometer to test the accuracy of your oven thermostat for future reference. In the meantime, adjust your cooking time as needed. If the peppers are still too firm, cook them longer in 5-minute increments until they are at the desired temperature. If the cheese on the top is getting brown, cover the pan in foil! Another option is pre-baking the pepper for about 10 minutes so they are softened up before assembly.
Definitely! Store your assembled stuffed peppers in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months! Thaw overnight and bake as directed.
Love Stuffed Peppers? Try These As Well!
- Slow Cooker Pizza Stuffed Peppers
- Breakfast Stuffed Poblanos
- 3-Ingredient Mini Stuffed Peppers
- Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Poblanos
- Keto Taco Stuffed Peppers
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers Recipe with Rice and Broccoli
- 4 bell peppers, any color
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups long grain rice
- 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth, divided
- 2 cans Old El Paso Green Chiles (4.5-ounce cans) chopped, mild or hot
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 1/2 cups broccoli florets, very small
- 2 ounces low-fat cream cheese
- 16 ounces shredded reduced-fat cheddar, divided
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9 X 13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Cut the bell peppers in half from top to bottom. Remove the seeds and lay them in the baking dish, cut side up.
- Place a medium stock pot over medium heat. Add the butter, onions and garlic. Sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes. Then stir in the rice, 3 cups broth, Old El Paso Green Chiles, salt, and smoked paprika. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Allow the rice to cook for 15-20 minutes covered, until steam holes are evident on the surface and the broth has absorbed.
- Stir the small broccoli florets, low fat cream cheese, 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar, and remaining 1/2 cup broth into the rice. Stir until the cream cheese melts into the mixture.
- Spoon the rice mixture into the bell peppers. Bake for 15 minutes. Then top the peppers with the remaining shredded cheddar and place back in the oven for 5 minutes. Serve warm.
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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Old El Paso. All opinions are my own.