Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (Broccoli Cheese!)
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers Recipe: A warm comforting dish made with broccoli, rice, and cheese. A great way to get kids to eat their veggies!
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (Broccoli Cheese)
Let’s talk about these 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 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.
These Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers are loaded with fragrant creamy rice packed with broccoli florets and spice. Then baked to soften the peppers.
Healthy Stuffed Peppers Recipe
Here’s everything you’re going to need to make these delicious 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 Vegetarian 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.
- 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.
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.
Wow, factor indeed!
Cheesy Broccoli Mix
- 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.
A small(er) portion of reduced-fat cheese creates a silky luxurious texture in the rice.
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.
Any leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days.
Broccoli Cheese Stuffed Pepper 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.
After reading a lot of comments, I decided to share with you some delicious mix-ins that my readers have shared.
- Ground Beef – Okay, I know that this recipe is vegetarian but if you’d like some protein in there, ground beef would be the way to go. You could also add shredded cooked chicken!
- Mushroom – If you want additional fiber and vitamins, go ahead and add in some mushrooms. They give the filling an earthy note.
- Cayenne Pepper – Instead of paprika. This would give it some spice if you’re looking to kick things up!
See The Recipe Card Below For How To Make Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers. Enjoy!
Broccoli Rice Stuffed Peppers are a vegetarian, and veggie-packed, side dish (or main dish) that are low on guilt and high on flavor!
The paprika and Old El Paso Green Chiles make all the difference.
So next time you need a little comfort food, give my Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers a try.
They will not disappoint!
Stuffed Pepper Recipe Q&A
Can This Recipe Be Made Ahead of Time?
Absolutely! Just reheat the peppers at a low temperature.
My Peppers Are Still Firm After 20 Minutes, What Do I Do?
This could have to do with the size and thickness of your bell peppers, or possibly your oven.
Most well-used ovens tend to 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. Then calibrate the oven to get it back on track.
Yet in the meantime, adjust your cook time as needed. If the peppers still feel firm after that amount of time, leave them in longer in 5-minute increments. (Then look into getting a hanging oven thermometer to check you oven temperature.)
Love Stuffed Peppers? Try These As Well!
- Slow Cooker Pizza Stuffed Peppers
- Breakfast Stuffed Poblanos
- 3-Ingredient Mini Stuffed Peppers
- Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Poblanos
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers Recipe
- 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.
Making this recipe? Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Old El Paso. All opinions are my own.
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I put in a little cream of broccoli soup in the rice. I used campbells just enough to make them really tasty! I also used brown rice. Trying to avoid meat as much and we can.
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This was really really good. I did a few changes:
I used wild rice as I didn’t have anything else (In Northern Minnesota) and I used all 3 1/2 cups of broth (chicken). Baked 40 minutes at 400.
Next time: I will sauté mushrooms with onions and add slivered almond with a dash to worscestershire Keep cheese and those nutty chilies. Terrific
Recipe sounds great,will make today love peppers
The only thing I changed about this recipe was that I simmered the bell pepper halves for 5 minutes in a pot of water that I had brought to a broil. Then I stuffed them.
Made this the night before and cooked the next day for lunch! Turned out great. I substituted the rice with quinoa and the veggie broth with veggie boullion. Cooked in the over at 350 for 45 minutes and came out absolutely perfect!
I only have regular cream cheese and cheddar and trying to avoid going to grocery stores. Is the reason for the low fat simply a dietary factor or is it integral to the recipe? Pardon my ignorance!
No problem, you can use any kind of cheese you like (low fat, not fat, all the fat). I chose to use LF cheese just to try to keep this particular dish on the lighter side. ;)
Stuffed peppers are our favorite! Love how simple they are to throw together and the rice with the broccoli in them too!
It was a huge hit with my family! Really delish!
I love these! Packed full of flavors and so delish!
I love this recipe! It’s so delicious and flavor filled.
I love it. Made this over the weekend. Simple and DELICIOUS!!
I was going to until I saw sodium content, way too high for me. I am supposed to be on a low-sodium and low triglyceride diet. It is so hard to find recipes. Also I am diabetic.
It’s easy to make it lower sodium….to do that with any recipes. For this one, eliminate the added salt, use low sodium or no salt veggie broth (or make your own salt-free), decrease the amount of cheese. There you go. And for diabetic cooking, there are lots of sugar free sweeteners (like monk fruit…available on Amazon) that you can substitute in most any recipe.
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I have leftover filling, do you think it’ll freeze ok?
Yes, absolutely! Just be sure to thaw it at room temperature before rewarming.
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Very good recipe! I love broccoli so I added at least a cup more. I probably added a half a cup more of cheddar cheese as well. The only thing I probably would have done different would be to cook the bell peppers, because they weren’t cooked all the way through after 20 mins. Otherwise, the stuffing was excellent and we will definitely be trying this again (maybe add a bit more of heat too :] )
I noticed mine didnt soften after 20 or 40 min. I ended up adding a lil broth to the bottom of the pan then covering with foil for 10 min and the steam cooked everything right up.
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Would it be ok to make these ahead and refrigerate?
Absolutely! Just reheat them at a low temperature.
Really enjoyed this recipe! So tasty!
Full of cheese and very tasty. Peppers still quite firm after 20 minutes of oven time. When I make this next, I’m going to try to bake them for a little longer.
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Oh my—this was DELICIOUS!!! We recently started trying to incorporate some meatless meals into our rotation and this was the first one. Certainly set the bar high!! Call me crazy, but we thought it was a little too much cheese (I’m not sure we’ve ever uttered those words all together in one sentence…). Better yet, instead of being too much cheese, we thought we could make it a little healthier was a little less cheese. Making it again tonight for dinner :)
Super good, I gave it a 4 because I would prefer this dish without the cream cheese.
Loved this recipe! Mine turned out a little on the salty side-wondering if maybe it was my vegetable broth. Next time will not add the extra salt or use low sodium veg broth. I used brown rice and did have to cook longer than recipe suggested but it turned out great!
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The chopped green chilies in this were weird and the peppers and broccoli were not cooked enough (I followed the recipe exactly). I think next time I’d par cook the peppers beforehand, eliminate the green chilies, and add the broccoli to the rice mixture sooner so that it has time to cook through a bit. Otherwise, I thought this was a pretty good recipe.
OMG!!! Added ground beef and it was AMAZING!!!!!!!! SO good. Definitely adding this to the “have to make again” file. <3
Is the nutrition facts for a whole pepper (cut in half and both sides stuffed) or for a half of a stuffed pepper?
Frozen or fresh broccoli?
Either would work, but I used fresh broccoli. :)
Loved it! I could eat the filling by the spoonful! Easy, quick gluten free/vegetarian meal. Thank you!
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Super easy and delicious! I sometimes add mushroom too and turns out yummy.
Easy and delicious!
re: broc/rice stuffed peppers. Shredded Cheddar amounts do not add up; if you start with ounces, stick with ounces; or cup, cup’n’a half. I had to use Jasmine rice, and some cayenne pepper instead of paprika. excellent result . . . oh, I upped the cheese rather than skimp, can’t have too much cheese, can ya?
I wish I knew the calories for a half pepper.
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Should these peppers be parboiled 1st?
No need! :)
Love stuffed peppers! This is a great meatless meal option – and looks delicious!
I always do a mexi version of stuffed peppers. This is a great new take.
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I’ll never turn down a hearty stuffed pepper! Delicious!
Love these stuffed peppers!
I love it when I can eat my bowl too!
Oh my!! These look amazing!! Love the shortcut with green chiles! I use those all the time.
I love stuffed peppers! they are a favorite in my house!
Love this stuffed peppers – so comforting and full of flavor!