Mexican-Style Corn Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
These Mexican-Style Corn Quinoa Stuffed Peppers are easy to make and bursting with flavor. The perfect vegetarian veggie-loaded side to any healthy dinner.
These vegetarian stuffed peppers are a total veggie-loaded flavor bomb. Make them. Your mouth and family will thank you.
They’re meatless and loaded with this zesty Mexican-inspired corn quinoa filling. There is definitely cheese in these beautiful stuffed peppers, but if dairy-free is your thing… you can easily make them without cheese and *BOOM* they are vegan and plant based.
True story, corn and bell peppers are an amazing flavor combination. So, while many stuffed pepper recipes have an Italian vibe to them, I thought combining these two summer veggies into one glorious recipe with fresh, bright Mexican-style flavors, needed to happen.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of corn should I use?
This is a great recipe to use up leftover corn on the cob, grilled corn, or sautéed corn. You can also use frozen corn kernels, or frozen roasted corn would be a great flavor addition as well. If using frozen corn, you can add it directly to the recipe without defrosting it first.
To cook corn on the cob: place shucked corn in a pot with a cup of water. Cover and bring up to a simmer. Steam corn until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool before cutting corn kernels off the cob.
How do I cook the quinoa for this stuffed pepper recipe?
Bring 1 ½ cups water to a boil in a small pot. Add a pinch of salt and ¾ cup raw quinoa. Stir and lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook on medium-low until the water has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let quinoa steam in the covered pot for another 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a bowl to cool.
Can I skip pre-cooking the peppers?
Nope. Sorry, TNNers. The peppers need time to get all tender before adding the precooked corn and quinoa into them. But the pepper roasting only takes about 15 minutes and adds serious flavor!
Make these stuffed peppers dairy-free. You can use a cheese alternative or leave out the cheese completely. Make sure to taste the corn filling and add enough salt because removing the cheese will make it less salty.
Add some extra spice! Finely dice a half or whole jalapeno pepper and mix it into the corn filling. You could also add some spicy chili powder or hot sauce in there to taste.
Add extra veggies! Zucchini, either shredded and squeezed dry or sauteed, would go well in the corn filling of these stuffed peppers. Adding diced fresh tomatoes and/or additional chopped cilantro would be delicious, too.
Toss in some protein. Stir in a cup of drained canned black beans or chickpeas to the corn mixture. For a non-vegetarian option, you could mix in some chopped or shredded cooked chicken.
Other delicious veggie-loaded sides
- Easy Zucchini Salsa
- Pesto Veggie Pasta Salad
- Asparagus and Pea Risotto
- Easy Roasted Radishes
- Roasted Carrots and Potatoes
- Easy Veggie Fried Rice (vegetarian)
Did you try this stuffed pepper recipe and now you’re hungry for more?
Mexican-Style Corn Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
- 3 medium bell peppers
- 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided, to taste
- 1 cup cooked quinoa, see notes below for cooking tips
- 3 cups cooked corn kernels, about 3 ears of fresh corn
- 1/3 cup chopped chives, or scallons
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, optional
- 1 teaspoon lime zest, about one lime
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked or regular paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon chipotle chili powder or cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
- ¾ cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese , divided and to taste
- Preheat oven to 400℉.
- Cut each pepper in half through the stem to get two equal halves. Remove the seeds and any white ribs from inside the peppers. Place the 6 pepper halves into a large baking dish. Drizzle the peppers with 1 tsp of olive oil and sprinkle with a ¼ teaspoon salt. Toss to coat and place peppers cut side up in one layer. Roast until tender, 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix quinoa (or rice), corn, chives, Parmesan, lime zest, lime juice, remaining tablespoon of olive oil, ¼ tsp salt, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, chipotle/cayenne, and ½ cup of the cheese.
- Spoon the corn mixture into the peppers, packing it gently with the back of the spoon to make sure they are full. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of each pepper.
- Bake until cheese is melted and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Serve warm.