These Taco Quinoa Black Bean Stuffed Peppers made in a slow cooker are a healthy no-meat taco alternative. 9 ingredients, 10 mins of prep, and easy to freeze for future meals.
Tex-Mex-style stuffed peppers that you make in a slow cooker? It’s a thing! And let me tell you, this is one of the easiest, most fool-proof cooking methods for making stuffed peppers. They are quick and easy to put together with only nine ingredients and ten minutes of prep time. Plus, slow cooking maximizes the stuffed peppers’ flavor potential. The only tough part is waiting 6-8 hours for them to cook while the aromas float around your kitchen and taunt you.
Three Reasons to Make These Taco Quinoa Black Bean Stuffed Peppers
1. Taco Quinoa Black Bean Stuffed Peppers are an ideal high-protein, nutrient-rich alternative to regular tacos.
Although loaded into a vegetable versus a taco shell, the seasoning, taco sauce, black beans, avocado, cheese, and sour cream will offer you the same mouth-watering experience as your favorite local taco stand, only with much more fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Who could say no to that?
2. If you’re cooking for one or two, these stuffed peppers also make a great meal prep recipe.
The recipe makes four to six peppers at a time, depending on the size of your slow cooker. They also freeze really well.
3. You can freeze these stuffed peppers before or after slow cooking.
I can honestly say both methods do a great job at maintaining the flavors and quality. I’ve left instructions on how to freeze both ways at the bottom of the recipe, plus how to warm up the cooked version after freezing for best results.
How to Customize These Stuffed Peppers for Your Dietary Preferences
Quinoa is the base ingredient for the stuffing, which makes these stuffed peppers vegetarian-friendly. They’re also naturally gluten-free, as long as your taco seasoning doesn’t contain gluten.
If you’re not vegetarian and want to boost the protein in this recipe, you could add ground beef to the quinoa black bean mixture. You could also make these stuffed peppers entirely vegan by using your favorite plant-based versions of shredded cheese and sour cream (though I haven’t tried that myself). If you miss the crunch of a regular taco shell in this recipe, you could even crush some tortilla chips and place them on top. The sky’s the limit! I encourage you to try out your own customizations and get creative.Print
Taco Quinoa Black Bean Stuffed Peppers
These Taco Quinoa Black Bean Stuffed Peppers made in a slow cooker are a healthy, low-carb taco alternative. 9 ingredients, 10 mins of prep, and easy to freeze for future meals.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 6-8 hours
- Total Time: 6 hours, 10 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 6 large bell peppers, any color
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can refried beans
- 1 (8-ounce) bottle taco sauce
- 1 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning (choose a gluten-free product if needed)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup water
- Avocado, chopped cilantro, and sour cream for topping
- Chop off tops from the bell peppers; discard seeds and membranes.
- Discard the stems and calyxes from the 3 pepper tops, and then finely chop the remaining flesh.
- Place the chopped peppers in a large bowl, add quinoa, black beans, refried beans, taco sauce, taco seasoning, and 1 cup cheese. Mix well.
- Stuff the taco quinoa mixture into the prepared peppers.
- Pour 1/2 cup water into a slow cooker, place the stuffed peppers in it so that they sit in the water. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Turn off the slow cooker.
- Remove the lid. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the peppers. Cover again for a few minutes to let the cheese melt.
- Top with avocado slices, chopped cilantro, and sour cream, plus anything you like. Serve!
- A 6-quart slow cooker can hold 6 stuffed peppers all at once. If your slow cooker’s capacity is 4 quarts, you can cook only 4 peppers. However, you can freeze these stuffed peppers after cooking or freeze the filling before cooking. I’ve tried both methods, and the peppers are still delicious in both ways.
- To freeze before cooking, freeze the filling and thaw thoroughly before stuffing the peppers. I’ve tried to freeze some already-stuffed peppers, thaw, then cook. The result was less than ideal.
- To freeze after cooking, wrap peppers in foil and then freeze. To warm them up, preheat oven to 375°F, bake for 45 minutes. Unwrap, check the peppers, bake for another 10 minutes if necessary. Microwaving the peppers is not recommended, as they often come out soggy and rubbery.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 396
- Sugar: 7.9g
- Sodium: 721.4mg
- Fat: 15.1g
- Saturated Fat: 7g
- Trans Fat: 0.3g
- Carbohydrates: 46.2g
- Fiber: 12.5g
- Protein: 19.1g
- Cholesterol: 33.9mg