These vegetarian and easily vegan barbecue stuffed bell peppers are a fun, flavorful, and nourishing weeknight meal. Meal prep and storage tips are included!Jump to Recipe
These barbecue stuffed bell peppers are about to rock your world. My inspiration for this fun flavor twist on traditional stuffed peppers came from the barbecue pizza at one of my favorite local pizza spots. You will have all the tangy barbecue cheesy goodness in a more nutrient-dense and veggie-happy package. So let’s talk ingredients.
Ingredients for Barbecue Stuffed Bell Peppers
Bell Peppers: This will be the base of your stuffed peppers. If you want to hew closer to the typical barbecue pizza, stick to green bell peppers, but any color works!
Olive Oil: Just a lil’ splash brushed over the peppers to get that delicious charred flavor.
Brown Rice: I chose brown rice for this recipe because it is more nutrient-dense and satiating than white rice. However, white rice is totally acceptable and delicious if that is what you have on hand. I also fully support buying pre-packaged rice from the freezer section at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods to decrease prep time. We are all about convenience over here at the June Table.
Black Beans: Simple, delicious, cheap, full of protein and fiber…what’s not to love?
Red Onions and Garlic: Briefly sautéed together on the stove top, these two ingredients add flavor and dimension to the dish.
Cilantro: No need to be shy with the cilantro. It’s herby, fresh, and flavorful, and really rounds everything out.
Barbecue Sauce: This is a matter of preference, but I’m a North Carolina girl and I love my barbecue tangy and acidic and light on the sugar. Two of my favorite brands are Stubb’s and Annie’s.
Salt, Pepper, & Garlic Powder: Just some flavor finishers to make sure everything comes together harmoniously.
Cheese: I like a mix of mozzarella and cheddar, but use whichever you have on hand. You can easily omit or use plant-based mozzarella or cheddar shreds to keep these barbecue stuffed bell peppers vegan.
Meal Prep Tips for Stuffed Peppers
If you’re like me and often in a rush to get dinner on the table, you may be looking to shave off some prep time. I hear you, and I’m here for you. Here are my tips and tricks for these stuffed peppers:
- Cook the rice ahead of time and store in refrigerator for up to two days. (Or, like I mentioned earlier in the post, buy a pre-cooked frozen package of rice which is a total life saver if you’re in a pinch).
- Sauté the onion and garlic and store in refrigerator for up to two days.
- Chop cilantro ahead of time.
- Once the aforementioned steps are completed, combine all components of the stuffing mixture and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.
All that being said, I do recommend that you slice and roast the peppers just before you plan to eat them as that will provide optimum freshness and flavor.
Customization and Pairing Tips
Looking to make these stuffed bell peppers your own? Here are some fun ideas to switch things up:
- Fresh or frozen corn would be a fun addition to the stuffing mix, especially if you’re looking to capitalize on those summer flavors!
- If you’re not vegetarian or would like to convert this to a meat-based dish, you could certainly replace the black beans with some cooked and shredded or cubed chicken breast.
- To make these stuffed peppers vegan, you can simply omit the shredded cheese or replace it with plant-based cheese shreds.
- If you’re feeling ambitious and looking to up your veggie intake even more, you could serve these stuffed peppers with a side salad.
Storage and Freezing Tips
To Store: Put leftover stuffed bell peppers in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where they will keep for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven.
To Freeze: Simply individually wrap each fully cooked stuffed pepper in plastic wrap and then foil and place in a Ziplock or Stasher bag to freeze. To reheat, simply unwrap them and place on a sheet pan with foil, parchment paper, or silicone baking mat in the oven on 350 F for 20-25 minutes. This is honestly a weeknight life saver, especially if you make a double batch and freeze half for another meal.
If you make these barbecue stuffed bell peppers, be sure to leave a rating and review! This helps little blogs like mine show up on Google and encourages others to give the recipe a try. It would truly mean a lot to me. You can also find me on Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok.
More Great Dinner Ideas:
- Dill Pesto Tuna Melts
- The Very Best Easy Weeknight Turkey Burgers
- Crispy Zucchini Black Bean Tacos
- Delicious Mango Shrimp Quesadillas
- Easy and Healthy Cauliflower Gnocchi Bake
- Vegetarian Barbecue Quinoa Casserole
Vegetarian Barbecue Stuffed Bell Peppers
- 4 large bell peppers
- 1 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1 ½ cups cooked brown rice
- 1 medium red onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup low sugar barbecue sauce
- ½ cup cilantro chopped (plus more for topping)
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (this will depend on the barbecue sauce you use)
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- more chopped cilantro
- ranch dressing (yum!)
- Preheat oven to 425°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
- Wash and cut bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Use clean hands to rub ½ tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper all over the bell peppers. Place them cut side up on the baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until bottoms of peppers are slightly charred.
- Meanwhile, make brown rice according to to package directions (depending on what type of rice you have, you may want to start cooking your rice as your first step).
- Heat remaining ½ tbsp olive oil on medium-high heat in a large pan on stove top; add red onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt and sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until onion is translucent and soft.
- Combine cooked rice, onion and garlic mixture, drained and rinsed black beans, chopped cilantro, barbecue sauce, and garlic powder in a large bowl and mix until well-combined. Taste and adjust, adding salt and pepper as needed.
- Remove peppers from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes to cool before carefully emptying each pepper of any excess water. Leave oven on to put peppers back in shortly.
- Stuff peppers with the rice mixture and top with cheese.
- Put back in oven for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown. Sometimes I broil the stuffed peppers for 1-2 minutes at the very end to make sure my cheese is super melty and crispy. Monitor this very carefully if you choose this route as they can burn quickly!
- Remove from oven and let sit to cool for 5 minutes before serving with more cilantro and toppings of choice.
Photography by Hope Agresti
Made a double batch of these last night! So good. 😍
Yay so glad you loved it! Thanks for trying.
This was so tasty! Love the BBQ twist! I added leftover pulled pork and rotisserie chicken to a few and made the rest vegetarian! Kids and hubby LOVED it!
So glad you loved it! Adding pork and rotisserie chicken is a great twist.