Chicken Quinoa Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers
Chicken Quinoa Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers earned me one more week in the game of chicken I’ve been playing against my air conditioner.
It’s officially August, and we have yet to pull the trigger on our AC. The stalemate began as a way to recoup a fraction of the massive heating bill I racked up November through April, but I’d be remiss not to admit that it’s part stubbornness. I’d assumed we’d give in the latter half of July, but once we’d survived the first half, it seemed weak not to try for the second. Now that it’s August, why not hold out until cooler September?
To be fair, our house has some distinct advantages in the AC-savings game. We live in Wisconsin, not Arizona; our lot is shaded almost entirely by trees; the fan I have positioned two feet from my desk is very, very powerful, and, most importantly, I have a secret weapon: Chicken Quinoa Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers.
Whether you are a) trying to beat the heat in your own home by avoiding the oven, b) need a meal that’s quick and easy to prepare, c) like the flexibility of slow cooker meals, or secret answer d) all of the above, these chicken quinoa stuffed peppers will not disappoint.
Since I feel fairly strongly that slow cooker meals should have as little prep time as possible (isn’t that the point of using a crock pot after all?), the quinoa stuffed pepper recipe requires no additional steps, beyond coring the peppers. The filling takes less than five minutes to stir together and is made with simple ingredients you likely have in your pantry right now, but the final dish is so loaded with sassy Tex-Mex flavor, no one will believe you when you confess how easy these crock pot stuffed peppers are to make.
Because I’m constantly trying to develop new ideas for this space, our dinners are rarely repeats, but these Chicken Quinoa Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers are an exception. I’ve made three batches so far, yes because they are easy and healthy and Ben and I both love them, but even more so because they taste phenomenal leftover. I’m often rushing around during lunchtime, so I value meals that I can quickly rewarm in the microwave and that Ben can easily pack for lunch. For busy families transitioning into back-to-school mode, this crock pot stuffed pepper recipe is also an excellent meal option for hectic weeknights.
Final score: AC-unit, 0; Chicken Quinoa Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers, 55 million. It’s a record.
Chicken Quinoa Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers
An easy, healthy recipe for crock pot stuffed peppers with quinoa, chicken, and black beans. Less than 10 minutes of prep, freezer friendly and gluten free!
Yield: 6 stuffed peppers
For the Peppers
- 6 large bell peppers, any colors you like (our favorite were red)
- 1 pound ground chicken or turkey (I used chicken)
- 1 (14-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (14-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes (with juices)
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cup shredded pepper jack, Monterrey jack, cheddar, or similar cheese, divided (I used pepper jack)
- Sliced avocado
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- Freshly squeezed lime juice
- Slice the tops off of the bell peppers (cut as close to the top as you can so that you have max space for stuffing), then carefully remove the ribs and seeds so that you do not break the sides of the peppers. Set aside.
- Place the ground chicken into a large bowl. Add the drained black beans, tomatoes with their juices, quinoa, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt and 3/4 cup of the cheese. With a fork or your fingers, stir to combine. Spoon the filling into the hollowed out centers of the peppers, filling the peppers all the way to the top.
- Pour 1/2 cup water into an empty 5-quart or larger slow cooker. Stand the peppers up on their bases in the water, arranging them so that the peppers are evenly spread apart. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours, until the peppers are tender. Remove the lid, sprinkle the peppers with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese, then recover the slow cooker and let heat for a few additional minutes, until the cheese is melted. Serve hot with desired toppings.
Let’s chat! Next Monday, August 10 at 3:00 p.m. CST, I’ll be participating in the #MyPicknSave Back to School Twitter Chat, answering questions about healthy back to school breakfasts, lunches and dinners, and providing tips on how kids can eat healthy throughout the school year. I’d love you to join me and to hear about your favorite back to school recipes too!
As with last week’s Tomato Eggplant Zucchini Bake, I’m sharing this post in partnership with Pick ‘N Save, my local grocery store where I find lovely fresh produce like these bell peppers, delivered from local farmers. As always all opinions are my own, and thank you for supporting the brands and companies that make it possible for me to provide quality content to you!