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.

Chicken Quinoa Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers. Freezer friendly, great leftover, and perfect for back to school! #slowcooker #crockpot #backtoschool

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?

Chicken Quinoa Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers. Healthy, freezer friendly, and no prep work required! #slowcooker #glutenfree #crockpot

Chicken Quinoa Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers. Healthy and freezer friendly! #glutenfree #backtoschool

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.

Chicken Quinoa Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers. Healthy, freezer friendly, great leftover too!

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.

Chicken Quinoa Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers. Healthy and freezer friendly! Perfect for back to school too! #glutenfree #backtoschool

Final score: AC-unit, 0; Chicken Quinoa Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers, 55 million. It’s a record.

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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

Ingredients:

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)

For Serving

  • Sliced avocado
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

All images and text ©/Well Plated.

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!

About Erin Clarke

I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, lover of bourbon, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN...

48 comments

  1. I love that you don’t have to boil the peppers first. That’s such a pain! These look amazing.

  2. I love stuffed bell peppers . . and love that this is made in the slow cooker!! definitely going to try this one! thanks, Erin! 

  3. Heck Yes to Stuffed peppers.. Love that these can be made in a slow cooker. 

  4. I am SO impressed that you haven’t touched the AC! Even as a lady who is perfectly happy and content with a warm 78 degrees inside (I blame my year in Nicaragua with no AC!) I have caved and cranked the AC this summer. But AC or no AC, I am SO in love with the idea of meals that don’t require an oven or a stove right now. Other than the fact that these babies look INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS, I am sooooo in for any and every crockpot meal during the dog days of summer. Winner, winner stuffed pepper dinner :)

  5. Whattttt?? You haven’t turned on your AC? Jealous. Our AC is cranking at full speed pretty much non-stop at this time of year, and probably will be until the latter part of September. I’m sure you haven’t forgotten the unforgiving Kansas summers?? :) Even with air conditioning, I second guess turning the oven or stove on, but I’ve yet to break out the slow-cooker! These are just what the Kansas heat ordered…

  6. I love stuffed peppers. I like the addition of quinoa. So delicious!

  7. Wow, this recipe hits the jackpot – easy, tasty, healthy, and doesn’t even heat up the house! I’m super impressed that you haven’t turned on the AC. I caved in June, when my allergies got so bad that keeping the windows open simply wasn’t an option anymore!

  8. Mmmm I have this on my list of “must make” meals!  I think these stuff peppers will be perfect for the first pre-season football game (GO PACK GO!) I love stuffed peppers and even better that these are an easy set and go type of meal. 

  9. It’s been in the 90s here and I don’t know what I’d do without the AC! Although… my room has no vent in it and I tend to keep the door shut, so maybe I can imagine- it gets preeeetttyy hot! These stuffed peppers look amazing :)

  10. I am seriously impressed by your ability to keep the AC off this whole summer, as ours has been blasting at full force since basically June. That said, I’m still all about the slow cooker this season, and these stuffed peps are right up my alley!

  11. I love this! This is how I cook stuffed peppers in the oven, but using the slow cooker I can just put them in and then go about my day!

  12. Hi Erin,

    I love stuffed peppers and the crock pot so I cant wait to try this.  One question, you really put the ground chicken or turkey in the peppers raw??

  13. Totally obsessed with these! I have so many peppers coming out of my garden right now, I totally need to make these! Love that they’re made completely in the crock!

  14. Yum! This sounds really  good!

  15. You and your puns. Gets me every time. So does this stuffed pepper goodness. 

  16. this looks amazing! i too have held off turning on the AC at my place and my crockpot is on full time duty! 

    one questions- beans do not sit well with me, can i omit or will i need to sub something in? 

  17. Can’t wait to try these!  What is the best way to reheat these? 

  18. I can’t fit all of the peppers in my crockpot. I put the extra in some cling wrap. Will the cooking process/timing be thrown off when I go to cook this one last pepper alone? Thanks!

  19. Would it be possible to substitute rice for the quinoa? These look perfect for a weeknight meal! Thanks!

  20. Hi there,

    I have extra meat/bean filling since my crockpot can only hold 4 peppers. Do you think it would turn out ok if I the rest in the oven like a “meatloaf”? How long and at what temperature would you recommend? Thanks!

  21. Can I freeze the leftovers?  If so, what’s the best method? Thanks!

  22. I would love to make this! Is the tomato can necessary or has anyone experimented with a replacement? That’s the only thing I don’t have in my house right now! I was debating add some pico de gallo and seeing how it goes to avoid a trip to the store? 

  23. Could you potentially use cabbage instead of the peppers. My mom would love the filling, but does not like peppers. 

  24. Erin, thanks for this great recipe! I made these yesterday. Delicious and so easy. Thanks again!

  25. This recipe is absolutely amazing!! I added some cottage cheese. I have to say, these are the best stuffed peppers I’ve ever had – restaurant or homemade. Thank you! 

  26. My mom does the same thing but with green peppers, with rice and tomato paste! But I would like to try this!

  27. Love this recipe! One question, do I need to cook to quinoa before I add it to the mixture? Or does it cook on the Crock-Pot?

  28. Loved these! We substituted 1/2 ground beef 1/2 spicy italian sausage for the meat and used red quinoa. I’ll have to remember to rinse the quinoa next time. I was a little worried that the quinoa wouldn’t cook through all the way, but it was perfect! Cooked on low for about 7 hours overnight and served with salsa and greek yogurt in place of sour cream. Will be eating these with avocados later tonight.

  29. Any suggestions for how to best make this recipe without the cheese? Though I love cheese, family members are lactose intolerant. Thoughts on if these will fall apart (esp re: quinoa) without the cheese or if there is any other ingredient one could add so these aren’t bland without it???

    Thanks.

    • Hi Alexa! I think that you would be safe to omit the cheese. You can also try vegan shredded cheese, such as Go Veggie brand. I’ve had it before, and while it’s not the real thing, it’s not bad either. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  30. We loved this recipe! I did find that it was a little lacking in salt in my first batch – so I increased this in my second (maybe b/c my tomatoes were unsalted?). I also threw in 1/2 a can of corn. Next time, I’ll add in some onions as well. Oh and I made a couple without cheese (since I eat totally dairy free) and it didn’t fall apart at all and was still delicious. It’s a keeper recipe for sure – and SO easy to make. THANK YOU!

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