Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa and Black Beans

These Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers came about in the summer of The Great Stalemate.

Easy Mexican Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa, Black Beans, and Ground Turkey or chicken. Delicious, protein packed, and quick to prepare! The slow cooker does the work. Healthy recipe that feeds a crowd and is great leftover, so it’s great for freezer meals too. {gluten free} Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

On the figurative home team: two stubborn first-time homeowners.

On the literal home team: their air-conditioning unit.

It was the first full year in our new house, and since our point of comparison was a 500-square-foot apartment, the winter’s heating bill had been quite the shock. We thought the fiscally responsible thing to do would be to recoup some of our losses by waiting a few extra weeks to start up the AC.

May turned into June, June turned into July, and we still hadn’t flipped the switch.

By August, morbid curiosity and stubbornness had taken hold. How long could we last?

BEST EVER Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers with quinoa, ground turkey or chicken, and black beans. Easy, cheesy, and our whole family loves it! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Two years later, I can’t recall precisely when we finally gave in—it might have been the moment the chocolate chips in these no bake quinoa cookies melted all over my photography board and had to be remade—but I do remember a delicious run of no-oven-required recipes that prolonged our little game of chicken.

Among the ever-growing collection of slow cooker recipes on my site, these Chicken Quinoa Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers have remained a constant favorite. They’re easy, healthy, and taste as phenomenal leftover as they do the day you make them. With the constant influx of new blog recipes invading our refrigerator, dinners are rarely repeats, but this crock pot stuffed pepper recipe is a notable exception.

Ben and I both love them; our friends and neighbors love them, and any slow cooker stuffed peppers that aren’t eaten right away, I’ll rewarm for fast lunches and dinners throughout the week.

Looking for an easy, crowd-pleasing dinner go-to? These Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers are mine.

Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa and Black Beans. One of our favorite easy recipes! Delicious, freezer friendly, and can be made with ground turkey, ground chicken, or kept vegetarian. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

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 the final dish is so loaded with sassy Tex-Mex flavor that no one will believe you when you confess how easy these crock pot stuffed peppers are to make.

The recipe below lists ground chicken, but I’ve made these Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers with ground turkey also.

To make the slow cooker stuffed peppers vegetarian instead, you can try swapping an extra can of black beans, or do half black beans and half pinto or kidney. I haven’t tried it this way myself, but I imagine it would be tasty and filling too!

Tools I used to make this Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers recipe:

Love stuffed peppers as much as I do? Check out this recipe for Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers!

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Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa and Black Beans

An easy, healthy recipe for crock pot stuffed peppers with quinoa, chicken, and black beans. Less than 15 minutes of prep, freezer friendly, and gluten free!

Yield: 6–8 stuffed peppers

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours (on high); 6 hours (on low)

Total Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes (on high); 6 hours, 15 minutes (on low)

Ingredients:

For the Peppers:

  • 6–8 large bell peppers, any colors you like (our favorite were red)
  • 1 pound ground chicken or turkey (I used chicken)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can reduced-sodium 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, Monterey 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 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. (The number of peppers you need to use all of the filling will vary depending upon the size of the peppers. I usually end up with about 7.)
  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 cover the slow cooker again and let heat for a few additional minutes, until the cheese is melted. Serve hot with desired toppings.

  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat gently in the microwave or oven. For easiest reheating, cut the peppers into a few pieces first so that they warm evenly.
  • These peppers can also be baked in the oven: Stand the peppers up in a pan and pour a little water in the bottom. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes at 400 degrees F, until softened, hot, and cooked through.
All images and text ©/Well Plated.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 stuffed pepper (of 8), without toppings

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 264 Calories
  • Total Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 43mg
  • Sodium: 434mg
  • Carbohydrates: 32g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Protein: 18g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

I originally shared 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! I updated the post in 2017 with improved photos, but the recipe has not changed and is still one of my favorites.

About Erin Clarke

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

70 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!

    • Elayne, you can also bake that pepper in the oven, which is the only way I tried baking one by itself. Put some water in the bottom of a small pan with the pepper, cover with foil, and bake for about 45 minutes at 400 degrees. I hope that gives you a quick and easy solution!

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

    • Hi Katie! I’ve never tried the peppers that way, but you can certainly experiment. I hope that you love the recipe!

    • Hi Katie! Honestly, I can’t say for certain since I’ve never tried the recipe this way. If you want to experiment with rice, I would suggest comparing the regular cooking time of your rice to that of quinoa (quinoa takes about 20 minutes ordinarily). If they are similar, my guess is that should be safe. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  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!

    • Hi Allison! This is an interesting and creative idea, but I just can’t say for certain since I’ve never tried the recipe this way. One thing that you could do is freeze the filling and save it for another time when you have more peppers. You’re welcome to try the meatloaf experiment, I just can’t say for certain as I’ve never done it myself. Another thing that you can do is bake the peppers in the oven, which I have actually done. Place them in a baking pan with a little bit of water, cover with foil, and bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees. I hope that it’s at least a little helpful and that you enjoy the recipe!

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

    • Absolutely! I would wrap each pepper individually in plastic wrap, then put them in an airtight container. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and then reheat gently in the microwave. I hope you love the recipe!

  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? 

    • Hi Ericka! The tomatoes are pretty important, because they add both liquid and flavor to the dish. If you don’t have fire roasted, regular diced tomatoes are just fine. The pico de gallo might work, but it’s not super liquidy, so you might consider adding a bit of water too. To be totally safe, I’d use the diced tomatoes, but if you do experiment with the pico, I’d love to hear how it goes!

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

    • Hi Jessica! I’ve never tried this recipe with cabbage, but I do think it might become too soft and fall apart in the crockpot. You need a veggie that can hold up to a long cook time. You could try tomatoes—I’ve never made the recipe this way, so it would be an experiment, but that’s my best suggestion for a swap. If you do try a different veggie, I’d love to hear how it turns out!

  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!

  31. These look so colorful and AMAZING! And I love that there’s little to no prep!

  32. Lexi @Lexi'scleankitchen Reply

    Obsessed with stuffed peppers! These look so amazing!

  33. You are my crock pot queen! I can’t wait to make this. Saves me from turning on the stove or oven! And love stuffed peppers!

  34. WOW! I love that you cooked these in a crock pot! So brilliant!

  35. I have not been a fan of stuffed peppers for years (I grew up on a Hungarian version of them), but this version sounds like it would be well worth making.  I like the fact you only have to mix all the ingredients together and stuff them into the peppers.  My mother always did these with green bell peppers, but I would choose red, yellow and/or orange, which to my mind would make them more interesting.  At least visually.

    • That’s what I like about this recipe too—the prep is pretty easy! I hope you do enjoy these if you decide to give them a try, Susan!

  36. I really like the sound of this recipe but will be making it vegetarian. Could I replace the extra can of black beans or kidney/pinto beans with lentils to give more variety?

  37. Thanks for sharing this recipe! I LOVE stuffed peppers, especially as our pepper harvest in the garden happens at all once, they are a great way to not let them go to waste.  I’m excited to give this recipe a go, several years ago I tried my hand at using quinoa. It was NOT a success. And my husband swore off ever making it again. I feel like this could be the recipe to get us to give quinoa a second-chance. Do you have any tips for cooking quinoa properly? I’d love to hear any advice you might have on this!

    • Hi! I’m so glad you’re wanting to give this recipe a go! I don’t have any special tips for quinoa—I like using Bob’s Red Mill brand, and many people have found that they like quinoa better if they rinse it and drain before cooking it. After that, just follow the instructions on the packet and you should be fine!

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

    Rating: 5
    • Hi John! Honestly, I can’t say for certain since I’ve never tried the recipe this way. If you want to experiment with rice, I would suggest comparing the regular cooking time of your rice to that of quinoa (quinoa takes about 20 minutes ordinarily). If they are similar, my guess is that should be safe. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  39. I haven’t done stuffed peppers in ages! these look great!

  40. I’ve wanted to try stuffed peppers for a long time and finally did it on Friday. These came out really well!

    I had 3 lbs ground turkey so I scaled it up and split it in half. 1.5 lbs worth of filling made 10 medium to large sized stuffed peppers; the rest of the filling went in the freezer. Assembly took me more like 30-40 minutes, but not at all unreasonable for 20 servings worth of filling and 10 full bell peppers.

    Since they wouldn’t all fit in the crockpot, I tried both cooking methods and both went well. I fell asleep and left the ones in the oven in a bit too long. They emerged slightly blackened on top; they still tasted great. The ones that came out of the crockpot after three hours on high were perfect. My husband and I ate them Friday night, put the rest in the fridge and pulled them out again for dinner with our kids and my brother’s family tonight. We reheated them in a casserole dish with just a teeny bit of water at the bottom at 350 for 25-30 min. I did not cut them up because I was afraid of the mess. I was skeptical how well they’d survive saving and reheating but if anything they were better the second night!

    To top it all off, our extremely picky five-year-old who complains about dinner almost every night finished his nightly prayer with “and thank you for the stuffed peppers and the cake.” The three-year-old followed with, “thank you for the ‘squished’ peppers…”  Happy Mommy!!! (I topped the kids’ peppers with mozarella instead of pepper jack, but there was pepper jack in the filling and no one complained.)

    I’m so happy I have another batch of filling in the freezer! This one is absolutely going into our regular rotation.

    Rating: 5
    • HOORAY Rebekah, I’m so happy to hear this recipe was a hit with your whole family! Thank you so much for these detailed notes about your prep and experience with reheating! It will be so helpful for other readers as well. I so appreciate your taking the time to leave this awesome review!

  41. I have made this recipe at least ten times. It’s my go-to favorite! I like the red bell peppers and ground turkey better. I put chicken stock in the bottom of the slow cooker and add two tablespoons to the mixture. Other than that, I follow your recipe exactly!

    Rating: 5
    • Mary, thanks so much for taking the time to leave your tweaks and feedback! I’m so happy to hear this recipe is a favorite!

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