Looking for the best easy, crowd-pleasing go-to dinner recipe? This Crockpot Stuffed Peppers recipe is mine. It’s so easy to pull together that it almost feels like cheating (you don’t even need to brown the meat before stuffing the peppers), it’s healthy (lean protein, whole grains, and vegetables; the gang’s all here), and as my extensive personal experience/Instagram feed can attest, Tex-Mex recipes are disliked by exactly no one, ever.

Healthy crockpot stuffed peppers with quinoa, ground chicken, black beans, and topped with cheese

Among the ever-growing collection of healthy slow cooker recipes on my site, these crockpot 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 (you’re welcome anytime, Jerk Chicken Tacos!), dinners are rarely repeats, but this crockpot 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.

We adore slow cooker stuffed peppers so earnestly that I even adapted this recipe to make Mexican Stuffed Peppers, Stuffed Peppers, and Italian Stuffed Peppers. Both of those stuffed pepper recipes are baked in the oven, casserole style. I also created this delicious Stuffed Pepper Casserole, which features all the same flavors in a deconstructed style.

Today’s stuffed pepper recipe follows a similar all-in-one healthy meal approach, but leverages the convenience of the slow cooker to make the recipe as fuss-free as possible.

Healthy crockpot stuffed peppers in a slow cooker that can be made with quinoa, rice, or with cauliflower rice

How to Make Crockpot Stuffed Peppers 

These slow cooker peppers are ultra flexible. Most often, I make these crockpot stuffed peppers with chicken, but you can switch up the recipe and use ground turkey or ground beef. I’ve also included a meat-free option for anyone seeking a slow cooker stuffed peppers vegetarian recipe.

The grains in this recipe are flexible too. I prefer to make crockpot stuffed peppers without rice and use quinoa instead, because quinoa is the most low-maintenance option. You don’t need to precook it before adding it to the pepper filling. If you’re a fan of quinoa and Tex-Mex flavors, give this Mexican Quinoa a try.

If you prefer, you can use rice (be sure to cook it first). Trying for low carb? Make these slow cooker stuffed peppers with cauliflower rice instead.

The Ingredients

  • Ground Meat. Most of the time, I use ground chicken. I’ve also made these crockpot stuffed peppers with ground turkey and ground beef. Pick your favorite!
  • Black Beans. A healthy way to add additional protein and fiber. Purchase low-sodium black beans, and be sure to rinse them before adding them to the filling.
  • Quinoa. This super seed is a complete protein. If you like, you can make the stuffed peppers with rice or with cauliflower rice instead. If using rice: you need to precook it or the rice will turn out crunchy. If using quinoa or cauliflower rice, you do NOT need to precook. Just add it right to the filling raw.
  • Cheese. I like pepper jack for a bit of a kick. If you prefer the stuffed peppers not be spicy, use sharp cheddar or Monterey jack instead.
  • Spices. Cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder give this signature Tex-Mex flavor and are easy pantry staples. If you’d like the peppers more spicy, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or chipotle chili powder.
  • Toppings. THE WORKS. I love fresh cilantro, a dollop of Greek yogurt, avocado, more cheese, salsa…if it goes on a taco, it will go on these slow cooker stuffed peppers.

The Directions

  1. Start by slicing off the tops of your bell peppers. Carefully, remove the ribs and seeds without breaking open the sides of the peppers, then set aside. I find running a butter knife around the inside a quick, effective way to handle the task.
    Bell peppers in a slow cooker for making healthy crockpot stuffed peppers with quinoa
  2. Grab a large bowl and add your ground chicken (or turkey or beef), black beans, tomatoes, quinoa (or cooked brown rice or cauliflower rice), spices, and cheese, then stir to combine. DONE. Spoon the mixture into each pepper and fill to the top. That’s it!
    Healthy crockpot stuffed peppers in a slow cooker with quinoa and black beans
  3. Add a little water to your slow cooker, and stand the peppers up on their bases in the water. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours. Once the peppers are tender, remove the lid, and sprinkle the peppers with cheese. Cover the slow cooker again, and let sit for a few more minutes (we want to let the cheese become melty and delicious).
  4. Serve hot with any toppings you like, and DIG IN!
Healthy crockpot stuffed peppers in a slow cooker made with quinoa, black beans, ground chicken, and topped with cheese

Storing, Freezing, and Reheating Crockpot Stuffed Peppers

After realizing how wonderful these peppers were (and deciding I needed to make another batch), I immediately wondered, “Can you freeze crockpot stuffed peppers?

YES! Thankfully, these crockpot stuffed peppers are not only delicious the day they’re cooked, but they’re also one of my favorite recipes to freeze and reheat.

  • To Store. Store cooked leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. For the best results, cut the peppers into a few pieces first so that they warm evenly. Place leftovers in the oven in a baking dish cut side up, and warm at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes. You can also gently reheat leftovers on a microwave-safe plate in the microwave until heated through.
  • To Freeze. Place cooked leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

What to Serve with Crockpot Stuffed Peppers

Healthy crockpot stuffed peppers filled with quinoa and served in a baking dish

Recipe Adaptations

  • Vegetarian Crockpot Stuffed Peppers. Omit the meat; add an extra can of black beans. These Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers are another vegetarian stuffed pepper favorite. Or try these Vegan Stuffed Peppers instead.
  • Low Carb Crockpot Stuffed Peppers. Swap cauliflower rice for the quinoa.
  • Gluten Free Stuffed Peppers No changes needed! These stuffed peppers are naturally gluten free.
  • Paleo Stuffed Peppers (this change also makes the recipe dairy free). Omit the cheese. Add additional chili powder (about 1 teaspoon extra) and cumin (about ½ teaspoon extra) to the meat to bump up the flavor.
  • To Make in the Instant Pot. Try this equally delicious Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers recipe.
Healthy crockpot stuffed peppers with quinoa, black beans, and ground chicken served in a baking dish

REPEAT (because I still can’t get over the ease/taste payoff we have at work here): This crockpot stuffed pepper filling takes less than five minutes to stir together, you can adapt it to almost any diet, and the final dish is so loaded with sassy Tex-Mex flavor that no one will believe you when you confess how easy these slow cooker stuffed are to make.

Enjoy these peppers tonight, eat the rest leftover tomorrow, then add this recipe to your 9-1-1 dinner file. It’s a regular for us, and I hope it will be for you too!

Recommended Tools to Make Crockpot Stuffed Peppers

Crockpot stuffed peppers in a slow cooker with a fork in one

Crockpot Stuffed Peppers

4.90 from 67 votes
These healthy crockpot stuffed peppers are one of the best easy slow cooker recipes! The delicious, hearty filling takes less than 10 minutes to prepare.

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 6 hrs
Total: 6 hrs 15 mins

Servings: 6 –8 stuffed peppers


For the Peppers:

  • 6-8 large bell peppers any colors you like (I like red)
  • 1 pound ground chicken or turkey or lean ground beef
  • 1 can reduced-sodium black beans (14 ounces), rinsed and drained
  • 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (14 ounces), with juices
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa or swap 3 cups COOKED brown rice or 3 cups raw cauliflower rice
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese divided; for a milder flavor, swap Monterey jack or cheddar

For Serving:

  • Sliced avocado
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salsa
  • 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 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 them all the way to the top. (The number of peppers you need for all of the filling will vary depending upon the size of the peppers. I usually fill about 7.)
  • 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 they 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.


  • TO STORE: Store cooked leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • TO REHEAT: For the best results, cut the peppers into a few pieces first so that they warm evenly. Place leftovers in the oven in a baking dish cut side up, and warm at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes. You can also gently reheat leftovers on a microwave-safe plate in the microwave until heated through.
  • TO FREEZE: Place cooked leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 
  • TO MAKE IN THE OVEN: These peppers can also be baked in the oven: Stand the peppers up in a pan, pour a little water in the bottom, and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes at 400 degrees F, until softened, hot, and cooked through.


Serving: 1stuffed pepper (of 6), without toppingsCalories: 355kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 27gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 86mgPotassium: 961mgFiber: 9gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 4379IUVitamin C: 155mgCalcium: 244mgIron: 4mg

Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

Create an account to easily save your favorite projects and tutorials.


I originally shared this post back in 2014, then updated the post in 2017 with improved photos (then updated it AGAIN with more improved photos and recipe step by steps in 2019). The recipe has not changed and is still one of my favorites.

Did you try this recipe?

I want to see!

Follow @wellplated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Share this Article


This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

You May Also Like

Free Email Series
5 Secrets for Cooking Tasty and Healthy
My secrets for making wholesome meals you'll WANT to eat.

Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

Leave a Comment

Did you make this recipe?

Don't forget to leave a review!

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating


Leave a comment

  1. Made this for my life group at church and it was such a hit!! Saving this recipe to come back to!5 stars

    1. I’m so happy that you enjoyed the recipe, Michele! Thank you for sharing this kind review!

  2. Ugh,… i opted to make these in the oven like the recipe said you could do, originally planned for the crockpot but got a late start and WOW SUPER FAIL. Recipe called for 40 mins in the oven but no idea where that time came from… After 40 minutes I took the peppers out and the quinoa wasnt cooked and the meat was still raw… so in for 10 more minutes… took them out & once again the quinoa was not done and the meat was still a little raw in the middle. So in for 10 more minutes! Finally after over an hour the meat was done but the quinoa still needed more time. I said F it and tried a bite. EH. TOTAL disappointment lmao. The peppers and meat had okay flavor but that half cook/half uncooked quinoa really threw me off. Husband got home late so I shouldve just made them in the crockpot.. at least he ate it! I have left over mixture so im definitely going to try again the right away, i was so excited for this taco inspired pepper! oh well!2 stars

    1. Hi TAH, I’m sorry to hear the peppers didn’t come out as expected. It’s so hard to know what might’ve gone wrong without being in the kitchen with you. I know it’s disappointing to try something new and not enjoy it, so I truly wish you would have loved them.

        1. Hi Tara! If using rice: you need to precook it or the rice will turn out crunchy. You can use 3 cups cook rice. Hope you enjoy it!

  3. I am using ground beef and Italian sausage (I can’t eat beef). Do I need to brown this ahead of time? Also, I have frozen cauliflower rice, should I just warm to break apart on the stove top before adding??

    New cook here and I’m making it for a special guest!4 stars

    1. Hi Jackie! You don’t have to precook the meat in this recipe. For the cauliflower it needs to be raw and defrosted. Hope this helps and hope you love the recipe!

        1. Hi Kaitlyn, yes you do. Step 2 in the recipe card tells you how to prepare it. Hope you enjoy it!

  4. Hi Erin,

    I loved the idea of the crock pot peppers but they came out super watery! They were soggy at the bottom from sitting in water during cooking. I saved them for leftovers in the fridge and also the freezer but they were inedible the next day due to being so soggy. I was sad, I absolutely love all of your recipes and cook them all the time. I’ll definitely be making more of your stuff but this one didn’t work for me :(2 stars

    1. I’m sorry you had trouble with this recipe, Emily. Unfortunately, it’s so hard to say what might’ve gone wrong without being in the kitchen with you. I hoped it would of been a success for you.

  5. Hey there! This looks delicious! Is the meat raw or cooked before putting in the crock? Thanks!

  6. Hi! How would you recommend using leftover filling if you don’t have more peppers?

    1. Hi Christine! The filling is delicious on its own, but you could also serve it over a bed of lettuce as a salad, with tortilla chips, or wrapped in a tortilla like a quesadilla or burrito. I hope this helps!

  7. Had to cook these in the oven due to my slow cooker being too small I did exactly as the recipe stated but cooked about an hour instead of the 40-50. It was perfect just made sure internal temp was 165. We will be doing this again.

  8. Was going to make my old standby recipe but it was too hot to put the oven on. Found this one. Quick and easy prep and a good way to use garden peppers. Different from the usual stuffed peppers but very good! I used lean ground sirloin. If your slow cooker gets very hot (mine does) reduce the cooking time a bit.5 stars

    1. Hi Sheila! It probably would, it’s just not something I’ve tested out. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

Load More Comments