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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

4.87 from 76 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 minutes
Cook: 6 hours
Total: 6 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 6 –8 stuffed peppers

Ingredients
  

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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

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

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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.

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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!

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237 Comments

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    1. Hi Eileen! I’m sorry but I don’t think so for this, but honestly it’s not something I’ve tried before. I would be hesitant leaving the raw chicken with all of those flavors overnight uncooked.

    1. Hi Courtney! If you have extra filling that is cooked maybe you could eat it in taco shells or freeze it and save it for a later time. If it is uncooked I would just make extra peppers. Hope this helps!

  1. So easy and delicious! One of my go to recipes. Highly recommend! Health, easy, delish! What could be better?5 stars

  2. I’ve made a billion diff great stuffed peppers and truly nothing seems different about these, but somehow they came out as the absolute best! So delish! Super easy also.5 stars

    1. Hi Donna! I haven’t tried that before so I am unsure. If you decide to experiment, I’d love to know how it goes!

  3. Awesome!! I had extra stuffing; here’s what I did: I sauteed onions and zucchini in one pan. In another, I cooked the stuffing mixture. After the meat was cooked, I added the onion and zucchini. Next, I added a sma can of tomato paste, a bottle of beer, and more spices. I let it simmer, adding more liquid as necessary to ensure the quinoa was cooked. I can use it as pasta sauce, sloppy joes, , or freeze it. Yummy!5 stars

  4. Easy and excellent! Great recipe! Never made stuffed peppers in the crockpot before, but I will make this recipe over and over!5 stars

  5. Hi Erin i’m fresh out of quinoa. I have couscous. Could I use that as a replacement for quinoa ? I also have plenty of rice that I could use but I just thought that I could use this up and get it out of my pantry. Thanks. I’ve made this recipe before it’s awesome. Everybody loved it just curious on the couscous,and what you thought.

    1. Hi Greg! With couscous being a pasta I don’t think it would work in this recipe due to not actually submerging it in any kind of liquid to cook it. That said, if you decide to experiment, I’d love to know how it goes. Also I do have a few recipes that use couscous if you’d like to try one of those! https://www.wellplated.com/moroccan-couscous/ or https://www.wellplated.com/israeli-couscous-salad/ Enjoy!

    2. What an amazing and easy recipe! I will be using this over and over in the future! I love that I was able to throw this together in 15 minutes before work and it was ready for the family at the end of the day! Thank you!5 stars

  6. Have you tried it with Minute rice? Was curious if I would still need to cook the rice if I used the minute rice…

    1. Hi Terrie, I haven’t tested it out myself so I’m unsure. Although I feel like you would still need to cook the rice. If you decide to experiment, I’d love to know how it goes!

    1. Hi! If you have extra filling that is cooked maybe you could eat it in taco shells, over nachos or freeze it and save it for a later time. If it is uncooked I would just make extra peppers. Hope this helps!

  7. Hi Erin, I don’t think I am asking questions in the right spot, not sure, but here goes.

    I just purchased the ingredients to make these Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers, they sound wonderful! However, and I did look thru to see if you mention this, but I did not see anything.
    My quinoa states to rinse before cooking. You mention not having to cook it first but I didn’t see anything about rinsing.
    Thank you, have a great day! :)

    1. Hi Bella! This is the right place! I don’t have any special tips for the 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 so you could really do either. After that, just follow the instructions on the packet and you should be fine! Thanks!

  8. What on earth did I do wrong!? I’ve read over this again and again. Mine are so grainy and dry, literally inedible!
    I made this exactly as written. I’m a pretty good cook, honestly, a really good cook. This us my first time making stuffed peppers in the crock pot. But still, the rave reviews, I have to be missing something. I’ve been reading and rereading it, dud it exactly. I love every recipe of yours Erin, I just don’t get it.

    1. I’m sorry to hear you had trouble with the recipe, Bella. When you say grainy are you talking about the feeling? Was the quinoa cooked and the peppers soft? How many peppers did you fill?

  9. This was my first time making stuffed peppers and the recipe is definitely a keeper for regular rotation! It was perfectly filling, straightforward to make, and delicious. We used avocado slices and Greek yogurt (thinned with water) mixed with salt and pepper as toppings, which was excellent!5 stars

  10. This was so easy to make, and it turned out well. So grateful for recipes like this that are inexpensive, healthful, and EASY!5 stars

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