Latest chapter in my masterwork to turn spinach and artichoke dip into a healthy dinner: Quinoa Stuffed Peppers!
No matter what other appetizers are on any given menu, the spinach artichoke dip is a shoe-in for one reason: everyone loves it.
The creamy, satisfying spinach and artichoke filling in these peppers is inspired by the flavors and ingredients of the beloved dip and lightened up with everyday ingredients.
As with my classic Stuffed Peppers, this recipe comes together quickly for dinner tonight and reheats well all week long.
You also can easily freeze leftovers. Future you will be grateful to have this fast, healthy dinner on hand.
5 Star Review
“Seriously DELICIOUS!!”— Janet —
How to Make Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Tender on the outside, gooey and cheesy on the inside, this quinoa stuffed pepper recipe is a marriage of everyone’s favorite appetizer, spinach and artichoke dip, and one of my favorite easy dinners, Italian Stuffed Peppers!
- Quinoa. In a vegetarian stuffed pepper recipe like this one, I prefer quinoa over other grains, as it is a complete protein and makes these an all-in-one meal (like this Mexican Quinoa).
- Vegetable Stock. Used as a cooking liquid to infuse the quinoa with extra flavor.
- Bell Peppers. Red, yellow, orange, or green. Choose your favorite and enjoy a daily dose of vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, and potassium.
- Spinach. Use fresh or frozen, whichever you prefer. Both are an affordable way to add bulk and nutrition to this wholesome recipe.
If you opt for frozen spinach, be sure to fully defrost, rinse, and drain it of excess water prior to adding it to the filling.
- Artichoke Hearts. Use either artichokes packed in oil or water for this recipe. (If you have any leftover, try this Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese).
- Garlic. Gives the filling a little zip and extra flavor.
- Mozzarella. For that perfect, melty finishing touch.
- Greek Yogurt. Protein packed and low-calorie, it makes the filling rich and creamy, while keeping the peppers healthy.
- Cook the quinoa.
- Arrange the prepared pepper halves on a greased baking dish, cut sides up.
- Saute the spinach with the garlic, basil, and artichoke hearts. Mix with the quinoa and remaining filling ingredients.
- Stuff the peppers and bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover, top with more cheese, then return to the oven and continue baking until the cheese melts and the peppers are tender. ENJOY!
Versatility of Stuffed Peppers
Stuffed peppers are the total healthy package. Change up the filling and even the cooking method to suit any taste, timeline, or what you have on hand.
- To Store. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
- To Reheat. Reheat in a 350 degree oven until heated through, about 20 minutes, or rewarm gently in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Store cooked quinoa stuffed peppers in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight then reheat as directed above.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Skillet. I reach for this quality Staub cast iron skillet almost daily.
- 9×13 Baking Dish. Perfect for stuffed peppers or a double batch of One Bowl Brownies.
- Sauce Pan. 2 layers of aluminum for even heat distribution, which is great for steaming rice and quinoa or cooking pasta.
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa or rice, thoroughly rinsed and drained
- 2 cups reduced sodium vegetable stock or sub water—slightly less flavorful
- 5 large red bell peppers (or yellow or orange), halved, seeds and membranes removed
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 20 ounces spinach leaves fresh or frozen (if using frozen, thaw and thoroughly press dry)
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 can artichoke hearts (14 ounces), drained and chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup freshly grated part skim Mozzarella or provolone, or similar melty Italian cheese
- 1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
- Add quinoa and vegetable stock to a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 12 minutes. Remove from the heat, fluff with a fork, then cover and let sit for 15 additional minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. Arrange the peppers in the dish, cut sides up.
- Heat the olive oil in a large, deep saute pan over medium high. If using fresh spinach, add the spinach in small handfuls, stirring as it wilts down, until you have added all of the leaves. If using frozen spinach, add it in a few larger handfuls, breaking up any clumps of leaves as you go.
- To the skillet, add the garlic, basil, salt, and pepper. Let cook 30 seconds, then add the artichoke hearts and cook until warmed through. Remove from the heat. Stir in the quinoa, parsley, 2/3 cup of the cheese, then the Greek yogurt.
- Generously stuff the peppers with the quinoa filling. Lightly coat a sheet of foil larger enough to cover the peppers with cooking spray, then cover the dish with foil, spray-side down.
- Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees, covered, then remove foil, sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup cheese over the top, and continue baking 5-10 additional minutes, until peppers are cooked to desired tenderness and the cheese is melted. Serve warm.
- TO STORE: Keep leftovers covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Warm in a 350-degree oven until heated through, about 20 minutes, or rewarm gently in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Store cooked quinoa stuffed peppers in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight then reheat as directed above.
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