Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
These Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers are a part of my master plan to be more spontaneous.
I can see it on my agenda now: Wednesday night, 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. – Do something unknown and mildly reckless. Be home in time for dinner.
Have I mentioned that I am dependent upon my calendar app?
While it’s romantic to think of myself as the go-where-the-wind-takes-me/fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants sort, the truth is, I like having a master plan to guide my day. When we go out, I make reservations. Before I head to the grocery store, I write a shopping list. Our entire travel schedule is recorded from now through December. Romantic or not, ad libbing is not my style.
Which is why, when Ben called to tell me that he’d found a last-minute deal on tickets to New York City and my response was, “BOOK THEM!” I surprised us both. We leave in less than two weeks, and half of the trip is still unplanned. Who am I?
Of course, I also promptly made a Google doc with all of our flight information and the reservations I’ve booked thus far. Let’s call me a free spirit in progress.
In an act of mild spontaneity (I’m a work in progress, remember?), I headed into the kitchen with an uncharacteristically loose vision for these quinoa stuffed bell peppers. I wanted to marry everyone’s favorite spinach and artichoke dip with one of my favorite easy dinners, Chicken Quinoa Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers. I didn’t have the recipe fully written out, but I had a hunch it was going to be delicious. I was right.
The peppers are tender on the outside, the filling is gooey and cheesy on the inside, and thanks to the addition of Greek yogurt in place of the mayo you’ll find in classic spinach artichoke dip, this recipe is light and healthy too. To keep the stuffed bell peppers extra budget-friendly and fast to prepare, I used frozen spinach, though fresh will certainly work too.
As written, these Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers are vegetarian, but you can feel free to add sautéed ground chicken or turkey to the recipe if you like. The leftovers reheat well, so feel free to pack them for lunch, or double the recipe for an easy meal that lasts all week.
Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Stuffed Bell 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 — 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 9x13-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.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1 stuffed half) — Calories: 215, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Sodium: 355mg, Carbohydrates: 39g, Fiber: 11g, Sugar: 15g, Protein: 8g
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