Being a meal plan service, we are always thinking of good and delicious ways to use up leftovers. We’re not trying to come up with something new that will turn the culinary world on its side. Instead, we want to be able to use what we have during the week to make something quick and simple for a healthy and tasty weeknight meal.
Take, for instance, these Southwestern Stuffed Peppers. Stuffed peppers are pretty common, but they are a great way to use up leftovers. This recipe happens to be one of our earlier recipes, but it is one that keeps coming back in our dinner rotation. That’s because it’s a perfect anytime-meal, quick to make, and great for repurposing other meals.
Here’s a meal planning tip: If you plan on making any kind of grain – such as quinoa, rice, couscous, farro – for a weeknight dinner, double up and make a big batch, so that you can purposely have leftovers for these stuffed peppers!
“This was delicious! My 13 month old could not get it in her mouth fast enough 🙂 Definitely a recipe to make again and so, so easy!” -Beth
Adding some black beans, corn, green onions, and spices, such as paprika, coriander, and cumin, really jazz up plain ol’ quinoa and give it a taste of the Southwest. Sprinkling with cheese and baking until warm and melty is just the thing to make a tasty meal even more delicious. (Can you ever go wrong with cheese?!)
What we love about stuffed peppers is that you can get creative with the filling. It doesn’t even have to be leftovers! Sure, you can saute some chopped peppers and toss with your grains and veggies, but there’s something about eating from a pepper “bowl.” It switches things up a little bit and makes dinnertime fun!
Our recipe below actually has you making a fresh batch of quinoa, but that’s if you want to make these peppers even if you don’t have leftover grains. After all, this recipe is so good, it might not even be a “leftover meal” for you!
“I was never much of a pepper fan, but after this, I quite like them. We had extra filling so we used it the next night with butter lettuce leaves for lettuce wraps. It was delicious both nights!”
If you can’t get enough of this recipe, or want new ways to make stuffed peppers, try making our Lentil Sausage Soup! Enjoy as soup one night, and stuffed peppers the next.
For More Smarts:
Play around with different flavors by using different fillings or other veggies:
- For a different filling, make a double batch of our Lime Cilantro Rice or Black Bean, Corn, and Farro Salad, and use half as filling for these stuffed peppers. Top with cheese and pop in the oven!
- For a different stuffed veggie, try stuffing tomatoes, zucchini, or portobellos. You can easily change these Portobello Pesto Pizzas into Southwestern Stuffed Portobellos by following this filling recipe and stuffing the mushrooms. Or get creative like CS member Nora and make lettuce wraps with the filling!
Baking your stuffed peppers on a sheet pan is not only easy to take in and out of the oven, but it’ll also catch any spilled stuffing.
- Quinoa, dry – 1 cup
- Peppers – 4
- Black beans – 1 can
- Frozen corn – 1 cup
- Paprika – 1 1/2 tsp.
- Coriander – 3/4 tsp.
- Cumin – 3/4 tsp.
- Kosher salt – 1/2 tsp.
- Red wine or sherry vinegar – 1 1/2 tbs.
- Olive oil – 3 tbs.
- Mexican cheese blend – 4 oz., grated (buy pre-grated or blocks of Jack, cheddar, and colby and grate)
- Quinoa – Combine with 1 3/4 cups of water. Add in a generous dash of salt. Bring to a boil covered. Lower heat, keep covered, and cook until liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Peppers – Core stem and then slice in half.
- Black beans – Drain and rinse.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large bowl mix together quinoa, black beans, and corn. Toss with spices, vinegar, and oil.
- Place peppers onto a sheet pan, and sprinkle inner part with some salt and then divide quinoa into peppers. Cover with cheese and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Enjoy stuffed peppers with melty cheese hot out of the oven!