Quick Stuffed Bell Peppers

Quick Stuffed Bell Peppers

Fall is prime time for stuffing – and not just at the Thanksgiving table!

Stuffed bell peppers are a great autumn entrée, but they can take a fair amount of time to prepare. Most recipes call for rice to be cooked beforehand (a trick in recipe writing that I always seem to miss!), and then baking the filled peppers for up to 45 minutes…which makes for at least a 2-hour adventure.

While we love cooking, we also love the quickest path to delicious eats. So when I stumbled across millet, I figured it would be a great option for a quick stuffed pepper. (Our previous stuffed poblano pepper recipe called for brown rice, which takes about 50 minutes to cook.) Millet takes just about 20 minutes to prepare, and while you cook the filling, you can roast the peppers. Once the peppers are done, add the filling and serve! (You also can broil a bit of cheese on top if you’d like.)

We’ve used Latin flavors in this recipe, but you can use it as a basis for whatever flavors you’d like – try different types of beans, cheese or nuts, or spices of your own choosing. You also could substitute other grains, but millet is a great choice for a quick whole grain filling!

Make sure to check your local markets for peppers!


Quick Stuffed Bell Peppers
Serves 4 to 6

Notes: For a non-spicy version, use mild salsa and only use a tiny pinch of the chipotle powder (or omit altogether). The chipotle powder adds a wonderful smoky flavor – it’s worth tracking down in your local grocery.

You can use this recipe as a basis for adding the flavoring of your choice. We found salsa made for a quick and easy addition of flavor and moisture. If you don’t use salsa, you may want to consider a creamier millet and / or adding cheese to ensure a good texture, as well as trying additional flavoring to add body.

A way to make the recipe quicker is to broil the peppers; however, they cook very fast and are easy to burn. We found it easy to throw them in the oven for 30 minutes while preparing the filling.

What You Need
6 bell peppers of any color
1 1/2 cups millet
1 can red or pinto beans (or 1 1/4 cups cooked)
1/2 cup frozen or fresh corn
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 cup shredded cheese (Mexican blend or Monterrey jack)
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
Few pinches chipotle powder
Fresh cilantro

1 Preheat the oven to 450°F.

2 Roast the peppers: Wash the peppers and cut them in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds. Place on foil or parchment paper-lined baking sheet (or spray with cooking oil) and bake for about 30 minutes, until tender. (Smaller, thinner peppers may not take as long.)

3 Prepare the millet: While the peppers are roasting, prepare the millet as described here. (It should take around 20 minutes total.) For a creamier filling, add an extra 1/2 cup to 1 cup of water, and stir a bit during the cooking time.

4 Prepare the filling: Drain and rinse the beans. When the millet is done, fluff with a fork in the pan. Then add 1 can beans,1/2 cup corn, 1 1/2 cup salsa, 1 cup shredded cheese, 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin, 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and a few pinches chipotle powder. Stir to combine. Taste, and add additional salsa, cheese, or spices as necessary. Turn the heat to low and reheat the filling for a few minutes, stirring.

5 Assemble the peppers: When the peppers are done, remove them from the oven. Drain them of excess liquid. Then fill each pepper with the warm filling. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

If desired, you can top the peppers with additional cheese and broil them until the cheese melts. You also can place the peppers in the oven to warm for a few minutes prior to serving, as necessary. (If you want to warm for a longer period of time prior to serving, cover the peppers with foil and turn down the heat to around 200°F so that the filling does not dry out.)

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27 thoughts on “Quick Stuffed Bell Peppers

  1. Megan King

    I just made my first stuffed peppers this weekend. I didn’t have a recipe and just guessed and they turned out decent. My $2 yard sale rice cooker was a lifesaver. However, next time I’ll use a tried and true recipe from the pros!

  2. kelsey

    made a version of this tonight and it was A-MAZING. i used quinoa instead of millet, 1/2 cup of salsa, and way less salt … and it was SOOOO delicious, and easy. husband also loved it and 2 year old daughter even ate it. Win. Win. Win.

  3. Meghan

    Wow! That looks absolutely amazing! I recently discovered millet and am loving it as well. It’s fun to toss the raw grain into breads and muffins, gives them a nice crunch! Thanks for sharing!

        1. Sonja Post author

          You are so welcome — I’m glad that you enjoyed it!! Your version looks wonderful :)

          And an update for you — the other day I bought a loaf of bread and noticed some seeds in it. I would never have recognized them, but I remembered your note about putting raw millet in bread — sure enough, it was millet! Thanks for the tip – we’re hoping to have some time this winter to develop a good whole brain bread recipe with it. :)

    1. Sonja Post author

      I agree! They always take way longer than expected :( Hopefully this dish doesn’t lose any of the taste in the quickness – let us know if you try it out :)

  4. Deborah

    I made these last night after a bicycle trip in the rain to the health food store to get the millet! It was really worth it! The flavors and textures were amazing. My non-veggie teenage boys were happy as well. Thanks for posting!

    1. Sonja Post author

      Thank you so much for sharing this! It is so encouraging to hear – and especially that your teenage sons liked it too :) Thanks for sharing!

  5. Krissy's Creations

    I just wanted to say that I love your blog and all the delicious [and healthy!] meals you make! You are my go-to blog when I’m looking for a new and healthy dinner :). I am about to make these peppers for dinner and me and my husband can’t wait! Unfortunately I couldn’t find millet at our local store. Would quinoa be an adequate and easy substitution?

    1. Sonja Post author

      Krissy – Thank you for the nice note! Yes, quinoa would be a perfect substitute for this recipe! It will have a different texture and may need a modified amount of salsa (just go for whatever seems to be the right consistency and flavor), but it will be just as tasty! Let me know if you uncover millet – we’ve found it packaged (Bob’s Red Mill) as well as in the bulk section at our local health foods store. Let us know how it turns out!


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