Stuffed peppers is a classic dish. Yet another that Mom used to make growing up. When I was 13 and decided not to eat meat, she would leave the meat out of mine and just season the rice and sauce. That was satisfactory for my younger self, but as I got older, I wanted something more filling. Now that there’s so many substitutes for meat, that’s always a nice option to throw in this dish. There were not nearly as many substitutes when I was younger and I really think that’s why I don’t care for them. I adapted to leaving meat out entirely or manufacturing a huge plate, with vegetables being the star. That being said, we all know by now I do love Trader Joe’s beefless crumbles. These are perfect for this recipe!
Besides the now infamous crumbles, I wanted to include another yummy alternative. Instead of rice, you can use quinoa. You get all the protein that quinoa has to offer and it will definitely fill you up.
Each recipe makes 6 stuffed peppers, unless your peppers run on the smaller side, then you may be able to get more.
6 medium sized bell peppers, cored
1 tablespoon vegan butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon garlic
1 and 1/2 cups cooked white or brown rice or quinoa
1 small can tomato paste
1 package Trader Joe’s beefless crumbles
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Vegan mozzarella cheese (optional)
3 cups jarred tomato sauce, divided
Cook rice or quinoa according to package instructions.
Preheat oven to 425 °F
While rice is cooking, prepare the rest of the filling.
Pour about one cup of tomato sauce to cover the bottom of a 9×13 dish. Cut the tops off your peppers and scoop out the seeds. Place in pan and set aside.
Melt butter on medium heat in a large sauce pan. Add garlic and stir well.
Add diced onion.
Cook until translucent. Add tomato paste, salt, pepper. Mix well.
Mix in cooked rice.
Add beefless crumbles.
I like to add a little bit of tomato sauce into the mixture, as well.
Mix in the sauce.
Spoon the filling into your peppers, packing it in with a spoon so you can fit a decent amount into each one. It’s much better to over fill these than to not have enough. Top with remaining tomato sauce.
If your peppers aren’t standing up very well on their own (like mine, in this instance), you can place them next to each other to hold each other up. While it’s best to buy ones that stand up on their own for this recipe, I was having trouble finding good ones.😕 If your peppers are a little smaller than normal, you may even get enough for an extra one! Top with a bit of vegan mozzarella, if desired.
Loosely cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Your peppers will be tender when done.
Serve with plenty of sauce and enjoy!