These dairy-free stuffed peppers are healthy, hearty, and flavorful. Plus, they're gluten-free, and can easily be made vegan.
Stuffed peppers were a childhood staple. And for good reason.
They're easy to make, they're a fun way to eat vegetables without putting forth much effort, and they can be made into a million variations so you don't feel like you're eating the same thing over and over. Just change the filling ingredients and it's a completely different meal.
No dairy is necessary either. These are so good that you don't even notice its absence.
- Bell peppers - I usually do a mix of yellow, orange, and red, but any color is fine really.
- Red onion - to build flavor when cooking the meat.
- Cooked rice - adds bulk to the peppers and makes them more filling.
- Ground beef - A staple protein for stuffed peppers, but see the substitutions section for more options.
- Red pesto - the secret ingredient for making them super flavorful.
Substitutions & Variations
Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.
How can you make these dairy-free stuffed peppers using what you already have? Here are some ideas…
- No ground beef? ➝ you can also use ground chicken or turkey.
- Make it plant-based ➝ use 2 cups of cooked lentils or beans in place of the meat.
- No red onion? ➝ use yellow or white onion or shallot.
- No rice? ➝ use couscous or orzo (these options would make it no longer gluten-free).
- No red pesto? ➝ green pesto is also delicious here.
- Get creative ➝ you can make pizza stuffed peppers, Mexican, Thai, Greek, etc.
Cut peppers lengthwise
Cut the peppers in half lengthwise from stem to 'butt' instead of cutting just the tops off. It's easier to both serve and eat them this way.
Precook the cut peppers before you stuff them
Because the stuffed peppers don't bake for very long, precooking the peppers helps to give them a nicer texture.
Stuffed peppers make great leftovers
They're easy to reheat, so you can always make extra and freeze them to have as a backup on days when you don't want to cook but you want a nourishing meal.
More Dairy-Free Recipes
Dairy-Free Stuffed Peppers
- 4 medium bell peppers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ small red onion, diced or substitute
- 1 pound ground beef or substitute
- 1½ cups cooked rice
- 1 cup red pesto or substitute
- fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Slice the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and membranes. Put in a baking dish face down and bake for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent before adding the ground beef. Season with kosher salt and pepper and cook until browned.
- Remove the meat mixture with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl along with the cooked rice and red pesto. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Remove the peppers from the oven and carefully turn them over. Stuff each pepper half with the filling until you have no more left (make sure to really pack it in there).
- Put the stuffed peppers in the oven and bake for another 15 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm.