Stuffed bell peppers will always remind me of my grandmother. She would often cook traditional stuffed peppers with Cajun “dirty rice” (rice and ground beef) and green bell peppers. Even as a kid who was an incredibly picky eater, I would always look forward to munching on this meal every time she prepared it.

Fast forward to today… and even though we’re not a meat eatin’ kind of family, I still like to try to bring back recipes from my childhood and “veganize” them when possible.

The last time my mother came to Arizona to visit, she bought us this digital multicooker from Aroma and taught me how to make easy vegan “one-pot” jambalaya in it. Since then, I’ve been trying to use it as often as I can… so in today’s recipe, I utilized it to prepare the foundation of our “dirty rice”.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can customize it however you’d like! Not a mushroom fan? Omit ’em. Love onions? Add extra! It’s as simple as that. The recipe and ingredients listed below are just what I did on this particular day, but I’ve made these peppers before and trust me: hardly any two meals have been the same. They’ve all been a little bit unique.

A fair warning: this is one of the more labor- and time-intensive recipes I’ve made over the years. Even after you’ve made your “dirty rice” and are ready to stuff your peppers, you’re still looking at 40-45 minutes of baking time. Don’t wait until the last minute to start this one, if you want dinner to be ready on time!

(Helpful tip: you can prep the “dirty rice” and stuff the peppers in advance, even the day before if you’d like. Simply pop into your pre-heated oven about an hour before dinner, and you’re good to go.)

Vegan Stuffed Bell Peppers

Total Time: 30 minutes prep, 40-45 minutes baking
Servings: 6 stuffed peppers

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. white rice, dry
  • 1 c. lentils, dry
  • 5 c. vegetable broth
  • 1 16-oz. can of diced tomatoes (juices drained)
  • 1 tbsp. avocado oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 6 bell peppers, tops cut off and seeds/veins removed
  • Vegan cheese, for serving
  • Fresh curly-leaf parsley, for serving

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Put your rice, lentils, vegetable stock, and diced tomatoes in your multicooker on the “rice” or “multigrain” setting. Check every 7-8 minutes and stir. Cook until all liquid has been absorbed, or the rice is fully cooked.
  3. In a large skillet, heat your oil and add your diced onions, bell pepper, and celery. Saute for 6-7 minutes. Then, add your mushrooms and saute for 6-7 more minutes. Finally, add your minced garlic and tomato paste. Saute until all veggies are softened and the tomato paste has fully incorporated into your veggie medley.
  4. Add your sauteed vegetables to your rice mixture. Stir until fully mixed.
  5. On a greased baking sheet, place your hollow bell peppers and stuff them with your “dirty rice” mixture. Add vegan cheese, and place the bell pepper tops on top. Drizzle with more avocado oil.
  6. Bake your bell peppers in the oven for 40-45 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven, and serve with fresh minced parsley.

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