These couscous stuffed peppers are filled with perfectly seasoned vegetables and chickpeas in a smokey tomato sauce and topped with dairy free cheese. Super healthy, vegan and delicious weeknight dinner idea to impress the whole family or friends.
❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe
- Made with healthy, whole food ingredients.
- Vegan, meatless, dairy free and absolutely delicious.
- Works as a great main dish or side dish for a potluck.
- Great to meal prep and have for lunch all week.
- Easy to make to impress guests at a dinner party.
🍅 Ingredients & substitutions
These ingredients are really flexible. Interchange the vegetables, grains and beans with your favorites.
- Couscous – Fluffy couscous is the centerpiece in this recipe. I use the moroccan couscous, the smaller couscous, but you can also use Israeli couscous, which is also called pearl couscous and is a bit larger. Quinoa, white rice, brown rice, couscous, farro and barley are all good choices as a substitute.
- Beans – Black beans, chickpeas, navy beans, great northern beans, red beans or kidney beans are all good choices. To keep with the mediterranean flavors, I prefer chickpeas or great northern beans.
- Bell peppers – Orange peppers, yellow peppers and red bell peppers are the sweet bell peppers. Green bell peppers are a little more bitter, but taste good when baked.
- Tomatoes – canned tomatoes add nice flavor and moisture to the pepper stuffing. Cherry tomatoes also taste delicious in this.
- Spices – We use a lovely mix of garlic powder, nutritional yeast, onion powder, smoked paprika (for a nice smoky flavor), thyme, oregano, salt, black pepper and fresh basil. If you want to add a little heat, use some red pepper flakes. You can also use Italian seasoning instead.
- Fresh garlic and red onion
- Olive oil
- Dairy free cheese – Vegan feta cheese or non-dairy mozzarella goes really well with this recipe. Topping these stuffed peppers with vegan parmesan is also delicious. Use whatever vegan cheese you can find at your grocery store. Chao and Violife are my favorite brands.
- Vegetable broth or vegetable stock
- Bonus points if you want to top this recipe with fresh cilantro, fresh parsley or whatever herb is your favorite topping.
👩🍳 Recipe tips
- This recipe works well with a leftover grain that you need to use up, like leftover rice.
- If you decide to stuff this with quinoa and need help cooking quinoa check out this guide on how to cook quinoa on the stovetop, pressure cooker, or rice cooker.
- Chop up all of the vegetables first, before you start cooking. This makes for a less stressful cooking experience. Everything goes in the pan at about the same time, so it’s good to have it all ready.
- Since vegan cheese can sometimes take a little longer to melt, when cooking the peppers, cover them for part of the way. This will help the cheese to melt faster.
- A baking dish or casserole dish with a lid is the best thing to use for this recipe. If you don’t have that, then just use aluminum foil to cover the peppers.
🔪 How to cut the peppers
- You can cut your peppers lengthwise, from top to bottom, into pepper halves. You can also just cut off the bell pepper tops and keep them as whole peppers, so they stand upright. Either way works well.
- If you choose to cut off the tops of the peppers, take the stem out and dice up the pepper top. Add the diced pepper top into the large skillet when cooking the rest of the veggies, so it doesn’t go to waste.
Cook the couscous – Bring the vegetable broth to a low boil/simmer in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the couscous and cover. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Then fluff it up with a fork.
Prepare the veggies – Chop all the vegetables to have ready to go. Heat oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté. Add the rest of the vegetables, seasonings and tomatoes. Cook for about 5-10 minutes.
Mix it together – Add the cooked couscous and vegetable mixture together, season more if needed and stir. Fold in some vegan feta cheese or dairy free parmesan.
Stuff the peppers – Cut the peppers in half from top to bottom and remove the seeds. Add them to a baking dish or dutch oven with ½ cup of water. Using a spoon, stuff each pepper with the couscous mixture. Top with more salty feta or vegan parmesan.
Bake – Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 370 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes. Top with a fresh lemon juice or fresh basil.
Add in some kalamata olives, toasted pine nuts or baby spinach. Capers would also taste great in this. You can add any meatless plant based meat as well like Beyond sausage, or vegan chorizo.
🥗 What to serve with stuffed peppers
These peppers go really well with a delicious side salad, especially topped with homemade Italian dressing or vegan ranch dressing. Serve with a side of seasoned rice, air fried asparagus or steamed vegetables. This also tastes amazing with some crusty homemade bread dipped in olive oil. This would also go well with a minestrone soup.
The leftover peppers will last in an airtight container for up to five days.
These can also be frozen, but will change the texture of the peppers once they thaw out. They may become a little mushy.
🍛 Leftover ideas
Warm up any leftover couscous mixture and top it on a nice salad, or eat it as a bowl for lunch. If you have leftover red peppers, cut them up into small pieces, warm them up and top on a salad. Store all leftovers in the fridge in a sealed container.
It’s gluten free, as long as you use a gluten free grain like quinoa or rice and dairy free cheese. Couscous is made from semolina flour (the same as pasta) so it’s not gluten free.
I’ve found that there’s really no need to pre bake the peppers, even though some recipes call for it. Just bake for a long enough time (around 35-40 minutes at 375-400 degrees, covered.) Peppers run the risk of becoming too soggy if you over bake them.
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Easy mediterranean couscous stuffed peppers (vegan)
- Silicone non-stick baking mat
- ¾ cup uncooked moroccan couscous
- ¾ cup vegetable broth
- 6 bell peppers (any color)
- 1 medium zucchini (diced)
- 1 small onion (diced)
- 6 cloves of garlic (minced)
- ½ cup of chopped mushrooms
- 1 16 oz can of drained and rinsed beans (see notes section)
- 1 16 oz can of diced tomatoes
- 1 bag of vegan mozzarella (or vegan feta)
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup of vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Cook the couscous
- Bring the vegetable broth and pinch of salt to a high simmer on the stove and immediately take off of the heat. Stir in the couscous, stir well and cover with the lid. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Lift the lid and fluff with a fork¾ cup uncooked moroccan couscous, ¾ cup vegetable broth
Make the filling
- While couscous is cooking, dice up all of your vegetables. Add one teaspoon of oil to a sauté pan on medium heat.
- Add the diced onions and sauté for 1 minute1 small onion
- Add the mushrooms and saute for 2 minutes and season with a pinch of salt.½ cup of chopped mushrooms
- Add in the zucchini, garlic, can of beans, can of tomatoes, cooked couscous, seasoning, vegetable broth and salt¾ cup uncooked moroccan couscous, 1 medium zucchini, 6 cloves of garlic, 1 16 oz can of drained and rinsed beans, 1 16 oz can of diced tomatoes, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon dried basil, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 cup of vegetable broth, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Stir everything well, and let it simmer on medium low until the sauce thickens up. Should take about 8-10 minutes, depending on your stove.
- Once everything is slightly cooked down, add in a handful of vegan mozzarella or feta and nutritional yeast. Stir until the cheese melts and turn pan off of the heat1 bag of vegan mozzarella, 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
Assemble and bake
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
- Cut the bell peppers in half, lengthwise and take the seeds out. Add them to a baking dish.6 bell peppers
- Stuff the bell peppers with the stuffing and top with a generous amount of vegan cheese. Add about ½ cup of water to the bottom of the dish and cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 35 minutes covered. Remove the foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until peppers are fork tender.
- If you have leftover filling, save it for later. This makes a delicious lunch bowl.
- great northern beans
- navy beans
- black beans
- kidney beans
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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