This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
These enchilada stuffed peppers are a healthy and hearty vegetarian main with all the familiar flavors of classic enchiladas. They're loaded with brown rice, black beans, and corn, then smothered in enchilada sauce and topped with cheese. It's an easy recipe to make ahead of time, and they're always a hit!
These enchilada stuffed peppers are everything we love about enchiladas, made easier and healthier. There's no fussing with rolling the filling into the tortilla, and no tortilla means fewer carbs. Keep this recipe handy for busy weeknights or laid-back gatherings because you won't believe how easy it is to prepare ahead of time!
Apart from the sauce, these enchilada stuffed bell peppers are filled with simple ingredients you're likely to have on hand.
- Black beans: we use canned black beans but pinto beans also taste great.
- Enchilada sauce: enchilada sauce can be found in jars or cans in the Mexican section of most grocery stores.
- Cheese: a mix of sharp cheddar and Monterey jack cheese gives these stuffed peppers a bold cheesy flavor. Other cheeses like Mexican cotija cheese, gouda, or havarti are other delicious alternatives.
Other ingredients you'll need are brown rice, bell peppers, olive oil, onion, garlic, carrot, corn, avocado, cilantro, lime, and sour cream.
How to make enchilada stuffed peppers
These cheesy enchilada stuffed peppers are a healthy vegetarian meal that's easy to make ahead of time. Just follow these simple steps!
- Cook the brown rice until tender.
- Slice off the tops of the peppers, remove the insides, and place them in a baking dish cut side up. Discard the stems but mince the tops – yay for zero waste!
- Sauté the onion, minced pepper tops, garlic, and carrot until soft.
- Add the cooked rice, beans, corn, enchilada sauce, and some of the cheese to the pan, giving everything a good stir. Stuff the peppers and sprinkle more cheese on top.
- Cover the dish with foil, and if you're making them ahead of time place them in the fridge. If you're ready to bake them, pop them into the oven. Remove the foil at the end so the tops can brown.
- Garnish them up with any or all of the toppings before serving. That's it!
Enchilada stuffed peppers variations
The filling of these enchilada stuffed peppers is forgiving so you can tweak the ingredients or use what you have on hand.
- For a boost of vegetarian protein, add some cooked lentils or texturized vegetable protein (TVP).
- Turn them into chicken enchilada stuffed peppers with some cooked chicken, or switch up the meat and use ground beef or ground turkey instead.
- Try filling them with our spicy Mexican rice to switch things up!
Tips for making the best enchilada stuffed peppers
Here are a few tried and true tips for making the best enchilada stuffed peppers:
- Use a mix of red, yellow, and orange peppers to keep things colorful.
- Stuff the peppers really full. The peppers shrink when cooked, so pack them tightly when they're raw and they'll soften to accommodate all the filling.
- Have leftover rice? This is the perfect opportunity to use it!
- Load them up with the toppings, and why not serve them with a dollop of our easy guacamole.
Are these enchilada stuffed peppers spicy?
This really depends on how spicy your enchilada sauce is since it can range from mild to hot. If it's your first time using enchilada sauce, taste it first to be sure.
Can I use canned tomatoes instead of enchilada sauce?
Yep, you can. Enchilada sauce is more flavorful so that's why we use it but canned crushed tomatoes also work.
Can I prepare them ahead of time?
Yes, this recipe is easy to make ahead of time. Once the peppers are stuffed and covered in foil, you can store them in the fridge for up to 2 days. When you're ready to serve them, follow the baking instructions.
How long do leftovers keep?
Store any leftover stuffed peppers in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 3 days.
Can I freeze them?
Yes! They're an ideal dish for freezing and retain their taste and texture well. Just make sure the dish you use is freezer-safe and that they're wrapped tightly to avoid freezer burn.
- 1 cup brown rice
- 6 bell peppers
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion (minced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 large carrot (diced small)
- 15 ounce can black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 14 ounce can enchilada sauce
- 1 ½ cups EACH: grated sharp cheddar and Monterey jack cheese
- Optional toppings: diced avocado, cilantro, lime, and sour cream (to serve)
- Place the brown rice in a small pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for 40 minutes, or until the rice is tender.1 cup brown rice
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Drizzle a little oil in the bottom of a casserole dish. Cut the tops off the peppers, remove the seeds and membranes, and place them in the casserole dish. Finely mince the pepper tops.6 bell peppers
- Heat the olive oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, add the minced pepper tops, garlic, and carrot and cook until the carrot is soft, about 5 minutes.2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 medium onion, 3 cloves garlic, 1 large carrot
- Add the cooked rice, beans, corn, and enchilada sauce to the pan and mix everything well. Set aside 1 cup of the cheese and stir in the rest. Stuff the peppers then sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.15 ounce can black beans, 1 cup frozen corn, 1 ½ cups EACH: grated sharp cheddar and Monterey jack cheese, 14 ounce can enchilada sauce
- Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Serve with any or all of the optional toppings.Optional toppings: diced avocado, cilantro, lime, and sour cream
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.