These vegan stuffed peppers are filled with delicious chunks of seasoned shredded jackfruit, your favorite salsa, and vibrant yellow rice! This easy to make gluten-free meal is ready in just one hour and it’s sure to be your new favorite family-friendly meatless dinner!
Before I was vegan, one of my go-to easy dinner recipes was to cook chicken breasts in a slow cooker with a jar of salsa. Then I would shred the chicken and mix it with the salsa and it would make it taste so flavorful! I would use the shredded chicken as a filling mixed with yellow rice for stuffed peppers, tacos, or enchiladas. Using store-bought salsa is such a quick and easy shortcut that adds so much flavor.
Now that I’m vegan, I make the same recipe, but I use shredded jackfruit instead of chicken. Jackfruit is the perfect replacement for chicken because it shreds perfectly and it tastes delicious! This meatless meal is super easy to make, customizable, and it’s ready in just one hour!
How To Make Yellow Rice Without Saffron
I love yellow rice in these easy vegan stuffed peppers, but I don’t make it with saffron because it’s so expensive and I don’t want to use a box mix. The easiest way to make beautiful yellow rice at home without breaking to the bank is to add 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder to the water that you cook the rice in. While the rice is cooking it will absorb the turmeric powder and it will color the rice a beautiful and vibrant shade of yellow!
How To Make Vegan Stuffed Peppers
Begin by cooking the yellow rice in a separate pot. Set it aside when it’s done. While the rice is cooking, put the rinsed and drained jackfruit into a large pan along with water (the water will help to steam and soften the jackfruit) and all of the dry seasonings.
Next, cover the jackfruit and let it cook for 20 minutes or until the jackfruit is soft enough to lightly smash and break up the chunks with a spatula or potato masher. While the jackfruit is cooking, slice the tops off the bell peppers and remove the seeds and membranes.
Add all of the cooked rice and one cup of your favorite salsa to the pan with the cooked jackfruit. Mix it well and stuff each pepper with the jackfruit rice filling. If you like, you can top each pepper with vegan cheese before baking the peppers for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Serve and garnish each stuffed pepper with more salsa, guacamole, pickled jalapenos, sliced green onions, or your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
How Long Does it Last in the Refrigerator?
Store the vegan stuffed bell peppers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Learn more about storing bell peppers, here.
Can You Freeze Vegan Stuffed Peppers?
Yes, you can freeze the vegan stuffed peppers. I recommend arranging the peppers in a freezer-safe container and then freezing them after you stuff them but before you bake them. When you’re ready to reheat the peppers, take them out of the freezer and let the peppers defrost for 24 hours in the fridge overnight. Bake the peppers at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until they’re hot all the way through. Find more You can find more freezing options, here.
Ways to Adapt this Recipe
These homemade vegan stuffed bell peppers are delicious as-is but you can also try these tasty variations:
- Add More Plant-Based Protein: Add cooked black or kidney beans, red or green lentils, Beyond meat crumbles, or crumbled tempeh to the jackfruit and rice filling for even more protein.
- Add Hidden Veggies: If you want to add some hidden vegetables to the jackfruit rice filling, diced mushrooms, zucchini, corn, spinach, or red cabbage would be great additions.
- Make Soup: Instead of stuffing the peppers, you can use the ingredients to make a hearty and filling vegan unstuffed bell pepper soup!
- Stuffed Tomatoes: If you don’t want to stuff bell peppers, you can also stuff poblano peppers or tomatoes! You could use the same jackfruit filling or you could try a vegan pesto spinach quinoa or a zesty taco-seasoned tofu veggie filling.
Substitutions & FAQ
- Brown Rice Substitutions: You could substitute cooked quinoa, couscous, or cauliflower rice for the brown rice.
- Low-Carb Option: You can easily make these vegan stuffed bell peppers low-carb by substituting raw cauliflower rice (you don’t have to cook it before stuffing the peppers, it will cook enough in the oven) for the brown rice.
- What Type of Jackfruit Should You Use? You need to use canned young green jackfruit for this recipe. Fresh, sweet jackfruit shouldn’t be used for a savory recipe where jackfruit is used as a meat replacement.
- What Type of Salsa Should You Use? I usually use a jar of store-bought salsa to save time, but you could also make homemade cilantro lime salsa. Make sure you check the sodium level of premade salsa because some brands are pretty high. If the salsa is high in sodium, don’t add any extra salt to the stuffed pepper filling until after you mix in the salsa and taste it.
- What to do with the Bell Pepper Tops? After you cut the tops off the bell peppers, you can dice it and add it to a salad, homemade salsa, vegetable barley soup, or you could freeze the diced peppers for a future meal.
- Try to pick bell peppers that are similar in size so the peppers cook evenly.
- I prefer to use yellow, orange, or red bell peppers because they taste sweeter. You can use green bell peppers, but they aren’t as sweet.
- I used store-bought salsa to keep this recipe super simple but if you’re watching your sodium intake then it’s completely fine to use homemade salsa instead.
- To give your vegan stuffed peppers a spicy kick, use medium salsa instead of mild salsa.
- Just like with jackfruit tacos, and jackfruit enchiladas, toppings are important on vegan stuffed bell peppers too! You can add guacamole, extra salsa, vegan cheese, cilantro, fresh lime juice, vegan sour cream (I like Kite Hill unsweetened plain greek yogurt), green onions, and fresh cilantro!
What Can I Do With Lots of Bell Peppers?
Do you have a bunch of peppers that you need to use up? Here are a few more delicious vegan bell pepper recipes that you should try!
- Spicy Vegan Sausage and Peppers
- Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Quesadillas
- Roasted Veggie Quinoa Wraps
- Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Basil Soup
Vegan Stuffed Peppers
- Medium Casserole Dish
- Large Pan
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook the rice according to package instructions. Add 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder to the water while the rice is cooking to turn the rice yellow.
- While the rice is cooking, put the drained and rinsed jackfruit, water, 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and 1/2 tsp onion powder into a large saute pan. Stir to combine the seasonings with the jackfruit, cover it, and let it cook for 20 minutes. Use a spatula or potato masher to break up the chunks of jackfruit.
- While the jackfruit and rice are cooking, prep the bell peppers. Cut off the tops and remove the seeds and membranes.
- Add the cooked rice and 1 cup of salsa to the pan with the cooked jackfruit. Mix it well and fill each pepper with the rice mixture. If you want to top the peppers with shredded vegan cheese, add it now.
- Add 2 tbsp of water to the bottom of a casserole dish to stop the peppers from sticking. Arrange the peppers to fit snugly in the casserole dish. Cover and bake the peppers for 30 minutes or until tender. Top with fresh lime juice, guacamole, cilantro, vegan sour cream, and jalapenos.
- Try to pick bell peppers that are similar in size so the peppers cook evenly.
- I prefer to use yellow, orange, or red bell peppers because they taste sweeter. You can use green bell peppers, but they aren't as sweet.
- I used store-bought salsa to keep this recipe super simple but if you're watching your sodium intake then it's completely fine to use homemade salsa instead.
- To give your homemade stuffed peppers a spicy kick, use medium salsa instead of mild salsa.
- Topping Options: You can add guacamole, extra salsa, vegan cheese, cilantro, fresh lime juice, vegan sour cream (I like Kite Hill unsweetened plain greek yogurt), green onions, and fresh cilantro!
*This recipe was originally posted on 6/23/15 but I updated it with new pictures and better recipe instructions on 6/5/20.