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Cheesy Rice and Bean Stuffed Peppers

  • Author: Tessa
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


A meatless dinner recipe that looks fancy but is all about giving you free time. Creamy brown rice and black bean “risotto” bakes in the oven while bell peppers roast, leaving you with at least 30 minutes to fold laundry, check emails, or relax with a beverage.


  • 4 medium bell peppers, any color
  • 1 1/22 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced, darker green slices reserved separately
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 C carrots and/or celery, carrots peeled, 1/4″ dice
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 1 C short grain brown or regular arborio rice
  • 3 C vegetable broth or stock
  • 1/3 C sour cream
  • 1 C grated cheddar or monterey jack cheese (plus more for topping, optional)
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 1520 pitted green olives, sliced
  • 2 T finely chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • A splash of white wine vinegar or lime juice (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F). Cut tops off of bell peppers, leaving most of the pepper intact, and remove seeds and membranes by hand. If desired, chop the tops of 1 or 2 bell peppers and add them with the scallions and other aromatics, later. Rub cavities, exterior, and cut edge of peppers with a thin coat of olive oil (1/2 to 1 tablespoon) or spray them all over with olive oil cooking spray and sprinkle with pepper. Place cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
  2. In an medium, oven-safe Dutch oven with a lid, heat a tablespoon of oil and all the butter over medium until butter melts. Add scallions (white and light green slices), jalapeño, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned. Reduce heat slightly and add rice. Stir constantly for 1 to 2 minutes until rice turns translucent around edges. Add broth, raise heat, and bring to a boil. Just after rice boils, remove from heat, stir, and cover. Carefully transfer to upper middle oven rack. Place tray of peppers near the bottom of the oven.
  3. After 20 minutes, remove peppers and allow to cool. They should be crisp-tender and not so soft they collapse. Stir rice and continue cooking, covered, another 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place peppers cavity up in a baking dish which holds them upright. Season inside with salt and more pepper. After removing rice (it may still be a bit soupy), allow to stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Taste for doneness–the rice shouldn’t be tough, crunchy, or chewy, and most of the liquid should be absorbed. Stir sour cream, cheese, beans, olives, cilantro, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste into the baked rice. Spoon rice and beans generously into peppers and sprinkle with a little more cheese, if desired (not pictured). Bake 5 to 10 minutes until warm. Serve topped with sliced scallion tops.


I developed the recipe using brown rice. Cooking time should be about the same for arborio rice, but it may vary slightly.

You can save the bell pepper scraps from the discarded tops for a snack, or dice and sauté with the other aromatics.

The recipe is gluten-free and vegetarian.

To make up to 48 hours ahead, assemble stuffed peppers, don’t top with cheese, and keep refrigerated. Let stand 30 minutes at room temp, then bake at 350, covered, until heated through (start with 20 minutes). Sprinkle with extra grated cheese, if desired, and bake the last few minutes uncovered to melt.

  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Category: Vegetarian Entrée
  • Cuisine: Mexican