Mexican style chicken, quinoa and black bean stuffed peppers
My wife and I absolutely love stuffed peppers because there basically isn’t a wrong way to make them. You can stuff just about any good chopped veggies, cheese and/or meat into a pepper shell, bake it and 9 times out of 10 it will be delicious!
1 lb ground chicken or turkey
2 cups cooked Quinoa
2 cups cooked black beans
6 assorted bell peppers-I used red, yellow and green
1 white onion-diced
Tops of the bell peppers-diced
1 heirloom (if available) tomato- diced
2 cups Monterey jack cheese shredded
1 can black olives-sliced
4-6 garlic cloves-diced
Salt and pepper
I was trying to think of a more filling and hearty stuffed pepper that would have a lot of protein but also a lot of flavor which is how I came up with this recipe. I love using ground chicken as its just as easy to use in all kinds of recipes you may use ground beef in but is much healthier. You could also substitute turkey in place of the chicken, or if you have it on hand feel free to use ground beef.
The trick with these stuffed peppers is cooking and mixing all the ingredients together in one pan and boiling the peppers before you stuff and cook them. All the ingredients are fully cooked therefore the peppers should be par boiled at least so they don’t have a totally different consistency than the stuffing. For this recipe I cooked my own black beans and didn’t use canned. These taste much better, have a more desirable consistency than canned and you also don’t have to worry about BPA like you do with canned beans.
Starting off you want to cut the tops off your peppers and pull out and seeds and interior ribs. Dice the tops you took off the same size as the onions and tomatoes. In a big pot saute the onions and peppers in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes or until they are starting to cook down and soften up. I like to add a little of the cumin, cayenne, oregano and salt and pepper at this point so those flavors can work their way into the peppers and onions. Use these sparingly though as you can always add more later. At this point add your diced garlic and saute another few minutes then add in the ground chicken and allow to brown for 5 minutes or so before adding the rest of your ingredients, black beans, quinoa, black olives, diced tomato and 1 cup of the Monterey jack cheese. Stir all the ingredients together on low heat and add more of your spices to taste. I’d say about 1 tablespoon cumin and oregano, 1 teaspoon cayenne and approximately the same amount of salt and pepper. As with all my recipes feel free to adjust amounts to your own taste or add anything you like!
After mixing up all the ingredients together take the pan off the heat and set off to the side to cool a little.
Now boil some lightly salted water and place all your peppers into the water for about 5 minutes. I just used a tongs and pushed on them every couple minutes till they felt pliable but still held their shape.
Now comes the fun part, stuff those babies full of that delicious concoction you made! I like my peppers overstuffed to nearly the point of bursting so feel free to jam it down in there and mound extra on top. Final step is to add the rest of your shredded Monterey jack to the top and place into a baking pan lined with tinfoil for easy cleanup.
I baked mine at 350 for 15-20 minutes, just keep an eye on them and when the cheese is nice and bubbly on top they should be done.
I kept it simple and served them with some plain sour cream on the side. Enjoy!