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Vegan Stuffed Peppers

Italian Vegan Stuffed Peppers features a colorful mix of veggies, flavorful herbs, and protein-rich tempeh for a hearty and delicious lunch, dinner, or meal prep idea!

top down view of vegan stuffed bell peppers freshly baked in a baking dish.

Meet my new favorite stuffed peppers recipe – not that these Tex-Mex Quinoa Stuffed Peppers aren’t great too. We just needed another variation!

Colorful and nutritious, Italian stuffed peppers are loaded with colorful veggies, chunky tempeh, hearty rice, and tossed with tomato sauce for an easy meal that’s 100% delicious!

Why We Love This Recipe!

  • Nothing fancy or complicated, just pantry staples and easily accessible veggies.
  • Great vegan comfort food that’s healthy, flavorful, and gluten-free.
  • It can be made ahead and perfect for weekly meal prep.
  • It’s perfect for everyday dining and can also be served on special occasions!

I sure hope this inspires you to gather your ingredients and get these stuffed peppers on your plate. I know you’re going to love them as much as we do!

top down view of ingredients needed to make the best vegan stuffed peppers.

Ingredient Notes

This Italian inspired stuffed peppers recipe uses a few easily accessible vegetables and pantry staples including:

  • Bell Peppers: The best and easiest peppers for stuffing are large and round with a stable bottom so the peppers can stand on their own. My favorites are red peppers with their sweet flavor, but zesty green peppers are great too. Use your favorite!
  • Tempeh: This lean soy protein has a mild nutty flavor and takes on the sauce and herb flavors perfectly. I love to crumble tempeh into large chunky pieces, making it super ‘meaty’ and hearty! You can find tempeh by the tofu in your local grocery store. If you don’t want to use 2 packages, sub one of them with a can of white beans instead.
  • Vegetables: Zucchini, squash, and mushrooms are a perfect mix of veggies. Feel free to add a handful of baby spinach to the mix.
  • Rice: I just happen to have tons of regular rice on hand, so that’s what I used. Feel free to use brown rice, quinoa, or even farro. For a low-carb option, make these Italian vegan stuffed peppers without rice using cauliflower rice instead.
  • Canned Tomato Sauce: This pantry staple makes the inside of your peppers tender, adding just enough moisture for a little juiciness.
  • Herbs: I’ve used dried basil and oregano in this recipe. Feel free to use an Italian seasoning blend if you have it on hand.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: Red pepper flakes add just a touch of spicy heat. Feel free to add more!
  • Fresh Herbs: Fresh parsley adds a nice herbaceousness and brightness to the stuffed pepper mix and when serving. Fresh basil and/or oregano would be great too!
  • Vegan Cheese: My favorite is Miyoko’s Mozzarella. It’s pretty soft and not the easiest cheese to grate finely, but it’s delicious nonetheless. I find the more, the better. :) Use your favorite vegan cheese. Even a sprinkle of homemade Almond Parmesan before serving is a great way to add an unprocessed cheesy flavor!
side by side photos showing the process of browning tempeh for vegan stuffed bell peppers.

How To Make Vegan Stuffed Peppers

You’re going to love how easy it is to make this casual and flavorful dish!

  • Start by slicing the very tops of each pepper off, and arrange them cut-side up in a baking dish that’s been lightly coated with oil. This recipe yields 6 whole peppers. Depending on the size of your peppers, you can use a square or rectangular baking dish.
  • Next, cook your onion, garlic, and tempeh together in a skillet over medium heat until tempeh is lightly browned and onions soft and tender (shown above). Add the zucchini, squash, mushrooms, herbs, and tomato sauce and cook for 2 minutes or so (all those delicious flavors will start blending).
side by side photos showing the process of making the stuffing for vegan stuffed bell peppers.
  • Stir in the rice and remove from heat.
top down view of vegan stuffed peppers in a rectangular baking dish just before going into the oven to bake.
  • Fill each pepper with the delicious mixture, making sure to pack each pepper well for the ultimate hefty and hearty stuffed peppers!
  • Add a sprinkle of cheese on each pepper (optional), cover, and bake the peppers for 35 – 40 minutes at 350 – 375 degrees F. Remove the cover and continue cooking for 5 – 10 minutes (this helps the vegan cheese melt a little more).

And now you’re ready to eat – sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and red pepper flakes and enjoy to the fullest!

side angle view of vegan stuffed bell peppers freshly baked in a baking dish.

How To Store Stuffed Peppers

  • Refrigerator: Store leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator for 4 – 5 days.
  • Freezer: To keep longer, store stuffed peppers in the freezer for up to 2 – 3 months. To freeze, simply let peppers cool completely and store them in freezer-safe containers. Let thaw before reheating.
  • Reheat: To reheat you can use the oven or microwave. For the oven, place the peppers in a baking dish and warm at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes. To warm in the microwave, first slice the peppers into quarters lengthwise to ensure that they warm evenly, and cook for 1 – 2 minutes, checking after every 30 seconds until warmed through.

More Easy Vegan Dinner Ideas!

top down view of healthy vegan stuffed bell peppers freshly baked in a baking dish.

If you try this healthy stuffed pepper recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

Print

Italian Vegan Stuffed Peppers

Vegan Stuffed Peppers features a flavorful mix of veggies, herbs, and protein-rich tempeh for a hearty and delicious lunch, dinner, or meal prep idea!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Oven, Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Italian

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 6 large bell peppers (any color), top cut off and seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or 1/4 cup water
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 34 cloves garlic, mined
  • 2 (8oz) packages tempeh, crumbled
  • 1 cup zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup yellow squash, diced
  • 8 oz. package mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • generous pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 can (14oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • mineral salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Saute: In a large skillet, heat oil/water over medium heat, add onion, garlic and crumbled tempeh, saute for 5 minutes. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, parsley, salt and pepper, and tomato sauce, cook for 2 minutes or so. Add rice and mix to combine. Remove from heat.

Stuff bell peppers: Fill each bell pepper with vegetable mixture, making sure to pack it well. These are hefty stuffed bell peppers. Sprinkle with optional vegan shredded cheese. Cover with lid or tin foil.

Bake: Place dish on the center rake and bake for 35 – 40 minutes. Remove cover and bake for another 5 – 10 more minutes. Cooking times vary, adjust to suit your needs.

Once done, let cool a few minutes and serve with a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley.

Serves 6, 1 bell pepper per person.

Store: Store leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator for 4 – 5 days. To keep longer store vegan stuffed peppers in the freezer for up to 2 – 3 months. To freeze, simply let peppers cool completely and store them in freezer-safe containers. Let thaw before reheating.

Notes

Add in a handful of fresh baby spinach with the vegetables for variation.

Use your grain of choice. For gluten free, stick with rice or quinoa. For low-carb option, use cauliflower rice.

If you don’t care to use 2 packages of tempeh, add in 1 can of white beans (drained and rinsed) with the vegetables.

To Reheat: Reheat in the oven or microwave. For the oven, place the peppers in a baking dish and warm at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes. To warm in microwave, first slice the peppers into quarters lengthwise to ensure that they warm evenly, and cook for 1 – 2 minutes, checking after every 30 seconds until warmed through.

Keywords: vegan stuffed peppers, stuffed peppers recipe, Italian stuffed peppers

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32 Comments

  1. These turned out great. Simple to make but with a lot of flavor. I love the tempeh– it gives a lot more character (taste and texture) than the usual quinoa in vegan stuffed pepper recipes.

    This makes a whole lot of filling, so I baked four for the week and froze a few stuffed but unbaked, then froze the rest of the filling.

    I liked the doneness of the peppers at the time called for in the recipe. My husband wanted them a little more done, so I’ll probably give them 5 more minutes next time.

    I tried the oven reheat method– took the peppers from the fridge and put them in a not-cold dish– and reheated them for 22 minutes at 350.They were barely lukewarm inside– I had to microwave them.

    1. In the text above the recipe you say to bake at 375 but the recipe says 350

      In the text above the recipe you say to add cheese (optional) bake and then bake.for.5 more mins after uncovering but the recipe says add cheese, cover, bake, add more cheese for 5-10 mins

      Not sure if to follow the text or the recipe

      1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

        Thanks for pointing that out, Matthew! Not sure how I missed all that, but I’ve updated both to be the same, so there should not be any more confusion. Thanks again, and if you have only other questions, just ask! :)

  2. This was my first time using tempeh! I love stuffed peppers and was really happy with this vegan version! Very flavorful! I used an Italian seasoning mix because I was out of plain dried oregano! I topped it with some vegan Parm!

  3. Amazing recipe! I’ll definitely make it again

  4. I tried this recipe but didn’t have rice so used quinoa and added a little bit more as only had one package of Tempeh. Really enjoyed this vegan version. I like my peppers a little more done so next time will steam them for a minute or two before filling and baking. Taste is spot on good.

  5. Fantastic recipe, we loved them so much, I skipped the tempeh, kale, zucchini and squash, rice, and in place subbed carrot, celery, and quinoa
    I also precooked my peppers for 20 minutes before stuffing, turned out fantastic and will definately make these again and again.
    Thank you for such a great recipe!

  6. Your recipe calls for 2 packages of tempeh. I want to substitute that with the white beans, but I don’t use canned beans. I use dry beans in the bag. How many cups of white beans should I use? Also, how long should I soak the beans for?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Cook the beans first, then use about 2 1/2 to 3 cups of the cooked beans in place of the tempeh. Add the beans with the zucchini during the saute step. Enjoy!

  7. I made this exactly as written (except I chopped the squash and mushrooms smaller so that kids would like it better) and I put them on the grill instead of in the oven. They were perfect! This recipe is a keeper!

  8. That was so good and satisfying. I used tofu instead of tempeh! 5 star recipe :)

  9. I made this last night but without mushrooms and tempeh. I added lentils instead. It was absolutely amazing!!! This will definitely be one of my go to recipes!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      I love your use of lentils here, sounds absolutely perfect! Thanks so much for sharing!

  10. Hi. I plan to make your recipe this week. I don’t have any summer squash. Can I sub Broccoli or any other veg? Thanks.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, small broccoli or cauliflower florets will do great, diced carrots too! Enjoy the peppers, and do let us know how they turned out for you as it’s super helpful for others!

      1. They were delicious. By the time I got to making them I had time to buy zucchini. Thanks for a keeper.

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