Easy Vegan Stuffed Peppers

  • Author: Jess Larson | Plays Well With Butter
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 generously 1x
  • Category: everyday dinner recipes
  • Method: stovetop, baked
  • Cuisine: American, Tex-Mex & Mexican


Classic stuffed peppers get a delicious plant-based makeover in this seriously Easy Vegan Stuffed Peppers recipe! Roasted bell peppers are stuffed with a veggie-forward rice filling made of peppers, onions, cauliflower rice, & walnuts, & finished with a drizzle of creamy cilantro lime cashew crema, keeping them totally vegan & dairy-free.



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (orange or red are my favorite)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 heaping cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 2 cups riced cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup dry basmati or jasmine rice
  • 2 1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
  • 1 14-ounce can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 4 large bell peppers, halved lengthwise & deseeded (orange or red are my favorite)
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season

for the cilantro lime cashew crema:

  • 1 cup raw cashews (see Recipe Notes, below)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • optional: 1 small jalapeno, deseeded (as desired) & roughly chopped 
  • 1 large, juicy lime, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 3/4 cup water
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil for easy clean up and set aside. 
  2. Cook the veggies: Add the olive oil to a large skillet (with lid) over medium heat. Once hot, add in the onion & diced bell pepper. Season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4-5 minutes.
  3. Toast the aromatics: Add the garlic, spices (chili powder, ground cumin, paprika) & tomato paste to the skillet. Stir to combine, toasting the spices for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. 
  4. Assemble the vegan stuffed peppers filling: Add the walnuts, riced cauliflower, & rice to the skillet, stirring to combine with the onion mixture. Let toast for about 1 minute before adding in the vegetable broth. Increase heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, add in the black beans. Cover the skillet and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat & let stand, covered, for 5 additional minutes before fluffing the mixture with a fork. 
  5. Meanwhile, as the filling simmers…
    1. Roast the peppers: Arrange the halved peppers on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly mist with nonstick cooking spray, then season with a sprinkling of kosher salt & ground black pepper. Roast for 10-15 minutes (see Recipe Notes, below).
    2. Prep the cilantro lime cashew crema: Add all listed ingredients to a high-speed blender, seasoning with 1 teaspoon each kosher salt & ground black pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed. Set aside, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  6. Serve: Carefully & generously spoon the stuffed peppers filling into the roasted peppers. Drizzle the cilantro lime cashew crema over top, & finish with any other toppings as desired (diced avocado or guacamole, thinly sliced jalapeno, cherry tomatoes, etc.). Enjoy!


  • Roasting peppers: How long you roast your peppers will depend on how firm or soft you prefer stuffed peppers. We love our stuffed peppers to have a little bit of a bite – 10 minutes is perfect for us. If you prefer a little bit softer, roast for closer to 15 minutes.
  • A note on blending cashews: If you have a high-speed blender (Nutribullet, Vitamix, etc.), you shouldn’t run into any achieving a smooth & creamy sauce following the directions above. If you are concerned about the cashews breaking down in your blender, you can soak them overnight at room temperature OR soak them in hot water for 10-15 minutes as you work through Steps 1-4 of Recipe Directions. Drain the cashews, then proceed as described. Do NOT prep the cashew crema in a food processor – the blades won’t break the cashews down into the smooth, creamy consistency we’re after here.
  • Meal prep: The majority of the prep time involved in this recipe is chopping veggies. Chop all the veggies in advance to get a head start, storing in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. At dinnertime all you have to do is get cooking – so easy!:
    • Halve 4 large bell peppers lengthwise & deseed
    • Dice 1 yellow onion
    • Dice 1 bell pepper
    • Finely chop 1 heaping cup walnuts
    • optional: roughly chop 1 small jalapeno (deseed as desired)

Keywords: vegan stuffed peppers, vegan recipe, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, healthy, weeknight recipe, Meatless Monday