Vegetarian Instant Pot stuffed peppers are a delicious and easy vegetarian dinner. Slow cooker and oven directions included!
As I mentioned in Friday’s post, my Instant Pot is one of my favorite ways to avoid heating up my kitchen in the summer. I don’t have to turn on the oven, I don’t have to turn on the stovetop, I can keep my ceiling fan running. Win – win – win.
I am not going to lie. I am the kind of person who could basically swim in Alfredo sauce 365 days a year. I am not the “it’s summer I only want salads now” type. I’m just not. I’ll admit, though, that there is a certain appeal to less heavy meals when it’s 80+ degrees outside. I mean, I still want to put cheese on everything. Just maybe a little less meat?
Vegetarian Instant Pot stuffed peppers are the perfect solution to that. To be honest, I have never been a stuffed pepper lover. I mean, if someone serves them to me, I will eat them. Something about the typical rice/ground beef/tomatoes combo in your everyday stuffed peppers just doesn’t really get me too excited.
These, though…these are not those stuffed peppers. Instead of rice, we’ve got couscous. Instead of ground beef, we’ve got chickpeas. Instead of tomatoes, we have zucchini and corn. Instead of green bell peppers, we’ve got red, yellow, and orange bell peppers (I honestly cannot remember the last time I bought a green pepper – I think that their flavor is just a little stronger and obviously they aren’t as pretty). And for the cheese, we’ve got smoked Gouda. And if smoked Gouda is involved…it’s a winner. Just trust me on this.
Instant Pot stuffed peppers are easy as pie. Or easy as stuffed peppers, because let’s level here: stuffed peppers are pretty darn easy. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, feel free to bake these in the oven instead, or put them in your slow cooker. I put mine in a baking dish to top them with cheese and run them under the broiler to get ’em good and brown, but you could just sprinkle the cheese on top in the Instant Pot and put the lid back on to melt the cheese if you don’t care about the browning.
Either way, vegetarian Instant Pot stuffed peppers are fresh, light, and delicious. You won’t regret making them.
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Shared on The Weekend Potluck on Served Up With Love!
Yield: 6 bell pepper halves
20 minPrep Time:
25 minCook Time:
45 minTotal Time:
- 1/2 cup couscous
- 1 cup water (divided)
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 1/2 cup frozen or fresh corn
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
- 4 ounces smoked Gouda, grated (about 1 cup grated)
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 3 large bell peppers (red, yellow, and/or orange)
- Place the couscous in a small bowl with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil (I just heated it in the microwave for two minutes) then pour it over the couscous. Give it a stir then place a plate over the bowl and let stand for 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the prepared couscous, the chickpeas, the zucchini, the corn, the smoked paprika (if using) and 3/4 cup of the cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise. Remove the stem and the seeds. Fill each bell pepper half with the couscous filling and set on a plate, cutting board, or baking sheet while you prepare the Instant Pot.
- Place the steamer rack in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Pour the remaining half cup of water into the bottom of the Instant Pot. Place the stuffed pepper halves into the Instant Pot. You will have to stack them slightly - I did four on bottom and two on top.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure that the vent is set to closed. Select "manual" and make sure that pressure is set to high. Adjust the time to 6 minutes. When the time is up, quick release the pressure.
- Remove the peppers from the Instant Pot and place them in an 8-inch square baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and broil until the cheese has browned, 2-5 minutes. Alternately, if you do not care if the cheese browns, you can sprinkle the cheese on peppers in the Instant Pot and replace the lid until the residual heat melts the cheese. Serve immediately.
Cook time includes the time it takes for the Instant Pot to reach pressure. To make the stuffed peppers in the slow cooker, follow the directions to prepare the peppers then place them in a slow cooker on low heat for 4 hours or high heat for 2 hours. To make the stuffed peppers in the oven, prepare the peppers then place them in an 8-inch baking dish and bake, covered with foil, at 400° for 40-45 minutes. Follow directions in recipe to add remaining cheese.
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