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Close up top view of four stuffed southwest style bell peppers in crock-pot. Two are dairy-free and two have cheese.

Vegetarian Slow Cooker Southwestern Stuffed Peppers (Plus Vegan Option)

  • Author: Raquel Smith
  • Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x


A delicious slow-cooked stuffed bell pepper recipe. Mexican flavors with rice, pinto beans, and enchilada sauce make these a wonderful weekend meal! Skip the cheese for a vegan, lactose-free version.


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cups cooked and cooled white rice
  • 1 15-oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 medium or large ripe tomato, diced (about 1/2 lb)
  • 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo, minced
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 5 large bell peppers (make sure they stand up on end!)
  • 1/2 cup enchilada sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring often, until they start to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or so, then remove from the heat. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, and oregano.
  2. Place the rice, beans, corn, tomato, chipotle pepper, and cooked onion mixture in a large bowl and stir together. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Cut the tops off the bell peppers and remove the seeds and pith. Spoon the rice mixture into each of the peppers, packing lightly. If you want to add cheese, fill a pepper halfway, add some shredded cheese, then fill to the top. Do not add cheese on top yet.
  4. Place the bell peppers in a slow cooker. Fill the area around the peppers with about 1/2 inch of water (I used 2 cups; be careful not to get any water inside the peppers) and cook on low for 3.5-4 hours, until they are easily pierced with a fork but still hold their shape. If you prefer your peppers with a bit of crunch, go for the shorter time. In the last 15 minutes of cooking, add cheese on top if you like and cook until melted.
  5. Remove the peppers from the cooker with tongs. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons enchilada sauce onto the top of each pepper and serve immediately, with more enchilada sauce on the side.
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Category: Vegetarian
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Southwest

Keywords: Stuffed Bell Peppers, Vegetarian, Vegan, Tex-Mex, Meatless, Dairy-Free