Stuffed peppers bring back fond memories of my wedding road trip in October. When Will and I stayed with some of my college friends in Columbus, we made stuffed peppers for them. It was fun to take over their kitchen for a night rather than going out to eat. We hadn’t had stuffed peppers again since then until Will made them a couple weeks ago. They were so good! I tweaked the recipe a bit more until I thought it was “blog worthy” as Will likes to say. Lol. These spicy tempeh stuffed peppers are truly vegetarian comfort food at its best!
To keep these low-carb friendly for Will, I used cauliflower instead of rice which also increases the fiber. I also love that these are almost a one pan meal as the filling is all cooked together in a large skillet and then baked off inside the peppers. It makes enough filling to stuff 4-5 peppers (depending on their size) so we always have lots leftover for packing for lunch at work. We had slightly smaller bell peppers, so we were able to eat 2 stuffed halves as a serving.
Since I cook with canned chipotles often, I have found that their spice level tends to vary from can to can. Depending on your spice tolerance, you may want to start with just a tablespoon of chipotle and go up to 1/4 cup per your preference. Instead of spooning the sauce out of the can, I usually just puree the whole can of chipotle peppers and sauce together until smooth and use it in recipes.
Spicy Tempeh Stuffed Peppers
- For the Stuffing:1/2 head cauliflower ~10 oz. of cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 8 oz. package tempeh crumbled
- 1/2 onion chopped (~1/3 cup chopped)
- 8 oz. package button mushrooms chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 cup salsa OR canned chipotle sauce use chipotle if you like spicy
- 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
- Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese divided
- 4 bell peppers
- To serve: chopped fresh cilantro and sour cream
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add the 1/2 head cauliflower to a food processor and pulse until cauliflower resembles rice. (It should make about 2 cups of riced cauliflower.) Set aside.
- Heat up 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the tempeh and stir fry until golden, about 7-9 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- To the same skillet, add the other tablespoon of olive oil and chopped onion. Cook 3-5 minutes or until onion is translucent and beginning to brown. Stir in the chopped mushrooms. Cook until moisture from the mushrooms is cooked off, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook another 1 minute.
- Add the cauliflower, oregano, and cumin. Cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Stir in the browned tempeh, chipotle sauce and tomato sauce. Bring to a gentle simmer and turn off the heat.
- Stir in 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese into the mix in the skillet. Stir until melted and evenly distributed in the filling.
- Cut bell peppers in halves lengthwise (from stem to bottom) and arrange on a baking sheet. Divide filling evenly between the halved peppers. Top with remaining 1/4 cup of shredded cheese.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until cheese is browned and peppers are tender when poked with a fork.