These lentil stuffed peppers with cilantro lime rice are whole food plant-based goodness! The lentils are tossed with black beans and corn in a spicy sauce made with adobo sauce, roasted tomatoes and roasted jalapeños. Then simply bake these in the oven for 30 minutes and serve with a squeeze of lime, romaine and cashew sour cream. Great for meal prep and healthier protein-packed dinners!
When I first went vegan, I really did not like lentils at all! It was a texture thing, something was just not right.
But over the years, I learned how to properly cook and season them and use them to make so many various meat replacements and now I couldn’t imagine not having them in my diet! They’re so versatile and very budget friendly.
Preparing the Lentils
For this recipe I used pre-cooked and cooled lentils and black beans. I almost always have a jar of both in the freezer for easy, quick dinners!
If you’re short on time, you can buy pre-cooked lentils at most grocery stores, but cooking at home is far cheaper and very easy! I love making my lentils in the rice cooker on the sauté function, but you can make them on the stove top, too.
If you’ve never cooked lentils before, it is very similar to the way you would cook rice. Check out this article: How to Cook Lentils. It will teach you how to make lentils on the stove top and provides some good information about lentils in general!
I also ALWAYS make black beans from scratch using this Instant Pot Black Beans recipe! So much cheaper than buying canned!
Just remember to prep and cool the lentils and beans ahead of time because if they are hot, they will turn to mush in your stuffed peppers!
The sauce for the lentils and beans is also very simple!
All you’ll do is roast the tomatoes and jalapeños under the broiler until black and charred for all of that good roasting flavor! Then blend the tomatoes and jalapeños with the rest of the sauce ingredients in a high speed blender like the Vitamix.
Then pour that sauce over the lentils, beans and sautéed red onion in your favorite skillet! Lastly, throw in the corn and cook until warmed through.
You don’t want to over cook this mixture because remember – it is going to cook even more in the oven! And we want our lentils and beans to stay intact.
Copycat Chipotle Rice
If you know me, it’s no secret I love Chipotle. It’s one of the best places to eat out as a vegan and they fill up the burrito bowls so much it usually ends up being two meals for me!
$3.50 for a meal out? I’ll take it!
And although I desperately think Chipotle needs to add my Cashew Sour Cream recipe to their menu, I have absolutely no complaints about the cilantro lime white rice. It is perfection.
So buttery, flavorful and you can really taste the lime!
And the great thing? Making this rice at home is pretty easy! A few key tips to good rice at home:
- Cook the rice with dried bay leaves. The flavor is sort of similar to oregano and thyme and it subtly infusing into the rice while cooking. Delicious.
- Use a big squeeze of lime AND lemon. Yep. Chipotle uses both. It’s key.
- Cook the rice with rice bran oil OR a similar oil (try avocado!) with a high smoke point and subtle taste. I don’t recommend olive oil as it is pretty distinct tasting.
- Salt. Just a little, but it’s needed!
Assembling your peppers
This filling is good for stuffing about 6 large peppers.
Now for this recipe, I used green peppers, but use what ever color you want. Green are the most bitter peppers, so if you’re looking for something a little more sweet – go for orange or red!
Cut the tops off the peppers and scoop out the seeds and ribs.
Then toss the lentil/bean mixture with the rice until fully combined.
Stuff the peppers with the mixture, then, completely optional – sprinkle with vegan cheese.
Then put the peppers in either a 9×13 casserole dish or a large oven safe cocotte with about a cup water to help them steam. I used my 6 qt Staub Cocotte and they fit in perfectly. I prefer the cocotte because I can avoid using tin foil and feel great about limiting my waste!
Once they’re ready, serve immediately with romaine lettuce, lime wedges and cashew sour cream!
Tip: Cashew sour cream is delicious mixed with the chili in adobo sauce. Trust me.
I hope you guys give these a try! I don’t know what it is but eating stuffed peppers is so much more fun than just eating the stuffing with sautéed peppers! It also feels so perfect for Fall and may I suggest, a Halloween party?
If you like this recipe or have any questions, leave me a comment down below. I respond to all comments! You can also pin this recipe for later and can connect with me on Instagram!
Lentil Stuffed Peppers with Cilantro Lime Rice
- 6 bell peppers - use orange or red variety for sweeter, green for more bitter
- vegan cheese shreds - optional
- ½ cilantro lime rice recipe
Lentil Bean Mixture
- 3 cups green lentils - cooked and cooled
- 1 ½ cups black beans - cooked and cooled (about 1 can)
- 1 cup white sweet corn - I use frozen but you can substitute canned or fresh
- ½ red onion - diced
- 1 cup tomatoes - halved and roasted
- 2 jalapeños - halved deseeded and roasted (if you choose to leave the seeds in, it will be much spicier)
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup chipotle peppers in adobo sauce with tomato - *adjust to your spice preference
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ tablespoon white wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 4 cloves garlic
**Make sure to prepare your green lentils and black beans ahead of time so they are cooked and cooled prior to making this recipe!
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, Fahrenheit.
- Cook the white rice with the rice bran oil, salt and dried bay leaves. I always do this in my rice cooker on the white rice setting, but you can also cook on stove top until water is fully absorbed. Once cooked, remove the bay leaves and lightly fluff rice with a fork and set aside.
- While the rice is cooking, roast the tomatoes and jalapeños under the broiler for 5 minutes or until charred and blistered. Watch this carefully so it doesn't char too much and be careful removing from oven!
- Next, add the roasted tomatoes and jalapeños to a high speed blender along with the water, adobo sauce, tomato paste, white wine vinegar, salt, chipotle powder, cumin, oregano and garlic cloves. Blend until smooth and set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the red onion until fragrant and translucent, about 3 minutes. Then add in the cooked and cooled lentils and black beans and the adobo sauce mixture. Mix to fully incorporate the lentils and beans with the sauce.
- Next, mix in frozen corn and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Now, mix the stuffing ingredients together. To a large mixing bowl, add the cooked white rice. Add in a squeeze of half a lime, half a lemon and the chopped cilantro. Mix to incorporate.
- Next, add the lentil/bean mixture in with the rice and mix to incorporate.
- Finally, chop the tops off of your bell peppers and remove the seeds and ribs. Optional: keep and cook the pepper tops as well! They are cute.
- Stuff the peppers with the filling. You should have just enough for 6 large peppers. Optional: top each pepper with vegan cheese.
- Add the stuffed peppers to a large cocotte or a 9x13 casserole dish with 1 cup of water. Cover with tin foil or add the lid to the pot and bake for 30 minutes.
- Finally, serve immediately with shredded romaine, cashew sour cream, and more adobo sauce.
- Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven covered with tin foil.
- This is the chipotle pepper in adobo sauce I used. It is different than the canned version that contains actual peppers. I prefer it because it is far less spicy. If you use the canned version, adjust the amount you use to your spice preference.
- If you have never cooked lentils before, check out this article - How to Cook Lentils.
- A guide for cooking white rice on the stovetop.
- This is how I always cook my black beans - Instant Pot Black Beans
- The 6 qt cocotte I used to bake my peppers. I love it - it is so versatile and great for chili, stews, and soups!
- Prep time does not account for preparing the lentils and beans.
General note about salt
Please pay attention to the type of salt called for in the recipe (if applicable). Not all salts are made equal and cannot be substituted 1 for 1. If you are substituting table salt for kosher salt, you will need to cut the amount called for in the recipe by at least half.
Disclaimer: The Nutritional Information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.