Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers with Cilantro Pesto

This has got to be my favorite stuffed bell pepper recipe! Typically those recipes are bland and dull but this one is so flavorful due to the cilantro pesto.  If you make extra filling, you can just eat it as a warm quinoa vegetable salad the next day.  Definitely try this recipe out, it’s a good one.

stuffed bell peppers Photo by Whole Foods

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers with Cilantro Pesto
Recipe based on Let’s Move’s Kickin, Colorful, Bell Peppers stuffed with Quinoa
Makes 4 servings
Total Time: 45 minutes

For the cilantro pesto:
• 1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1/4 cup pecans (or walnuts, pine nuts)
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
• 1/2 lime, squeezed
• 2 heaping tablespoons grated Parmesan
• 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the filling:
• 1 cup cooked quinoa
• 1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas, drained
• 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
• 1/2 cup diced cooked white onion (I just cooked my onions with the quinoa)
• 1 small zucchini, small dice
• 4 bell peppers, tops cut off and seeds removed

Make the pesto: In a blender or food processor, combine all pesto ingredients and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the pesto is too thick, add a couple more drops of olive oil.

Make the filling: In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, chickpeas, tomatoes, onion, and zucchini. Add the pesto, season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

Make the peppers: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Arrange the peppers in a baking dish, season raw peppers with salt and pepper, and then stuff each one with an equal amount of the quinoa mixture. Pour about 1/4 inch of water into the bottom of the baking dish, cover it with foil, and bake until the peppers are tender, about 35 minutes.

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