Quinoa Stuffed Chiles

Quinoa Stuffed Chiles

We have recently returned from a prolonged vacation in Hawaii and have been trying to get back to “normal” life, including normal eating habits. After a steady diet of malasadas (a Portuguese fried donut), plate lunches and chocolate haupia pie, we have been trying to transition back to healthier eating habits. One of my new healthy eating goals is to try and find new ways to include whole grains in our meals. I too often fall back on plain brown rice or an uninteresting pilaf and I want to branch out and use grains that I haven’t in the past. My first whole-grain experiment was a recipe for peppers stuffed with a mixture of quinoa and vegetables. I have eaten quinoa many times but have never made it myself and I didn’t want to just do my usual pilaf with diced vegetables. This recipe really appealed to me as something interesting and different.  I found the original recipe at cookinglight.com but I changed it a bit to be less spicy and fit the ingredients I keep on hand. I served these stuffed peppers with grilled steak but I think they would also make a great vegetarian main dish, with the quinoa mixture stuffed into a couple of halved bell peppers, instead of the smaller poblano chiles. Not only was this dish healthy and interesting, it was also very colorful, making it a perfect summer side dish!

Please share any of your favorite whole-grain recipes in the comments or by emailing me at katie@cookitfresh.com.  I’m always looking for new ideas!

Ingredients for quinoa stuffed chiles: bell peppers, green onions, garlic, cheese, halved poblano chiles, quinoa

quinoa mixture to be stuffed into chiles


Quinoa Stuffed Chiles

Adapted from cookinglight.com


1 1/2 cups chicken broth

3/4 cup uncooked quinoa

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup minced green onions

1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 Tablespoon lime juice

1 8 ounce can tomato sauce

1 cup water

4 Poblano chiles, halved lengthwise with seeds and stems removed

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the broth and quinoa into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic to the heated pan and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened but not brown, about 4 minutes.

3. Remove the vegetables from the heat and add the quinoa, green onions, cilantro, soy sauce and lime juice to the pan. Stir until well combined.

4. Pour the tomato sauce and water into the bottom of a 9 X 13 inch baking dish, whisking lightly to combine. Stuff the quinoa mixture into the prepared chiles and place each stuffed chile into the baking dish. If there is extra quinoa mixture (which there should be) you can place this in the pan with the chiles, or bake it in a separate dish. Top the chiles and extra quinoa with the cheddar cheese and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until chiles are softened and cheese is melted.