Taco Stuffed Peppers

Enjoy this spicy and healthy alternative to a traditional dish.

In Russia, stuffed peppers are (or at least used to be) a big deal. The most common stuffing was meat and rice, but what everyone differed on was the sauce they were cooked in and the method of cooking–some boiled them in meat broth or water, others baked them in the oven, and no one would share their sauce and method. They were carefully guarded family secrets. I’ve tried several different methods over the years without being satisfied with any of them (there are few things worse than a stuffed pepper where the pepper is still crunchy, but overly mushy peppers aren’t really appetizing either). Then I saw a crock pot stuffed pepper recipe in an old cook book, and I was intrigued. Since the peppers are heated from all sides but not submerged in liquid, they soften without becoming the consistency of baby food. I also completely changed the filling, exchanging the meat for beans and the rice for brown rice, and spicing it up with taco flavoring. The result is not only delicious, but healthy too. It’s also vegetarian, and can easily be made dairy-free and vegan by using appropriate alternatives to the cheese and sour cream.


  • 6 large or 8 medium-sized green bell peppers
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup brown rice (uncooked)
  • 1 cup salsa + extra for serving
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar or Monterey Jack with jalapeños, grated
  • Sour cream for serving
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Cooking spray for crock pot


  1. Add olive oil to a skillet and cook the onion for 5-7 minutes, until soft. Remove from heat.
  2. Add oregano, cumin, chili powder, and kidney beans, mix, and cook for about 1 minute.
  3. Dump mixture into a large bowl and mash with a potato masher until most of the kidney beans are broken up.
  4. Add black beans, rice, and 1 cup salsa. Mix well.
  5. Grease crock pot with non-stick cooking spray.
  6. Prepare peppers by cutting around the top and taking the insides out.
  7. Place peppers in the crock pot and spoon filling into them.
  8. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
  9. Once peppers are done cooking, top with grated cheese and cover again for 2-3 minutes, until cheese melts.

Serve with salsa and sour cream.

See how this recipe is made by watching the video below:

Приятного аппетита! (Priyatnova appetita! Russian for ‘Bon Appetit!’)

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