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Easy Unstuffed Peppers are made with a mix of beef, pork, bell peppers and quinoa. This easy dish is healthy, quick, gluten free and tastes great too!


You’ve probably had stuffed peppers before — right? I grew up having them, but honestly, I wasn’t a fan because the peppers were stewed in tomato sauce and always seemed to be mushy and slightly bitter. I’ve tried making my own baked stuffed peppers before, which weren’t mushy at all, but the kids just scooped out the stuffing and left the empty pepper shells behind. Sigh.

So this time around, I gave up on stuffing the peppers. Instead, I chopped them up and cooked them along with the stuffing mixture in a large skillet. Not only did it save a step, but the family absolutely loved it. Score one more win for Mom!

A lot of stuffed pepper recipes call for rice, but I’ve been seeing so many tasty looking recipes with quinoa lately, and since the Hubs and the my little guy hate rice, I added quinoa to the meat mixture, instead. And honestly, we all thought it was much better this way and a lot less filling.


How to make Easy Unstuffed Peppers

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Easy Unstuffed Peppers

By: Dee
A mix of pork, beef quinoa and bell peppers made in one pan for easy clean-up
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 7


  • 4 bell peppers seeded and chopped ( I used red, orange and yellow for extra color)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 large yellow onion peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 24- oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon dried cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
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  • In large skillet, saute the onions, peppers and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until slightly soft.
  • Add the meat and cook until brown.
  • Add the tomato sauce and water, and bring to a boil.
  • Stir in the quinoa, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
  • Reduce heat, cover and let simmer until quinoa is soft and much of the liquid has been absorbed. You can always add more water if it seems too thick.


Calories: 518kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 92mg, Sodium: 551mg, Potassium: 955mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 2370IU, Vitamin C: 96.9mg, Calcium: 96mg, Iron: 5.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main
Cuisine: American
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Quinoa is packed with protein, so you could easily use less meat if you want, and you could use either all beef or all pork. The first time I made this dish, I was trying to use up a little bit of leftover meat from stuffed shells. I mixed that with the quinoa, and it was enough for the seven of us. 
So when I made the unstuffed peppers this time, not only did we have plenty of food for dinner, but we also had enough for leftovers, which is exactly what I need right now. It’s like fast food, but much, much healthier!


Have you ever used quinoa? Do you like it? I’d love to know.

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  1. Dee M says:

    Thanks, Steph! I tried making it plain before, but we liked it this way much better.

  2. Steph @ Three Loud Kids! says:

    Im not a huge fan of quinoa in general but this is the first time the I have ever looks so good!! I have to make some of this asap!