Rice and Tempeh Stuffed Peppers
5 from 1 vote

These vegan stuffed peppers are hearty and great for meal prep. They’re stuffed with a nutritious mix of brown rice and tempeh.

A vegan stuffed pepper dish has been plated on a white, rimmed plate. It rests on a white surface.

I made these rice and tempeh stuffed peppers a couple of weeks ago, and I didn’t really intend to post them. The meal was one of those “clear out the fridge” concoctions, an effort to use up rice and the block of tempeh that had been hiding in my freezer for a while, as well as some frozen veggies. It was so good that Steven suggested I post it, and I couldn’t argue. This is a meal that turns simple pantry ingredients and bell peppers into something special, and it’s packed with plant protein, too. If you make the rice ahead of time, then this could certainly qualify as a “hurry up vegan” dish. And if you prepare it while you’re home doing other stuff, as I did, it actually comes together without too much fuss.

An oval-shaped, white baking dish has been filled with vegan stuffed peppers and topped with dairy-free, grated cheese.

One thing I realized while making the dish is that, in spite of the pretty presentation that the peppers create, you don’t actually have to stuff peppers in the first place. The rice here is pretty tasty on its own, so if you’d like to call it a variation on dirty rice with tempeh, go for it. It’s a complete and satisfying meal just as it is.

But if you’d like to dress the simple ingredients up a bit, and transform this from a speedy weeknight supper into something that you could easily serve to neighbors or friends, try the whole stuffed pepper thing. It’s a fun way to serve the rice and pack more fiber and antioxidants into the dish.

As far as added veggies go, peas and corn are my suggestions–both of which could be fresh or frozen. Stirring in chopped broccoli florets, greens, shredded carrot, or chopped tomatoes would also be delicious. The beauty of a rice dish like this is that it’s a chance to use up what you’ve got, so don’t hesitate to modify as desired. If you don’t like tempeh, or you don’t have any, try using tofu instead, or even skillet-roasting some chickpeas in the lime juice and tamari marinade.

An overhead image of stuffed pepper halves, made with rice and tempeh, which are resting on a round, white plate.
A vegan stuffed pepper dish has been plated on a white, rimmed plate. It rests on a white surface.
5 from 1 vote

Rice and Tempeh Stuffed Peppers (gluten free)

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yields: 4 servings


For the tempeh

  • 8 oz tempeh, cubed (225g)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth (240ml)
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil

For the rice mixture

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup bell pepper (any color), stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 cup long grain brown rice, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained (180g; soaking the rice reduces cooking time)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 1/4 cups water (530ml)
  • 4 bell peppers (any color), stemmed, seeded, and cut in half lengthwise
  • 2/3 cup frozen green peas or corn, thawed (85-95g)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice, to taste

For topping


Prepare the tempeh

  • Fill a large pot with a few inches of water and fit it with a steamer basket. Bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat to low. Place the tempeh in your steamer basket, cover the pot, and steam for 15 minutes.
  • Whisk together the broth, tamari or Bragg Liquid Aminos, and lime juice.
  • Place the steamed tempeh in a single layer in glass storage container with an airtight lid. Pour the broth mixture over the steamed tempeh. Cover the container and give it a shake to disperse the marinade. Transfer the tempeh to your fridge. Allow it to marinate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
  • Heat the two teaspoons avocado oil in a large, deep, lidded nonstick skillet over medium heat. Remove the tempeh cubes from their marinade. Add the cubes to the skillet and cook, flipping every couple minutes, or until the tempeh pieces are lightly browned on all sides. Remove the tempeh cubes from the skillet and set them aside.

Prepare the rice mixture

  • In the same skillet that you used to cook the tempeh, heat the tablespoon avocado oil over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onions and pepper. Sauté the vegetables, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are soft and clear.
  • Add the smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and rinsed rice to the skillet. Give everything a stir in order to coat the rice and vegetables evenly with the spices.
  • Add the water to the skillet. Cover the skillet and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the rice, covered, for 30-35 minutes, or until the rice is tender and has absorbed all of the water. Stir the peas or corn and cooked tempeh cubes into the rice. Cover the skillet, and continue to let the mixture cook for 3 more minutes. Uncover the skillet and give everything a stir. Taste the rice and tempeh mixture and add freshly squeezed lime juice, crushed red pepper flakes, and additional salt as desired.

Prepare the stuffed peppers

  • While the rice cooks, preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Oil a 9 by 13-inch/24 by 36cm rectangular baking dish. Lay the pepper halves, cut side down, in the dish. Bake the pepper halves for 15 minutes, or until they're gently browning at the edges yet still firm. Remove the dish from the oven, leaving the oven on.
  • Scoop the rice mixture into the pepper halves. You'll have some rice mixture leftover; reserve this. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the peppers are entirely tender.
  • Remove the dish from the oven and distribute the remaining rice around the peppers, so that it warms as the stuffed halves finish baking. If you'd like to top the peppers with store-bought vegan cheese shreds, you can sprinkle them over the peppers now. Return the dish to the oven. Bake the peppers and rice mixture for 5 more minutes, or until all of the rice that you added is hot and the cheese shreds, if you added any, are melted.
  • If you didn't use store-bought vegan cheese and would like to top the peppers, you can drizzle versatile cashew queso sauce over the peppers or top them with a dollop of 4-ingredient vegan sour cream. Serve the stuffed pepper halves, along with a little extra filling, and enjoy.


Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Two bell peppers are stuffed with a whole grain mixture. They rest on a round, rimmed white ceramic plate.

A final, added bonus of the recipe is that leftovers keep well, and can even be frozen for a couple weeks if you like. To serve the peppers and round out the meal, I recommend a nice, big salad–maybe something with romaine and my smoky avocado and cumin dressing to pick up the Mexican flavors! Enjoy the recipe, everyone.

A little sad news before my sign-off: remember Hamlet, my sponsor pig at Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary? I found out today that he died about six months ago; heart trouble. I feel terribly because I hadn’t visited in so long, but I’m taking comfort in the fact that his last years were spent in a loving, safe, peaceful environment.


Farm sanctuaries do such an incredible service. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me to sponsor Hamlet, or how much I look forward to supporting the care of another animal. If you’re looking to do something meaningful for animals, I really recommend finding a farm sanctuary near you and paying a visit. You never know which cow, pig, turkey, goat, chicken, or goose is going to touch your heart.


Have a great evening, everyone!


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Categories: Recipes, Main Dishes
Method: Oven
Ingredients: Rice, Tempeh
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegan
Recipe Features: Meal Prep

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  1. Hi Gena, made your stuffed peppers last night and after my husband finished dinner he wanted me to leave you a comment and say, “thank you!” He enjoyed them so much and asked me to make them again. Now that’s cool… since he was a meat eater for most all of his life! 🙂

  2. Love the sound of this recipe – especially the addition of tempeh. I’ve made stuffed peppers before, but just with rice and veggies – added protein is a great idea!
    Sorry to hear about Hamlet 🙁 It’s so nice that you helped me have a happy, safe life =)

  3. Just made this tonight. I only had half a pepper since I sautéed a big bunch of kale. It hit the spot and I have left overs for all week. This recipe was very timely as I had just bought tempeh and brown rice. Thanks!
    I might add a bit more paprika next time. Each to their own taste, right!


  4. So, so sorry to hear about Hamlet.

    I love this post. Thank you for all you do for your CR readers! Seriously!

  5. I’m so sorry to hear about Hamlet, Gena! He looks like he was such a sweetheart and I’m glad that he passed in a peaceful and loving environment. <3

    These peppers look lovely! I usually don't each too much tempeh but it's not because I don't enjoy it, it's just that I haven't found too many recipes that tickle my fancy but this one certainly does! I like that most of it can be prepped ahead too, since I often make rice the night before I actually eat it (out of convenience!)

  6. Aw, RIP Hamlet. So glad he got to live with loving, devoted caretakers. And I can’t wait to (e-)meet the next guy or gal you sponsor.

    On a lighter note, the bf loves stuffed peppers, and I never make them. I really should. And I think I’ll double the recipe and freeze half, because a thousand times yes. Thanks, Gena. You had me at “paprika.” (Don’t be mad if I add turmeric–it’s a deep itch that I sometimes can’t help but scratch.)

  7. This recipe looks amazing, Gena! I’ve been craving tempeh big time and I think this dish is certainly going to make its way into my rotation of giant summer salads! One question: you list “1 cup rice, frozen and defrosted or fresh and blanched”–did you mean corn? I’m just guessing that from the pictures…

    Seriously, though. Nom 🙂