Vegetarian Stuffed Capsicums – Kayla Itsines

Vegetarian Stuffed Capsicums

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Vegetarian Stuffed Capsicums
Vegetarian Stuffed Capsicums

I love making stuffed capsicums! It's such a bright and tasty way to serve one of my favourite vegetables and the recipe is really easy to adjust to suit your personal preferences.

I’m always on the hunt for dishes that use staple ingredients and this one uses quinoa which is one of my pantry essentials.  These vegetarian stuffed capsicums (also known as bell peppers) are my version of a traditional Greek dish called yemista that I eat regularly.

Stocking up on foods like whole grains or tinned beans can make it that much easier to put together a delicious dinner in no time. You might already know that I eat a Mediterranean-style diet, so tinned tomatoes are also a MUST for me as they work in so many dishes.

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This vegetarian stuffed capsicums recipe makes a great side or starter for four people — next time you're making dinner for the family, give this a go!

To make it even easier, try one of my favourite meal prep hacks: prepare the grains and vegetables in advance so all you need to do is fill the capsicums and bake!

Stuffed Capsicums Recipe

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 50 mins
Total time: 60 mins
Serves: 4 as a side, or 2 for a main course
Dietary Preferences: Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Dairy-free option, Vegan option

Stuffed Capsicum Recipe


  • 60g (⅓ cup) quinoa, uncooked
  • 180ml salt-reduced vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 300g tinned black beans, drained and rinsed 
  • 150g tinned corn kernels
  • 250g tinned crushed tomatoes
  • lime juice, to taste
  • 75g low-fat cheddar cheese, grated (optional)
  • 2 large capsicums (bell peppers), halved lengthways, seeds and membrane removed
  • Fresh coriander (cilantro), to garnish


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (340°F) and line a large baking dish with baking paper.

2. Bring the quinoa and vegetable stock to the boil in a small saucepan over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 10–12 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. To save time, the quinoa can be cooked the night before and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, cumin, paprika and chilli powder and cook for 1 minute until fragrant, stirring frequently.

Cook the fillings for your stuffed capsicums

4. Add the black beans, corn and crushed tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

5. Place the black bean mixture, quinoa, lime juice and cheese (if using) in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and mix until well combined.

Bake the vegetarian stuffed capsicums in the oven

6. Spoon the black bean and quinoa mixture into each of the capsicums. Place them in the lined baking dish, cover with aluminium foil and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 15-20 minutes or until the capsicums are tender and the filling is hot. 

7. To serve, garnish the stuffed capsicums with coriander (cilantro) or your favourite fresh herbs. Enjoy!

My stuffed capsicums are perfect for a quick high-protein meal!

This recipe is not just delicious, it’s a perfect high protein option for those of you in the #SweatwithKayla Community (formerly the BBG Community) following a plant-based diet. The capsicum filling contains quinoa AND black beans which are muscle-building foods that also help you stay fuller for longer. Even if you follow a standard diet, this recipe provides all of the same benefits!

Don’t have quinoa or black beans? Try brown rice and canned brown lentils instead. This dish can be customised with whatever ingredients you like! I know it’s so much easier to stick to a healthy meal plan when you can include the foods YOU love to eat. 

For other quick and easy lunch or dinner options, try my Healthy Mac and Cheese or this Soba Noodle Salad recipe. 

* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.

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