Instant Pot Burrito Bowl Stuffed Peppers

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All the things you love about burritos and burrito bowls, conveniently stuffed into a healthy bell pepper!
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 35 minutes
5 from 12 votes

If you were a vegetarian in the ‘90s, one of the few options you’d find at a standard American restaurant was stuffed peppers. Unseasoned peppers stuffed with white rice and a bit of cheese, these were halfhearted attempts to produce edible fare beyond a garden salad, but they were always presented with great fanfare, as if the chef had taken special care in whipping up something exotic.

Luckily, vegetarian and vegan cuisine have come a long way since then, and stuffed peppers feel like a nostalgic throwback amidst all the variety today.

Which is why we’re making Burrito Bowl Stuffed Peppers! All the things you love about burritos and burrito bowls, conveniently stuffed into a healthy bell pepper!

Instant Pot Burrito Bowl Stuffed Peppers on baking tray.

And in case you’re wondering why you should make stuffed peppers in your Instant Pot instead of in your oven, let me tell you!

For one, you don’t have to turn on your oven, which is a wonderful relief in the summer. Two, traditional recipes in the oven usually take upwards of an hour. Many recipes call for parboiling the peppers before stuffing and baking them to ensure that the peppers cook through. Plus, you have to pre-cook the filling. All these steps make for a not-so-quick dinner.

In contrast, these Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers come together in a short period of time and require very little prep work. If you already have cooked grains on hand, the only things you need to do are: slice off the pepper tops, and mix together your cooked burrito bowl ingredients. Finally, Instant Pot stuffed peppers turn out juicy and tender every time.

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Tips for making this recipe

When buying bell peppers, look for large peppers with wide tops, as the surface area will give you more stuffing room. A 6-quart Instant Pot will comfortably fit 4 large peppers or 5 small-to-medium ones. Depending on their size, you might have a little extra stuffing, but you can always repurpose that for another meal or stuff it into a tortilla for an actual burrito.

If you already have Sofritas or Mexican Black Beans on your menu for the week, use those as the filling instead of the filling below for a delicious twist.

Instant Pot Burrito Bowl Stuffed Peppers

5 from 12 votes
All the things you love about burritos and burrito bowls, conveniently stuffed into a healthy bell pepper!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Mexican-inspired
Diet Vegan
Serving size: 4


Stuffed Peppers Ingredients

  • 4 medium to large bell peppers (red, orange, or yellow)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice (can substitute another cooked grain of choice)
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn
  • 1 (15- ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: ground chili powder, onion powder, cumin, and paprika
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar (or organic cane sugar)
  • 1/2 cup salsa of choice, plus more for serving
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Vegan Mexican Cheese Sauce (recipe below, or store-bought shredded vegan cheese)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Chopped cilantro for serving

Vegan Mexican Cheese Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 cup (~120g) raw cashews, soaked in water overnight (or soaked in boiling water for 1 hour; soak overnight if you don’t have a high-powered blender)
  • 1/2 cup (~112g) vegan unsweetened plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons water or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup (~120g) salsa of choice, (I used this one)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast


Stuffed Peppers Directions

  • In a bowl, mix together the cooked brown rice, garlic, black beans, corn, spices, nutritional yeast, agave, salsa, salt and pepper. Taste the mixture and adjust seasonings accordingly.
  • Cut off the top parts of each bell pepper and remove the membranes and seeds. Fill each pepper with the rice filling, but do not overstuff.
  • Pour 1/2 cup of water in the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Place the stuffed peppers on top of a steamer rack and place inside the inner pot.
  • Secure the lid and select the Pressure Cook or Manual setting at high pressure and reduce the cook time to 5 or 6 minutes (use 5 minutes for medium peppers, 6 minutes for larger peppers).
  • Once the timer is done, perform a quick pressure release by switching the Pressure Release knob from Sealing to Venting.
  • Open the lid and spoon some of the Vegan Cheese Sauce or shredded vegan cheese on top of each stuffed pepper. Close the lid for 2 minutes to heat up the cheese. Or, transfer the cheese-topped peppers to an ovenproof dish and place under your oven’s broiler for a few minutes until the cheese has melted.
  • Sprinkle on some lime juice and chopped cilantro. Serve with salsa of choice.

Vegan Mexican Cheese Sauce Directions

  • Drain the soaked cashews and pat dry. Add the cashews, along with the remaining cheese sauce ingredients, to a high-powered blender (or food processor). Blend until thick, creamy, and smooth. The sauce should be quite thick and creamy. Taste for seasonings.

Calories: 336kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 960mg | Potassium: 988mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 4028IU | Vitamin C: 160mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 4mg


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5 from 12 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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23 comments on Instant Pot Burrito Bowl Stuffed Peppers

  1. Jess

    5 stars
    This was so good! Even my 7 year old who absolutely hates bell peppers ate this all up and begged for more. :-) My two year old also loved it. Huge win when the kids love it! The only change we made was skipping the cheese sauce due to allergies and added guacamole to eat with instead. Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Jess, Thank you for your thoughtful review! We’re so happy to hear that the whole family enjoyed the stuffed peppers.

  2. Nancy

    5 stars
    I stumbled upon this recipe when looking for something delicious and filling to make when my vegan niece visited us for a couple of weeks. Everyone in our family loved this recipe (even those who declare they need meat at every meal), and I appreciated how clear the instructions are. I signed up for your email to get more yummy vegan recipes to make for our family to try. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Nancy, thank you so much for your kind review! We’re happy the whole family was able to enjoy the stuffed peppers, and we look forward to you trying even more RPL recipes :)

  3. Lou

    5 stars
    This was absolutely amazing. Thank you Nisha for everything you are doing to advance the deliciousness of vegan food. You have given us so many taste sensations. You are very talented!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for the lovely review, Lou! And thank you for trying the recipes :)

  4. Thomas Gallagher

    5 stars
    Yum Yum.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for the lovely feedback, Thomas!

  5. Lisa

    5 stars
    This was easy and delicious, and doing the peppers in the instant pot was both easier and more enjoyable to eat than parboiled/roasted recipes!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for the lovely feedback, Lisa!

  6. Silvia

    5 stars
    Made them last night using the recipe in your book and they were soooo good! And in just 6 minutes of pressure! Bless the IP, best buy of the year thank to you, Nisha!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Silvia, So glad to hear you loved this recipe!

  7. Sophia

    5 stars
    I must say: I hated stuffed peppers with a passion, because my parents always cooked them to mush. But I absolutely love this recipe!
    I added vegan minced meat to the stuffing because I had some left over and I almost ate the stuffing like it was :D The spices were perfect and I will definitely make this dish again!
    Very very tasty!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Delicious, Sophia! Thanks for the nice review!

  8. Millie

    5 stars
    I could not believe the ease of this recipe. It did not take long to make the instant pot was fabulous. I love all the flavors everything came together really nice I will add this into my rotation

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      That’s great to hear, Millie! Thanks for your comment and for taking time to review!

  9. Fabien

    5 stars
    It’s too bad this recipe is getting so little attention on the website, as the dish looked beautiful, had a wonderful texture, and tasted amazing, even to my wife who is usually not a fan of Mexican food! The excellent cashew-based “cheese sauce” added to the polyphony of flavors.

    One note of caution: the amount of salt! I would recommend adjusting the amount you add according to how you cooked your rice (with or without salt) and to how salty your salsa is.

    I had cooked my brown rice with unseasoned water***, used salsa that was not overly salty (516 mg of sodium per 100 g), and even reduced salt from 3/4 teaspoons to 1/2 teaspoon (because I was using coarse sea salt instead of kosher salt), but the mixture still came out too salty at first. I fortunately had extra rice and extra corn (taken from the cob and then boiled) to balance it all out, so the final product was just rightly seasoned.

    Advice: start by mixing all the ingredients except the salt, and then season to taste. Because all the ingredients are pre-cooked, you can try as many spoonfuls as you want before you get the perfect taste!

    Thank you, Nisha, for this beautiful recipe!

    ***Instant Pot brown rice: 1 cup [200 g] of brown rice + 1 cup of water [250 ml], 15 minutes at high pressure, 10 minute natural release, then complete: well cooked, but still chewy and nutty, perfect for this recipe!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We’re sorry the recipe turned out too salty for your liking, but thank you for sharing your experience Fabien!

  10. Valentina

    I think I’m missing something! I don’t see the recipe for the vegan cheese sauce here.

    1. Nisha Vora

      Whoops! You’re so right. I updated the recipe. Thank you!

  11. Jackie

    Omg I just made this tonight! Second time using the instapot, first was with your ratatouille recipe (DELICIOUS) and it tastes really good! Still working on vegan cheese though but I think I have it down for what to use and do next time I make this! Very good! :)

  12. shannon

    Really good!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Thanks Shannon, glad to hear it!

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