These Quinoa Lasagna Stuffed Peppers with ground beef and ricotta cheese are a healthy, make-ahead dinner that is a fun spin on lasagna!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Olive oil – any neutral oil can work such as avocado oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, etc.
- Yellow onion – white onions are great substitutes. Leeks or scallions can also give a similar taste.
- Garlic cloves – store-bought or self-minced garlic can both work. Garlic powder can be used too, if needed.
- Mushrooms – cremini, shiitake, and portobello mushrooms work great but mostly any mushroom can be used.
- Ground beef – ground turkey or chicken could be used, if desired. You can also use a plant-based minced “meat” for a vegetarian option.
- Passata – canned strained or crushed tomatoes can be used, as well as pureed tomatoes or marinara sauce.
- Salt & pepper – use to taste.
- Quinoa – flavoured or plain quinoa can both be used. Teff is also a great, similar substitute option. Using a different grain, such as brown rice, barley, etc. can be done, but will change the texture of the dish.
- Kale – other leafy greens, like spinach, swiss chard, savoy cabbage, bok choy, etc. can also be used instead.
- Bell peppers – any colour can be used. Red is the sweetest, whereas orange and yellow are a little more tangy in taste. Green peppers can be a little bit more bitter tasting than the rest.
- Ricotta cheese – cottage cheese or goat cheese can both offer quite a similar taste to ricotta cheese.
- Mozzarella cheese – packaged shredded or freshly hand shredded mozzarella both work. Provolone cheese is also similar to mozzarella and can be used as a substitute, if preferred.
- Fresh basil – fresh oregano, thyme or an Italian herb and spice blend can also work as good substitutes.
What components you can prep ahead
To get a head start, you can pre-cut the peppers and store them in the fridge, then make the filling later on. Alternatively, you can make your filling ahead of time and keep it in the freezer, if wanting to prep a large chunk of time in advance, or can refrigerate it for up to three days. You can also chop and prep anything that needs diced, sliced, or minced, then store them in containers in the fridge so that they're all ready to be cooked when desired!
Storing and reheating
To store these cooked stuffed peppers, allow them to cool completely, then store them in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge. These can be kept for up to 3 days, if sealed. To reheat, place them in the oven at 350F for 15-20 minutes or until hot. To keep them tasting fresh, I'd recommend adding a sprinkle of fresh mozzarella and chopped basil on top once they're done baking.
Freezing the filling
To freeze your filling, cook it by following the given instructions below then allow it to cool completely. Once no longer warm, you can store it in a freezer-safe airtight container or in a sealable freezer bag. This can be kept for up to 3 months, if kept sealed and frozen. To reheat, allow it to defrost, then stuff your peppers and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350F.
More lasagna recipes
- Super Easy Mini Vegetable Lasagna Cups
- Low Carb Lasagna Stuffed Peppers
- The Best Lasagna Recipe on the Internet
Quinoa Lasagna Stuffed Peppers
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 package mushrooms, chopped
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 796mL jars passata (strained tomatoes-can also use canned crushed tomatoes)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 2 cups chopped fresh kale (or spinach)
- 4 bell peppers (any colour)
- 1 tub ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over med-high heat. Add onions and garlic, sauteeing for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add ground beef. Cook, breaking up with a spoon. Add mushrooms and cook another 2 min. Add both jars of passata to ground beef mixture, along with salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile cook quinoa according to package directions and prepare peppers by slicing length-wise in half and removing core/seeds. Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil and bake, covered in foil, in a large oven safe dish for 15 minutes.
- Add cooked quinoa to ground beef and tomato mixture, along with kale. Stir well and remove from heat.
- Remove peppers from the oven and when cool, add 2-3 tbsp of ricotta to each pepper, just enough to coat the bottom of each. This should use up the whole tub.
- Add quinoa-ground beef mixture to each pepper - continue until mixture is used up. Peppers will be heaping full of stuffing. Bake, covered with foil, in oven for another 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven, top with grated mozzarella, and bake uncovered another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven, sprinkled with fresh chopped basil and serve!