Slow Cooker Vegetarian Barbecue Stuffed Peppers

By Updated on

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Barbecue Stuffed Peppers packed with brown rice, black beans, corn, barbecue sauce, and cheddar cheese make a healthy, filling meal.

228 CAL 49g CARBS 1g FAT 7g PROTEIN 4

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers may just be our new favorite way to make stuffed peppers. They are made in the crockpot and come out tender, hearty, and packed with flavor. Served with some Honey Garlic Carrots or Parmesan Green Beans and dinner is ready.

Stuffed peppers are one of our favorite meatless dishes but lately I looking to mix up my traditional recipe using Italian flavors and spaghetti sauce. Since my family loves barbecue sauce, I thought it would be yummy to swap out the tomato sauce for barbecue sauce and add some corn, black beans, and cilantro to the mix. I decided not to add cheese to the actual recipe itself so it could be vegan-friendly, but as you can see in the picture I like to melt some on top. We are definitely cheese lovers around here.

Vegetarian stuffed peppers with corn, black beans, and rice on a cutting board.

Normally stuffed peppers can be a little tricky to make and it's common to hear people complain that the peppers stay too crunchy. Cooking them in the slow cooker solves this problem. The peppers have plenty of time to cook and get nice and tender. No worrying about undercooked peppers. If you decided to make these vegetarian stuffed peppers in the oven instead, I recommend par-cooking or microwaving the peppers first to ensure they are nice and tender. There are some tips on doing this below.

Lastly, let's talk about my favorite ways to serve and store these. Usually, I cover them in some shredded cheddar or pepper jack and drizzle some extra barbecue sauce on top just before serving. Plus some fresh chopped cilantro and dinner is ready. If you want to add some veggies to the dish, you could serve it on a bed of spaghetti squash or add some veggies right into the mixture. Since stuffed peppers freeze well, I usually try to make extras and then freeze them for easy meals. 

Vegetarian stuffed bell peppers filled with rice, beans, corn, and barbecue sauce.

Tips for Making Slow Cooker Barbecue Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

  • To add extra protein, you can stir in some cooked ground beef, turkey, chicken, or vegetarian crumbles. You could also stir in some cubed baked tofu or tempeh.
  • If you are going to cook these in the oven, make sure to par-cook the peppers beforehand. First, remove the tops of the peppers and the seeds. Then either boil them for 4-5 minutes or microwave them in a moist paper towel for 4-5 minutes until they are partly cooked.
  • It's easy to sneak some extra veggies into these peppers. I love to add chopped cauliflower or zucchini since it pairs really well with the flavors and no one ever complains that there are extra veggies.
  • The best way to freeze these peppers is to place them on parchment and let them freeze for about 2 hours. Then once they beginning to freeze, you can place them in a ziploc bag and they won't stick together.
  • You can easily mix up this recipe by using different beans or a different whole grain. Use quinoa and chickpea or cooked farro and cannellini beans. 
  • If you like things spicy, switch out the fire roasted tomatoes for some diced tomatoes with green chilies, like Rotel tomatoes. You can also add some diced canned chipotle peppers to the rice and bean mixture for some heat.
  • Add toppings! Melt some cheese on top, grab some diced avocado, add a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt. 
  • Although the recipe calls for light barbecue sauce to keep the calories low, you can also use a regular barbecue sauce. There are tons of different flavor options and each one will add a different flavor to the peppers.

Looking for more healthy stuffed pepper recipes?

Here are some products I used to create this recipe:

  • Slow Cooker: There are so many different slow cookers on the market but I personally use this one that allows me to brown, sear, or saute in the same pan. Plus I find the cooking temperature to be really even and consistent.

Slow cooker vegetarian stuffed peppers with cilantro and cheese on a dark background.

This recipe was originally posted in 2012 and has been updated with new photos, tips, and tricks.

The Recipe
Slow cooked vegetarian stuffed peppers with black beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers, and melted cheese.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Barbecue Stuffed Peppers

228 CAL 49g CARBS 1g FAT 7g PROTEIN 4
COOK TIME: 4 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 4 Hours, 10 Min
  • Print
  • Download
  • Send to your inbox


  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 14 oz. canned fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 6 bell peppers
  • 1 cup light barbecue sauce, divided
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth

Like this Recipe? Try our Meal Plans!

Slender Kitchen Meal Plans
  • Weekly Meal Plans
  • Easy Shopping List
  • Healthy, Low Carb, & Vegetarian
  • Nutritional Information


(Hide Media)

Switch to prevent your screen from going dark.


Combine the brown rice, tomatoes (undrained), corn, beans, cilantro, garlic, salt, pepper, onion powder, oregano, and cumin. Stir in one quarter of the barbecue sauce. Cut and discard tops from the peppers and remove the seeds.


Mix the barbecue sauce and broth in a bowl. Pour half in the bottom of the slow cooker. Place peppers on top and fill with rice mixture. Top with remaining sauce.


Cook for 4 hours on low until peppers are tender.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1 pepper
Amount Per Serving
Calories 228
Calories from Fat 13
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
Saturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 1257mg
Total Carbohydrate 49g
Dietary Fiber 9g
Sugars 16g
Protein 7g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

user image
About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
† We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
On Slow Cooker Vegetarian Barbecue Stuffed Peppers
user image
user image
Jayme Lynn McIntyre
March 23, 2022 - 15:19
Add a Rating:
This looks soooo Delish !! Can't wait to make this
user image
Kelly P
March 9, 2019 - 08:39
Any recommendations on the best way to reheat after freezing?
user image
August 28, 2019 - 16:18
....thawing in fridge the nite before would work.
user image
Sharon D'Arcy
July 1, 2017 - 21:53
Add a Rating:
This is super tasty. Even my vegetable-phobic son loves them. I bake a batch on the weekend and heat them up for quick lunches, topped with yogurt and hot sauce.
user image
February 8, 2019 - 15:35
That makes me so happy to hear! I love when we can bring the veggie haters over to our side!!
Instagram Icon
Did you make this?

Snap a picture and show us what you made on Instagram or Facebook. Tag us using @SlenderKitchen or #slenderkitchen.