Slow Cooker Vegetarian Barbecue Stuffed Peppers - Slender Kitchen

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Barbecue Stuffed Peppers

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Rating: 5 - 1 comment

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Barbecue Stuffed Peppers may just be our new favorite way to make stuffed peppers.Made in the slow cooker, these peppers are tender, hearty, and packed with flavor.

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 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 defintiely 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 its 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. 
  • 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.

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.

Prep Time

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Barbecue Stuffed Peppers

Prep Time: 
Cook Time: 
Total Time: 


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

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 1 257mg
Total Carbohydrate 49g
Dietary Fiber 9g
Sugars 16g
Protein 7g


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Cook for 4 hours on low until peppers are tender.
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Slow Cooker Vegetarian Barbecue Stuffed Peppers packed with brown rice, black beans, corn, barbecue sauce, and cheddar cheese make a healthy, filling meal.
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