Make these vegetarian Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers in minutes ... they're healthy and delicious!
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It's been so hot lately ... the kind of weather that makes me want to skip cooking all together. We're talking high nineties or worse, and it's only June. Having been in New Orleans recently, I keep telling myself that at least it's a dry heat.
Of course, we still have to eat, so I've been breaking out my Instant Pot even more than usual.
One recipe I'm loving right now are these amazing Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers. This easy recipe features a vegetarian filling that's absolutely packed with flavor, plus there's a sauce that's spoon-licking delicious. Yum!
The best part is that this healthy recipe uses fresh veggies and is made start to finish in the pressure cooker. Which means no heating up the kitchen. Exactly the kind of recipe that's perfect for summer!
Vegetarian Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers
You are going to LOVE these vegetarian Stuffed Peppers. These tasty peppers feature a savory stuffing of rice, feta, tomatoes, and basil, and they're served with a mouthwatering tomato sauce. And best of all: everything cooks together in the Instant Pot in about 10 minutes!
Are you an Instant Pot fan, too? Personally, I’m obsessed!
I use mine weekly, and it's perfect for recipes like these easy stuffed bell peppers with rice. If you're not familiar with this handy kitchen tool, it's basically an electric multi-cooker. Which means that it’s a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, and more … all in one appliance.
Mine (there are different versions, but I have the Instant Pot Duo60) gets used for everything from perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs to flavorful soups. This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is a great starter recipe, by the way!
Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers Ingredients
This easy vegetarian Stuffed Peppers recipe uses simple, yet flavorful ingredients:
- Cooked White Rice
- Grape Tomatoes
- Feta Cheese
- Olives (I like Kalamata, but any variety would work.)
- Fresh Basil
- Bell Peppers
Make sure to use cold rice. If you use hot rice, it may end up mushy or overcooked.
The best part of this recipe? It may just be the delicious, homemade sauce cooks at the same time as the peppers! And it's so easy to make with tomato sauce, garlic, and dried herbs.
How to Make Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers
The first thing you'll need for these pressure cooker Stuffed Peppers is the rice. It needs to be cold, so prepare it ahead of time.
I prefer to cook the rice in the pressure cooker ... it turns out perfectly every single time! If you've never made rice in an Instant Pot before, check out the recipe note for instructions. It's so simple.
Because the rice will continue to cook in the peppers, you want it to be al dente, not mushy. So however you prepare the rice, use equal proportions of rice and water. Then, make sure to chill the rice completely before starting the recipe.
Tip: If you are in a time pinch, and forgot to prep the rice ahead of time, cool it in the freezer before starting.
To make the filling for these vegetarian Stuffed Peppers, simply mix together the cold rice (break up any clumps with the back of a spoon), grape tomatoes, feta, olives, and basil.
Season this mixture to taste with salt and pepper, then use it to fill your bell peppers.
I'm not the biggest fan of green peppers, so I used red, yellow, and orange peppers. They looked so bright and pretty! Green peppers will work for this recipe though, if you prefer them.
Whatever color you use though, make sure to choose medium size peppers. If you pick peppers that are too large, they may not fit in your Instant Pot.
Once your stuffed peppers are prepared, set them aside for a minute to work on your sauce. This homemade tomato sauce is super delicious and so easy to make right in your Instant Pot.
You'll start by sauteing garlic in olive oil, using the pot's Saute function. The Instant Pot gets super hot fast, so be careful not to burn the garlic.
When the garlic is fragrant, turn off the heat on your Instant Pot. Then, carefully stir in tomato sauce, crushed red pepper flakes (optional), basil, oregano, and a little water.
Season this mixture to taste, then place a rack in the pot (over the sauce). I used the one that came with my Instant Pot.
Place your stuffed bell peppers on the rack, being careful that they don't fall over. Put the lid on your pot and cook the peppers for eight minutes at high pressure. When the time is up, do a quick release, then remove the lid.
You're almost done ... it's time for the cheesy topping! Simply sprinkle each pepper with a little mozzarella, then replace the lid on the pot.
Let the peppers sit for about a minute or so ... just enough time for the cheese to melt.
Getting the peppers out of the pot is the trickiest part of the recipe ... ha ha. They're pretty tender.
Once you've removed the peppers, transfer them to plates, then serve them with the yummy homemade sauce. A sprinkle of basil is the perfect finishing touch!
These vegetarian Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers are a recipe you're sure to return to again and again. They're easy enough for weeknights, but special enough for entertaining ... and they couldn't be more delicious!
More Recipes You'll Enjoy
Did you love these vegetarian Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers? Then, you'll like these recipes, too:
- Instant Pot Pasta with Feta, Olives, and Basil
- Tex Mex Stuffed Peppers in the Crock Pot
- Easy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- Vegetarian Quinoa and Sausage Stuffed Summer Squash
- Tex Mex Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Moroccan Stuffed Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls
Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers
For Stuffed Peppers:
- 3 cups cooked white rice (cold)*
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
- ⅓ cup diced feta cheese
- ¼ cup kalamata olives, chopped
- 3 large basil leaves, chopped
- 4 medium bell peppers
For Tomato Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup shredded mozzarella
- 1 tablespoon chopped basil
Prepare Stuffed Peppers:
- Combine rice, tomatoes, feta, olives, and basil. Season mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
- Slice tops off peppers, then remove seeds and membranes.
- Fill peppers with rice mixture. Set aside.
Prepare Tomato Sauce:
- Press Saute button on Instant Pot.
- Add olive oil and garlic to pot. Mix constantly as pot heats and cook just until garlic is fragrant. Do not burn.
- Turn off Instant Pot (press Cancel), then carefully stir in tomato sauce, water, basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
- Place a rack in the Instant Pot (over sauce), then place peppers on rack.
- Secure lid and set pressure release valve to sealing. Select Pressure Cook (or Manual) button, then set to High Pressure for 8 minutes.
- When time is up, do a Quick Release, then open lid.
- Top each pepper with 1 tablespoon mozzarella, then replace lid and let peppers sit for 1 minute.
- Carefully remove peppers from Instant Pot and transfer to plates. Season sauce with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
- Serve peppers with tomato sauce, sprinkled with basil. Enjoy!
What is your favorite stuffed pepper filling?