Vegan air fryer stuffed peppers are quick, delicious, and so versatile! Use our homemade vegan ground beef recipe or your favorite plant-based meat. With cooked rice, marinara, vegan cheese, and a few seasonings, this comforting and healthy plant-based dinner is on the table in no time!
Nutritious vegan comfort food that's totally customizable AND ready in less than 30 minutes? Yes, please!
There's so much to love about air fryer stuffed peppers, not the least of which is that cooking them in the oven takes SO much longer. It's almost ridiculous what a difference the air fryer makes here.
These vegan stuffed peppers were inspired by a post I saw recently in a Facebook group. Someone shared a drool-worthy photo of a simple stuffed pepper she cooked in the air fryer. It looked so good and sounded so easy, I was inspired to create my own version to share with you!
Earlier this week I shared a plant-based ground beef recipe made with mushrooms and soy curls. It's the perfect filling for these beefy stuffed peppers, but any vegan meat you love will work here, too.
- Meat - I used this healthy vegan ground "beef" recipe, but almost any homemade or store-bought vegan meat can be used in stuffed peppers. Get creative!
- Rice - you'll need a little over 1 cup of cooked rice, or more if preferred. Any variety is fine. I used brown rice.
- Marinara - homemade or store-bought; if you strictly avoid oil be sure to check labels.
- Cheese - I used this melty vegan mozzarella. It takes about 15 minutes to prepare a batch.
- Bell Peppers - use any color you like/have, though a variety is fun!
- Seasonings - this will depend on the meat you use. I added oregano, black pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes to the ground "beef." If using a spicy chorizo or Italian sausage, for example, you may not need additional seasonings.
See recipe card below for quantities.
You can find the full instructions and printable recipe below. Here's the basic flow, just to show you how easy it is to make stuffed peppers in the air fryer...
- Sauté any aromatics you want to use (if not already in the meat you), then add the meat, oregano, pepper, cooked rice, and marinara. Once everything is hot, add a few handfuls of spinach or arugula, if you like.
- While cooking the filling, preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F. Air fry the empty pepper halves for 3 minutes.
NOTE: See how I crowded the peppers into my air fryer in the photo above? Don't be like me! Actually, it's not a huge deal during this initial cook, but you definitely want to work in batches for the final cook so that the peppers have plenty of space around them for air to circulate (as pictured below).
- Stuff the peppers. Fun tip! For extra cheesy stuffed peppers, place a dollop of melty mozzarella, or whatever cheese you're using, inside each pepper, then add the meat mixture.
- Preheat the air fryer again while stuffing the peppers. Top each one with cheese, and air fry for 5 to 7 minutes, depending on the thickness of your peppers.
Hint: All air fryers are different. You may find you need a bit more time. Just keep a close eye on them during the last couple of minutes.
What to Serve With Vegan Stuffed Peppers
A simple and fresh side salad is perfect, and if you're keeping things oil-free, this aquafaba-based oil-free Italian vinaigrette is a must try. It's so bright and zesty and perfect with these beefy stuffed peppers.
- Meat - if you don't need the dish to be oil-free, store-bought vegan meats are an easy substitute; season accordingly.
- Cheese - my homemade cashew mozzarella only takes about 15 minutes to prepare and really is delicious in this recipe. You could also use a nut- or seed-based parm (add after air frying) or store-bought shredded cheese.
- Rice - don't have rice? Quinoa (GF), farro, and barley are all delicious options. Or just increase the amount of vegan meat for a low-carb vegan dinner.
Not in the mood for beefy Italian stuffed peppers? Here are a few other ideas.
- Mexican - season the soy curl beef with cumin and chili powder, and use salsa instead of marinara. Or better yet, use this vegan taco meat, which is actually the recipe that inspired the ground beef recipe! Garnish with cilantro and use this oil-free queso instead of mozzarella.
- Extra Cheesy - stir your cheese of choice into the meaty filling, as well as adding it on top.
- Kid friendly - make mini stuffed peppers! They're easy to pick up with small hands instead of needing a knife and fork for large bell peppers.
Leftover stuffed peppers will keep for up to 4 days. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
To reheat stuffed peppers, the microwave works best. The air fryer will dry out the exterior of the peppers and filling before heating them all the way through. Steaming is another option.
I haven't tried freezing these stuffed peppers yet but suspect they will hold up well.
More vegan air fryer recipes:
I hope you enjoy these healthy air fryer stuffed peppers! If you try the recipe I would love to hear from you. Be sure to rate the recipe and comment below to let everyone know how they turned out!
Air Fryer Stuffed Peppers (Vegan, GF, WFPB)
- 1 batch vegan mozzarella (tap for recipe) or other cheese - See Note 1.
- 3 large bell peppers, any color
- 1 small onion, chopped, optional - See Note 2.
- 4 cloves garlic, minced, optional
- 1 batch homemade vegan ground "beef" (tap for recipe) - or approx. 3.5 cups other meat substitute.
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- black pepper and/or crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- approx. 1 cup marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought - check labels for oil, gluten.
- 1 ¼ cups cooked brown rice, or other variety
- 3 handfuls baby spinach or arugula, optional
- To prepare the peppers, slice in half through the stem. Remove any veins and seeds. You may leave the stem attached or cut it out.
- Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F. Place the empty pepper halves in the air fryer for an initial cook, working in batches if needed so air can circulate around the peppers. Air fry for 3 minutes.
- Preheat a large saute pan over medium heat. Cook the onion, if using, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, if using, pre-cooked vegan ground meat, oregano, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Alternatively, if using a store-bought vegan meat, it's fine to fully cook it now (doesn't need to be pre-cooked). Stirring occasionally, cook until the meat is hot.
- Add the marinara and rice and cook for a few more minutes. If including fresh greens, add those to the pan and cook until dark green and wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
- Place some cheese in the bottom of each pepper, if desired, then stuff with the meat mixture, and top with more cheese. Once again, preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees. Cook in batches so the peppers have plenty of room. Air fry the peppers for for 5 to 7 minutes. *Air fryers vary, so you may find yours need more time. Keep an eye on them in the last two minutes. The peppers are done when slightly wrinkled and the cheese is hot and melted.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.