How can I customize Instant Pot Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers?
There are a few simple swaps that would allow you to make the dish your own (though, trust me, it is great as it is)! Here are some ideas:
- The peppers. Consider swapping out the green peppers for red, yellow or orange peppers.
- The jalapenos. If you are like me and LOVE some heat, feel free to double up here to add a bit more spice.
- I always prefer to use garlic powder over regular garlic as I just find it easier and a bit of a milder flavor; however, if you prefer the opposite, a clove or two of minced or pressed garlic could easily be substituted.
- A great deal of the flavor of this dish comes from the Marinara sauce that is selected. If your sauce of choice is on the milder side, you could always add in some additional oregano or basil. If you want a spicier sauce, you could try my favorite Arrabbiata sauce for even more flavor.
- The cheese. You could omit the parmesan if you don’t care for it; however, it does add a bit of flavor. Swapping in a different cheese would also be an options. Mozzarella, shredded cheddar or even pepper jack might be good options to mix the dish up a dish.
- The rice. The brown ready rice that is recommended could easily swap for white ready rice if that is your preference. Also, instant rice, minute rice or even traditional rice could easily be substituted (the ready rice was chosen for convivence, it does not effect the flavor).
- The Sausage Crumbles. I used Morningstar Farms Italian Sausage Crumbles for this dish. I love the sausage-like flavor they provide while still being a vegetarian options. If sausage flavor isn’t your favorite, traditional vegetarian meat crumbles could be substituted. Additionally, if you were not concerned with maintaining a vegetarian dish a protein such a ground beef, sausage or turkey could easily be substituted.
- The optional toppings. These can easily be omitted. One alternative would be to serve the sauce, warmed, on the side to sort of dip the dish in. Another would be to spoon some sauce and/or cheese (again whichever cheese you are using) atop the peppers at the end of cooking, return the lid and allow to sit for approximately 5 minutes to melt; or do it on the place and microwave for ~30 seconds if you are in a rush.
What to serve with Instant Pot Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers?
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Here are some great options to try:
- Slow Cooker Rosemary Sea Salt Bread another easy dish that could be made in advance using the slow cooker function on your Instant Pot.
- Roasted Balsamic Flatbreads are a fresh, crispy side dish that would pair well with the peppers for a light, healthy meal.
- Cheesy Potato Bites double-down on the parmesan for dinner by pairing the Instant Pot Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers with parmesan-coated cheesy potato bites, a simple side dish that can bake while the peppers cook.
- Copycat Little Caesars Cheesy Bread Stick with a classic and pair your Instant Pot Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers with some delightfully cheesy breadsticks.
- Instant Pot Ranch Potatoes Make your Instant Pot pull a double shift with these BEYOND simple Instant Pot Ranch Potatoes and Carrots for a light, veggie-packed weeknight dinner.
Can Instant Pot Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers be made Vegan?
Sure! This dish actually requires very few modifications to be made vegan. So let’s look and what we need to consider changing:
- The Marinara Sauce. The vast majority of marinara sauces on the market are vegan friendly but you want to be sure to check ingredients, sometimes they contain cheese (parmesan is a big offender), chicken stocks, or beef flavorings derived from beef ingredients. So be sure to check to make sure two that are for-sure vegan-friendly are Hoboken Farms or this one that I used.
- The Sausage Crumbles. Most vegetarian sausage crumbles on the market will also be vegan friendly but it is always a good idea to check.
- The Parmesan cheese. There are two options here. You could remove it entirely. Perfectly acceptable, but may lessen the flavor of the dish a bit. Alternatively, you could use a Vegan-Friendly substitute such as Nooch!
Instant Pot Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
- 4 Green Bell Peppers
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 small onion
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1-2 jalapenos
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 8.8oz package precooked rice
- 1 10oz package vegetarian sausage crumbles
Optional to serve
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- Cut the tops off of the bell peppers. Remove seeds and filling. Sprinkle pepper shells with the salt and pepper.
- Dice the onion and jalapeño. Microwave the rice.
- Set the Instant Pot to Sauté. Add the onion, garlic powder and jalapeno and sauté until beginning to brown.
- Remove the onion mixture to a large bowl. Add the rice, the pasta sauce, the parmesan and the sausage crumbles. Stir to combine.
- Place a trivet in your instant pot and add 1 cup of water. Spoon the rice mixture into the peppers, packing as best you can. Place the peppers on the trivet. Seal the lid and set the pressure to high pressure for 5 minutes.
- When the cooking time is done allow for a natural pressure release for 5 minutes and then quick release any remaining pressure.
- Serve immediately topped with additional warmed sauce or cheese if desired.