Air Fryer Stuffed Peppers

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Vegetarian stuffed peppers in the air fryer, cooked in just 7 minutes?! Count me in. These air fryer stuffed peppers are packed with fluffy bulgur wheat, nestled in a soft pepper boat, and coated in crispy melted cheese. Just perfect!

Crispy cheesy stuffed peppers in an air fryer basket.

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Stuffed peppers are a vegetarian classic, and there’s no better way to make them than in the air fryer. The pepper roasts up beautifully, the filling gets piping hot, and the cheese melts and crisps up – in just 7 minutes!

I stuffed my peppers with a combination of bulgur wheat, black beans and sweetcorn – a simple mixture that doesn’t require much prep. I also added a good dollop of red pesto, which is such an easy way to amp up the flavour.

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s super customisable – feel free to change up the filling with whatever other flavours or ingredients you like. See below for some ideas!
  • These vegetarian stuffed peppers are full of wholesome ingredients and heaps of flavour.
  • They’re really versatile – you can serve these peppers as an appetiser (1/2 a pepper per person), a simple lunch with some salad, or as a more hearty main meal with some side dishes.
  • Air fryers are a super quick way to cook – these stuffed peppers take just 7 minutes to cook!

🥗 Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe. You’ll also need a few cupboard staples, like salt and pepper. See the printable recipe card below for detailed ingredient quantities.

Ingredients for vegetarian stuffed peppers with text overlay.
  • peppers, obviously! Any colour would work, but red, orange and yellow peppers have the best flavour (green peppers aren’t as sweet).
  • bulgur wheat. Bulgur cooks up in just a few minutes, so it’s a great quick and easy grain to use for these stuffed peppers.
  • black beans
  • sweetcorn – one of my favourite easy vegetables, since tinned sweetcorn is already cooked and ready to use – so convenient.
  • red pesto – a super simple way to bring tons of flavour to your stuffed peppers.
  • fresh parsley (cilantro would be good too)
  • grated cheese. I like to use a mixture of cheddar (for flavour) and mozzarella (for gooeyness).

Becca’s Top Tip

If you don’t have any bulgur wheat on hand, rice would be another great option. You can use a sachet of microwave rice, or leftovers from a previous meal, if you don’t want to cook it from scratch.

🔄 Ingredient Swaps

Feel free to make this recipe your own – it’s really easy to customise.

Here are a few ways you could adapt this recipe:

  • Use rice or couscous instead of bulgur wheat.
  • Swap the black beans for chickpeas, tinned lentils, kidney beans, etc.
  • Instead of red pesto, use green pesto, or another similar flavour-boosting ingredient, like pizza sauce, curry paste, or harissa.
  • Add some other vegetables, especially those that don’t require much prep – e.g. frozen peas (just thaw before use), diced peppers or tomatoes, or black olives.
  • Use romano peppers (sweet pointed peppers) instead of bell peppers, for a different look.
  • Choose your favourite fresh herbs – leafy herbs like parsley, basil or cilantro are perfect.

🔪 Ninja Air Fryer Max

Ninja Air Fryer Max on a kitchen counter.

You’ll obviously need an air fryer to cook these stuffed peppers. I used the Ninja Air Fryer Max, which you can buy online from Very.

I love this air fryer – it’s super simple to use, with a few different pre-set cooking functions (Air Fry, Roast, Bake, Reheat, Dehydrate and Max Crisp), so all you need to do is choose your function, set the time, and off you go!

Air fryers cook up to 50% quicker than fan ovens – and in my experience, it often seems even quicker, since there’s no pre-heating required. The Ninja Air Fryer Max has a generous 5.2 litre capacity, so it comfortably fits 4 stuffed pepper halves. It’s also incredible at making a family-sized batch of frozen chips (French fries), for slightly lazier days!

Collage showing vegetarian stuffed peppers cooking in an air fryer.

📋 Instructions

Here’s how to make this recipe – see below for the printable recipe with detailed ingredients and instructions.

Cooked bulgur wheat in a mixing bowl.

Step 1: Cook the bulgur wheat in boiling water until it’s just cooked. This doesn’t take long – less than 10 minutes.

Bulgur wheat mixed with black beans, corn and pesto in a mixing bowl.

Step 2: Add the black beans, sweetcorn, pesto, and some fresh herbs. Mix thoroughly.

Red peppers stuffed with bulgur wheat and black beans, in an air fryer basket.

Step 3: Cut the peppers in half, and remove the seeds (I like to keep the stalks on!). Stuff them with the bulgur wheat mixture, and add them to the air fryer basket.

Stuffed peppers topped with grated cheese in an air fryer basket.

Step 4: Top each pepper half with plenty of grated cheese.

Cheesy air fryer stuffed peppers.

Step 5: Cook in the air fryer for 7 minutes, until the stuffing is hot and the cheese is crispy.

Cheesy vegetarian stuffed peppers on a plate.

Step 6: Serve!

Becca’s Top Tip

I always like to leave the stalks on the pepper when making stuffed peppers. It can’t be eaten, but it looks pretty, and also means you don’t end up with a hole on the side of the pepper for your filling to escape from!

💭 Recipe FAQs

What side dishes go with stuffed peppers?

Since these stuffed peppers already contain some vegetarian protein, veggies and carbs, I don’t find they need many sides – perhaps just a light salad. If you’d prefer a heartier meal, you could serve your stuffed peppers with some crispy potatoes, garlic bread, or roasted vegetables.

Can I prepare the recipe in advance?

Absolutely – just construct the stuffed peppers, and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them. If you’re cooking them straight from the fridge, you’ll need to cook them for a little longer, at a lower temperature, to ensure they end up piping hot in the middle.

Can I reheat any leftovers?

Yep – these vegetarian stuffed peppers will reheat nicely in the microwave.

A fork cutting into a vegetarian stuffed pepper with crispy cheese topping.
Cheesy vegetarian stuffed peppers in an air fryer basket.

Air Fryer Stuffed Peppers

Air fryer stuffed peppers – a vegetarian classic, cooked in the air fryer in just 7 minutes! With a tasty filling and cheesy topping.

If you’ve cooked this recipe, don’t forget to leave a star rating!

5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Comment
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 539kcal
Author: Becca Heyes

Ingredients

  • 115 g (~ 4 oz) bulgur wheat
  • 400 g tin black beans, drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
  • 160 g (~ 2/3 cup) tinned sweetcorn
  • 2 Tablespoons pesto (I used red pesto)
  • Few sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 75 g (~ 3/4 cup) grated cheese (I used a mozzarella and cheddar mix)

Instructions

  • Cook the bulgur wheat according to the instructions on the packet. I use a small saucepan with about 400ml (~ 1 1/2 cups) water, and cook over a medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until the bulgur has absorbed most of the water. You’ll need to stir regularly, particularly towards the end of the cooking time, to ensure the bulgur doesn’t burn on the bottom.
  • When the bulgur is cooked, add it to a large mixing bowl, and add the black beans, sweetcorn, pesto and chopped parsley. Mix thoroughly to combine, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Cut each pepper in half, cutting directly through the stalk if possible. Remove the seeds and any thick ribs of pith from inside the pepper, retaining the stalk.
  • Add a spoonful of the bulgur wheat mixture to each piece of pepper, pressing it down firmly to fill any nooks and crannies. Add another spoonful, and repeat. Continue until the pepper is filled with a heaped amount of filling. Place the stuffed peppers into the air fryer basket, nestling them against each other to hold them straight.
  • Sprinkle the stuffed peppers with a little grated cheese, and air fry at 180°C (350°F) for 7 minutes, or until the cheese is crispy.

Notes

If you have any of the filling mixture left over after stuffing your peppers, you can either stuff some additional peppers, or eat the extra filling on its own another day.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Air Fryer Stuffed Peppers
Amount Per Serving (2 halves)
Calories 539 Calories from Fat 106
% Daily Value*
Fat 11.8g18%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Cholesterol 10mg3%
Sodium 683mg28%
Potassium 798mg23%
Carbohydrates 85g28%
Fiber 21.7g87%
Sugar 6.9g8%
Protein 28.8g58%
Calcium 225mg23%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.

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