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Instant Pot Unstuffed Peppers [V+GF]

nstant pot Unstuffed peppers in bowls with cilantro garnish and pepper in background

Stuffed peppers have always been a favourite of mine. They’re relatively low in calories, for a comforting, hearty meal that is sure to satisfy. These unstuffed peppers, or stuffed pepper casserole offers the same great flavours, with a little less prep work. No need to hollow out peppers and fill them up. Plus, being made in the Instant Pot makes this dish a hands off, super easy, quick weeknight meal option.

nstant pot Unstuffed peppers in bowl with sliced pepper in background


If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can easily adapt this recipe to a stove top version. Just sauté your veggies in a large sauce pan. Then add all remaining ingredients, plus an extra cup of water or broth and simmer for 35-40 minutes, until liquids are mostly evaporated. It will take a few extra minutes of cooking, but the taste will be just as great!

Alternatively, if you have a rice cooker, you may cook your rice as usual in your cooker. Meanwhile sauté your veggies, and then add the tomato sauce and seasonings. Once the rice is cooked, just mix everything together. No matter what appliances you have, you can make this dish! And you should, it’s delicious!

nstant pot Unstuffed peppers in bowls with cilantro garnish

So what constitutes a stuffed pepper? (Or unstuffed peppers)

  • Peppers, duh
  • A grain, typically rice, barley, or quinoa
  • Protein, often ground meat, veggie grounds or nuts/seeds
  • Seasoning

Pretty simple! This time I’ve gone with brown rice and walnuts. For seasoning, I’m using cumin and smoked paprika to give this dish some “meaty” flavours. In fact, hubby took a bite and asked “Is there meat in this?” So yes, I think this unstuffed peppers recipe is a winner for well balanced, yummy flavour!

nstant pot Unstuffed peppers in a bowl with pepper top on top

Want more delicious, EASY recipes you can make in your hands off Instant Pot? Try these!

nstant pot Unstuffed peppers in bowls with cilantro garnish and pepper in background

Instant Pot Unstuffed Peppers

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten free, Instant Pot, vegan
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Unstuffed peppers with all your favourite stuffed pepper flavours. Throw it all in your hands off Instant Pot for a quick, easy, delicious meal.
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  • 1 tsp avocado oil or cooking oil of choice
  • 1 yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 bell peppers sliced (any colours)
  • 6 cremini mushrooms sliced
  • 3/4 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 1/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth or water
  • 1 cup homemade tomato sauce or tomato purée of choice
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • Turn your Instant Pot to the sauté function and add the oil, onion, garlic, peppers, mushrooms, and walnuts. Sauté for about 5 minutes until veggies are softened.
  • Then add all remaining ingredients, close the lid, locking to the sealing position. Set your Instant Pot to high pressure for 20 minutes. (It will take about 10 minutes to build pressure before the pot begins counting down.) Once timer is complete, let it naturally release for 10 minutes, and then you may quick release the remaining pressure. When the pin drops, open the lid, serve and enjoy.
Calories: 389kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 262mg | Potassium: 693mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 3470IU | Vitamin C: 122.3mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2.7mg
DID YOU TRY THIS RECIPE?Mention on IG and tag #thishealthykitchen!
*Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools.

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  1. Michelle Biagi

    5 stars
    I’ve made this twice so far and both times it was amazing. I don’t have an Instant Pot but came out on the stovetop as well. So quick and easy to make. The best part is my kids loved it too.

  2. Tina

    Hi there,
    This recipe looks yummy! Thanks for sharing. I’m going to try it in the pressure cooker. But, do the peppers turn to mush under pressure for that long?

    • rosa

      Hi Tina, thanks so much. The peppers don’t turn to mush, but they do soften. If you prefer more of a crunch, cut your pepper slices thicker and don’t sauté as long before you pressure cook. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

  3. Demeter

    5 stars
    I love how easy this is to make using the instant pot! Such a great dinner option for a busy weeknight. Looks fantastic!

  4. Elizabeth O

    5 stars
    sounds really delicious. i appreciate your efforts and time for sharing this recipe. i will try to prepare it as per your instructions and i will also share my experience with you. you are really a good cook.

  5. Annabel

    5 stars
    I love a quick and easy recipe. I’d skip the walnuts as i’m not a big fan of those but I think thy’ll still taste yummy 🙂

  6. Rebecca Sanchez

    5 stars
    What a healthy food to cook for my family, it looks delicius and tasty as well, thank ypu for sharing this recipe, i will surely try this at home

  7. Natalie

    5 stars
    I love stuffed peppers!!! This looks like such a delicious recipe and I love cooking crock pot males. Thank you so much for sharing!

  8. Gervin Khan

    5 stars
    I have never tried to make this kind of dish for our dinner and I think this is the best time for me to do it. It look so delicious and healthy!

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