Pescetarian-friendly Mexican stuffed tilapia peppers are a great “back to the dinner table” meal as the summer begins to wind down and we gear up for getting back to our fall routines.Pescetarian-friendly Mexican stuffed tilapia peppers are a great "back to the dinner table" meal as the summer begins to wind down and we gear up for getting back to our fall routines.Is it really already the end of August?! This month’s Recipe Redux theme is “back to the dinner table” – recipes that will inspire the whole family to get back to the dinner table and back to a routine after the hustle and bustle of summer vacations, camps, etc.

I definitely fell out of a routine of eating home cooked meals for the month of June while I made my way around Europe and then to the Finger Lakes and then to Buffalo, NY. I fell out of my exercise routine too. Needless to say I didn’t feel so healthy once I returned from my travels. Luckily though, I had a CSA waiting for me which encouraged me to quickly get back to the dinner table and kicked my butt back into menu planning gear.

So, I’ve been back to the dinner table for the last month or so now which will make the transition into a fall routine a little smoother.

For those of you who are just returning from your summer vacations or getting ready to send the kids back to school, this family-friendly recipe is for you.

Mexican Tilapia Stuffed Peppers-4

Stuffed peppers are the best. They utilize end of the summer bell peppers and you can pretty much make them your own based on what flavors you like. Feeling spicy? Go for Mexican themed. Feeling Mediterranean? Try a Greek-inspired pepper with feta, olives, cucumbers, rice, and tzatziki. Feeling saucy? Go Italian style with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil. The options are endless.

I was feeling a little fiery and decided to go for Mexican style. Many people will stuff peppers with ground turkey or beef but this pescetarian decided to try fish! And it turned out awesome. They were super flavorful and bright in color, making it a dish any family would run back to the dinner table for. And in case you were wondering, these were given two thumbs up from the resident food critic, Steve.

Mexican Tilapia Stuffed Peppers-5 Print
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Mexican Stuffed Tilapia Peppers

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  • Yield: Serves 6


  • 1 lb tilapia filets (can substitute any white fish such as haddock or cod)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 23 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup Pepper Jack cheese
  • 6 red or green bell peppers, stem ends, ribs, and seeds removed
  • 3/4 cup Cojita cheese, a mild Mexican cheese (can substitute Mozzarella or Cheddar cheese)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Fill a baking dish with 1 cup water.
  2. Combine chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle ½ of the spice rub over both sides of the tilapia and rub it into the fish. Let sit for at least 10 minutes.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook tilapia for 3-5 minutes on each side, until fish is tender and flaky. Remove fish from heat and cut into 1-inch pieces.
  4. Over low heat, add beans, tomatoes, rice, Pepper Jack cheese, and sour cream to the saucepan. Sprinkle with remaining spice mix and toss to coat. Add fish back to the pan and toss to combine. Remove from heat.
  5. Place bell peppers tightly into baking dish. Spoon tilapia mixture into the peppers right up to the top. Place baking dish in oven at 350 degrees F and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until peppers are tender. Remove from oven and sprinkle Cojita cheese on top of peppers.

Tell me, have you ever made stuffed peppers? What do you typically stuff them with?

You May Also

Check out how the other Reduxers are getting families back to the dinner table this month::

Zucchini Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Crema

The Best Way to Cook Salmon – Slow Cooked Salmon

Sriracha Almond Crusted Tilapia

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  1. Kathy

    What is the nutrition for a serving? I would appreciate it being posted with the recipe. Which, by the way, is great.

  2. Deb

    Would wild rice work? I can’t have brown or white. Could you make without rice?

  3. Michael

    Hi Kara, I recently found you online while searching for vegetarian /pescatarian recipes to cook for my daughter.
    I’ve made the delicious Mexican Tilapia Stuffed Peppers twice in 2 weeks.
    Question: can these be frozen?

  4. Sourdough

    Your recipe was fucking LIT!!!!!!!

  5. Sherona

    What is going in the baking dish with water.

  6. Kylie

    I can’t stand the taste of sour cream, gave any substitute suggestions? Like enchilada sauce?

    • You can try plain yogurt, Kylie!

    • Patricia Adams

      I always substitute no-fat Greek-style yogurt in almost any recipe that calls for sour cream. It has a creamy taste like sour cream, works well with a lot of things that are baked, and it is SO much healthier. You could also use a Greek-style yogurt with some fat. Sour cream always heaps on lots of unnecessary fat and calories.

      For a different taste which I think would also work, try using cottage cheese. I say this because I often substitute cottage cheese for ricotta cheese in lasagna recipes. Cottage cheese when baked (and therefore melted) tastes very different from cold cottage cheese from the fridge. You probably wouldn’t even know that you’re eating cottage cheese when it’s baked. In lasagna it melts in with the other cheeses and is not distinctive. Adds protein which is helpful.

      I don’t know about enchilada sauce. You’d have to try it. Very different taste (spicier) and also not thick. Worth a try. Or pour enchilada sauce over the top of all the stuffed peppers before baking. It couldn’t hurt. We do it all the time with enchiladas.

    • Thanks for sharing your substitution ideas, Patricia!

  7. Mmm these look great! Perfect dinner for busy weeknights!

  8. Love this recipe. Pinning and will make soon!

  9. These stuffed peppers sound delicious! Love that you’ve made them with fish vs beef. : )

  10. Chardee

    I made this dish tonight and it was so good! The flavor was perfect and since I’m a pescatarian this was right up my alley!! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

  11. What an awesome idea to stuff these peppers with fish! I an interested to try this combo of ingredients in the pepper!

  12. I could be totally content with eating seafood every day for the rest of my life. My favorite protein source! Never would have thought to add it to stuffed peppers. Until now! 😀

  13. Never would have thought to stuff peppers with fish! How unique! They look great!

  14. I usually stuff my peppers with tempeh or beans but love the idea of mixing it up with fish!