These spicy seafood stuffed peppers are Mexican-inspired and pack in irresistible spice! Made with white fish, these peppers pack in nourishing protein but don’t compromise on flavor!If you’re looking for a fun twist on stuffed peppers, you have to try a seafood filling! Seafood is a satisfying and nourishing source of lean protein.
The filling for these peppers is Mexican-inspired – packed with lots of spice and flavor! Filled with brown rice and black beans, these peppers are also a great source of fiber.
A good source of carbs, protein, and fat, these peppers are sure to keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Notes on Ingredients
Cod: cod is one of my favorite white fish varieties because it’s tender, flaky and flavorful, but any white fish variety will do. Think haddock, tilapia or grouper. These would be delicious with shrimp too. You could always do a combination of both!
Chili powder: adds smoky and spicy flavor
Paprika: adds a sweeter spice
Cayenne pepper: dials up the heat! If you like things hotter on the spice spectrum, add more cayenne!
Black beans: I used canned – be sure to drain and rinse before using
Brown rice: I use frozen (microwavable) brown rice to save on time
Tomatoes: I like to use tomatoes on-the-vine (or from my local farmer’s market if in-season!) as I think they’re most flavorful
Sour cream: adds a creamy element to the filling. Could use Greek yogurt instead!
Pepper Jack cheese: adds another element of heat and delicious melty cheesiness
Bell peppers: any color will do! I like to use a variety of red, green, yellow, and orange for visual appeal!
Equipment You’ll Need (affiliate links – if you make a purchase I receive a small commission)
How to Make Seafood Stuffed Peppers
- Make spice rub. Combine chili powder, paprika, cayenne and salt. Rub 1/2 spice mixture on both sides of the fish. Save the rest for the filling.
- Cook fish. Cook cod in a nonstick pan over medium heat until tender and flaky, about 2-3 minutes on each side. USDA recommends cooking fish until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
- Make the filling. Over low heat, add beans, tomatoes, rice, sour cream, Pepper Jack cheese, and remaining spice mixture to the pan with the cod.
- Stuff peppers. Place bell peppers into a small baking dish (peppers should be snug). Fill peppers to the top with filling.
- Bake peppers. Cover baking dish with foil and bake peppers at 400 degrees F until slightly tender, about 30-35 minutes. Remove foil, add remaining cheese over top and bake until cheese is bubbling, about 10 minutes.
- Break apart the fish into small pieces right in the pan. Cod will flake apart easily in the pan so no need to dirty another dish!
- Use canned beans and frozen brown rice for time-savers!
Stuffed Peppers FAQs
Do you have to boil or soften peppers before stuffing them?
Some recipes call for pre-baking or boiling the peppers before you stuff them. Rather than create an extra step, we found that baking for longer (an hour in total) helped to soften the peppers.
Do you slice peppers lengthwise or cut the tops off for stuffed peppers?
This is mostly a preference! You can cut the tops off and then chop them up for diced peppers to use in another dish. Or, you can cut them in half lengthwise. This way you’re filling your plate with two halves instead of one pepper, it’s a bit easier to cut and eat, and there’s more surface area for melted cheese! If you’re going to go the lengthwise-way, you’ll want to use a large baking dish to fit all the pepper halves!
What other seafood can I use?
I like using cod in this recipe but you could use any type of mild white fish – tilapia, grouper, or haddock. Shrimp would also be delicious!
Can I make this recipe vegetarian? Yes! Simply omit the fish and add more beans and rice!
Storage and Preparation
Stuffed peppers leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
To save time, you can prepare the filling up to two days in advance and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Recipes That Pair Well
6 Ingredient Corn and Tomato Salad
For more Mexican-inspired dishes, check out my other recipes below!
The Best Mexican Street Corn Dip
Chipotle Inspired Vegan Burrito Bowl
Blackened Salmon Tacos with Corn Avocado Salsa
If you like this recipe, please be sure to comment and give it a 5 star rating below. If you make it, share it on Instagram and tag me @karalydonrd and I’ll re-share it with my followers! If you want to save this recipe for later, be sure to pin it on Pinterest!
This recipe was retested, reshot and revamped to bring you the most delicious (and most beautiful) dish! The original post was published August 2015.Print
Seafood Stuffed Peppers
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: Serves 6
- Diet: Gluten Free
These seafood stuffed peppers are Mexican-inspired and pack in irresistible spice! Made with white fish, these peppers pack in nourishing protein but don’t compromise on flavor!
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb cod (or any white fish)
- 1 cup black beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 2 tomatoes, diced (about 1 cup)
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese, divided
- 6 bell peppers (any color), stem ends, ribs, and seeds removed
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- 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.
- In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook cod until tender and flaky, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Turn down heat to low and using a spatula break apart fish into small pieces in the pan.
- Add beans, tomatoes, rice, Pepper Jack cheese, and sour cream to the saucepan. Sprinkle with remaining spice mix and toss to coat. Remove from heat.
- Place bell peppers tightly into small baking dish (10×7). Fill peppers with seafood mixture.
- Cover dish with foil and bake until peppers are slightly tender, about 45-50 minutes. Remove foil, add remaining cheese over the top of peppers and bake until cheese is bubbling, about 10 minutes.
- Stuffed peppers leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- To save time, you can prepare the filling up to two days in advance and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Some recipes call for pre-baking or boiling the peppers before you stuff them. Rather than create an extra step, we found that baking for longer (an hour in total) helped to soften the peppers.
- You can cut the bell peppers lengthwise or cut the tops off. If you cut the tops off you can then chop them up for diced peppers to use in another dish. Or, you can cut them in half lengthwise. This way you’re filling your plate with two halves instead of one pepper, it’s a bit easier to cut and eat, and there’s more surface area for melted cheese! If you’re going to go the lengthwise-way, you’ll want to use a large baking dish to fit all the pepper halves!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 65 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: seafood stuffed peppers, mexican stuffed peppers, seafood stuffed bell peppers
What is the nutrition for a serving? I would appreciate it being posted with the recipe. Which, by the way, is great.
Hi Kathy! I don’t include nutritional information with my recipes. You can learn more here: https://karalydon.com/intuitive-eating/why-i-dont-include-the-nutrition-information-for-my-recipes/
Would wild rice work? I can’t have brown or white. Could you make without rice?
Wild rice would work! You could also try it with quinoa or another type of grain.
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?
I have the same question.
Hey Nikia – see my answer to Michael below 🙂
Hi Michael – so glad you and your daughter are enjoying the recipe! I personally wouldn’t freeze them since they are made with seafood. But you could always make the fish separately and freeze the rest!
Your recipe was fucking LIT!!!!!!!
What is going in the baking dish with water.
Hi Sherona, the stuffed peppers go right into the baking dish. No water required!
I can’t stand the taste of sour cream, gave any substitute suggestions? Like enchilada sauce?
You can try plain yogurt, Kylie!
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!
Mmm these look great! Perfect dinner for busy weeknights!
Thanks, Lauren! Absolutely! Great weeknight din for the fam.
Love this recipe. Pinning and will make soon!
Thanks, Diane! Hope you enjoy ’em!
These stuffed peppers sound delicious! Love that you’ve made them with fish vs beef. : )
Thanks, Lauren! All about the seafood over here 🙂
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!
Awesome, Chardee! So glad to hear you enjoyed it! I’d love to hear what other recipes you try!
What an awesome idea to stuff these peppers with fish! I an interested to try this combo of ingredients in the pepper!
Thanks, Marie! Let me know what you think! Enjoy 🙂
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! 😀
Me too! I love seafood. Happy to inspire 🙂
Never would have thought to stuff peppers with fish! How unique! They look great!
Thanks, Jessica! It was one of those why not?! moments 🙂
I usually stuff my peppers with tempeh or beans but love the idea of mixing it up with fish!