This vegan and gluten-free stuffed pepper recipe transforms the humble mung bean into a taste sensation loaded with antioxidants and plant-based protein for a fantastically healthy vegan meal. The delicate spiced flavour of the mung bean and wild rice mixture, cooked inside the sweet roasted pepper, is perfectly finished off with this indulgent garlic cashew cream. A show-stopping dish that is easy to make and perfect for entertaining.
Mung Bean Nutrition
Mung beans don’t appear much in Western food and so I have only recently discovered them, but they are fast becoming my favourite bean! Small and nutty, they hold their bite and don’t have the mushy texture that other beans can have. Nutritionally, these tiny beans are little dynamos loaded with plant-based protein, fibre, and antioxidants, particularly potassium, magnesium and folate. So, if you’ve never tried mung beans before, this recipe is a fabulous way to introduce yourself to this super healthy food! (See this article for more information about wonderful mung beans and you can also try my Mung Bean Curry for a more child-friendly mung bean recipe.)
- Peppers - choose large, firm peppers so that you can fit more stuffing inside!
- Dried Mung Beans - these are usually found in the dried beans and legumes section of the supermarket. They're a wonderful cheap source of protein and cook quickly too.
- Wild Rice - this gives a lovely nutty flavour and texture to the filling but you could swap to brown rice or even white rice (with a shorter cooking time) if you prefer. The wild rice is cooked in the same pan as the mung beans for less washing up but if you use a different rice, then just check the timings as they each have different cooking times.
- Cashews - these need to be soaked for at least 4 hours in cold water or 15-30 minutes in boiling water so that they break down easily in the blender to give a wonderful creamy sauce.
- Vegetables - onion celery, garlic, courgette, tomatoes - for flavour and to boost our veggie intake!
- Spices - fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, ground turmeric, black garlic paste (optional) - these spices give a wonderful warming flavour and all the fantastic polyphenols in the spices. If you want to swap to ground cumin instead of the seeds, that's fine, just use half the amount specified. The black garlic paste gives a wonderful deep flavour to the cashew cream sauce but if you don't have that, then a small clove of garlic will work instead.
- Vegetable Stock - just the basic vegan stock powder mixed with hot water is fine here. (I use the Marigold Vegan Bouillon version)
Please see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this blogpost for a full list of ingredients and quantities.
Whilst this is not really a quick recipe, it is one that doesn’t require much effort. You can get it ready while feeding the kids and then stick it in the oven while you go upstairs to bath and read stories, etc. Then you return to the kitchen to wonderful smells and a complex meal that comes together in a few minutes. The basic instructions are:
- Cook the wild rice and mung beans (either on the stove following the recipe card instructions or you can batch cook your mung beans in the Instant Pot and save some for later).
- Make the stuffing mixture by frying the vegetables and spices, adding stock and the cooked mung beans and wild rice.
- Cut the peppers in half, empty out the seeds, fill with the mung bean stuffing mixture.
- Roast in the oven at 180°C for 45 minutes.
- Make the garlic cashew cream sauce by whizzing all the ingredients in a blender. (for even more cashew cream ideas, see this cashew cream sauce recipe with 7 variations).
Please see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this blogpost for detailed instructions.
- The garlic cashew cream is not essential, but it really does complement the flavours of the mung bean mixture so well. It only takes a quick blend so it’s well worth going that extra step to raise the meal to a sensational new level.
- Likewise, you could, of course, use any rice you like (especially if you have leftover cooked rice in the fridge that needs using up!) but I find the wild rice adds a lovely chewy texture that would otherwise be missing from this meal.
For a small mid-week meal, I would pair these Spiced Mung Bean and Wild Rice Stuffed Peppers with a simple rocket salad and the garlic cashew cream sauce (as in the photos on this page).
This dish also works really well for entertaining, especially since it requires no last-minute work in the kitchen. So, you can pop it in the oven when your guests arrive and enjoy 45 minutes sitting and chatting and perhaps grazing with finger foods instead of an appetizer, for a really relaxed dinner party! For that, I would perhaps add another vegetable, maybe some tender-stem broccoli or for something that cooks in the oven with the peppers at the same time, this roasted cauliflower would work really well with the stuffed peppers (just don't bother with the sauce in that recipe as you already have the cashew sauce).
Leftovers & Storage
I usually like to make double the quantity of the mung bean mixture. Then, I can save half of the mung bean mixture for lettuce wraps for lunch another day. The mixture should keep in a sealed container in the fridge for 3 or 4 days. Since it has rice in it, make sure you cool it and pop it in the fridge within 1 hour of making it. (see this helpful article for more information about rice safety).
The cashew cream sauce is extremely versatile (see next section for ideas)! It will keep for a week in a sealed container in the fridge, so you may want to double up on that too!
Alternative Uses for the Cashew Cream Sauce
This is such a versatile sauce! I use it as a base with various other ingredients mixed in for the following dishes:
- with smoked paprika for smokey cashew sauce in my black bean tacos;
- with mustard in my vegan green bean casserole recipe;
- with sun-dried tomatoes in my creamy vegan sun-dried tomato pasta recipe.
Video Instructions 🎥
Watch this video showing step-by-step instructions for how to make these delicious Spiced Mung Bean and Wild Rice Stuffed Peppers!
📖 Recipe 📖
Spiced Mung Bean and Wild Rice Stuffed Peppers with Garlic Cashew Cream
Spiced mung beans
- 50 g dried mung beans
- 40 g wild rice
- ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 celery stick, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 50 g courgette (zucchini), grated
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 120 ml vegetable stock
- 2 peppers (capsicum), (yellow or red)
- a drizzle of olive oil
- a pinch of salt
- 60 g cashews
- 60 g water
- ½ teaspoon black garlic puree, (or a small clove of garlic)
- ¼ teaspoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- a pinch of salt and pepper
- Soak the mung beans for 30 minutes in cold water then drain. You will also need to soak the cashews for 30 minutes in boiling water then drain.50 g dried mung beans, 60 g cashews
- Cook the wild rice according to the instructions on the packet (wild rice can vary significantly so best to follow the packet instructions – but as a general guide, it is usually cooked in about 3 times as much water for about 45 minutes).40 g wild rice
- Add the mung beans to the rice pan and top up with more water, to cook for the final half hour of the rice cooking time. (so, if the rice cooks in 45 minutes, cook the rice for 15 minutes first, then add the mung beans and more water and cook both together for a further 30 minutes)50 g dried mung beans
- Meanwhile… Set the oven to 180°C.In a large frying pan, dry fry the spices (with no oil) on a medium heat for 30 seconds until fragrant. Set aside to use later.½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds, ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- In the same pan, heat the oil and sauté the onion and celery over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or so, until browned. Then add the garlic and fry, stirring, for 1 minute until fragrant.2 tablespoon olive oil, 1 onion, 1 celery stick, 2 garlic cloves
- Add the grated courgette and stir well, then add the spices and salt and stir again to ensure everything is well mixed. Sauté for another minute then add the diced tomatoes. Stir over the heat for another minute then add the stock.50 g courgette (zucchini), ¼ teaspoon salt, 2 tomatoes, 120 ml vegetable stock
- Drain the mung beans and wild rice and add to the vegetables (*Note, if your wild rice and mung beans aren’t ready yet, just pop the lid on the onion pan and turn the heat to low and it will wait there happily). Season with salt and pepper, stir well and simmer gently for a few minutes.
- Slice the peppers in half lengthways and pull out the stem and seeds. Then line a baking sheet with baking paper, lay the peppers on the baking sheet (open side facing up) and drizzle with a little oil of your choice. Rub the oil into the pepper halves on both sides then place back on the baking sheet, season with a little sale on the inside of the peppers, and fill the open halves with the mung bean and wild rice mixture.2 peppers (capsicum), a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt
- Put the baking tray in the oven and roast for 45 minutes at 180°C.
- Meanwhile, make your cashew cream. Drain the cashews from the soaking water and put them in the blender. Add the water, black garlic puree (or garlic clove) and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy.60 g cashews, 60 g water, ½ teaspoon black garlic puree, ¼ teaspoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, a pinch of salt and pepper
- Serve the stuffed peppers on a bed of rocket lightly dressed with good quality extra virgin olive oil and top with the cashew cream and perhaps a sprinkling of cayenne pepper and a squeeze of lime.
- The mung bean and wild rice mixture can be kept in an airtight container for a few days in the fridge and makes an excellent filling for lettuce wraps.
- The cashew cream can be kept in an airtight container for a week in the fridge.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a ⭐ star rating ⭐ on the recipe card!
More Delicious Main Course Recipes
If you like this Spiced Mung Bean Stuffed Peppers recipe, you may like these other delicious vegan and gluten-free main course recipes too: