My favorite Passover vegan main dish

These delicious vegan stuffed mini-peppers are a variation of a dish I sometimes make when it’s not Passover using regular size yellow bell peppers, couscous and vegan pesto. For Passover, I replaced the couscous with quinoa. Happily raw pine nuts aren’t kitniyot, so if you don’t eat kitniyot during Passover, you can use these in the pesto. The rich flavor of the pine nuts replaces the cheese in pesto very nicely!

Prepare the Peppers

First prepare your peppers, about 35 minis for the amount of pesto in the recipe. Wash them, rub the outside lightly with oil and place them on a baking sheet. Roast at 350 degrees until they are softened but still holding their shape.Usually you’ll see a spot or two starting to brown.

Remove them from the oven and allow to cool. With a small, serrated knife, slice each one “from stem to stern” on one side — don’t cut through the back side.  No need to de-seed. Just place back on the tray until you’re ready for them.


Cook quinoa as you usually do. I used about two TB of extra virgin olive oil, 2 cups dried quinoa, 1-1/2 tsp. salt and 4 cups of water and cooked it in a rice cooker until it was done. Set aside.

Vegan Pesto Recipe

Make the vegan pesto according to the recipe here: Mix this entire amount of pesto with the quinoa you cooked and set aside.


You have several options for the sauce. You can use my Matboukha recipe (Moroccan salsa), or you can use some reduced leftover tomato and red bell pepper soup (as I think I did for the picture of my regular couscous-stuffed peppers). Because I had a lot to do for Passover, I took the easy path and used some kosher for Passover bottled marinara.

Assembling your peppers

Using a clean pan, spread the marinara thinly across the whole bottom of the pan. Take a pepper, drain any liquid that collected in it, fill it with a teaspoon (a “table” teaspoon). Place in the pan on top of the sauce. Repeat this process until all the peppers are used.

All the parts of this dish are cooked, so you really don’t need to reheat them for use in a meal unless you choose to do that. I’m taking them to a seder tonight where there will be LOTS of people and lots of commotion, so we’ll just serve a couple of big trays of them as they are. They are for the vegans in the crowd, but I’m pretty sure most of the folks there will want to have at least one with their meal, so I made a lot.

And now I’d better get moving with the vegan matzah ball soup before the chag!

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