Picadillo Stuffed Peppers with Chorizo, Lentils, Cauliflower and Mushrooms {vegetarian}

by Dorothy Reinhold on June 21, 2016

Print This Post Print This Post Soy chorizo takes the place of traditional beef in this delicious vegetarian Picadillo Stuffed Peppers with chorizo, lentils, cauliflower and mushrooms.  A sweet-savory garnish includes dried apricots, pistachios, rosemary and a drizzle of crema. | ShockinglyDelicious.com

This is a sponsored post by Cacique. Opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.

One of my favorite cheese makers, Cacique, threw down the gauntlet.

“How would you like to create a recipe using a couple of our products and at least four ingredients from a list of 10 we give you?”

I read it, stood up and started to swagger. I can do this. Don’t even THINK I can’t do it, I said to the computer monitor, snapping my fingers in a Z formation.

I had a choice of 10 ingredients, with the first two mandatory, and I had to use a minimum of four of the 1o:

  1. Cacique Soy ChorizoCacique Cookoff Graphic.jpg
  2. Cacique Crema Salvadoreña
  3. Lentils
  4. Cauliflower
  5. Mushrooms
  6. Olives
  7. Shallots
  8. Dried apricots
  9. Rosemary (fresh or dry)
  10. Pistachios
  11. Bonus! Cacique Queso Fresco
  12. Bonus! Currants!

I was to get extra points the more ingredients I used.  Challenge accepted…I used all 10, and a couple more for good measure and overall deliciousness.  and because I am a kiss-up.

Can I just repeat that, because I am very proud of this recipe. I USED ALL OF THE INGREDIENTS THEY LISTED, and it worked out to be an amazing vegetarian dinner! You would be happy to serve it to your family, or might I suggest it is also worthy of guests, along with a green salad and some fresh fruit?

Picadillo Stuffed Peppers recipe on ShockinglyDelicious.comI present Picadillo Stuffed Peppers with Chorizo, Lentils, Cauliflower and Mushrooms. Ta-da!

I decided to make it in a skillet and stuff it into colorful bell peppers. (If you’re not a pepper fan, you could also stuff the filling into a tortilla and make a world-class burrito.)

The reason I said a quick “yes” to this challenge was the high quality of Cacique Mexican-style cheeses, creams and chorizos, which are made with 40+-year-old family recipes and a combo of fresh and natural ingredients (Grade A milk and sea salt). Their cheeses and creams have authentic flavor, and are gluten-free, delicious and versatile enough to be used in traditional dishes or more modern favorites, whichever way you swing.

Ingredients for Picadillo Stuffed Peppers on ShockinglyDelicious.comHere are the ingredients for the filling.

Topping ingredients for Picadillo Stuffed Peppers on ShockinglyDelicious.comAnd here are the toppings — a sharp bite from the shallot, crunch from the pistachios, herbal savory goodness from the rosemary and tangy sweet from the apricots, all tamed by a dollop of crema.

Slap the skillet on that hot stove, and let’s get cookin’ !

Picadillo Stuffed Peppers with Chorizo, Lentils, Cauliflower and Mushrooms {vegetarian}

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: Serves 6-12

Soy chorizo takes the place of traditional beef in this vegetarian picadillo, which stuffs colorful bell peppers. A sweet-savory garnish includes a drizzle of crema.


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 10 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 8 ounces cauliflower crumbles
  • 1 cup pitted olives, sliced in half
  • 1 (9-ounce) package steamed lentils
  • 1/2 cup currants or raisins
  • 1 (9-ounce) tube Cacique Soy Chorizo
  • Cholula or other hot sauce (optional)
  • 6 very large colored bell peppers
  • 1 (10-ounce) package Cacique Queso Fresco
  • .
  • Topping/garnish
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 large sprigs fresh rosemary
  • ¼ cup pistachio nuts, chopped
  • 12 dried apricots
  • 1 (15-ounce) jar Cacique Crema Salvadorena (El Salvadorean sour cream)


  1. Heat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Heat nonstick skillet and add olive oil. When hot, add mushrooms and stir-fry over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, stirring often. Mushrooms will lose some of their water, which will evaporate (this is fine). Add cauliflower and cook and stir frequently for another 5 of so minutes. The cauli will begin to take on some color as it cooks.
  3. Add the olives, lentils, currants and chorizo to the skillet, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Taste for spice level and add a few squirts of hot sauce if you like. I added about 5 squirts of Cholula. (You could also not spice it further, and pass the hot sauce at the table.) Turn off heat to skillet.
  4. Slice peppers in half vertically, and using a small paring knife, remove membranes and seeds from inside. Place pepper halves in the wells of a muffin-top tin (so they don’t topple over), or on a baking sheet. Stuff the chorizo filling into the pepper halves, using 2 smallish spoons. Tuck it into all the pockets of the pepper.
  5. Crumble about 4 ounces (more or less) of the Queso Fresco over the tops of the stuffed peppers. Place peppers in oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Make the topping: While peppers are baking, finely mince the shallots, chop the rosemary leaves, pistachio nuts and apricots. You can either leave the items separate, or combine them. I like to leave them separate for individual tastes/eaters.
  7. When the peppers are done (teste them by sticking a toothpick into the pepper and if the flesh gives, it is done), remove trays from oven. Place pepper halves on dinner plates, and sprinkle with topping ingredients. Spoon on some Crema Salvadorena (or serve it at the table and allow individual diners to serve themselves).
  8. Makes 12 peppers halves. Makes 6-12 servings (either 1 or 2 pepper halves per person), depending on size of peppers, appetites and whether you are serving it with anything else.


Note: A nice green salad would go well with this, as would fresh fruit.

Recipe credit: Dorothy Reinhold | Shockingly Delicious



Mushrooms and cauliflower for Picadillo Stuffed Peppers on ShockinglyDelicious.com

Mushrooms and cauliflower get a quick saute in the skillet…

Chorizo, lentil and olives go into the skillet for Picadillo Stuffed Peppers on ShockinglyDelicious.com…followed by chorizo, lentils, olives (and currants, which were an impromptu addition). The soy chorizo is well spiced but not overly hot, and when you heat it, it isn’t too fatty, so you can add it midway through the recipe as I have done here.

Queso Fresco on top of Picadillo Stuffed Peppers on ShockinglyDelicious.com

We stuff the pepper halves and top them with some Queso Fresco…

Picadillo Stuffed Peppers in the oven on ShockinglyDelicious.com…bake them for half an hour…

Crema Salvadorena on Picadillo Stuffed Peppers on ShockinglyDelicious.com…and top with a dollop of Crema Salvadorena, along with a few other sweet and savory garnishes and toppings.

Dinner is served, friends. It is vegetarian, and it is SO GOOD!

If you’d like to save this recipe, pin the image below to one of your Pinterest boards.

Picadillo Stuffed Peppers with Chorizo, Lentils, Cauliflower and Mushrooms on ShockinglyDelicious.com Cacique logoDisclosure: This post is sponsored by Cacique. All opinions are my own. Visit and follow Cacique on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter   | Pinterest  for recipes and delicious cheesy meal ideas. In addition to the Mexican-style cheeses, creams and chorizos, they have yummy yogurt smoothies and horchata.

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Michaela Kenkel June 26, 2016 at 8:50 pm

I love stuffed peppers! These are full of so much flavor! Great recipe!


Angela June 24, 2016 at 6:39 pm

Love a stuffed pepper and I love this one with chorizo! YUM!!!


allie June 22, 2016 at 8:41 pm

Great dish Dorothy, I love the pistachios and apricots!


Dorothy Reinhold June 23, 2016 at 4:06 pm

They were such a fun addition!


Justine | Cooking and Beer June 22, 2016 at 9:09 am

I feel like I buy queso fresco every single week these days. I can’t get enough of it! These stuffed peppers are calling my name!


Dorothy Reinhold June 22, 2016 at 9:54 am

It is so versatile. I am beginning to use it on everything!


Sharee @ Savory Spicerack June 22, 2016 at 9:02 am

I love how you added the chorizo and cheeses to this recipe, taking stuffed peppers to a whole new level! Can’t wait to try!


Dorothy Reinhold June 22, 2016 at 9:55 am

Thanks Sharee!


Dana June 22, 2016 at 8:52 am

I love stuffed peppers and used to make some great ones that included chorizo or a sweet sausage, and now that I’m not eating meat, I wasn’t sure how to get that sweetness in there. This is great! I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for soy chorizo!


Dorothy Reinhold June 22, 2016 at 9:55 am

I think you’ll like this version. It is perfectly spiced without blowing the top of your head off.


Cindy Gordon (Vegetarian Mamma) June 22, 2016 at 8:22 am

yes, please! You have this vegetarian’s heart going pitter patter!


Dorothy Reinhold June 22, 2016 at 9:56 am

Pile on the veg…this one is GREAT for dinner! And it feels special.


Sharon @ What the Fork Food Blog June 22, 2016 at 7:53 am

These stuffed peppers look super yummy! Ingredients I would never think to add.


Dorothy Reinhold June 22, 2016 at 7:58 am

It’s funny what you can do when you have certain ingredients on a set list. You need to improvise. I would say some of my best recipes have come about this way!


Trish @ Rhubarbarians June 22, 2016 at 7:23 am

YUM! Looks delicious! I would never think to add currants or raisins to stuffed pepper. Genius!


Dorothy Reinhold June 22, 2016 at 7:46 am

The currents (or raisins) really add something important…a tiny little bit of sweet in the midst of all the savory flavors. It was so yummy.


Cookin Canuck June 22, 2016 at 7:14 am

It looks like you made the perfect stuffed peppers out of those 10 ingredients! I often turn to Cacique cheese too, and need to try this recipe.


Dorothy Reinhold June 22, 2016 at 7:47 am

Cookin Canuck (Dara),
Last night I found myself snacking on that Queso Fresco, right out of the package. It is so good!


Kristen June 22, 2016 at 6:55 am

mI didn’t know they made soy chorizo. I would love to try it!


Dorothy Reinhold June 22, 2016 at 7:47 am

It is so good. Not overly spicy, but has a lot of flavor.


Katerina @ Diethood June 21, 2016 at 7:46 pm

I love the stuffing!! All those flavors, together? YES!!


Dorothy Reinhold June 21, 2016 at 8:01 pm

We had ’em 2 nights in a row, and were deliriously happy with dinner!


Crystal June 21, 2016 at 7:45 pm

Oh wow, these look amazing! Yum!


Valentina June 21, 2016 at 6:07 pm

Dorothy, I love how fresh this looks and I’m a huge fan of the riced cauliflower lately. So perfect to fill the peppers with. Well done, my friend! 🙂


Dorothy Reinhold June 21, 2016 at 6:11 pm

Thank you Valentina! Between your dish and mine, we have us covered for a sumptuous feast!


Allie | Baking a Moment June 21, 2016 at 4:16 pm

I can’t believe you used all those ingredients! And it all goes so well together. Great job these look fantastic!


Dorothy Reinhold June 21, 2016 at 5:03 pm

Thanks! Once I opened my mind to it, the recipe just came to me!


Michelle | A Latte Food June 21, 2016 at 3:39 pm

Oh yeah, this looks so good! Stuffed peppers are such a great dinner recipe! Totally love that you used all the ingredients too!


Liz June 21, 2016 at 1:29 pm

Fingers crossed for you, Dorothy!!!


Des @ Life's Ambrosia June 21, 2016 at 1:19 pm

Cacique is our favorite brand of Mexican cheese and we always have some on hand. I love this challenge! You did great with these peppers!


Lane & Holly @ With Two Spoons June 21, 2016 at 11:56 am

These look delicious! I’m so impressed you used ALL of the ingredients! I love over-achievers!


Dorothy Reinhold June 21, 2016 at 3:57 pm

Yeah, we over-achievers recognize each other, eh? Takes one to know one!


Megan @ MegUnprocessed June 21, 2016 at 8:03 am

Love the colors! They look so beautiful!


Dorothy Reinhold June 21, 2016 at 11:05 am

Thank you! They did turn out pretty!


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