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.

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