Stuffed Piquillo Peppers

Vegan stuffed piquillo peppers - great for tapas night!

So let me start off with full disclosure: In the 3 years I’ve lived in Spain, I have never had stuffed piquillo peppers. What’s more, we’ve had several jars of piquillo peppers hanging out in the pantry for months while I’ve been at a loss for what to do with them. I finally found the motivation that I needed to investigate these peppers while watching an episode of Top Chef Spain a few weeks ago. A stuffed piquillo pepper challenge piqued my interest in the possibilities that these little triangular jewels have to offer. The majority of the competitors stuffed their peppers with cod, although you can also often find them stuffed with shrimp, meat or cheese. I wanted to try to replicate the cod version that seemed to me to be the most popular, but veganized.

Vegan stuffed piquillo peppers - great for tapas night!

Piquillo peppers have a smoky but slightly sweet flavour, which made it somewhat of a challenge to flavour my vegan filling. I wanted to keep the filling white while allowing the smokiness of the peppers to be the star. After some trial and error, it turned out that the simplest was the best – a basic cashew cream flavoured with shallot, garlic, white wine and lemon mixed with a little tofu to give it some texture. A simple tomato-cashew cream sauce added a bit of sweetness to balance out the smokiness of the peppers. The result is an easy tapa which was delicious served hot, and also surprisingly delicious after spending a day in the fridge and served cold.

The number of peppers that this recipe makes depends on the brand that you buy. Some brands pack large peppers and others small- to medium-sized peppers. If you find your peppers are quite large, you can easily double the filling.

Vegan Stuffed Piquillo Peppers

Vegan Stuffed Piquillo Peppers

Yield: 10 - 12 stuffed peppers
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 10 – 12 medium-sized piquillo peppers
  • 1/4 block (75 grams) extra-firm tofu, pressed for at least 30 minutes
  • 1/2 cup (80 grams) cashews, soaked in hot water until soft
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 garlic, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup tomate frito (slightly sweet tomato sauce)


  1. If you find your peppers too oily or vinegary, give them a quick rise and leave them to strain.
  2. Place the tofu in a food processor and pulse until it forms small crumbs. Set aside.
  3. Blend the soaked cashews and water in the food processor to form a smooth cream. Reserve 4 tablespoons in a separate bowl for the tomato-cream sauce.
  4. Heat a medium-sized pan over medium heat. Add the oil, shallots and garlic. Sauté slowly until transparent. Add the wine and simmer until all the liquid evaporates. Add the cashew cream, tofu, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, a few grinds of fresh black pepper, and lemon juice. If you find the consistency too liquid, you can reduce it for a couple of minutes but be sure to stir it constantly to avoid burning. When you are happy with the consistency, remove the pan from the heat and stir through the parsley.
  5. In a separate pan over medium-low heat combine the tomate frito, reserved 4 tablespoons of cashew cream and 1/2 a teaspoon of salt.
  6. Stuff each pepper with a couple teaspoons of the filling. Put half the sauce in your serving dish followed by the stuffed peppers and spoon the remaining sauce over the top. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve hot or cold.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 pepper
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 95Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 319mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 3g

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