Every day after school he rushes to the mail box to see there’s a “halloween magazine” (i.e. an extremely overpriced catalogue filled with halloween costumes) waiting for us. If we are lucky enough to receive one of these most special Halloween magazines, he spends the rest of the afternoon pouring over it, excitedly pointing out all the “SCARY!” and “Ooohhh… Spooky!” items.
Every car ride, he is on the look out. “I see HalLOwEEEN!! A witch! A ghost! A haunted house (what he calls the graveyard we pass every day).”
Though I’m starting to get just a bit tired of all the Halloween that has infiltrated our household, I’ve realized it’s easier to just embrace it. What better way to embrace my toddler’s favorite holiday, then make a perfectly spooky dinner? I spotted these stuffed pepper “pumpkins” on pinterest, and knew I needed to make them immediately.
Spooky Stuffed Pepper “Pumpkins” Recipe
I cut up the peppers while my toddler was napping, so he was beyond thrilled to find these cute jack o’ lanterns waiting for him. He couldn’t resist taking a tiny bite.
I then finished up the stuffing while my daughter napped and had the stuffed pepper “pumpkins” ready to go into the oven by the time dinner came. I love recipes that I can prep ahead of time. 5:00 seems to be melt-down-mode in our house, so it’s nice having my dinner ready to go as opposed to trying to maintain the peace while sautéing veggies.
I used ground turkey, but you can used whatever ground meat you’d like or even skip it to make it vegan. I also used rice, but, again you can easily substitute quinoa or nothing at all. This dish is perfect for a Halloween dinner party because you can make it ahead of time. Or, use it as an easy way to get your toddler to eat more veggies! W couldn’t get enough of this stuffed pepper pumpkin dish.
- 6 orange bell peppers
- 1 C cooked rice
- 1 lb ground turkey/chicken/beef *I used turkey
- 1 C corn *I used frozen
- 14 oz can of black beans, rinsed
- 1 C onions, chopped
- 1 jalapeno or pablano pepper, chopped
- 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 1/2 C shredded cheese, to top
- Carefully cut off the tops of the bell peppers, scoop out the seeds, cut a tiny jack 'o lantern face, then set aside.
- Brown meat, drain, then set aside.
- Add onions and peppers over medium heat and saute until soft (7-10 minutes).
- Add frozen corn and saute until warm (3-4 minutes)
- Add beans, cooked rice, meat and seasonings to the pan and cook until ingredients are warm and mixed together (4-5 minutes).
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Stuff the peppers with the mixture and place in a baking pan.
- Cook pepper for 15 minutes, covered with foil. Then, remove foil and cook for 10-15 more minutes.