Pumpkin Patch Peppers

Close-up pepper sliced like jack-o'-lantern TipHero

Unless you count candy, Halloween isn’t really a food-centric holiday like, say, Thanksgiving. We think it’s about time that fact changes, though, and we have the perfect dish to do it: Pumpkin Patch Peppers!

Yes, those are orange peppers cut to look like adorable little jack-o’-lanterns, but unlike your average pumpkin, you can eat every part of this treat. They’re stuffed with a tasty mix of rice, beans, tomatoes and cheese, and they’re the perfect thing to make this October 31 delicious without eating only sweets. Let us show you how they’re made, then read on for the full recipe.

PUMPKIN PATCH PEPPERS

Makes 4 stuffed peppers
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • Salt, to taste
  • 6 orange bell peppers, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons butter or oil
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ¾ cup uncooked long grain white rice
  • ½ pound ground turkey or chicken
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning, store bought or homemade
  • ⅓ cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 – 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup shredded jack or cheddar cheese

Taco Seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius). Line a sheet tray with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  2. While waiting for the pot of salted water to boil, prepare the bell peppers. Use a small paring knife to cut around the top ½ inch of the bell peppers in a full circle, leaving the stem attached. Twist the tops of the peppers and remove along with the seeds that are attached. Trim off the seeds, again leaving the stem attached, and set aside to serve as the lids later. Cut or tear out the white ribs of the bell peppers and remove any seeds left inside. Using a small paring knife, cut out a jack-o-lantern face on each pepper.
  3. When the water reaches a boil and all of the peppers are prepared, put the peppers and their tops into the water. Allow to cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, until the peppers are tender. Remove the peppers and their tops from the water and set aside to cool.
  4. In a sauté pan over medium heat, heat the butter or oil. Add the onion and season with salt. Cook for a few minutes, until translucent.
  5. Add the rice and cook, stirring often, until the rice smells and turns a light golden color and the onions are slightly caramelized.
  6. Add the ground chicken and the taco seasoning, and cook until the chicken is no longer pink.
  7. Add the tomatoes, a pinch of salt, and 1 ¼ cups of water, and bring to a boil​.​ Cover and reduce the heat to low, maintaining a gentle simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the rice is mostly cooked through and there is no longer excess water in the bottom of the pan. Allow the rice to sit for 5 minutes.
  8. Fluff the rice with a fork and mix in the rinsed black beans. Allow the rice mixture to cool completely, then mix in the shredded cheese. Taste the filling for salt and adjust to your palate.
  9. Fill each pepper with the rice mixture and place on your lined baking sheet. Top the peppers with the lids.
    Stuffing pumpkin patch pepperTipHero
  10. Bake the peppers in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the pepper is done to desired tenderness.
Stuffed orange peppers cut to look like jack-o'-lanternsTipHero

Adorable and yummy! Don’t you think these stuffed Pumpkin Patch Peppers are the perfect thing to serve before a night of trick-or-treating? Have you ever tried anything similar? Let us know if you give these peppers a try and tell us how they turn out for you!

Recipe adapted from Everyday Jenny