Stuffed Jack o’Lantern Peppers

This is a fun way to combine a Halloween project 🎃 for the kids (or adults) and a delicious dinner! You can carve the peppers and then stuff them with whatever filling you like, from rice and veggies to meat and cheese. We really love wild rice and it goes so well with arugula, shallots, goat cheese, mushrooms and the peppers. But if you want to add meat to this mixture, that would be delicious too, or come up with your own ideas, which might include tomatoes, ground meat, cheese and spices. 

We love wild rice because it tastes so delicious and nutty, but it’s also really good for the body. Not actually rice at all, but rather unrefined seeds from marsh grasses that are grain-free, wild rice is full of antioxidants and high in fiber, which is great for the digestive system as well as the heart! And if all that isn’t enough, it’s got the best bite when cooked al dente! It’s delicious in stuffings, soups and pilafs.

Plan to carve the peppers before you cut the tops. The structure of the pepper is much stronger when it is whole, and that helps when cutting out their little faces! After you’ve created your face, then you can cut the top off the pepper and scoop out the seeds and the pith.

Stuffed Jack o’Lantern Peppers

Orange bell peppers, carved and stuffed with wild rice, arugula, shallots, mushrooms and goat cheese, all topped with a wheat germ, parmesan, walnut crust.
Servings 4 People
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 35 mins

Ingredients

Bell Peppers

  • 4 orange bell peppers Need to be orange for this recipe!
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 shallots, or one small onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 3 oz. goat cheese, softened to room temp
  • 2 cups arugula leaves
  • 6 whole cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large egg, beaten (This is optional, but holds the filling together a bit better than without the egg!)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. lemon pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper

Crust Topping (From The Vegetarian Epicure’s recipe for stuffed baked eggplant)

  • 1 cup toasted walnuts and/or pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter
  • 1/2 cup half and half

Instructions

Stuffed Bell Peppers

  • Spray an 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • While still whole with stem in tact, carve the eyes and mouth of your Jack o’Lantern on each bell pepper. Then slice off the top keeping the stem in tact. Remove any seeds and white pith from the inside of the pepper and finish punching out any of your carvings that didn’t come loose from the outside. Don’t worry if the stem falls away from the top, you can just rest it on top when baking and no one will ever know the difference:)
  • Heat oil in skillet and saute shallots over medium heat until translucent. Add mushrooms and continue to cook for five minutes longer. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, cook wild rice according to instructions. When cooked, mix with all of the remaining pepper stuffing ingredients: sautéed mushrooms and shallots, arugula leaves, goat cheese, egg, Parmesan, lemon pepper, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  • Stuff the carved bell peppers with the wild rice filling.

Crust Topping

  • Melt butter and mix with all of the remaining ingredients.
  • Distribute the topping evenly amongst the four bell peppers and spread out over the top of the rice filling.
  • Replace pepper cap with stem onto each pepper and arrange stuffed peppers into the prepared baking dish. Cover with foil.
  • Bake, covered, at 350 F for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes, uncovered. Serve hot.

Notes

Please as always, add your own favorite ingredients to this recipe. There are a million ways to stuff and bake peppers, and you may have an idea that you love, and if you’re a meat eater, by all means, add ground or shredded meat to the mixture. Some love a Spanish rice kind of stuffing for their baked peppers, and some love vegetarian, so pick and choose the ingredients you love best to put into your stuffed baked pumpkin peppers! We love the addition of the wheat germ/Parmesan/walnut crust on top of the wild rice filling. That recipe comes directly from the stuffed baked eggplant recipe in The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas. It makes the best crust on just about anything savory you’d like to bake!
Course: Main Course
Keyword: Halloween recipes, stuffed baked peppers, stuffed peppers, vegetarian meals, wild rice

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