Jack-O-Lantern Stuffed Peppers (2 ways) – a fun way to celebrate Halloween!!
NOTE: Version 1 is Whole30/Paleo and is the main part of the recipe card. Version 2 is not Whole30/Paleo and is found in the Notes section. Enjoy!
- 4 large orange bell peppers
- 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 batch homemade taco seasoning
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1–2 roma tomatoes, diced
- dairy-free sour cream
- black olives
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare Jack-O-Lanterns: Take bell peppers one at a time. Lay flat on its side on a cutting board and cut off the top of the pepper as thin as you can (do not discard). Use a small paring knife to scrape/cut out the seeds and membranes from the inside of the pepper. Then use the same paring knife to carefully cut a jack-o-lantern face into the front of the pepper just like you would a pumpkin. Repeat with all peppers and set aside.
- Bake: Take a small casserole dish and spray lightly with olive oil. Place bell peppers and tops inside and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until peppers are cooked, but still firm.
- Cast Iron: Meanwhile, take a large cast iron skillet and bring to medium/high heat. Add olive oil and swirl to coat the pan.
- Garlic: Add garlic and let cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Onion: Add onion and cook until it reduces, about 2-3 minutes.
- Ground Turkey: Add ground turkey to the pan and allow to cook, about 5-7 minutes, or until fully cooked.
- Seasoning: Add taco seasoning, water and tomato paste; stir to combine.
- Tomatoes: Add diced tomatoes and stir to combine.
- Stuff Peppers: Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired. Take turkey mixture and stuff each pepper. Add toppings, as desired.
- Serve: Serve immediately.
- Version 2: Black Beans + Rice Option (not Whole30/Paleo): Prepare the peppers the same way, but stuff them with some black beans and rice! I just keep things easy and use this boxed version. Stuff about 1 cup of black beans and rice in each cup. Serve with diced tomatoes, avocado, cheese (dairy-free, goat or regular) and sour cream (I like this homemade version or this store-bought!).
- Dairy-Free Sour Cream: I like to make my own, but this store-bought kind is great too!
- Ground Turkey: Feel free to use ground beef if you prefer!
- Tomato Paste: I like to use these tubes of tomato paste so I don’t have to open a can only to use a couple tablespoons.
- Can you reheat stuffed peppers? – Yes, you can reheat any leftover stuffed peppers in the oven at 350 for about 15-20 minutes or in the microwave for about 2 minutes per pepper.
- Can I prep these ahead of time? – Yes, you can make the stuffed peppers and then store them in the fridge for 3-5 days before baking them in the oven.
- Do I have to cook the peppers before stuffing them? – You don’t HAVE to cook them before stuffing but if you don’t they will stay quite crisp. We highly recommended that you don’t skip the pepper cooking step!
Keywords: jack-o-lantern stuffed peppers, halloween stuffed peppers