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Jack-O-Lantern Stuffed Peppers (2 ways)

  • Author: Erin Jensen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


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
  • 1/41/2 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 batch homemade taco seasoning 
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 12 roma tomatoes, diced


  • dairy-free sour cream
  • salsa
  • black olives
  • guacamole


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Cast Iron: Meanwhile, take a large cast iron skillet and bring to medium/high heat. Add olive oil and swirl to coat the pan.
  5. Garlic: Add garlic and let cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  6. Onion: Add onion and cook until it reduces, about 2-3 minutes.
  7. Ground Turkey: Add ground turkey to the pan and allow to cook, about 5-7 minutes, or until fully cooked.
  8. Seasoning: Add taco seasoning, water and tomato paste; stir to combine.
  9. Tomatoes: Add diced tomatoes and stir to combine.
  10. Stuff Peppers: Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired. Take turkey mixture and stuff each pepper. Add toppings, as desired.
  11. 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