As a fall enthusiast, I am constantly looking for ways to incorporate more autumn into my existence. I would gladly eat pumpkin 24/7, but sometimes I gotta switch it up. That’s when I look for ways to make my food LOOK like it’s pumpkin. Enter jack o’ lantern stuffed peppers, the perfect Halloween-themed meal.
With their adorable little faces, these stuffed peppers will delight your friends and make party guests think you’re super crafty. Carving the faces may look a little daunting, but it’s actually super simple. Just make sure to use a small, sharp knife and take your time on the smaller details like the teeth. I played it safe and carved a traditional jack o’ lantern smiling face, but you can have fun and use emoji faces as your carving inspiration.
The cheesy quinoa spinach artichoke stuffing is super satisfying and perfect for warming up as the autumn chills start hitting, but you can switch up the insides to whatever suits your taste. Rice, couscous, meat, or alternative veggies would all make great fillers.
Halloween or not, these Jack O’ Lantern Stuffed Peppers make a perfect dinner or a stunning party treat, so get out your knives and get carving!
Spooky Jack O’ Lantern Stuffed Peppers
- Prep Time:20 mins
- Cook Time:42 mins
- Total Time:1 hr 2 mins
- 5 large orange bell peppers
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa thoroughly rinsed and drained
- 2 cup reduced sodium vegetable stock or water
- 2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 16 ounce fresh spinach leaves
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 14 ounce can artichoke hearts drained and chopped
- 1 cup freshly grated part skim Mozzarella provolone or similar melty Italian cheese
- 1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
Cut out orange pepper tops and clean out the insides of seeds and veins.
Carve faces using a small, sharp knife.
Add quinoa and vegetable stock to a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 12 minutes. Remove from the heat, fluff with a spoon or fork, then cover and let sit to the side.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep saute pan over medium high. Add the spinach in small handfuls, stirring as it wilts down, until you have added all of the leaves.
To the pan, add the garlic, basil, salt, and pepper.
Add the artichoke hearts and cook until warmed through. Remove from the heat.
Stir the spinach artichoke mixture into the quinoa. Add cheese and Greek yogurt. Stir.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, spray with cooking oil, and arrange peppers on sheet.
Generously stuff the peppers with the quinoa filling. Bake for 30 minutes at 350° F.
Serve warm and enjoy!