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Stuffed “Pumpkin” Peppers

These Halloween-themed stuffed bell peppers are perfect for your autumn dinner party! Not only are they delicious, but be prepared for laughs and lots of “oh, how cute” comments!

Stuffed ‘Pumpkin’ Peppers

Servings: 6–8 | Time: 30–40 minutes active; 30 minutes inactive | Difficulty: Moderate

Ingredients:

  • 6–8 orange bell peppers
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1 1/4 lbs. (567 g) lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 2 Tbsp. (17 g) taco seasoning* (see recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup (75 g) diced white or yellow onion
  • 1 tsp. (5 g) minced garlic
  • 1 can (14.5 oz./411 g) petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 oz./227 g) tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups (278 g) cooked rice
  • 1 can (4 oz./113 g) diced green chiles, drained
  • 1 can (15 oz./425 g) black beans, drained
  • 1 cup (136 g) frozen corn (no need to thaw)
  • 1/4 tsp. (.5 g) crushed red pepper, optional
  • 1 1/2–2 cups (170–226 g) shredded cheese (cheddar, jack, or Mexican blend)
  • 1 drop cumin essential oil
  • 1 drop black pepper essential oil
  • Optional toppings (sour cream, sliced green onion, chopped avocado, olives, chopped cilantro, diced tomato, salsa)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).
  2. Wash peppers. Cut the top off each pepper, and scrape out the insides. If desired, use a small paring knife to cut out a jack-o-lantern face on one side of each pepper.
  3. Place peppers in a large baking dish, and add about 1″ (2.5 cm) of water. Cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes while you make the filling.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add ground meat and cook, stirring and breaking up large chunks, until browned and cooked through. Drain off as much grease as possible.
  5. Return pan to heat, and add taco seasoning, onion, and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until soft. Reduce heat to medium. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, rice, green chiles, black beans, corn, crushed red pepper, and 1 cup (113 g) of cheese. Stir to combine, and cook until cheese is melted.
  6. Remove from heat, and stir in the essential oils.
  7. Remove peppers from the oven, and reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C). Move the peppers to a plate or cutting board. Pour out the water from the pan.
  8. Add the filling to each pepper, and place peppers back in the baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake for 25–30 minutes. Remove foil, and top each pepper with additional cheese. Return peppers to the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  9. Add desired toppings, and enjoy!

*Note: You can use any kind of taco seasoning you have on hand, or try replacing the taco seasoning altogether with 1 Tbsp. (8 g) chili powder, 1 tsp. (6 g) sea salt, and 1–2 drops cumin essential oil. See our Taco Seasoning recipe below that we put together in an empty spice jar.

Taco Seasoning

Servings: Yield 7 Tbsp. (60 g) | Time: 5 minutes active | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. (16 g) chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. (12 g) ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. (5 g) paprika
  • 2 tsp. (12 g) sea salt
  • 2 tsp. (5 g) fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. (3 g) garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. (2 g) onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. (1 g) crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. (2 g) dried oregano

Instructions:

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