For a festive Halloween dinner this year, I decided to take my amateur carving skills to vegetables and make taco stuffed peppers. The jack o lantern faces get a bit droopy after baking, but I suppose it adds to the character of the final product! These are definitely going on our regular menu, jack o lantern faces omitted, because they were delicious! A tip for making these over the top good? Use homemade taco seasoning and salsa. I’m no gambler, but I am willing to bet you have everything for the taco seasoning in your kitchen right now so at minimum choose that over store bought packets! We were lucky enough to have homemade salsa as well from our day of canning over the Summer.
Similar to my lollipop ghosts, these jack o lantern peppers aren’t exactly on the scary side. Halloween at our house tends to be cute rather than scary. My cousin who is a Halloween fanatic would be slightly disappointed! We did have what looked like a person stuck under the garage outside though thanks to my clever husband. It always proves to scare a couple of the real little kids! I should have taken a photo so I’ll make a mental note to do that next year! I do have a photo of our jeep decked out for Halloween a few years ago – again the creative skills of my husband! It was definitely fun; my sister in law let us park it in their yard for the evening and the trick or treaters loved it!
The second best part about these stuffed peppers (after the scrumptious flavor) is the effort required to cook them! They are simple and quick and that’s a recipe for a successful weeknight dinner. While rice is cooking in a saucepan, you cook the meat in a skillet, drain, add your seasoning with a bit of water, pour in salsa and allow to simmer. While the meat simmers and the rice cooks you give the peppers a head start in the oven.
Once your rice is cooked, mix it in with the meat and remove the peppers from the oven to carefully fill with the meat mixture. Once filled, top the stuffed peppers with cheese and return to the oven for 10 – 15 minutes of baking. I baked ours in a roasting pan. A deep baking dish would work just as well.
When the peppers are ready to be devoured add your favorite toppings and dig in! We kept it simple with an already hectic evening and finished our peppers with lettuce and sour cream! Adding some tomatoes and cilantro too would be highly recommended! Yum!
These also heat up very well the next day. I’m not sorry I ate the last one for lunch today without asking if anyone else wanted it. First come first serve, right? Maybe I’ll make a couple extra next time 🙂 Check out the recipe below to make these for dinner tonight, it is Taco Tuesday after all! Enjoy!!
Taco Stuffed Peppers
- 4 – 5 medium to large Bell Peppers
- 1 pound Ground Beef
- 2 Tbsphttps://ourfrontdoorlookingin.com/2015/03/22/homemade-taco-seasoning/
- 1/2 – 1 cup homemade Salsa (Canning Homemade Salsa)
- 1 cup cooked Rice
- 2 cups shredded Cheese (I used colby jack)
- Shredded Lettuce, for serving
- Sour Cream, for serving
- Fresh Tomatoes and Cilantro, for serving
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Slice tops off the peppers and clean out seeds.
- Stand the peppers up in a roasting or casserole dish, cover and bake for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large frying pan over medium heat, brown the ground beef. Drain off the grease.
- Add the taco seasoning with 1/8 cup water and mix well.
- Add salsa and rice and mix well again. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove peppers from the oven and fill with meat mixture. Top each pepper with cheese.
- Return peppers to oven and bake 15 minutes, uncovered.
- Serve over shredded lettuce with a dollop of sour cream.
As always, thanks for reading!!