Turn orange bell peppers into a satisfying, Halloween-themed dinner with this easy, fun, and kid-friendly stuffed pepper recipe.


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary test

15 mins
1 hr 10 mins
1 hr 25 mins
4 stuffed peppers

This Jack-o'-lantern stuffed pepper will look just as cool no matter how great your filling is. But while the kids might be impressed enough with the appearance to forgive a less than stellar inside, we discerning adults are going to want the full package. What I'm trying to say is that I didn't love this stuffing, and hope you use your favorite recipe instead, whether that's one of ours or not.

I think a lot of it had to do with the extra-lean ground beef I used, but it was also not sautéing the onions and garlic, or adding herbs, or any number of other things I could've done if I hadn't been trying to make the easiest stuffing possible. All things considered, it was still pretty good, but I guess I'm feeling like it wasn't worthy of the hand-carved delivery system.

Speaking of which, be sure to pick out some nice big bell peppers to make the knife work easier. And if you wanted to Halloween things up a bit, you could do some bucatini "worms" coming out of the eyes or mouth or serve these (to adults) with a steak knife plunged into the pepper menacingly. Anyway, if you're looking for a fun and not that frightening way to serve stuffed peppers, I hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!


Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Oil a baking dish with olive oil.

  • Use a small knife to cut eyes, nose, and mouth into the flattest side of each pepper, just like a jack-o'-lantern. Cut around the seedpods and remove the tops, trimming and discarding any seeds from under the stems. Trim the white membrane from the inside of each pepper and shake out any seeds. Place in the prepared baking dish.

  • Mix together ground beef, salt, pepper, cayenne, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, green onions, melted butter, ketchup, Cheddar cheese, and rice in a bowl until well combined.

  • Stuff mixture evenly into peppers and cover with the pepper tops. Wrap the baking dish loosely with foil and place on a sheet pan.

  • Bake in the upper center of the preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove the foil and continue baking until peppers are tender and ground beef is cooked through, 10 to 15 more minutes.

  • Place stuffed peppers on a few tablespoons of warm tomato sauce. Serve immediately with more sauce on the side.

Chef's Note:

You can use your favorite stuffed pepper filling for this recipe, or even a meatloaf recipe.

Nutrition Facts

613 calories; fat 45.7g; cholesterol 141.4mg; sodium 1035.1mg; carbohydrates 21.9g; protein 29.1g. Full Nutrition


Rating: 5 stars
This recipe was awesome! My brother and I are big Chef John fans and made these Halloween stuffed bell peppers with mashed potato ghosts. The filling is to die for (no Halloween pun intended) and I'd recommend this recipe to anyone looking for a great stuffed pepper regardless of the time of year. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
These were actually simple and good. The presentation is perfect and will be appreciated. The taste was quite good. I agree with Chef John you could liven up the stuffing with your favorite flavors, but I think he undersold how good his stuffing is. It went over great and we'll make it again. Read More