Recipes

Festive Jack O Lantern Stuffed Peppers (Instant Pot and Oven Options)

Sharing is caring!

For an easy, healthy and attractive-looking dinner, stuffed peppers have long been one of my favorite, go-to dishes. This particular stuffed pepper recipe is extra festive for this time of year, because it transforms your pepper vessel into an adorable Jack O Lantern! The stuffing inside is a delicious, flavorful blend of healthy grains and colorful vegetables, and the presentation is so much fun! The end result makes for a delicious and healthy autumn dish.  While this dish is  ready in no time in an Instant Pot, you can also use the stove-top and oven (it will just take a bit longer). If you have children or grandchildren who love to help in the kitchen, they will really enjoy helping you make these Jack O Lantern stuffed peppers!

This dish is great when you are looking for a way to get your family to eat healthier. Stuffed peppers are always fun to eat. They are in the same category as taco salads with edible shells, or Panera bread soup in the bread-bowl. Who doesn’t love a serving vessel that they can devour? While we don’t really celebrate Halloween in my family, I know that many of our readers do. These would be perfect to whip up before Halloween (maybe to help balance out the mass influx of sugar that is sure to come!) In addition to being healthy, it’s also vegetarian and gluten-free!

The first thing you need to do when making these stuffed peppers is to rinse your Quinoa under cold water for about 2 minutes. If you haven’t used it before, Quinoa is a wonderful, nutrient-rich gluten free grain. It’s pretty neutral tasting, so you can use it in any number of dishes. Rinsing it well is really important, as the outer coating of quinoa can be a bit bitter-tasting and make it harder to digest. Rinsing it well also helps it “fluff up” better when cooked.

After you’ve rinsed your Quinoa, place the butter in a a hot skillet. When it’s melted, add the chopped onion, and saute for 2 minutes. Once your onion has started to brown, add the Quinoa and Rice and saute for 5 minutes. Add your chopped peppers, corn and beans. Stir everything well and cook for 5 more minutes.

Next, add the  the chicken broth, water, garlic salt, seasoned salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat to low, and add the minced garlic. Stir well, cover the skillet with a lid, and simmer the filling for about 20 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. All of the flavors cook together to make a delicious, flavorful filling.

While the filling is cooking, wash the Orange peppers, and dry them with a paper towel. Next, with a sharp carving knife, remove the tops of peppers, leaving the stems on (see photo), and clean the inside of the pepper with a spoon, removing the ribs (white fleshy part inside) and all seeds.

Then cut the faces into the pepper with a small carving knife. All you really need here is three, small triangles and a curved mouth. Be sure not to make the mouth too big or wide, as it will expand when you cook your peppers!  Once this is done, set peppers and tops aside. 

Check to see that your rice/Quinoa mixture is cooked thoroughly (grains should be soft and the liquid should be fully absorbed). If it is, then fill the peppers with the mixture, and place the tops on the peppers.

Two Ways to Cook the Peppers

If you have an Instant Pot, then the rest of this process will only take a few minutes! We love how handy this fast-cooking tool is! However, if you don’t have an Instant Pot (but still want to make this recipe) it’s also totally doable. You will just need a longer cooking time.

Cooking Stuffed Peppers in the Instant Pot

Place the trivet in the bottom of the Instant Pot, and add 1/2 cup of water.  Place the filled peppers on the trivet.

Place the lid on the Instant Pot until it beeps and locks.  Turn the pressure valve to ‘SEALING’, and press the MANUAL button.  Set the time to 5 minutes, and when the Instant Pot is finished cooking, it will beep and go to OFF.

Do a quick release by carefully  (and with a pot holder covering your hand) turning the pressure valve from SEALING to ‘VENTING’.   Allow the Instant Pot to release all the pressure, and make sure the float valve or stem is completely down, and remove the lid from the Instant Pot.

Cooking Stuffed Peppers in the Oven

To cook the stuffed peppers in the oven, arrange them right-side up in a small casserole dish. You may want to use a smaller casserole dish to ensure that the peppers are securely upright and won’t fall over. Pre-heat your oven to about 400 degrees. Once it’s preheated, bake your peppers in the casserole dish for about 30 minutes (or until the peppers are soft)

Remove the peppers from the Instant Pot or Casserole Dish with two large spoons or tongs.  Plate and serve.  Enjoy!

Let us know if you make these festive Jack O Lantern Stuffed Peppers!

Do you love stuffed peppers as much as we do? What are some of your favorite goodies to put inside?

 

Print

Festive Jack O Lantern Stuffed Peppers

  • Author: Wendy Hilton

Description

These festive and healthy Jack-O-Lantern peppers are family-friendly and fun to serve on cool, autumn evening!


Scale

Ingredients

46 Orange bell peppers

1 cups of brown rice

1 cup of quinoa

2 Tablespoons of butter

1 sweet onion – chopped

1 red bell pepper – chopped

1 green pepper – chopped

1 cup of sweet corn

1 can of black beans – rinsed and drained

2 Tablespoons of minced garlic

3 cups of chicken broth

1 cup of water

1 Tablespoon of coarse ground garlic salt

1 Tablespoon of seasoned salt

1 teaspoon of pepper


Instructions

First, rinse the Quinoa in a strainer under cold water for about 2 minutes.

Place the butter in a skillet, and when it’s melted, add the chopped onion, and saute for 2 minutes.

Add the quinoa and rice, and saute for another 5 minutes.

Add the red bell pepper, green bell pepper, corn, and beans,  stir, and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, water, garlic salt, seasoned salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil.

Turn the heat to low, and add the minced garlic, stir well, cover the skillet with a lid, and simmer the filling for about 20 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.

While the filling is cooking, wash the Orange peppers, and dry them with a paper towel.

With a sharp carving knife, remove the tops of peppers, leaving the stems on (see photo).

Clean the inside of the pepper with a spoon, removing the ribs (white fleshy part inside) and all seeds.

Cut the faces into the pepper with a small carving knife, and set peppers and tops aside.

When Rice/quinoa mixture is done, fill the peppers with the filling, and place the tops on the peppers.  Place the trivet in the bottom of the Instant Pot, and add 1/2 cup of water.  Place the filled peppers on the trivet. Place the lid on the Instant Pot until it beeps and locks.  Turn the pressure valve to ‘SEALING’, and press the MANUAL button.  Set the time to 5 minutes, and when the Instant Pot is finished cooking, it will beep and go to OFF.  Do a quick release, by carefully, and with a pot holder, turning the pressure valve from SEALING to ‘VENTING’.   Allow the Instant Pot to release all the pressure, and make sure the float valve or stem is completely down, and remove the lid from the Instant Pot.  Remove the peppers from the Instant Pot (I used a large spoon).  Plate and serve.  Enjoy!


About the author

Wendy Hilton

Wendy is one of the owners of Love These Recipes. She married her high school sweetheart, Scott, over 27 years ago, and they live in the South with their three children: Hannah, age 23; Noah, age 22; and Mary Grace, age 16. Wendy loves working out and teaching Training for Warriors classes at her local gym. She also enjoys learning along with her family, educational travel, reading, and writing, and she attempts to grow an herb garden every summer with limited success.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment