Rice and Beans Stuffed Peppers in a cute Halloween Jack O’Lantern style that is quick and simple to make, full in flavor and kids and grownups will love this fun presentation! It adds a special Halloween flare to your dinner, but it really is so simple to put together.
Filled with delicious Mexican flavors of rice and beans, cumin, paprika, corn and cheese, this is hard not to enjoy. You can fill it with whatever you please too, I also love to put a Korean spin on it with this bulgogi fried rice, or just super simple with chipotle turmeric fried rice.
Halloween is such a fun Holiday. It’s a Holiday that is made for kids and grownups alike. There is the cute and kid friendly, and there is the dark and eerie more elegant grownup friendly. I have two grownup friendly cocktails, the Black Swan Cranberry Sangria and the Poison Blackberry Martini. Both easy and delicious and very dark and elegant.
This is the more kid friendly cute version. I have to say, as someone that people tend to think of as a grownup – I am super excited about these easy Halloween Jack O’Lantern Rice and Beans Stuffed Peppers. And the best part is that these can be enjoyed all year long, you just omit the ‘pumpkin carving’.
How to Make these Stuffed Peppers Vegetarian
So this recipe includes ground beef. However, it is completely doable to make these vegetarian stuffed peppers just by omitting the ground beef. I would add more beans to compensate. I would add about 3 cups of canned black beans. At the same time in the recipe as the original rice and beans stuffed peppers with ground beef.
Beef or chicken broth can easily be substituted with vegetable stock. To make them vegan, you need to find a vegan blend of cheese as well.
What to Serve with Stuffed Peppers
What I like to serve with rice and beans stuffed peppers is guacamole. My absolute favorite guacamole that is fresh and a little spicy. Other condiments such as salsa, whether it being store bought or pico de gallo, sour cream and even more beans in this cowboy caviar are all super delicious with stuffed peppers!
I also like to add a little crunch. It’s like the French’s croutons or the Korean’s rice cakes. Crunch adds texture and interest to the dish. The most classic crunch to add is naturally the tortilla chips or nachos as we tend to call them in Norway (don’t judge).
Leftover Stuffed Pepper Filling
Because a baked pell pepper can only hold so much filling, we tend to have leftovers. The amount of pepper to filling is kind of disproportionate by nature, and I’m therefore often serving a little extra filling on the side or not eating the entire bell pepper.
If you have enough leftovers, I would make burritos out of the rest (or more stuffed peppers!). Using delicious corn or flour tortillas, more guacamole and maybe some fresh veggies too. Delicious! The filling can keep covered in the fridge for about 3 days in the fridge. Very important to not let it sit out in room temperature because of the rice.
Halloween Jack O’Lantern Rice and Beans Stuffed Peppers Recipe
I’ve seen a lot of Jack O’Lantern Peppers out there, so the idea isn’t mine, but not sure where to give credit to either. The filling is my own. Begin with pre-heating your oven to 180C (350F). Brown the ground beef in a large saucepan over medium high heat in some canola oil. Set aside.
Reduce to medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic until translucent – about 10 minutes. Add the rice and stir frequently until rice is golden and opaque. Add the ground beef, season with salt and pepper, smoked paprika, cayenne and cumin.
Pour in the broth or water. Stir gently. Cover and bring to a boil. Then reduce to low and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed. Approximately 17 minutes, depending a little on the rice.
Meanwhile, draw Jack O’Lanterns on the bell peppers. Cut with a sharp knife outside of the markings. Cut the top of the bell peppers off, but save it for presentation. Hollow and de-seed the peppers and cut a little on the bottom to make them more steady (if needed).
Fluff with a fork and add in the beans, corn, salsa and half of the cheese. Divide the mixture into eight bell peppers. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the bell peppers are soft and the cheese is melted.
Add a few broken pieces of nachos on top to make it look like it’s been cut with broken glass! Serve the Halloween Jack O’Lantern Rice and Beans Stuffed Peppers with optional toppings such as pico de gallo, sour cream and guacamole.
Perfect in time for Halloween:
- Pumpkin White Chocolate Muffins with Crumb Topping
- Hot Mulled Apple Cider
- Pumpkin Sage Brown Butter Soup
- Poison Blackberry Martini
- Healthy Pumpkin Soufflé with Maple Pecans
- Black Swan Cranberry Sangria
If you have any feedback, I’d love to hear from you. Either in the comment section below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later!
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This recipe was originally published on October 23 2018, but updated on September 17 2019 for better content.