Healthy Halloween: Jack-o-peppers

Carve faces into the side of a bell pepper for a cute jack-o'-lantern treat you can eat!

Orange bell peppers stuffed and carved in the shape of a jack-o-lantern


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 ½ cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 (8 ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 large orange bell peppers


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add beef, salt and pepper; cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, just until it loses its pink color, about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in rice, ¾ cup tomato sauce and parsley.
  3. Meanwhile, cut out stem ends of bell peppers and set aside; scoop out seeds. With a sharp paring knife, cut out a jack-o’-lantern face on one side of each pepper. Place the peppers and tops, cut-side down, in a microwave-safe pie pan. Add ¼ cup water. Microwave on High until tender but firm, 4 to 6 minutes. Empty the water from the dish and turn the peppers cut-side up.
  4. Stuff the peppers with the beef mixture. Spoon the remaining ¼ cup tomato sauce over the peppers. Bake until the mixture is heated through, 20 to 25 minutes. Place the steamed tops back on top of the peppers.


  • To make ahead: Refrigerate filling (Step 2) for up to 2 days. Continue with recipe.
  • Don’t feel like freehand-carving the faces with a knife? Try using a cookie cutter instead. 

Nutrition Information


4 jack-o-lantern stuffed peppers


Amount Per Serving (1 stuffed pepper):

Calories: 383kcal

Carbohydrates: 33g

Protein: 27g

Cholesterol: 74mg

Sodium: 933mg

Fiber: 4g

Calcium: 48mg 

Iron: 4mg 

Magnesium: 79mg 

Potassium: 905mg

Sugar: 6g


Recipe © Carolyn Casner for EatingWell

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