In honor of Halloween, I wanted to post something festive. I originally wanted to make some fun appetizers or something for a party, but was crunched for time and decided to make these instead. I don’t remember where I saw the idea to cut orange bell peppers into mini jack-o-lanterns, but I was excited to try it! I decided to make a simple quinoa bake inside of them, and they were so good! Recipe below!
- 5 large orange bell peppers
- 2 cups quinoa
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 hot chilis, chopped (leave out if you don’t like spicy!)
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- Any other vegetables you want!
- red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste
- Cook quinoa per directions on the package, only substituting water for the chicken broth (I always do this when cooking quinoa, easy way to make it much more flavorful!)
- Preheat oven to 350
- Cut tops off of bell peppers
- Using a paring knife, carefully cut faces into which ever side of the pepper looks flattest. Set aside.
- Heat a frying pan over medium heat with two tablespoons of olive oil
- Add chopped garlic and any other vegetables you want
- Sautée until garlic starts to become golden brown and vegetable tender, then take off the heat
- Once quinoa is done cooking, add 3/4 cup of the mozzarella, all the tomato sauce, the chilis, garlic, and whatever else you have lying around that you might want to add! (ex: any other vegetables, chicken or sausage, etc.)
- Set bottom halves of peppers on a cookie sheet or baking pan
- Mix everything together and then carefully spoon quinoa mixture into bell peppers until filled to the top (I had extra quinoa that I threw in a tupperware container and saved for that week!)
- Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella on top of each filled pepper, and place in oven
- Bake for about 10 minutes, or until mozzarella is melted and begins to brown/bubble
- Season to taste, and serve with the tops of the peppers on to look more like mini jack-o-lanterns!!