These little stuffed peppers are sure to please friends and family. The naturally sweet mini peppers are filled with a savory mixture of cream cheese and finely chopped vegetables. Ranch dressing mix and a small amount of mayonnaise flavor the stuffing mixture, while the crisp-tender sweet peppers add tantalizing contrast.
The stuffing mixture is delicious as a stand-alone cold dip, as well. Serve it in a bowl with sliced mini peppers and other vegetable dippers or crackers. The recipe makes about 24 filled appetizer peppers and can easily be scaled up for a crowd.
- 12 mini bell peppers
- 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/2 (1-ounce) package dry ranch dressing mix (1 1/2 tablespoons)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 cup broccoli (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoons red bell pepper (finely chopped)
- 1/2 carrot (finely shredded, about 2 tablespoons)
- 2/3 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
Gather the ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or foil.
Slice the peppers in half lengthwise.
With a melon ball scoop or small spoon, scrape out the seeds and soft ribs. Repeat with the remaining peppers.
Arrange the peppers, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheets.
In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the softened cream cheese with the mayonnaise, ranch dressing mix, and black pepper until smooth and well blended.
Fold in the broccoli, chopped red bell pepper, and grated carrot.
Fill each pepper half with the cream cheese mixture.
Bake the peppers for 10 minutes. Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over the peppers and return them to the oven for 1 to 2 minutes longer, or until the cheese melts.
Remove the peppers from the oven and arrange them on a tray or platter. Serve stuffed mini peppers warm.
- If you don't have the dry dressing mix, it's easy to make a substitute. In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup of buttermilk powder with 2 teaspoons of dried parsley flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons of onion powder, 1 teaspoon of chopped chives, 3/4 teaspoon of dried dill, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. The mixture makes the equivalent of about 2 packets of dry ranch-style dressing mix.
- For a cocktail party, plan on about 8 to 12 appetizer items per person. For small parties of 8 to 10 people, offer 3 types of appetizers. For a larger party with 14 to 16 guests, offer at least 4 types of appetizers.
- For a smoky flavor, add a few tablespoons of crumbled, cooked bacon to the filling mixture.
- Add about 2 tablespoons of finely chopped shredded cheddar cheese to the filling for sharper cheese flavor.
- For mild heat, add a pinch of ground cayenne pepper to the filling.
- Replace the mayonnaise with sour cream.
- Replace the shredded carrot with chopped fresh chives or finely chopped green onions.