Mini Stuffed Peppers with Cream Cheese have only 5 ingredients for a healthy, vegetarian appetizer that's great for entertaining or snacking.
- About Mini Stuffed Peppers with Cream Cheese
- How to Make Cream Cheese Stuffed Peppers
- Cream Cheese Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions
About Mini Stuffed Peppers with Cream Cheese
Mini bell peppers are stuffed with a cheesy mixture of cream cheese, cheddar cheese, chopped walnuts, and minced jalapeño. Then the cheese-stuffed mini bell pepper halves are baked and enjoyed.
Devour hot or cold, these cream cheese stuffed mini peppers are an excellent appetizer to serve at parties because they are vegetarian and gluten-free.
Plus, you can make them ahead of time, and it's always nice to get extra veggies at parties where vegetables are usually lacking.
The sweetness from the mini bell peppers and the richness of the cream cheese balance the spicy jalapeño cheese mixture.
You get a little crunch from the walnuts for an interesting variety of textures.
Sweet and spicy, crunchy and smooth, rich and light — this appetizer has multiple contrasting qualities.
Plus, you get extra nutrients thanks to the veggies which are often uncommon for appetizers.
Bell peppers: Mini bell peppers are the best option because you only need to slice them in half and fill them.
However, if you cannot find baby bell peppers or do not want to use them, simply slice regular-sized bell peppers into thick slices that will hold the cheese mixture when baked. I recommend using multiple colors so your appetizer is visually pleasing as well.
Cream cheese: Block cream cheese is what I use because it's more budget-friendly, but the cream cheese in the tub will also work. That being said, the recipe has been tested using both reduced-fat cream cheese and regular full-fat. There is no noticeable difference between the two.
Cheese: Many types of cheese will work in this recipe. I prefer sharp cheddar for a little extra flavor, but any type of cheddar, mozzarella, pepper jack, Monterey Jack, or parmesan cheese tastes great in these mini stuffed peppers with cream cheese.
Jalapeño: Before adding the jalapeño, I like to do a little taste to see how spicy it is since the spiciness of jalapeños varies by pepper. If the jalapeño isn't very spicy, you can add more. Add less if it's very spicy.
Walnuts: Use raw walnuts in this recipe since they are baked in the stuffed bell peppers. Store-bought roasted walnuts might end up being overcooked and have a burned flavor if used in this recipe.
Seasoned walnuts will change the flavor of these stuffed bell peppers, so I don't recommend using them.
- 16 ounces baby bell peppers: $3.24
- 8 ounces Cream cheese: $1.54
- 2 ounces Cheddar cheese: $0.50
- 1 Jalapeño: $0.20
- 1-ounce Walnuts: $0.44
TOTAL COST: $5.92 or $0.74/serving (Based on San Diego grocery stores 2023)
Note that this is not the recipe; it's simply to show the cost breakdown of ingredients. Scroll down to the full recipe to see the specific ingredients and directions.
How to Make Cream Cheese Stuffed Peppers
Time needed: 40 minutes
Making these cream cheese stuffed peppers is incredibly simple, and you can prepare them ahead of time. Here's how to make Mini Stuffed Peppers with Cream Cheese:
- Slice the baby bell peppers in half.
Remove the seeds and ribs.
- Stir together the softened cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and jalapeños.
- Add in walnuts.
- Fill the mini bell peppers with the cream cheese mixture.
- Place the cream cheese stuffed bell peppers on a baking sheet.
- Bake, and enjoy!
Serve them warm, at room temperature, or cold.
Cream Cheese Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe Tips
*Taste the mixture before filling the mini pepper halves. You want it a little spicier because the sweet peppers will balance out the spiciness.
Add more jalapenos or walnuts for extra crunch and flavor. Add more shredded cheese or cream cheese to tone down the heat.
*The longer you bake these, the softer the peppers will be. If you want a firmer, crunchier pepper, bake for about 15 minutes. For a softer pepper, bake for about 25 minutes.
Baby bell peppers: If you cannot find mini bell peppers or do not want to use them, simply slice some regular-sized bell peppers into thick slices that will hold the cheese mixture when baked.
Jalapeños: You can substitute the minced jalapeno with 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes or ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a pinch. Taste the mixture and add more if needed.
If you're not a fan of spicy, leave out the jalapeños.
Walnuts: Pecans, almonds, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds are all great alternatives; or skip them altogether.
Herbs: Add chopped fresh herbs to the cheese mixture for extra flavor. Basil, parsley, cilantro, or thyme would work well here.
Additionally, ¼ teaspoon of dried oregano or salt-free Italian seasoning could be added to the cream cheese mixture.
Alternative Prep & Cooking
Want to make them in the air fryer instead of the oven? Try this recipe for Air Fryer Mini Peppers Stuffed with Cream Cheese.
How to Make Allergy-Friendly
Mini stuffed peppers with cream cheese are naturally gluten-free, egg-free, and soy-free.
To make a nut-free version, use pumpkin seeds or skip the nuts altogether.
If you want these to be dairy-free, use dairy-free cream cheese and cheddar cheese.
How to Fix a Mistake
To prevent a problem, I recommend tasting the cheese mixture before stuffing the peppers to make sure you like the way it tastes.
Too spicy: Add extra cream cheese or cheddar cheese.
Lacks flavor: Add extra jalapeño, cayenne pepper, or red pepper flakes. Be sure to add small amounts at a time so it doesn't get too spicy. If you don't want it to be spicier, you could try adding fresh chopped herbs.
To make these ahead of time, you have a few options.
The first option is the slice the peppers, remove the seeds and ribs, and combine the cheese mixture. Assemble and refrigerate until you're ready to bake.
You can also prepare and bake these ahead of time, but they don't hold up as well and the peppers get even more softened.
That's why I prefer to wait to bake right before enjoying them.
Store these in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Try to keep them in one layer or add a piece of foil, wax paper, or parchment between the layers. You can also wrap the extras in the foil or parchment you used to bake the stuffed peppers.
Serve cold, at room temperature, or warm.
- From the fridge: Place on a baking sheet and transfer to a 350F oven for about 10 minutes until warmed through.
- From the freezer: Place on a baking sheet and transfer to a 350F oven for about 20 minutes until warmed through.
Frequently Asked Questions
Prepare them as directed, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
An alternative is to skip the baking step. They are tasty when served cold & unbaked too!
Know that the bell peppers will be extra crunchy. Baking the cream cheese stuffed mini peppers is what softens the peppers and melts the cheese.
Yes, you can freeze the cream cheese stuffed baby peppers. I recommend freezing them before baking so they hold up better. Assemble and freeze in an airtight container for up to one month.
When ready to serve, remove from the freezer and place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until cooked through and the cheese has melted and is slightly browned. This will take about 25-40 minutes but check on them as they are baking since cook times vary especially when frozen.
Alternatively, you can freeze after baking and reheat in a 350F oven for about 20 minutes.
Peppers and cream cheese are a nutritious combo. Peppers are full of vitamins, and the fat from the cream cheese helps your body absorb some of the vitamins.
Additionally, cream cheese has a little protein while peppers have fiber, so you feel more satisfied with a combo of macronutrients.
Filling mini sweet pepper halves with cream cheese and baking is an excellent way to enjoy mini sweet peppers.
Yes, like many veggies, sweet peppers have anti-inflammatory compounds as well as antioxidants.
These cream cheese stuffed bell peppers offer more vitamins, fiber, and protein than your average party appetizer or snack.
Bell peppers are such a versatile veggie that can be enjoyed year-round. The colorful baby peppers are high in Vitamin C, A, B6, and Folate.
They are also a good source of fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals.
Jalapeños have capsaicin which has been shown to have cancer-fighting and antibiotic properties as well as lower LDL cholesterol levels.
High in calcium and protein, cheese adds flavor and fat to the mini stuffed peppers with cream cheese which helps you absorb the nutrients from the bell peppers and jalapeño.
Plus, the fat makes these more satisfying.
Walnuts also have fat to help absorb vitamins from the peppers, and some of that fat is omega-3 fatty acids which help promote brain, heart, and skin health.
What to Serve with Cream Cheese Stuffed Peppers
Mini stuffed peppers with cream cheese are also great as a veggie-filled snack with some protein.
There are so many reasons these cream cheese stuffed bell peppers make the ideal appetizer or snack.
First of all, they are incredibly tasty. Plus, they're easy to prepare and only need five ingredients. You can make a bunch at a time, so cream cheese stuffed peppers are great for entertaining. And they can be made ahead of time if needed.
On top of being a crowd-pleasing appetizer, you can enjoy these for snacks.
Served fresh from the oven, at room temperature, or cold; everyone will love these.
P.S. If you love the idea of more stuffed mini peppers, I highly recommend trying these hummus stuffed peppers.
MORE CREAM CHEESE APPETIZER RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE:
- Crab Spinach Dip
- Blue Cheese Bacon Dip
- Crawfish Dip
- Healthy Jalapeno Popper Dip
- Mexican Cream Cheese Appetizer
Cream Cheese Stuffed Peppers
- 16 ounces baby bell peppers
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 2 ounces cheddar cheese shredded
- ½ small jalapeno minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- ¼ cup walnuts chopped (about 1 ounce)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper for easier cleanup, if desired.
- Slice the bell peppers in half lengthwise and discard seeds & ribs. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together cream cheese, cheddar cheese, walnuts and jalapeño until combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the bell pepper halves and transfer to the baking sheet. Repeat with all the bell peppers.
- Bake for 15-25 minutes depending on how browned you want the cheese.
- Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold. Enjoy!
What to Use in This Recipe
This post was originally published on June 20, 2017. Text, recipe, and photos have been updated.
Cream Cheese Stuffed Peppers Nutrition Facts
How many carbs in a bell pepper with cream cheese?
There are about 2 grams of carbs in a mini bell pepper with cream cheese.
*Inspired by this recipe from The Roasted Root