Why this recipe works
This cream cheese stuffed mini peppers recipe is such an easy appetizer and works for so many occasions. Holidays, sporting events, summer BBQs, and more!
With just a few simple ingredients, this appetizer recipe is naturally gluten-free and so easy to adapt based on your preferences or the ingredients you have on hand.
Plus, it can easily be made ahead and baked when you’re ready to serve. With just under 20 minutes in the oven, this is an appetizer to keep in your entertaining repertoire.
- Shredded cheddar cheese: You can use your favorite cheese in this recipe (monterey jack and pepper jack would be great alternatives!). If you are using pre-shredded cheese, make sure the cheese you purchase does not contain gluten (which is occasionally used to prevent the cheese from caking – it’s rare in my experience, but it’s always best to check if you need this recipe to remain gluten-free!).
- Bacon: Pre-cook the bacon however you would like. I typically cook my bacon in a skillet or bake my bacon in the oven. You can also omit the bacon if you would like to make this recipe vegetarian.
- Minced garlic: If you do not have fresh garlic available, you can substitute with garlic powder. I suggest 1/2 tablespoon of garlic powder.
Follow the steps to make this easy gluten-free appetizer:
1. Add the cream cheese, minced garlic, salt and pepper to a large bowl.
2. Mix together with an electric hand mixer until completely smooth.
3. Add the shredded cheddar cheese, sliced green onions, and cooked bacon to the bowl.
4. Mix together until completely combined.
5. Slice your mini sweet peppers in half length-wise. Remove the seeds and stems from the inside. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
6. Fill the peppers with the cream cheese filling. Bake at 425F for 16-18 minutes, or until the cheese is hot and browned to your liking. Top with fresh parsley or cilantro before serving if you wish!
- Make sure you prepare ahead and soften your cream cheese at room temperature so that it is easy to mix with the other filling ingredients. Leave the cream cheese on your countertop for 30 minutes to an hour, until you can easily leave an indent when you press it. I do not recommend softening in the microwave.
- Lining your baking sheet with parchment paper allows for easy clean up and ensures that any cream cheese filling that escapes off the pepper doesn’t stick to the pan.
- Have a hot spot in your oven? Rotate your baking sheets half way through to ensure even roasting.
- To make ahead, complete all steps up until baking in the oven and keep the mini peppers covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake.
Yes! You can swap out the cream cheese and use goat cheese instead for a different flavor.
Yes, just omit the bacon for a vegetarian appetizer. The recipe does include a good amount of dairy, so it cannot be made dairy-free or vegan.
If you don’t have bacon on hand, you can try ground beef or sausage instead. Make sure to fully cook your meat before mixing with the cream cheese.
Most brands are gluten-free, but be sure to check the packaging labels as some brands may use gluten as an anti-caking agent. I tend to buy blocks of cheese and shred them myself with a box grater or in my food processor with a shredding attachment.
Shredded pepper jack or monterey jack would be great in this recipe. If you want a more mild flavor, try shredded mozzarella or parmesan.
Cream Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers
- Electric mixer
- Large bowl
- Baking Sheet
- Parchment Paper
- 12 mini sweet peppers (sliced in half length-wise, seeds and ribs removed)
- 8 ounce cream cheese (softened)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 slices bacon (cooked and crumbled)
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup green onions (sliced)
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley or cilantro (for topping)
- Preheat the oven to 425F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add softened cream cheese, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Mix with an electric hand mixer until completely smooth.
- Stir in the cooked bacon bits, shredded cheddar cheese, and sliced green onions until combined.
- Fill the cut peppers with the filling. The filling should be slightly mounded over the top of the peppers.
- Bake at 425F for 16-18 minutes, or until the filling is hot. Remove from the oven. Top with chopped parsley or cilantro before serving if you wish.
- Depending on the size of your mini sweet peppers, you may have some filling left over. Adjust the number of mini peppers you use as necessary. I found that I was able to get 24 pepper halves when using medium to large mini sweet peppers.
- Make this recipe vegetarian by omitting the bacon.
- You can slice off the green stems if you would like. I like to keep them on for presentation, but it’s up to you.
- Pre-cook the bacon however you would like. I typically cook my bacon in a skillet or bake my bacon in the oven.
- If you do not have fresh garlic available, you can substitute with garlic powder. I suggest 1/2 tablespoon of garlic powder.
- This recipe can be easily halved or doubled as needed.