NOTE: If you’re here just for the recipe, I have to recommend you read through the post, too, because I give a few recipe tips in it.
I’m kind of on a finger food kick, aren’t I? Well, spoiler alert: I’m not done yet!
Yeah…that wasn’t much of a spoiler, was it? *crickets*
Well, then. Stuffed peppers. Truthfully, I had no idea what to call these. I thought about calling them “poppers”, but then that made me think of only jalapenos, which isn’t quite right. “Stuffed peppers” brings to mind images of large bell peppers stuffed with rice or meat. Uh uh, that’s not what these are. BUT they’re mini sweet peppers (or jalapenos, if you prefer to use those) stuffed with cheese. I know. My creativity is astounding.
Initially I was just planning on whipping up a batch of jalapeno poppers, but while at the grocery store, Mini Foodie caught sight of some mini sweet peppers and just could not get over them. She really needed those colorful peppers, and I was in enough of a hurry to think a couple bucks for peppers was worth a behaved two year old. Turns out crazy toddler fixation = delicious recipe idea.
Personally, I love the sweet peppers stuffed with goat cheese. The combination of the slightly sweet pepper and the tangy goat cheese just pairs so well with the balsamic vinegar sauce. Let’s just say I had a hard time photographing these because my little photo subjects kept disappearing…into my mouth. If you’re not a fan of goat cheese or want a milder goat cheese flavor, you can cut the goat cheese with cream cheese or just use all cream cheese.
The hubs, on the other hand, is all about the baconated version. Instead of just stuffed with cheese and drizzled with maple balsamic, these guys are wrapped up in bacon and brushed with glaze before baking. The result is a meaty, salty-sweet pepper with just enough cooling action from the cheese (if you’re using jalapenos, that is. The sweet peppers have no heat). I do think the baconated version tastes best with jalapenos, but it still works well with sweet peppers if heat isn’t your thing.
Cheese Stuffed Peppers with Maple Balsamic
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 24 stuffed peppers
- 12 mini sweet peppers and/or jalapenos
- 8 oz cream cheese, goat cheese or a combination of both, softened
- 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbs maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 300°F
- Slice peppers in half and remove the seeds.
- Mix cheeses together if necessary.
- Scoop cheese into each pepper half and place halves in a baking dish
- Bake for 30 minutes or until peppers are cooked through.
- Combine balsamic vinegar and maple syrup in a small microwave safe bowl.
- Microwave on high for 30 seconds or until bubbling, stir, set aside and allow to cool. Alternatively, you can heat them together on the stove in a small saucepan until bubbling.
- Remove peppers from oven and allow a few minutes to cool before drizzling with the sauce.
If you want to wrap them in bacon:
- Cut bacon strips in half and wrap each pepper with half a strip of bacon, tucking the ends behind the pepper half.
- Brush the peppers and bacon generously with the maple balsamic.
- Bake at 300°F for 30 minutes or until bacon is cooked through.
So is “stuffed peppers” the correct name? I think I’m confusing myself. 😛
Looking for finger foods or appetizer ideas?