Make your own Stuffed Mini Peppers, Piquanté Peppers or Chillies… Perfect for parties, appetisers, tapas, antipasti and salads.
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Originally posted 27th September 2014. Updated 30th October 2022
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Stuffed Mini Peppers and Chillies – perfect for parties
My Stuffed Mini Peppers and chillies are such a treat. Super-bright and eye-catching, they are perfect for the party buffet table, as tapas and appetisers… as antipasti (antipasto) and even in salads. They can be made with either fresh mini peppers or chillies… Or using a jar of ready-to-go Piquanté peppers.
I made my original batch with home-grown Cherry Bomb Chillies which had a gently warm kick to them… Although home-grown is of course seasonal and once you’ve tried these babies, you may just want them all year round.
Why make your own Stuffed Mini Peppers
I know that some of you will be looking at this thinking ‘but I can buy them already stuffed at the supermarket’… So why should you bother to make your own Stuffed Mini Peppers? Well… Apart from the sheer satisfaction of the process…
- They are WAY BETTER than the ones you’ll find either in a jar or on the deli counter.
- You can make them YOUR way… Super-mild or blindingly hot and with any number of cheeses and ‘stuffings’.
- They are incredibly easy (whether using fresh peppers and chillies or those from a jar).
- Served with homemade Gluten Free Baguette, Fougasse, Roti Flatbread or Focaccia Genovese, they make a perfect lunch or Gluten Free Picnic.
What are the best mini peppers and chillies to fill with cheese?
Choosing the ‘right’ mini peppers for stuffing, ultimately comes down to two questions…
- The size… Are they small enough to make perfect bite-size ‘snacks’?
- How hot do you want them to be?
The first question is straightforward and can be decided by sight. And while I love to make bright red, head-turning balls of cheese-filled yumminess… If you prefer to make them green, orange, purple or yellow, then find a pepper or chilli that fits your criteria.
The question of heat requires a little more thought… If you end up with chillies that are too hot to eat, the experience won’t go down well… But choose a more subtle warmth and they will be devoured in a flash! I have tried both Stuffed Piquanté peppers and Stuffed Cherry Bomb Chillies… Both were delicious (and fine for my ‘tame’ palate).
I confess I’m no chilli expert, but based on my own (very wimpy) tolerance of chilli-heat, these are a few options to choose from:
- Mini Sweet Pepper (red/yellow/orange) (no heat) – Scoville heat units : 0
- Banana Pepper/Chilli (yellow) (exceptionally mild) – Scoville heat units : 0 to 500
- Shishito Pepper (green) (exceptionally mild) – Scoville heat units: 50 to 200
- Pimento Cherry Peppers (red) (exceptionally mild) – Scoville heat units: 100 -500
- Piquillo Peppers (red – available in jars) (exceptionally mild) – Scoville heat units: 500 to 1,000
- Piquanté Peppers (red – jarred) (mild) – Scoville heat units: 1,000 to 1,200
- Padron Peppers (green) (mild) – Scoville heat units: 500 to 2,500
- Cherry Bomb Chillies (red) (medium) – Scoville heat units: 2,500 to 5,000
- Jalapeño Pepper (green) (medium) – Scoville heat units: 2,500 to 8,000
- Scotch Bonnet (orange/red) (very hot) – Scoville heat units: 100,000 to 350,000… WAY TOO HOT for me 😂
But there are literally hundreds of peppers and chillies out there to suit your desires… Over at Chili Pepper Madness, you’ll find a guide to pretty much all of them!
Making Stuffed Mini Peppers… Fresh vs Jarred
Your chosen option for making stuffed mini peppers and chillies will depend on both availability and how much effort you want to make…
Opening a jar of deseeded, roasted cherry peppers or chillies is the easiest and quickest option… Simply open the jar, drain the peppers, whip up the cheese filling and stuff! Piquanté Peppers (such as the ones from Peppadew) are PERFECT!
Fresh chillies and peppers
Whether using home-grown Cherry Bomb Chillies or any other fresh variety, making Stuffed Mini Peppers from scratch is still super-easy.
All that’s needed is to deseed the peppers… Soak overnight in a mix of oil and vinegar to soften… Roast briefly in the oven… And stuff!
Best fillings for stuffed Cherry Bomb chillies and peppers – Variations on a theme
The recipe shared at the bottom of this post uses a combination of soft goat cheese and Mascarpone cream cheese. I love goat cheese for its slight earthiness. But combined with Mascarpone, it offers a wonderfully cooling, creamy contrast against the chilli heat.
Nonetheless, Stuffed Mini Peppers are versatile and how you stuff them is up to you! Try:
- Straight whipped cream cheese (Philadelphia is perfect).
- Mix and match a combination of soft and cream cheeses as you wish (Mascarpone, Ricotta, Feta, soft goat, plain or flavoured cream cheese, or even throw in some crumbly blue!)
- Add herbs, spices and seasoning for extra interest.
- Throw in some chopped, sundried tomatoes to the cheese mix.
- Or some chopped nuts… Walnuts are perfect!
- Head completely away from cheese altogether and use cold rice or quinoa stuffing from traditional Stuffed Peppers.
How to store home-prepared Stuffed Cherry Peppers
For any Stuffed Mini Peppers that are left over (or if you want to prepare ahead of time), you have a couple of options…
- For peppers that have been deseeded, softened and roasted (but not filled) they can be stored in oil in the fridge (in an airtight jar) for 1 to 2 weeks.
- If they have already been filled, they will keep for 4 to 5 days in an airtight container (coated with a drizzle of oil).
Have you made my Stuffed Mini Peppers and Cherry Bomb Chillies?
I hope you enjoy making my Stuffed Mini Peppers (and Chillies) recipe… Do let me know what you think. And if you love them, it would be great to see a photo too! Why not share on social media and tag me? (#glutenfreealchemist)… You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter…
For more ideas on party snacks etc, head over to our dedicated index for Appetisers, Starters and Sides… And for everything else, the main Gluten Free Recipe Index is the place to start… With hundreds of recipes of all kinds, all photographed… It’s packed with inspiration whether you are a novice or an experienced cook and baker.
Shared with my love
More great appetisers on the blog…
Stuffed Mini Peppers and Chillies with Goat Cheese
- sharp vegetable knife
- airtight jar
- medium mixing bowl
- flat table knife
- 12 to 15 mini peppers or chilli peppers small variety (choose heat levels carefully for chillies)
- 120 ml/g olive oil
- 60 ml/g white wine vinegar
- OR use ready-prepared Piquanté Peppers or chillies from a jar eg Peppadew
- 125 g soft goat cheese or Ricotta or alternative soft cheese of choice
- 80 g Mascarpone cheese or other cream cheese
- handful fresh basil leaves finely chopped (to taste)
To prepare the Peppers (if preparing from scratch and not from a jar) – PREPARE AHEAD
- Prepare the peppers/chillies by carefully slicing off the very top (stalk end) and scraping out the seeds and ‘veins’.
- Place the hollowed peppers in an airtight jar (or bowl) with the olive oil and vinegar and leave in the fridge, at least over night or for a couple of days to soak and soften.
- After soaking, pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Remove the peppers from the oil-vinegar and drain. (Save the liquid to use for another batch).
- Place the drained peppers on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 10 minutes (do not let them brown).
- Once roasted, allow to cool completely.
- Mix the goat cheese and Mascarpone (or other cheeses as being used) until smooth and completely combined.
- Add the finely chopped basil and mix through.
Stuffing the Peppers
- Stuff the chillies with the cheese mixture (using either a flat knife or by piping) and serve.
- Eat immediately or store for about 4 to 5 days in the fridge drizzled with olive oil.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist