Mini sweet peppers stuffed with goat cheese are a perfect, festive appetizer for a small party. Any extra herbed goat cheese is great on crackers!
Holidays in the time of COVID
This year never stops.
We’ve already canceled our traditional big family Thanksgiving dinner.
Now, the worst COVID surge yet is projected to begin right around the time when we’d normally be hosting or attending holiday get-togethers.
So, this year, our Christmas party will just be the five of us.
This naturally triggered a search for a delicious appetizer to serve at a small party.
Mini Sweet Peppers Stuffed with Goat Cheese: a perfect small holiday appetizer
Stuffed mini peppers are really easy to make and always a hit.
I decided to stuff the peppers with an herby goat cheese mixture. Goat cheese has a unique, tangy flavor that pairs will with peppers.
This appetizer is designed to be scalable, with the current situation in mind.
See, you can stuff enough peppers to feed your family, and then serve the rest of the cheese mixture with crackers.
(P.S. It’s DELICIOUS on crackers)
If you’re a fan of spicy food, you could substitute jalapeños for the mini sweet peppers.
What should I use to roast my peppers?
But spending money on a gadget with a single purpose bothers me (let’s be honest: how often will you be roasting mini peppers or jalapeños?).
So Phil and I came up with a DIY solution: we use a box cutter to make Xes in a foil roasting pan.
Then, we just push the peppers into each X, place the pan on a baking sheet, and bake.
You can re-use the pan if you want, or just toss it. They’re cheap.
OR, you could use a muffin tin, standing 3–4 peppers in each slot.
Another alternative is to cut the peppers in half and cover with the goat cheese mixture: in this case, you can simply lay them onto a baking sheet.
(I prefer the presentation of whole stuffed peppers.)
How to make mini sweet peppers stuffed with goat cheese
The stuffing for these peppers is a simple mix of goat cheese, salt and pepper, and mixed dried herbs.
What herbs and seasonings are good in goat cheese?
I use an Italian herb mix, or shallot pepper from Penzey’s—but you can use any variety of herb mixes.
You could also add pepper flakes. Or onion powder. Really, you can play around with the flavor profile however you like.
I went straight goat cheese with this recipe, but you could also mix with cream cheese.
Keep in mind that goat cheese is salty on its own, so add salt to the mixture with caution.
How to stuff mini peppers
Simply cut off the very top (with the stem) and run a paring knife around the inside of the pepper to loosen the seeds and membranes.
Next, add about a teaspoonful of the herbed goat cheese mixture.
You can use the handle of the spoon to push the mixture to the bottom of the pepper; add more herbed goat cheese as needed to fill the pepper.
Finally, set the pepper into whichever roasting contraption you choose and repeat with the remaining peppers.
And there it is! A simple, delicious appetizer that will be sure to please your small gathering.
Are you keeping your holiday dinner small this year? Be sure to check out my Small Holiday Dinner Ideas.
I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season.
And, as always, stay safe. Stay well.
- 1 lb. mini sweet peppers
- 12 oz goat cheese
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs (see Recipe Note #1)
- coarse salt, to taste (see Recipe Note #2)
- Heat oven to 400º.
- Cut the stems from the peppers; discard. Gently run a paring knife around the inside of the pepper to remove seeds and membranes.
- Mix the cheese, herbs, pepper, and salt (if using).
- Stuff the peppers, pushing the cheese mixture toward the bottom of each pepper with a butterknife (see Recipe Note #3).
- Arrange peppers upright in a roasting rack, muffin tin. Set on top of a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Serve.
- Use your favorite herb blend. I like shallot pepper from Penzey's, but an Italian herb mix would also work well.
- Goat cheese is salty to begin with, so taste your mixture before adding any salt. If you do add salt, I'd suggest ½ tsp or less.
- Serve any extra cheese mixture with crackers.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 pepper
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 87Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 180mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 6g
Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate: if you are tracking this information for medical purposes, please consult a trusted external source. Thanks!
Michelle’s Sweet & Zingy Asian Meatballs: these meatballs are made from scratch and far better than the pre-made globs-in-a bag. They’re perfect for holiday parties.
Phil’s Taco Dip: this traditional dip always disappears quickly set out with good tortilla chips.
Pork-Shrimp Wontons with Soy-Ginger Dipping Sauce: another perfect party snack option, these wontons are filled with delicious umami flavors and perfectly accented by the zingy dipping sauce.