Nacho Stuffed Jack-O-Lanterns

More Halloween fun up ahead!

My kids love burritos. There’s something about toddlers and finger foods – they’re made for one another. So, I wanted to do some things which the kids could enjoy (and actually eat) while being festive for the adults.

Enter jack-o-lanterns.


Now, I am not an artist. When I say that, I mean I’m doing pretty well to draw in a straight line. Really all you need for these cuties is a sharp paring knife. Don’t worry about it being perfect, because you’ll see the overall idea in the end instead of minute details.

My kids enjoyed this recipe wrapped up in a tortilla, and the adults were able to enjoy it as stuffed peppers. The recipe may stretch to 6 servings if you’re serving little ones as well.

A few notes about this recipe: You’ll notice I do not re-bake the peppers after stuffing them. For one, I wanted to save time, and another is I was afraid the mixture would ooze out of the holes in the peppers. Appropriate for Halloween, yes, but not very pretty to look at. You’ll also notice that I measure the nacho seasoning in “palmfuls.” A palmful equals roughly a tablespoon. I make this or other seasonings so often I just don’t bother with the exact measurements anymore. Cooking is an experiment anyway, right? Have some fun with it. 😉

Nacho Stuffed Jack-O-Lanterns (THM S)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food


  • 4 orange bell peppers, stems in tact with seeds and ribs removed and a festive face added
  • 1 1/2 – 2lbs ground beef
  • 1 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1 15oz can mild fire roasted tomatoes with green chiles, with liquid drained
  • 1 c chopped cremini or white button mushrooms
  • 1 anaheim chile pepper, seeded and chopped (red jalapeno, it’s more mild than green)
  • 1 8oz block cream cheese
  • 2 palmfuls chili powder
  • 1 1/2 palmfuls smoked paprika
  • 1 palmful ground coriander
  • 1 palmful cumin
  • 2 pinches dried oregano
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • Toppings: verde salsa, red salsa, queso, cheddar, lettuce, sour cream, etc.


  1. Preheat oven to 350. While the oven is heating, place the bell peppers (not tops) in the oven to soften. No spray or seasoning necessary at this point. You just want the peppers to soften.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the chili powder, paprika, coriander, cumin, oregano, red pepper, salt, and pepper.
  3. Preheat a large, deep skillet over medium heat with 2 tsp of coconut oil. Saute the onion, chile, and mushrooms over medium heat until they start to soften. Add the ground beef, salt and pepper, and saute until beef is cooked through.
  4. Add the drained tomatoes and cream cheese and cook until the cheese melts into the beef mixture.
  5. Take the peppers out of the oven, season with salt and pepper, then carefully fill with the beef mixture. Decorate with the stem tops and serve with your favorite nacho toppings.


Happy Haunted Halloween!


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