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Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadew Peppers

Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadew Peppers

My oldest daughter is holding this lovely tray of Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadew Peppers.

It had been a year since her brain tumor surgery and she was working hard to get back on her feet and back to college. I think that’s why I love this photo so much. She was beginning to feel better and she was quite determined that day to help me shoot my food photos.

I love that about my kids. They are strong, brave and determined young women who have a heart for helping others. Although when it comes to helping mom in the kitchen… not so much. 😉

I’ve been planning my Thanksgiving menu and these delicious little nibbles will be on the appetizer table. Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadew Peppers are simple to make, a little spicy, a little sweet and the creamy goat cheese brings all the unique flavors together. Honestly I could eat my weight in these peppers. 

If goat cheese isn’t your preference, these are just as tasty with feta cheese combined with mascarpone cheese or garlic and herbs laced cream cheese. On occasion I’ve even added a little bleu cheese to mascarpone and piped it into these little red beauties.

Top them with chopped toasted nuts, a Marcona almond or a pistachio for a little festive flair. Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadew Peppers make such a bright and cheerful presentation and pair deliciously with cocktails. I’ve also been known to make them my dinner.

Wishing you all a warm, joyous and delicious Thanksgiving holiday. May your hearts and home be full of love and laughter!


Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadew Peppers

Serving Size: 3 peppers per person


  • 2-3 jars of Peppadew peppers (I allow three peppers per person)
  • 4 ounces goat cheese (try to find a nice cream goat cheese that will be easy to pipe into the peppers)
  • 2 ounces mascarpone cheese or cream cheese (optional)
  • Chopped toasted nuts or Marcona almonds for garnish (optional)


  • Mix together the goat cheese and mascarpone (if using). The mascarpone or cream cheese will make the goat cheese easier to pipe into the peppers. Although, I've found a brand of creamy goat cheese that works well on it's own.
  • Place the peppers on a tray. Fill a pastry bag with the cheese and pipe the cheese into each pepper. Garnish if desired and serve. You can make these a few hours in advance and leave them in the fridge before serving. Just remove them from the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to serving. I think the peppers and cheese taste best at room temperature.
  • Notes

    This recipe was first published in Home by Design Magazine 2014.

    Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin


    Beef Karista's Kitchen Pork

    Enchiladas Poblano and Spanish Rice Cakes

    chorizo and black bean stuffed poblanos with enchilada sauce and spanish rice cakes

    Enchiladas Poblano with Spanish Rice Cakes

    As I was writing my holiday letter yesterday, I was either laughing or crying.  The year 2013 was anything but typical.  As I reminisced over the past twelve months, I realized it was quite a roller coaster of events.

    A year of changes, nail-biting moments, some tears, lots of laughter, because laughter is the best medicine, moments of gratitude, a few panic attacks, and grand adventure. Phew! Yep, all in one year.

    Spanish rice cakes and enchiladas poblano stuffed with chorizo and black beans

    Without spewing all my emotions here, I’ll just tell you I am so thankful my Bennett Crew is happy and healthy.  In 2013, my oldest gal fought medical hurdles with courage and fierce determination.  She’s my hero.

    On the list of events was an extensive house remodel, which caused me to re-think my love of DIY projects.   I know some of you can identify.  Home remodeling can take a toll and make you want to hire the big bad wolf to blow your house down.

    A new state, new town, new home… and then a most delicious surprise.  A trip to Italy.  A glorious two weeks that fed my soul and inspired my heart. New and cherished friendships formed and adventure I’ll always remember.  I came back with a renewed love of Italian cuisine and culture, and my recipe developing wheels turning.

    In reflection, I’m most grateful for my friends and family, who, as always, gave an abundance of loving support.  Life can be a roller coaster of events, but with friends and family like mine, it makes the curve ball coming at me a little easier to dodge.

    In honor of this beautiful new year I thought I’d start off with something spicy, flavorful and festive.  These Enchiladas Poblano and Spanish Rice Cake are pure deliciousness and a perfect way to begin this new year.

    I wish you all good health, true joy, lots and lots of laughter, much success in whatever you strive to do, and the love of friends and family.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Happy New Year!


    Enchiladas Poblano with Spanish Rice Cakes

    Serves 4-6


    6 poblano peppers

    1lb ground Spanish chorizo (Spanish chorizo is gaining popularity and you can typically find it in most markets next to the other ground meats)

    1 small white onion, diced

    Handful cilantro leaves coarsely chopped

    1/3 cup sliced green onions

    ¼-1/3 cup crumbled cotija cheese

    1 can organic black beans, drained and rinsed

    Salt and pepper to taste

    1 1/2 cups Red Enchilada Sauce (I love Chef Rick Bayless Frontera Brand of Enchilada sauces. If you can’t find them, I also use Hatch branch red enchilada sauce)

    1 cup shredded pepper jack or mozzarella cheese

    Sliced limes

    Sliced Avocado (optional)

    Spanish Rice Cakes (recipe below)


    Pre-heat the oven to 400F.  Lay the poblano peppers on a lined baking sheet and roast them for about 10-15 minutes or until they are toasted on the outside and somewhat soft.

    While the peppers are roasting heat a skillet over medium high heat with a little oil.  Saute the white onions until soft and then add the ground chorizo.  Break up the chorizo while it’s cooking and when it’s almost cooked through stir in the cilantro and green onions.

    Take the skillet off the heat and then gently toss with the black beans and cotija.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Once the peppers are done and cooled, pull off any of the blistered skin and try not to tear the peppers.  Place the peppers in a large baking dish.

    Turn the oven down to 350F.

    Slice vertically down the center of the pepper and pull it open a little so you can fill.  Stuff each pepper with the chorizo and black bean filling.  Then ladle a little of the enchilada sauce over the top of each pepper and sprinkle with shredded pepper jack or Mozzarella cheese.

    Once all the peppers are filled, sauced and cheesed (don’t you love my snappy culinary lingo?) pop them into the oven for about another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese on top is melted and bubbly.

    If you have any leftover sauce I like to ladle it over the poblanos and then top with sliced avocado.  Serve with a side of sliced limes and sour cream.

    Spanish Rice Cakes

    Makes 12-16 small round cakes


    2 cups prepared Spanish Rice

    ½ cup sliced green onion

    ¼ – 1/3 cup crumbled cotija cheese

    2 eggs, whisked

    Healthy oil for frying


    Mix all the ingredients together.  Heat the oil on medium high heat and then when it’s ready take a tablespoon full of rice mixture, I also use a cookie scoop, roll it in your hands and then smash into a small round cake.  This mixture can feel loose but once you place it in the hot oil it will form a crust on the outside making it easier to handle.

    Brown the cakes on both sides and then place on paper towels.  Serve the Spanish Rice cakes with ½ cup of sour cream whisked with the juice of 1 small lime and a pinch of cumin.  It’s a refreshing dip for the rice cakes. Or serve the rice cakes plain with the stuffed enchiladas poblano as a side dish.




    Beef Chicken Kid Friendly

    Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers

    If there is a new recipe created in my house, it’s typically the result of my work, or my youngest gal was watching another episode of Dr. Oz and felt compelled to re-create a recipe shown on an episode.

    I think I may have the only 12-year-old on earth who records the Dr. Oz Show.  And when I hear a recording begin (she records every episode), I’m generally intrigued and almost half listening as I’m working.

    Par-roasting the peppers before stuffing

    During a recent episode, a cookbook author and health advocate showcased her decadent looking stuffed peppers recipe.  My ears were immediately drawn to the animated voice of the Kitchen Diva and then I heard all sorts of wonderful words… spinach, ground chicken, bell peppers, sour cream, cheese, and the list goes on!

    I left my work filled desk and made my way into the family room to catch a glimpse of  those beautiful peppers stuffed with mouth-watering fresh ingredients.  Now, I’m totally in love with my good friend Daniella’s Italian stuffed peppers… absolutely divine!   But these unique stuffed peppers looked so fun and fresh and beautifully delicious, I knew I had to make the Bennett Crew some Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers.  And of course, my little gal completely agreed.

    Fresh baby spinach added to the ground chicken mixture

    After experimenting with these brightly colored peppers, as in typical Karista fashion, I had to change a few things here and there.  Mostly because I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand and needed to make substitutions.  The result was a fiesta of spicy and full flavored stuffed peppers.

    It was a good day on the Dr. Oz show and it was a great night around the dinner table in the Bennett house…Muy Bueno!!!

    Keep dinner simple, fresh and delicious… Enjoy the flavor of life!

    Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers

    Recipe adapted from the Kitchen Diva’s Stuffed Bell Peppers.  For more information about the fantastic Kitchen Diva check out her website at

    Serves 4-6


    4-6 bell peppers (red, yellow, orange or green)

    1 lb ground chicken, turkey or beef (or a mixture of all three) (for vegetarian substitute with beans)

    1 cup diced white onion

    4 cloves garlic, minced

    1 package Simply Organic Southwest Taco Seasoning

    ½ cup warm water

    2 cups fresh baby spinach

    1 cup salsa

    ½ cup Cotija cheese, crumbled (a firm and slightly salty Mexican cheese)

    2 cups cooked brown rice (I like short grain brown rice)

    1 – 1 ½ cups pepper jack cheese

    ¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro

    Sliced avocados and sour cream (or plain yogurt) for garnish


    Pre-heat the oven to 375F.  Cut the top off each pepper and scrape out the seeds and ribs, if any.

    Place the peppers on a parchment lined baking sheet or in a large baking dish and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes.  The peppers will be soft, but firm enough to be filled.

    While the peppers are roasting, heat a large skillet on medium high heat and add a little high heat oil to the skillet. I like Spectrum brand high heat Safflower or Sunflower oil.  The high heat peanut oil is also a tasty alternative as is coconut oil.

    When the oil is hot, add the diced onions and cook until translucent.  Next, add the minced garlic and cook for a minute or two.

    Then add the ground meat and cook through, breaking up the ground meat.  Mix together the water and taco seasoning and then add it to the ground meat and onion mixture.  Stir to combine.  Then stir in the salsa and let it simmer for a few minutes.  If the skillet is too hot, turn the heat down to medium.

    Add the fresh baby spinach leaves to the skillet and continue to gently toss the spinach in the ground meat mixture until the spinach leaves have wilted slightly.

    Mix in the Cotija cheese and brown rice.  It will look like one giant skillet of goulash but it will be a delicious filling for the peppers.

    Taste the mixture for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste if needed.  Cotija is a salty cheese so be sure to taste before adding extra salt.

    Fill each pepper with the stuffing and then place the baking dish in the oven.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until the peppers are soft or crisp tender, however you like your peppers.

    Remove the peppers and sprinkle with pepper jack cheese and chopped cilantro.

    Serve with avocado slices and sour cream or plain yogurt.  Enjoy!

    Options: Make these vegetarian and substitute beans for the ground meat.