Jack-o’-lantern stuffed peppers

9 September 2021

Why not put a twist on the usual pumpkin carving and make your Halloween meal a little more spooky with this vegan recipe.

Nutritional highlights

This Halloween dish provides us with lots of fibre and carbohydrates meaning it can keep our guts healthy as well as providing us with plenty of energy for our Halloween parties or trick and treating. Quinoa is a great addition to diets due as it can provide all essential amino acids as well as providing us with the important nutrient iron. Iron is needed for our red blood cells to carry oxygen around our body. The combination of quinoa and peppers is important as peppers are very high in vitamin C which is needed for our bodies to absorb iron making them the perfect pair. 

Ingredients list

(Makes 4 servings)
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes

  • 4 peppers (a mix of colours looks nice)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small aubergine, chopped into small pieces
  • 200g pouch of quinoa or 75g dried quinoa
  • 2 tbsp sundried tomato paste
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 400g can of sweetcorn, drained
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • Bunch basil, chopped


Cut the tops off the peppers and keep them to one side. Remove the seeds and any white flesh from inside, using a small sharp knife carve spooky Halloween faces into one side of the peppers. Chop any offcuts into small pieces and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a pan and heat the oven to 200˚C/180˚C fan/gas mark 6. Cook the onion for 8-10 minutes until it is soft. Stir in the garlic, pepper offcuts, aubergine, cherry tomatoes and sweetcorn, then cook for 10 minutes until soft. Add a splash of water if the pan begins to look dry. Season with chili powder.

Squeeze the pouch of quinoa to break them up (if using uncooked quinoa follow cooking instructions and then add to pan when cooked) and tip into the pan with the tomato paste. Stir for 1-2 minutes to warm through, then remove from heat and add lemon juice and basil.

Fill each pepper with the quinoa mixture. Replace the lids and place the peppers in a deep roasting tin. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and cook uncovered for the final 10. The peppers should be soft and the filling piping hot.

Health swaps

  • 30g of dried quinoa will be about 80g when cooked.
  • To stop any quinoa mixture from falling out of the face, place the peppers on their side with faces up and use a cocktail stick to keep the top in place.

Nutritional information given below is per serving.

Calories:  Fat:  Saturates:  Total Sugar:  Salt: 
266kcal 8g 1.4g 16.4g 0.34g