mini taco pepper poppers
Small Bites + Sides

Mini Taco Pepper Poppers

Normally I would make these delicious taco-stuffed mini-pepper poppers as an appetizer for a gathering, but right now, they’re great to snack on as a family meal on game night or on those evenings where you’re busy playing catch-up around the house!

taco mini pepper poppers

I always thought if I were leaving my house to face the apocalypse, there would be a lot more dust and tanks involved. Maybe tumbleweeds rolling down the road and the call of a mutant monster in the distance. Patrolling empty streets alongside plucky neighbors who had just been trained to fight and defend, in search of something to bring down and cook and eat that night, and…you get the idea. I watch too many movies.

Instead, I step out my door, and it’s just the neighborhood. I hear kids in the distance, yelling at each other from a backyard. Somewhere, there’s a lawnmower going. The sound of the highway nearby is still there, but very faint. And other than pulling on a mask, I get in the car and head to the grocery store as if everything were normal.

No zombies. No werewolves. No Umbrella Corporation. And no tanks.

I’m not complaining. But it’s a type of end-of-the-world scenario that I never prepared for. The type where there’s nothing to fight and the best way I can help is to sit in my house and do nothing.

Okay, fine. I’m complaining about the tanks. I want a tank.

mini taco pepper poppers

Our store’s shelves are decently stocked, so we’ve been lucky there. There’s no TP {of course} and while things have been picked over, there’s still a fair amount to play with if you’re willing to get creative. Ground beef. Plenty of cans of beans. Plenty of cans of corn. Cream cheese and shredded cheese.

For a California girl, that’s heaven. I can make seven varieties of tacos, quesadillas, chimichangas, enchiladas, and fajitas out of that. And because I need some color in my life and some kind of fresh produce to feed my family {they’re doing well on pantry items, but I have to bring in the real stuff occasionally}, I buy a bag of mixed mini sweet peppers to go along with it all.

This becomes the perfect opportunity to try a roasted mini pepper recipe I’ve had in my head and wanted to make as an appetizer for a while. I feel like these would be perfect on the table when you have folks over for a football game or game night, or pulled right off the grill while tailgating. But since we’re not doing any of that right now, they’re pretty amazing as a quick meal when you want something fresh, or while you’re playing a family board game.

You almost don’t remember that you don’t have a tank. Almost.

Today’s offering is full of color and spice, and the only thing fresh in it is the peppers {and in the photos, the parsley – I plucked it from my back deck}. Everything else is frozen, packaged or from a can. And it’s delicious, lively, and wonderful.

taco mini pepper poppers

[lt_recipe name=”Mini Taco Pepper Poppers” summary=”Perfect as an appetizer for a gathering or a tailgate, but great also for a quick family meal or game night.” servings=”6-8″ total_time=”45M” print=”yes” image=”×683.jpg” ingredients=”1 lb ground beef;1 1/2 lb mini sweet peppers;2 tbsp taco seasoning;1 can black beans;2 ears grilled corn or 1 can roasted sweet corn;6 oz cream cheese;1 cup shredded cheddar cheese;chopped parsley” ]Preheat oven to 350F.;Slice 1/3 of the pepper off lengthwise {make sure the pepper lies flat and then chop whichever side is facing up}. ;Seed the peppers. Chop up the slice you took off and set it aside.;In a skillet, cook the beef and and the chopped peppers {that 1/3 you cut off and chopped} over medium heat 5-7 minutes or until beef is browned. Stir in taco seasoning and cook 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.;Mix in the cream cheese and black beans and let cook 1-2 minutes or until the cheese melts and the black beans warm.;Fill each pepper with beef mixture and place on a baking sheet. Top the filling with a small spoonful of roasted sweet corn.;Bake 13-15 minutes.;Remove peppers from the oven and top with shredded cheddar cheese. Return to the oven for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted.;Serve and enjoy![/lt_recipe]

If you don’t have taco seasoning in your pantry, time to mix some up – and you can make it pretty easily from spices you probably have on hand:

  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

It’s that easy. Combine all those spices in a small jar {I have spice jars for this but I also will double or triple the recipe and shake it up in a salsa jar – we make a lot of tacos in this house and we will use a ton of taco seasoning}.

Stay strong, friends – one day at a time!

About the ChefKristin

Career Army officer with a tendency toward workaholism. On the side, self taught cook, carpenter, and gardener, working to build a beautiful life for my family. Trying to tilt my balance in the right direction.

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