These delicious bite-sized appetizers are a guilt-free twist on a classic stuffed pepper recipe. They feature sweet mini peppers halves filled with a creamy and savory reduced-calorie cream cheese mixture. Perfect for parties or as a healthier snack option, these stuffed mini peppers are sure to satisfy your cravings without compromising on flavor.
These stuffed mini peppers offer a delightful combination of creamy savory, tangy flavors with a satisfying crunch from the peppers. They are not only visually appealing but also a healthier alternative to traditional stuffed peppers, making them a crowd-pleasing choice for any occasion.
This perfect appetizer is great for game day noshing, holiday parties, baby showers and the perfect finger food whenever you need a delicious cold appetizer that's easy to make with simple ingredients.
Pair them with other appetizers like Mini BLT Appetizer Sandwiches, Enchilada Cups and Rainbow Turkey Roll Ups to make a full low calorie party spread! Or if you are an appetizer recipe for dinner fan this delicious appetizer can even be an easy dinner recipe.
What makes this skinny?
- Reduced-fat cream cheese. Swapping this in reduces the calories by one third but still has the flavor and texture of full fat cream cheese.
- Light sour cream. Adding this makes the filling creamy closer to a thick dip and cuts the cream cheese calories further.
- Mini sweet peppers. This adds vegetables to the filling and the mini size creates a natural portion control.
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Full ingredient amounts available in the printable recipe card at the end of the post. All ingredients are available at the grocery store.
Mini sweet peppers. These colorful mini sweet peppers are available in grocery stores in a 16-ounce package. Each package has about 20 mini bell peppers. Cut off the stem, slice lengthwise and remove the seeds and inner membrane.
Reduced fat cream cheese. Use 8-ounces of reduced fat cream cheese (⅓ fat reduced). Start with room temperature or softened cream cheese; so not use cold cream cheese.
Light sour cream. You'll use 1 cup light sour cream.
Everything bagel seasoning. This well loved onion and garlic seed coating on the outside of everything bagels gives the perfect amount of flavor to these cream cheese stuffed peppers.
The seasoning blend includes sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried minced garlic and onion as well as coarse salt. Everything Bagel seasoning is available at grocery stores and online. For the best flavor choose a blend that does NOT list salt as the first ingredient.
How to make it
STEP 1. Make the filling
In a large mixing bowl combine the softened cream cheese, sour cream and everything bagel seasoning (photo 1). Stir together into a smooth cream cheese mixture.
NOTE: if the cream cheese has any lumps, you can use a mixer to smooth it before beginning to add the other ingredients.
STEP 2. Stuff the peppers
Spread the filling into the cavity of the pepper halves (photos 2-3). Sprinkle additional everything bagel seasoning on top of the peppers if desired (photo 4).
STEP 3. Chill
Place the cream cheese stuffed peppers into an airtight container or place on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving. The filling will firm up slightly when chilled.
This recipe is very versatile. You can change up the filling to add to the raw mini peppers while keeping it lower calorie. Here are some ideas:
- Herbs and Spices: Use fresh or dried herbs and spices to enhance the flavor. Some options include minced garlic, chives, fresh basil, dill, paprika, cayenne pepper, or smoked paprika. Or try taco seasoning. These add complexity without adding calories.
- Citrus Zest: Add a burst of freshness by incorporating lemon or lime zest. A little goes a long way in terms of flavor.
- Low-Fat Cheese: Incorporate a small amount of finely grated low-fat cheese like Parmesan cheese, feta, or cheddar cheese (sharp cheddar, colby jack cheese, etc.) to the cream cheese filling to add extra flavor without a significant calorie increase.
- Hot Sauce or Sriracha: If you like some heat, add a few drops of hot sauce or of Sriracha for a spicy kick. A pinch of red pepper flakes are another option.
- Dijon Mustard: A touch of Dijon mustard can provide a mild tangy flavor that pairs well with the creaminess of the filling.
- Chopped Veggies: Add finely chopped low-calorie vegetables like green onions, chives, bell peppers, or cucumber to the filling for a crunchier texture and extra freshness.
- Reduced-Sodium Soy Sauce or Tamari: A small amount of soy sauce or tamari can add a savory umami flavor to the filling without adding many calories.
- Mustard Powder: A pinch of mustard powder can provide a subtle tangy flavor to the filling.
Stuffed little sweet peppers are best when consumed within 2-3 days of preparation. After this time, the texture and flavor may start to deteriorate. Store in a single layer as described in Step 3 above.
Frequently Asked Questions
Because this cream cheese stuffed mini peppers recipe does not bake the peppers we don't recommend that swap. The jalapeno peppers will be very spicy. If you are a fan of spicy foods, we recommend using one of our variation suggestion above to change the filling to be spicy. You can also mix a little bit of diced jalapeno pepper into the filling.