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This meal was originally born out of leftovers. I love to make the slow cooker shredded taco chicken recipe below for tacos, and we usually have Mexican rice as a side. We had quite a bit of leftover chicken and rice in the refrigerator one day and the idea of stuffed peppers came to mind. I added a can of black beans and cheese and voila this recipe was born. We serve them with a quesadilla on the side and my kids love them. They enjoy eating out of their own bell pepper “bowl”.

It also has become a Halloween tradition for us to eat them on Halloween Eve (because Halloween day is a little too crazy to get this meal out).  A few years back I thought of the idea of making little jack-o-laterns out of the peppers when I saw some of the orange peppers on sale. It only takes a few extra minutes and it makes the stuffed peppers extra special. You can either make the slow cooker chicken as a meal one day (for tacos, burritos, taco salads etc.) and make extra to have these peppers later on, or you can make the chicken and rice just for the stuffed peppers. Orange Bell Peppers

Shredded chicken stuffed pepper filling

Mexican stuffed bell pepper

Stuffed bell peppers in panStuffed peppers with shredded chicken, black beans and Mexican rice. Great for a Halloween dinner. Recipe at



Slow Cooker Shredded Taco Chicken

2 chicken breasts
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies

Add chicken to the bottom of the slow cooker, sprinkle seasonings on top and then cover with diced tomatoes. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours. Shred chicken and allow it to remain in sauce.

Stuffed Peppers

4 bell peppers your choice of color
2 cups Mexican rice (CLICK FOR RECIPE)
1 shredded chicken breast from the above recipe
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can black beans rinsed and drained

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  While you are waiting for the water to boil, rinse peppers, slice off the tops and hollow out the insides, be sure to remove any seeds and the white part inside. If desired, use a small paring knife to cut out a jack-o-lantern face. When water is boiling, put the peppers and tops in and allow to cook for about 5 minutes until peppers are tender.  Remove from water and set aside to cool.  Mix the cooked rice, shredded chicken, cheddar cheese, and black beans together in a large bowl.  Fill each pepper with the chicken and rice mixture and top with extra cheese, if desired. Replace pepper top back on top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until cheese is melted and pepper is done to desired tenderness.  Alternately, once peppers are stuffed, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate, when ready to cook, preheat oven to 350, remove plastic wrap and bake for 1 hour.

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  1. Please email your recipe for the shredded chicken and rice stuffed bell peppers for Halloween.
    How adorable !!!!

    1. Hi Sara! I use cooked rice. The recipe I use is linked to in the above recipe. I updated it to make it a little more clear.

  2. This is such an awesome idea! You need to rename it Jack-O-Peppers! I am so making this for my Halloween Bunco Party! Thanks so much!

      1. Sorry I just saw your comment. I make mini quesadillas to serve on the side, and usually a green salad. Hope you enjoyed them!

    1. Hi Julia! I didn’t use a stencil. But you could probably use the tip of your knife to etch a line before you cut to make sure you like the placement.

  3. Hi, I want to make sure I’m understanding you correctly, I can opt not to boil the bell pepper? Instead I can refrigerate stuffed peppers and, bake them when I’m ready? Or do I still need to boil pepper before refrigeration?
    Thanks, can’t wait to try these!

    1. Hi Nancy! You will stil boil the peppers before filling them. After they are stuffed you can put them in the pan and refrigerate them and then bake later.

    1. Hi Chari, I haven’t ever tried it, but I think quinoa would work. I would cook it first before adding it to the filling.

    1. Hi Jenny! The boiling helps the peppers to be more tender/soft and not crunchy after baking. You could skip the boiling step, but the peppers will just be more on the crunchy side.

    1. Hi Susan! You could just brown the chicken in a pan with some oil, season it with the same seasonings from the recipe, then add the can of tomatoes and cook until the chicken is done and then shred it.

  4. Do you have to bake the peppers after they are stuffed if you boil the peppers and have the chicken mixture heated in the crock pot?

  5. Love this recipe! I’m having a birthday party this weekend and was looking for some fun Halloween ideas and saw this!! SOOOO cute. Thanks for all the feed back as well.

  6. Looks great! Just to clarify… so you do anything with the remaining juice from the shredded chicken in crockpot?

    1. Hi Emily! Once you shred the chicken I like to let it rest in the juice, but I discard the juice once I remove the chicken.

  7. What a fun idea but I have one question ..what happens when you boil the peppers for five minutes besides cooking them for tenderness doesn’t it also blanch the peppers so the skin wants to peel off and how do they hold their shape for stuffing and baking once you have boiled them?

    1. I boil the peppers for tenderness but you could leave out that step. I haven’t ever had a problem with the skin falling off after boiling. I think that happens when you boil and then put immediately in cold water, which I don’t do.

  8. These were so delicious and so much fun to make! Had each granddaughter “carve” their own jackolantern, then stuffed them, baked them and enjoyed!! I didn’t even put them in boiling water for the 5 mins as we were in a hurry and they were perfect for eating!

  9. Hi! I love the recipe! I can’t wait to make for tomarrow
    My question is that the reCape calls for cheddar cheese but I see in your picture it’s not just cheddar. What type of cheese did you use? Thank you!

    1. Hi Sophia! You are very observant 🙂 I usually use cheddar cheese for the recipe or a cheddar blend with monterey jack cheese or colby cheese. You can use whichever kind you prefer

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