These cream cheese stuffed sweet peppers are full of delicious flavors and make a great finger food appetizer or party food. The combination of melty cheeses, bacon and smoked paprika gives the filling a delicious smoky flavor similar to smoked cheddar!
For another delicious cream cheese appetizer, be sure to also check out this buffalo ground beef dip!
What's in stuffed sweet peppers?
This recipe is made with mini sweet peppers, which come in beautiful colors and are perfect as finger food. The filling is made with cream cheese and cheddar cheese and flavored with bacon, garlic, thyme and smoked hot paprika.
- Be sure to use full-fat cream cheese. Products labeled as low-fat or reduced-fat have higher moisture content than full-fat cream cheese and that can affect their melting.
- As always, I highly recommend to get the smoked hot paprika from a dedicated spice shop to ensure quality and freshness.
- There is no need for additional salt in this recipe because the bacon provides enough.
- Fresh thyme is often sold in small plastic packages called clamshells, with a net weight of about 0.66 ounces. One such thyme clamshell yields about 3 tablespoons of thyme leaves once you've stripped the leaves off the stems. You need about 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves for this recipe. Use the remaining leaves to make this jerk cream sauce!
How to make the peppers:
See full ingredients & instructions in the recipe card below!
Step 1. Pre-cook the pepper halves in boiling water to soften them.
Step 2. Add all filling ingredients into a bowl.
Step 3. Whip the filling.
Step 4. Stuff and bake the peppers.
How to serve the baked peppers:
Serve the baked pepper halves hot or warm as finger food.
How to store leftovers:
Transfer any leftover filled and baked peppers into an airtight container and store in the fridge. Reheat in the oven until warmed through.
How to make the peppers ahead:
Let the pepper halves cool to room temperature after boiling, then transfer them to an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 1 day.
Whip the filling, then transfer it into a separate airtight container and store in the fridge as well. Let the filling come up to room temperature (about an hour on the kitchen counter), then stuff and bake the peppers as instructed.
Frequently asked questions:
No, not at all. Even though there is smoked hot paprika in this recipe, the amount is not large enough to make it spicy. Instead, the paprika only adds smokiness and paprika flavor.
Yes, you do have to pre-cook the pepper halves. Stuffing the peppers raw and then baking them will leave them too hard and raw by the time the filling is melted. Pre-cooking the peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes will get their softness just right.
Unfortunately not. That's because the filling will separate if you bake the stuffed peppers much longer than instructed.
More delicious baked stuffed appetizers with cream cheese:
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Full Printable Recipe
Cream Cheese Stuffed Sweet Peppers with Bacon
- measuring cups and spoons
- knife and cutting board
- garlic press (optional)
- mixing bowls
- paper towels
- small baking sheet
- standing mixer or handheld mixer
- small metal spatula (optional)
For the peppers:
- 6 mini sweet peppers
For the filling:
- ½ cup grated cheddar cheese, (about 1 ½ ounces), divided into 6 tablespoons and 2 tablespoons
- 4 ounces full-fat block cream cheese,* softened
- ½ teaspoon smoked hot paprika
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced or pressed through a garlic press
- 4 slices thin-cut bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme) (you need about four 4-inch sprigs for that)
For the peppers:
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Slice the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the ribs and seeds but leave the stem intact.
- Fill a pot large enough to fit all pepper halves comfortably with water and bring to a boil.
- Add the pepper halves to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.
- Drain the pepper halves and set them face down on a paper towel to cool and dry.
For the filling:
- Lightly oil a small baking sheet with olive oil. Set aside.
- Whip 6 tablespoons of cheddar along with all remaining filling ingredients together until combined.
- Fill the filling into the pepper halves (a little less than 1 tablespoon of filling per pepper). (I like to use a small metal spatula to do this.)
- Sprinkle the remaining cheddar onto the filling and bake until the cheese is melted (about 10 minutes).**
- Serve the peppers hot or warm.
Nutrition Information (Estimated):
Nutrition values provided on this website are generated from a nutrition database and are estimates only. The accuracy of the nutrition information for any recipe on this website is not guaranteed. Nutrition values can vary quite a lot depending on which brands are used.