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True story: when I make Jack O’ Peppers in October, with cute little faces carved into the bell pepper, my son devours them. And yet, when I make the exact same recipe later this winter, he will loudly proclaim "I don't like stuffed peppers!" Welp, it’s the little things, I guess. And right now, we should all take comfort in little things that bring joy to you and your loved ones. 

This is a comforting and make-ahead dinner that really feels like an all-in-one: Vegetables? ✅Pasta? ✅Ground turkey? ✅Cheese? ✅ All together, it offers a perfectly balanced seasonal bite, and it's a meal that can be taken to share with family and friends. Amongst the terror and suffering in Israel and Gaza, I try to remember what I can do, and that includes nourishing others with food. After all, food is love, and this is a certainly a time where everyone could use a little more love.

These are jack-o'-lanterns you can eat — bell peppers stuffed with a savory mix of meat, veggies, and pasta that make for a filling and festive dinner!

  • Active Kitchen Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 peppers


  • 1 small zucchini
  • ½ onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • ½ cup orzo pasta, dried
  • 4 large orange bell peppers
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup (8 oz. can) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella

Supper Smarts:

  • Serving Suggestions: Make up a simple crudite platter with carrots, cucumbers, or whatever veggies you have in your crisper. Serve while peppers are cooking.

  • Speed it Up: Carve the bell peppers and/or make the meat mix the night before, then stuff right before baking.

  • Super Swap: Don't have orzo? Use rice or any other pasta you have on hand.


Preheat oven to 400°F.
Grate 1 zucchini on the medium holes of a box grater. Set aside in small bowl.
Cut ends away from ½ an onion, then peel the onion. Cut onion into strips, then make a small dice.
Smash 2 garlic cloves and peel. Mince garlic.
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, 1 tsp kosher salt, ½ tsp pepper, and ½ tsp dried oregano. Cook until soft, 3-4 minutes.
Add 1 lb ground turkey, zucchini, and ½ cup dried orzo. Break turkey into tiny pieces with spoon. Cook until browned, 4- 5 minutes.
Add 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes and ½ cup vegetable broth. Stir. Bring mixture to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice tops off 4 orange bell peppers. Remove ribs and seeds. If necessary, cut a very thin slice from the base to help the peppers stand up.
Carve a jack o’lantern face into each pepper using a paring knife.
Pour 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce and 1 cup vegetable broth into baking dish. Mix well.
Spoon turkey mixture into peppers and place in pan. Top with 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes. TASTE & SHARE!

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