Spooky Spaghetti Stuffed Peppers

By Ann Fulton

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A kid-friendly meal that adults love too! Don’t miss the other festive Halloween ideas that follow


It’s dinnertime. You have leftover spaghetti but not enough to feed the family. What to do?

In mid-October, “spooky” spaghetti stuffed peppers are sure to delight. I saw this silly idea years ago but forgot about it as several Halloweens came and went.  Then, while shopping at Central Market last fall, I spied an array of colorful bell peppers and the memory came back. I couldn’t resist.

As I hunted for peppers that had a nice flat side for “carving,” I mentioned my dinner plans to the standholder.  Fully on board, she, too, began scanning the rows for ideal specimens. As we laughed, I remarked that this was, in fact, a rather strange request.  She said she’s accustomed to oddball requests…although this ranked up there!

The best part is that no special recipe is required. Simply slice off the tops of the bell peppers and reserve them for lids, then scrape out the seeds.  If the peppers are a little wobbly, slice a thin piece off the bottom to help them stand a little straighter.

Have fun carving spooky or silly faces on the peppers and fill them with your favorite spaghetti recipe, be it freshly made or last night’s leftovers. For those preferring homemade sauce, simply click on my go-to recipes for Basic Marinara and Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce.  Of course, your favorite store-bought sauce is fine.

To soften the hollowed-out peppers prior to stuffing them, they may be precooked in the microwave or oven. Alternatively, bake the stuffed peppers at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until tender when pierced with a sharp knife. My boys deem a cooked pepper “mushy” and merely scoop out the spaghetti. So, I simply stuff warm spaghetti into the crunchy, raw peppers and they happily eat every last bite. Texture can make a difference, and those with picky eaters may find similar success. There’s no right or wrong way. Do what works for your family.

After you put the lid back on, make sure to pull a few strands out through the various holes you have cut. Oozing brains and guts are essential!

Truth be told, my husband enjoys this wacky meal as much as our kids do. It’s fun and easy-with the veggies built in-and guaranteed to bring laughs at the dinner table.

A kid-friendly meal that adults will love, too! Many more great Halloween ideas follow

 For a deliciously easy sauce, try the following recipe for Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce.


…and to stretch a little leftover spaghetti into a fun and tasty meal, consider this recipe for Leftover Spaghetti Pizza.


 Basic Marinara is yet another sauce option.  I often freeze portions of this sauce to use in a variety of easy dinner recipes.  Those recipes are linked on the marinara recipe post.


More Halloween Fun:

Halloween Mini Meatloaves (aka Rat Meatloaf!) – The laughter and squeals at the dinner table is worth the small effort! 

This is no ordinary Halloween recipe, but this special meatloaf is sure to bring smiles (or shrieks!) to those who eat it!

Threaded Hot Dog or Sausage Spaghetti (aka “Spider Dogs”) – Fun for kids to make and eat. Great activity for hand-eye coordination too. 

Move over meatballs! This squirmy pasta dish makes a fun project for kids and a crowd-pleasing Halloween-themed meal. For a more “mature” version, substitute your favorite cooked sausage for the hot dogs.

Clementine Jack-o’-lanterns – A festive snack and easy activity for Halloween parties and fun to make at home. Tuck one in a lunch box for a sweet surprise! 

Clementine Jack-o’-lanterns – These healthy snacks make a fun project for children, whether at home or school parties, and are a welcome lunchbox surprise. There’s a fun story behind them (plus an important tip for making the ink stick), and because every good celebration can benefit from some themed trivia, I’ve included some Halloween fun facts to use as conversation starters at holiday parties and around the dinner table.

Candy Bag Brownies – Perfect way to make use of leftover candy odds and ends and a bake sale hit! 

Learn how to roast pumpkin seeds that are perfectly crisp and seasoned with these helpful instructions (and see below for a favorite flavored option). 

A few helpful tips and an easy technique yield the crispiest, most irresistible pumpkin seeds with the simplest of ingredients. The snack-worthy recipe is reason to carve a pumpkin, even if you don't have kids! 
Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Seeds are a sweet treat that’s wholesome too.

Sugar and spice and everything nice, these crispy seeds offer a snack-worthy way to make the most of your annual pumpkin carving ritual. Taking the time to dry out the seeds, as described in the recipe notes, will create the crispiest, most flavorful seeds.

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  1. richmond

    What a delightful and imaginative twist on a classic dish! Ann Fulton’s story of rediscovering the idea of “spooky” spaghetti stuffed peppers while shopping at Central Market adds a charming touch to the recipe. I can imagine the laughter shared with the standholder while selecting the perfect peppers for this quirky meal, making it not just a dinner but a memorable experience for the whole family.

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  8. Tina

    Boo! The stuffed peppers were a huge hit last night. Making more spaghetti for neighborhood Halloween party on Friday.

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