One of our favorite things to make in the summer is stuffed banana peppers. We usually buy a whole bunch from the farm stand down the street or at the farmer’s market, stuff them all, and eat them for days and days. This year, we got them 10 for $2, so we made lots. I plan on getting a bunch more to freeze so we’ll have them later in the year for once – woohoo! This time when I was planning on making them, I tried looking up my recipe on the blog and was shocked to see I had never shared it or written it down! So this time, I finally wrote down what I did so I’ll have an actual working recipe, haha!
I love that with banana peppers, you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get. They range from slightly sweet, mildly spicy, to mouth-on-fire hot. The peppers we got this year were mildly spicy, which was just perfect. They still were a little ridiculous for de-seeding, though! I always get crazy coughing fits (I’m mildly asthmatic), so this year, I upped my protective gear from just wearing gloves to adding in a face mask and my safety glasses from chemistry. I made it through about 3/4 of the peppers before I started coughing a little bit! Huge improvement. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen my safety gear!
We love our peppers nice and garlicky with a whooole lot of cheese. This year, I decided to halve the amount of cream cheese we use by using half cream cheese, half greek yogurt, as well as parmesan and mozzarella. I was a little nervous that the cheese would spread a lot more, making a huge mess in the oven, since we don’t like to use breadcrumbs to hold it together, but it was perfect! Only minor spreading from the tops of the peppers, which is totally normal. The flavor was outstanding, too! I do love being able to amp up the protein slightly!
I always use a good bit of garlic, as well as a tiny bit of basil and oregano for some extra flavor. Every once in a while, I’ll try stuffed banana peppers at different restaurants just to see how they make them, but most of the time, I’m extremely disappointed by how bland they are. These peppers are definitely not that – so full of cheesy, garlic flavor. I think I’ll stick to just making my own peppers.
These are super easy to make, other than the whole de-seeding super spicy peppers. I definitely recommend gloves, at the very least. You don’t want to accidentally rub your eyes later and be burning like crazy, and trust me, it stays for a WHILE. When we still lived in the dorms, I made peppers without wearing gloves, and my fingers were burning for days afterward. We now always have a big box of disposable gloves under the sink to be prepared.
What’s your favorite thing to make with fresh summer veggies? Do you have any foods you make year after year?
- 1-8 oz. package cream cheese
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt (Chobani is my favorite!)
- 4-6 cloves garlic, minced (We love garlic, so we always go for 6 - you decide!)
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella (or Italian blend of cheeses)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan, more for sprinkling
- 10 medium to large banana peppers
Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Put on some gloves (and wear a mask if you have bad coughing fits like me). Rinse the banana peppers to remove dirt, and cut off the stems. Open up the banana pepper length wise by cutting down through the center of the pepper (only on one side – do not cut it in half!). Remove the seeds as best as you can (or else they’ll be SUPER hot). Place on a paper towel to dry slightly while you mix the stuffing.
In a medium bowl, stir the cream cheese and yogurt together until smooth. Add the minced garlic, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper, stirring until well combined. Add the mozzarella and parmesan, stirring until evenly mixed.
Scoop the cheese mixture generously into each of the peppers, stuffing it down into the tip of the pepper, all the way to the top. Place each pepper, open side up, on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the opening with parmesan cheese.
Bake at 400ºF for 25-30 minutes, until the peppers are soft, and the cheese is browned. Allow to cool slightly before serving.