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Mac & cheese stuffed peppers are a wholesome treat your kids will love

Sarah's love of food led her down what she calls "the culinary rabbit hole," leaving her management job to first apprentice on an organic vegetable farm and then to write about and photograph food professionally. Her agricultural backgro...

Serve your mac and cheese in a vegetable vessel with this tasty recipe

Stylish stuffed bell peppers sport organic ingredients, lean protein and a rainbow of vegetables.

Serve your mac and cheese in a vegetable vessel with this tasty recipe

If there's one area I really shine in the kitchen, it's adding vegetables to any meal. Especially now that our CSA is in full swing, I'm finding ways to amp up the vegetable factor every night. One of my new favorite methods? Using the vegetable as a vessel. Squash, eggplant and, of course, peppers, are all fair game for stuffing.

For this easy weeknight dinner, I used my favorite boxed mac and cheese — Annie's Homegrown — mixed with chopped chicken breast and fresh parsley to fill bell pepper halves. While these would be delicious baked, our family prefers the tri-colored peppers served raw. We love contrast between the sweet, crunchy bell peppers and the cozy, warm filling; plus, my kids will only eat peppers raw, so this is the only way stuffed peppers appeal to everyone at our dinner table. Bonus: These are the fastest stuffed peppers I've ever made!

Serve your mac and cheese in a vegetable vessel with this tasty recipe

Mac and cheese stuffed bell peppers

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 5 allspice berries
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (6 ounce) box Annie's Homegrown Organic Shells and Real Aged Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 bell peppers, assorted colors, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds and membranes removed

Directions:

  1. Place the chicken breasts in a single layer in a pot or deep pan. Top with the allspice, garlic, salt and bay leaves then fill with water, at least one inch over the top of the chicken. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the meat is cooked through, 10-15 minutes. Remove from the cooking water and, once cool enough to handle, chop into bite-size pieces.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the mac and cheese according to the instructions on the packaging. Stir the chicken and parsley into the mac and cheese.
  3. Fill the pepper halves generously with the mac and cheese mixture. At this point you have three options: 1) Eat as-is with the warm filling and raw, crunchy peppers, 2) Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake or 3) Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until peppers reach desired tenderness.

Serve your mac and cheese in a vegetable vessel with this tasty recipe

Serve your mac and cheese in a vegetable vessel with this tasty recipe

This post was brought to you by Annie's Homegrown.

More stuffed pepper recipes

Sunday dinner: Bell peppers stuffed with couscous and ground beef
Quinoa stuffed peppers
Meatless Monday: Tex-Mex stuffed peppers are a healthy alternative for dinner

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