Creamy Chicken Stuffed Mini Peppers with Spinach Walnut Pesto

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Creamy Chicken Stuffed Mini Peppers with Spinach Walnut Pesto are sweet little bells loaded with bubbling cheese, tender chicken, roasted peppers, and shallots then drizzled with a thick, herbaceous spinach pesto. Good luck stopping at one!

I came up with this recipe for the Food Network’s Chopped at Home Challenge presented by Arla. Click the link if you’d like to enter! You have until June 1st to submit an original recipe. The basket of four required ingredients are Arla’s Original Cream Cheese Spread, chicken breast, baby spinach, and roasted red bell pepper. Leave the rest to your imagination. This is a breeze compared to what the competitors on the show have to deal with, while under time constraints!

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Creamy Chicken Stuffed Mini Peppers with Spinach Walnut Pesto

These stuffed mini peppers are colorful, super tasty bites for Mother’s Day buffets and gatherings throughout the year. For the base of the filling, fontina and parmesan complemented Arla’s cream cheese perfectly and added a bit of nutty flavor. Feel free to change up the cheeses but make sure to use ones that melt easily.

Stuffed Mini Pepper Ingredients

Once you fold in the cubed chicken, roasted peppers and the rest of the line up, mound into those pretty petite pepper halves. You can prep them a day ahead and just pop in the oven when ready.

Stuffed Mini Peppers Ready to Bake

In less than ten minutes the cheesy filling will be oozing around the softened, roasted pepper.

Stuffed Mini Peppers Baked

While the peppers bake, you can whip up the Spinach Walnut Pesto, or make it the day before! It’s a delicious blend of baby spinach, basil, parsley, toasted walnuts, lemon, garlic and parmesan.

You’ll want to have this creamy, versatile sauce on hand to slather on anything coming off the grill, drizzle on bite-size appetizers like these stuffed mini peppers, or freeze for future use. This pesto is addictive!

Spinach Walnut Pesto Ingredients - spinach, basil, parsley, walnuts, parmesan, garlic, lemon

All those bubbly baby peppers need now is a piping of pesto and you’re ready to go. Set a few to the side for yourself before they all disappear. Enjoy!

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Here are more delicious go-to appetizers!
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 Recipe

Creamy Chicken Stuffed Mini Peppers with Spinach Walnut Pesto

Sweet mini peppers stuffed with a bubbling three-cheese blend, tender chicken, roasted peppers, and shallots then drizzled with a thick, herbaceous spinach walnut pesto.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 30 stuffed mini peppers
Author Kim Peterson

Ingredients

Stuffed Mini Peppers

  • 10 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (I used Arla)
  • 4 ounces fontina cheese, shredded
  • cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 6-7 ounces cooked chicken breast, ½-inch dice
  • 4 ounces marinated roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
  • ¼ cup shallots, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 15 mini sweet peppers, about 1 lb, halved and seeded

Spinach Walnut Pesto

  • 2 ounces baby spinach leaves, about 2 packed cups
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
  • cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • ⅓-½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Stuffed Mini Peppers

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • In a large bowl, stir the three cheeses together until well combined. Fold in chicken, roasted peppers, shallots and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Spoon mixture into mini pepper halves and place on a rimmed baking sheet. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill until ready to bake.)
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Let cool slightly and transfer stuffed peppers to a platter. Drizzle with Spinach Walnut Pesto and serve.

Spinach Walnut Pesto

  • Combine spinach, walnuts, parmesan, parsley, basil, garlic, lemon juice and zest in a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine mixture.
    Spinach Walnut Pesto Ingredients in the Food Processor
  • Scrape sides with a spatula. With machine running, slowly drizzle in the oil. Continue to pulse for desired texture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
    Spinach Walnut Pesto Done in Processor
  • Makes approximately 1 cup. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

Notes

* Pestos will oxidize when exposed to air, and begin to brown. Adding a little olive oil over top and laying plastic wrap directly on the pesto before covering in an airtight container will help the pesto stay greener longer

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