Jack-o-lantern catfish stuffed bell peppers are a fun, fall recipe that can take your Halloween celebration to the next level. Customize your bell pepper with a spooky or silly jack-o-lantern face, and stuff it with delicious Heartland Catfish, rice and vegetables. Mix up the stuffing with your favorite veggies, and fuel up with our recipe before trick-or-treating!

Serves 4

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes


  • 4 large orange bell peppers 
  • 1 cup cooked white rice 
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil 
  • 1 pound catfish nuggets 
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced 
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced 
  • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes, drained 
  • 1 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded 
  • 1 tsp cumin 
  • 1 tsp paprika 
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 



Preheat the oven and prepare bell peppers. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the top off each orange bell pepper. Set the tops aside (they’ll be used again later). Remove all the seeds and membranes with a spoon, making sure not to puncture the skin. Use a small paring knife to cut holes into the exterior of the peppers to make jack-o-lantern faces.

Cook the rice and peppers. Cook the rice according to package directions. While the rice cooks, grease a baking dish with 1 tbsp cooking oil. Place the peppers and their tops on the pan and cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they are cooked but still firm. Remove from the oven and allow to cool while you prepare the filling.  

Prepare the filling. Heat the other tablespoon of cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and green bell pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add the catfish and spices to the pan and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the catfish is fully cooked through. 

Drain the liquids and add ingredients. Drain the liquids from the skillet, reduce the heat to low and then add the fire-roasted tomatoes, cooked rice and cheese. Stir until everything is evenly incorporated. 

Stuff the peppers. Fill each pepper with the mixture with about a cup of the mix, or until it comes to the top of the pepper. Place the tops on each pepper and serve!