Mar 15

Spring and Southwest Style Stuffed Peppers

by Hannah Holt »


Next Wednesday may be the first day of spring, but I can already feel the turn of the season in the air. The trees on our street are budding. It had me in the mood to write something springy.


When prayers of birds sound in the air,
and crocuses play double-dare —
a splash of purple through the ice —
the loosened stream says, “Ah, that’s nice.”
When bees and beetles start to sing,
wake up, Bear! It’s time for spring.

 crocuses in ice

Speaking of alarms, I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner the other night when a bell went off in my head. At the time I was staring at four red bell peppers, trying to figure out how to conjure them into dinner. Stuffed peppers seemed like the obvious choice, but I’ve never been a fan of meat and rice slathered in pasta sauce. Then I thought, why not substitute the meat for beans and corn and change the pasta sauce into taco seasoning. Suddenly stuffed peppers sounded delicious.

They were good. And besides the yum factor, I also liked it because the kids could easily help with the preparation.

Vegetarian Southwest Style Stuffed Peppers

southwest stuffed peppers


  • four large red bell peppers
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 15oz can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 cup salsa (you choose your spice level)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 Tbl lime juice
  • 1 Tbl chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp cumin

1. Preheat the oven to 375º F.

2. Remove the stems and membranes from the peppers and cut them in half lengthwise. Place them face size up in an ungreased 9×13 inch glass dish or casserole pan, like so…


3. Set one cup of cheese off to the side. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a big bowl. (Go ahead and let the kids just dump them all in and stir!)


Note: I didn’t think the mix needed any salt or pepper, but now would be a good time to check that this is seasoned to taste.

4. Fill the peppers with the stuffing and top with the remaining cheese.


5. Cover the peppers tightly with foil (or the casserole dish lid) and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.

6. Once the peppers are tender, uncover the peppers and bake for an additional 10 minutes until the cheese on top is nice and bubbly.

southwest stuffed peppers1

Bell peppers really make for an excellent taco. Yum!


  1. grandma weight


  2. julie rowan zoch

    What a sweet poem! Is that your watercolor too? Lovely! And now it looks like I have a dinner plan tonight – thanks!

    • Hannah Holt

      Yes, it’s my watercolor. Thanks. I like the moxie of crocuses.

  3. nrhatch

    Those peppers sound delish. Sweet poem.

  4. Teresa Robeson

    Pretty poem! And those stuffed peppers make me long for summer! We don’t buy them from stores so the only time I get to eat them is when we harvest our own.

    • Hannah Holt

      Garden grown peppers sound delicious. I’ve never had any luck growing my own. Do you have a secret? I’ll have to try again this year.

  5. Joanna

    Great poem, Hannah.

  6. Heather Dent

    Delightful! I love your poem! The stuffed peppers look delicious as well.

  7. Jennifer Young

    Lovely poem Hannah! I’ve never tried beans in the stuffed peppers, they look delicious :0)

  8. Laura Renauld

    Delightful imagery. I love “and crocuses play double-dare” and your accompanying illustration.

  9. Vivian Kirkfield

    Hannah…I LOVE this…the imagery is so beautiful…’and crocuses play double-dare’!
    And your illustration is perfect!
    Thank you for bringing spring to me today.:)
    And a super cool recipe as well!

  10. Susanna Leonard Hill

    Love your poem, Hannah – so sweet and beautifully descriptive! And that recipe looks delicious – I’m going to have to try it!

  11. Delores

    Lovely little poem…short and sweet.

  12. Barbara

    LOVE the powerful simplicity of your poem and the kid-friendliness of your recipe!

  13. Catherine Johnson

    You don’t need to be Vegetarian to find those delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

  14. Patricia Tilton

    Hannah, love your poem!

  15. Tina Cho

    Beautiful spring poem, Hannah! Looks like you’re creative in the kitchen, too!

  16. Carrie F

    Hannah, I love your spring poem! Our crocuses are just starting to emerge and I’m SO excited. Your peppers look delish! I love that image of conjuring up dinner. So often at around 5:30, I feel I need to get out my witch hat and magic wand and make something happen. Oh, the pressure! This looks like a nice, easy solution.

  17. Jill Proctor

    What a lovely poem. I especially like “crocuses play double-dare.” Beautiful illustration! And being a vegetarian, I can’t wait to try your stuffed peppers! Thanks for all the sensory input!

  18. Wendy Greenley

    Charming poem, Hannah! I loved saying “loosened stream” out loud. The illustration is lovely too. We have so many deer, I don’t get to see crocuses anymore

  19. Colonialist

    A spring full of bounce!

  20. Penny Klostermann

    Excellent, Hannah! I love your poem and your art. “bees and beetles”…wonderful!
    Those peppers sound yummy! I love stuffed peppers!

  21. Beth Arnstein

    Your word play and food play are both delicious!

  22. Jarm Del Boccio

    I enjoy searching for signs of Spring. You have revealed some of the best! I always admire poetry, since it is not a strength of mine…

  23. Denise Bruce of Ingleside

    Hannah, this was sweet. I loved the prayers of birds :)

    dinner looks scrumptious too lol