These tuna melt stuffed mini peppers combine the familiar flavours of a tuna melt sandwich with crunchy and colourful sweet bell peppers. This simple appetizer recipe is not only easy to prepare, it’s so delicious. Mini stuffed peppers are always a crowd favourite!
When you combine the delicious flavours of a tuna melt sandwich (minus the bread) with mini bell peppers you end up with one seriously good bite. I mean, you have the crunchy bell pepper, flavour-packed filling and melty cheese. What’s not to love?
These tuna peppers are just the kind of thing that’s great for weekend eats, game day or casual get togethers with friends.
Like my buffalo chicken dip mini stuffed peppers, this tuna version is easy and disappears just as fast.
- Cooking spray: To grease the baking dish
- Canned tuna: I prefer to use canned tuna in water versus canned tuna in oil. If you only have canned tuna in oil, no worries. Just rinse it with some cold water and drain well before using.
- Cheddar cheese: I used a jalapeno variety for a little spice. You can use a regular variety if you prefer. Just pick a good melting cheese, like mozzarella, provolone, Monterey Jack or a combination of your favourites. And, speaking of cheese, grate it yourself (versus buying pre-shredded) for optimal melty cheese results.
- Mayonnaise: Classic for a tuna melt filling. It’s what brings everything together and gives the tuna melt filling a rich base.
- Celery: For crunch and flavour.
- Chives: For colour and flavour. Green onion is a great substitute if that’s what you have on hand or prefer.
- Dill Pickle: For crunch and flavour.
- Seasoning: I used salt, black pepper and ground cayenne pepper.
- Mini bell peppers: Also known as mini sweet peppers or mini peppers. These are so fun, colourful and tasty. If you want to mix things up and add some more spice, feel free to substitute with jalapeno peppers (just remove their seeds and ribs before using).
How To Make Tuna Melt Stuffed Mini Peppers
Here is an overview of how to make stuffed mini peppers (full details are in the recipe card below):
- In a bowl, combine the canned tuna, some cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, celery, chives, dill pickle, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper and stir until everything is nicely mixed together.
- Fill each mini pepper half with the tuna melt mixture.
- Arrange the stuffed mini peppers in a greased baking dish, then sprinkle some more cheddar cheese over top.
- Bake the peppers until they’re heated through and the cheese has melted, then allow them to cool for a tad before devouring.
Are Mini Peppers Spicy?
Not at all. The taste of mini peppers reminds me of regular bell peppers, only a little sweeter. And, of course, like regular bell peppers, mini peppers are crunchy and delicious.
You can typically find mini peppers in the produce section at the grocery store, around where you would find regular bell peppers and other veggies. They are usually sold in packages with multiple in there. I usually see them sold in 1-pound bags.
- Mini bell peppers can vary in size. Some are short and wide, while others are long and thin. Because of these variances, the amount of tuna melt filling you can fit into each pepper can differ. Not a big deal, just put as much filling into each pepper half that you can. For this recipe, I used about 1 pound of mini peppers and yielded about 20 pieces (half pieces, meaning I used about 10 whole mini peppers).
- Make sure your tuna is drained well of excess moisture before using. You don’t want to water down your filling.
- There is no perfectly neat way to fill the peppers. I used a spoon to put the filling in each mini pepper half and just stuffed as much in there as I could.
- Want a little extra texture and crunch? Sprinkle the stuffed mini peppers with some panko bread crumbs before baking.
- If you’re feeding a crowd, you could easily double this recipe.
More Yummy Recipes To Try
If you make this mini stuffed peppers recipe, be sure to leave a comment below!
Tuna Melt Stuffed Mini Peppers
- Cooking spray, to grease baking dish
- 1 (6-ounce or 170-gram) can tuna in water, drained well
- 3 ounces shredded jalapeno cheddar cheese, divided (about ¾ cup shredded cheese)
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 1 rib celery, finely chopped
- 2.5 tablespoons minced fresh chives, divided
- 2 tablespoons chopped dill pickle
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- pinch salt
- pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound mini bell peppers (mini sweet peppers), each cut in half lengthwise and seeds removed
- Dried dill, for sprinkling over as garnish (optional)
- Ranch dressing, for serving (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the canned tuna, 1 ounce (or ¼ cup) cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, celery, 2 tablespoons of chives, dill pickle, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Stir to combine until all the ingredients are nicely incorporated.
- Using a spoon, fill each mini pepper half with the tuna melt mixture. Arrange them in the baking dish in a single layer and try to rest them against each other so they're upright. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of cheddar cheese over each mini pepper half.Tip: Rather than sprinkle the cheddar cheese over top of the mini peppers with abandon, try to get most of the cheese onto each specific pepper. That way, when the cheese melts, it'll stay on the pepper and won't cause the peppers to stick together too much. You don't want to lose all your cheese on a pepper because it's sticking to another one.
- Bake the stuffed mini peppers until they're heated through and the cheese has melted, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Once done, allow them to cool for 5 minutes or so until they're cool enough to handle. Transfer them to a serving plate and garnish with the remaining ½ tablespoon of chives. If using, sprinkle over some dried dill to taste. Serve with ranch dressing for dunking, if desired. Enjoy!Note: Properly store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoy within 2 to 3 days. You can reheat the peppers but I even enjoy them cold, right out of the refrigerator (great for a quick snack).
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.
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Tried this recipe?
If you do make this recipe, thank you!! It would mean so much if you could leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed it, and it helps other readers too!
Dawn, these look amazing. I love the idea of the peppers instead of bread — perfect for the gluten-free eaters in my house. The pickles put it over the top for me. 🙂 ~Valentina
David @ Spiced
We often pick up those mini peppers and grill ’em whole (they’re delicious), but now you’ve got me thinking about different ways to use them. I do enjoy a good tuna melt, and stuffing them into peppers looks fun! I wonder if you could grill this recipe!?
These mini tuna stuffed peppers would be a great game day snack! My son loves tuna, so I’ll have to whip up some for him!