This savory, cheesy Shrimp Rangoon Mini Bell Pepper appetizer is a party favorite! This is a healthier take on the classic crab rangoon appetizer, with a stuffing made with tender, succulent shrimp combined with a tasty cream cheese mixture.
You won’t be able to stop at just one, but luckily you don’t have to, because this mini bell pepper appetizer is low-carb and keto – a much healthier option compared to deep-fried crab rangoon!
How early do you plan your appetizers for New Years Eve? Or for any other party, for that matter?
To us, appetizers are the BEST part of any party, so we take our appetizer planning seriously. These shrimp stuffed mini bell peppers are on top of our list!! They’re super festive, absolutely delicious, and fun to make.
You will love this appetizer if you:
- Love cheesy appetizers
- Love tender, succulent flavorful shrimp
- Are looking for a low-carb appetizer and want to add a little veggies to your party snacking
- Love easy-to-make appetizers that taste gourmet
- Love budget-friendly appetizers that look fancy!
Even though this recipe uses shrimp, it only uses about ½ lb of shrimp, making this a pretty affordable shrimp appetizer! I top these mini bell peppers with shredded Gouda cheese, but you can also use white cheddar for a more budget-friendly option.
Ready to make these?
Here’s what you need
- 15 mini bell peppers – sliced in half, seeds and pith removed
- ½ lb raw shrimp – (any size) – peeled, tails removed, and de-veined
- 1 teaspoon chili powder – or use sweet or smoked paprika if you don’t want any heat
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 oz cream cheese – (half a block) – warmed to room temperature. Full-fat is best, but light cream cheese is OK too
- 1 scallion – finely diced
- 1 teaspoon lime juice – from about ½ small lime
- ⅓ cup finely shredded Gouda cheese – or use white cheddar or any other meltable cheese
You’ll also need:
- A large baking sheet
- 2 mixing bowls
- A medium-large skillet
- Non-stick spray (or extra olive oil)
To make these:
Step 1: In a medium bowl, combine the shrimp with the chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. (Photo 1 below)
Step 2: Heat a large skillet, then add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook about 2 minutes per side, or until the shrimp is fully cooked. Remove from heat onto a cutting board. (Photo 2 below)
Step 3: Chop the shrimp into small pieces. It’s up to you whether to finely chop the shrimp or leave larger chunks – you will combine the shrimp with cream cheese and shredded cheese. You can also choose to use a small food processor to process the shrimp to really finely shred it. I prefer leaving large chunks so I can feel them when I eat these mini bell peppers. 🙂 (Photo 3 below)
Step 4: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit while you stuff the peppers.
Step 5: In a medium bowl, combine the chopped shrimp, softened cream cheese, diced scallion, and lime juice. If you forgot to take out your cream cheese and soften it, just microwave it for a few seconds! Mix together, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. (Photo 4 below)
Step 6: Stuff each bell pepper half with a tablespoon or two of the shrimp + cream cheese mixture. The amount you need per pepper really depends on how big the peppers are! (Photo 5 below)
Step 7: Spray a large baking sheet with baking spray (or brush with olive oil). Arrange the stuffed peppers on the baking sheet, and top each one with shredded cheese.
Step 8: Bake at 350F for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the bell peppers soften. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. (Photo 6 below)
Some tips for making these Shrimp Rangoon Mini Peppers:
→ Start from raw shrimp instead of buying cooked shrimp because you can add so much flavor to shrimp as you are cooking it. Pre-cooked shrimp not only lacks in flavor, but is often rubbery and a bit overcooked.
→ You can use any size shrimp you want for this recipe, since you’ll be chopping the shrimp up into little pieces anyway. So just get whichever size shrimp is on sale this week!
→ Try to find the biggest mini bell peppers you can find, this will make it much easier to remove the seeds and stuff them.
→ It is up to you whether you remove the little green part from the top of the pepper. I leave it in half the time to have something to grab the peppers by and to make sure the cheese mixture doesn’t melt out. But sometimes I cut the top parts off so that the whole thing is edible!
→ If you can find chili powder without added salt, that would be best. That way you can add extra chili powder for flavor without making this appetizer too salty. The chili powder from the 365 Whole Foods brand doesn’t have any added salt or chemicals.
→ The recipe calls for Gouda cheese (because we fancy!), but if white cheddar is a better option for you budget-wise, go ahead and use that!
→ Spice things up! Use small jalapeño peppers, or add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the cream cheese mixture!
I call these my ‘shrimp rangoon’ appetizer because it’s a twist on the popular crab rangoon appetizer. Crab Rangoon is a fried dumpling appetizer that is very popular in Chinese restaurants in the US. Wonton wrappers are filled with a mixture of crab meat and cream cheese and then deep fried.
Sounds good, but a little unhealthy, right?
So in my version of this appetizer, I stuff mini bell peppers with a mixture of shrimp and cream cheese. True, they are not crispy, but I find them to be even more delicious.
You’re going to LOVE this stuffed mini bell pepper appetizer!! If you end up making it, please take a picture and tag me on INSTAGRAM or FACEBOOK. You can find me at @babaganoshblog on both. I love seeing your creations!
Looking for other seafood appetizers?
- Seafood spread crostini – an even easier seafood appetizer!
- Cheesy seafood dip
- Crab cakes with mango relish
- Shrimp stuffed avocado
- Cilantro lime shrimp
Looking for other party appetizers?
- Pesto tomato crostini
- Roasted grapes crostini with whipped blue cheese
- Cheesy buffalo chicken dip
- Cheesy chicken corn dip
If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don’t forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!
Shrimp Rangoon Mini Bell Peppers Appetizer
- 15 mini bell peppers sliced in half, seeds and pith removed
- ½ lb raw shrimp peeled, tailed removed, de-veined
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 oz cream cheese room temperature (full fat is best, but light cream cheese works too)
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- ⅓ cup finely shredded Gouda or white Cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)
- olive oil spray or extra olive oil for brushing the baking sheet
- Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray or brush with olive oil.
- In a medium bowl, combine the shrimp, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Mix well. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, and cook the shrimp over high heat for 2 minutes per side, or until fully cooked. Set aside to cool.
- Roughly chop the cooked shrimp into small pieces.
- In a medium bowl, combine the chopped shrimp, room temperature cream cheese, chopped green onions, and lime juice. Mix well. Give it a taste and add salt and pepper if desired.
- Fill each bell pepper half with about ½ - 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture, pressing the filling down gently to fill the bell pepper. Place the mini bell peppers on the baking sheet. Sprinkle a pinch of shredded cheese on each mini pepper. Bake for 10 minutes at 350F. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
- Spice things up! Use small jalapeño peppers, or add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the cream cheese mixture
- If you don't have time to bring your cream cheese to room temperature, microwave it in a microwave-safe bowl for a few seconds to soften it and make it easier to stir
- Start with raw shrimp, don't start with cooked shrimp!
- You can chop the shrimp into tiny pieces or larger pieces - your choice! There's also the option to process the cooked shrimp in a small food processor to break it up finely
Here are my old photos of this mini bell pepper appetizer, in case you are curious to see how food photography improves over the years!