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Mac-O-Lantern and Cheese Bowls

An orange bell pepper - carved and ready for Halloween -- become an edible bowl for creamy mac and cheese! Skill Level: Beginner

30 min Prep
40 min Total
price per Serving

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
Calories 500
Protein 17.3g
Total Carbohydrates 42.2g
Dietary Fiber 4.7g
Net Carbohydrates 37.5g
Sugar 9.3g
Total Fat 29.2g
Saturated Fat 17.0g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 89.9mg
Sodium 330.8mg
SmartPoints® 17.0


  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 6 orange bell peppers
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni pasta
  • 1 1/4 cups half-and-half
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Fill a large bowl with ice water.
  3. Cut the tops off the peppers and reserve. Remove the seeds and membranes.
  4. Put the peppers and the tops in the boiling water and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Plunge the peppers into the ice bath. Once cool, remove them and use a sharp knife to carve a jack-o-lantern face into one side of each pepper.
  6. Return the water to a boil, add the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain (don't rinse the pasta).
  7. Heat the half-and-half in a large saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to a simmer. Continue simmering until reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 10 minutes.
  8. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted. Whisk in the Cheddar until all the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
  9. Off the heat, add the macaroni to the saucepan and stir to combine.
  10. Stir in some of the reserved pasta water to thin the sauce if needed. 
  11. Let sit for 10 minutes, then divide the mac and cheese among the peppers and cap each with a pepper top.

Price Per Serving based on average national price: excludes store savings and local grocery store pricing