Mac and Cheese Stuffed Peppers | Campfire Recipe GirlCarnivore (2024)

Stuffed pepper recipes get a makeover in this fun mac and cheese version with brats all cooked over the campfire!

Mac and Cheese Stuffed Peppers | Campfire Recipe GirlCarnivore (1)

A few weeks ago I hitched up a 32″ Minnie Winnie and set out on an adventure through the mountains of western Virginia, one of my favorite places on earth. Having hiked and camped the mountains a hundred times, living life in an RV was pure luxury, but I still made it a point to cook over livefire every night.

These stuffed peppers are one of my easy go-to ‘you made that over a campfire?’ recipes that I love to recreate with whatever I have on hand on the last day of camping.

Mac and Cheese Stuffed Peppers | Campfire Recipe GirlCarnivore (2)

Can you use cast iron over a campfire?

For starters, yes. Cast iron is the only thing I use in my kitchen and on the road. It’s heavy-duty and holds heat while evenly distributing it. Cast iron can take the beating in my rugged kitchen and doesn’t take a whole lot of time to clean up.

It’s also perfect for cooking over campfires. You can place your cast iron skillets and Dutch ovens directly over the coals, on a grate, or (in the case of the Dutch oven) hang over the fire for optimal temperature control.

A good cast iron skillet is a multi-use tool. It can fry the bacon and eggs in the morning and bake a cobbler at night. You can deep fry in one (with tall sides) and finish the best steaks. If I had one tool to keep in my kitchen at all times, next to a quality knife, my cast iron skillet is a must. A good 10″ one is the perfect piece for every collection.

Mac and Cheese Stuffed Peppers | Campfire Recipe GirlCarnivore (3)

How to boil water over a campfire

The first thing you’re going to want to prep for this dish is the pasta. You could pop inside your cozy RV and get that all prepped and ready on the range. BUT, if you’re feeling brave, and patient, boiling water over a campfire is actually kind of easy.

A heavy-duty big pot works great for this, as long as it’s oven safe and you have a few heat resistant gloves nearby. For safety, give yourself some room too. Make sure you have a safe space around the fire. The last thing anyone needs is to spill boiling water.

These instructions are for a campfire with a level grate secured atop the already established fire.

For cooking, fill the pot 1/2 full with water and add salt. Bring to a boil, with the lid on, directly over the flame of a hot fire. If you’re just boiling the water for coffee, ignore that mention of salt.

I put a heavy-duty lid on because I am terribly impatient and watching the bubbles drives me nuts. I make sure that I keep a pair of heat resistant gloves nearby to remind me not to forget and reach in with my hand to touch the lid.

Mac and Cheese Stuffed Peppers | Campfire Recipe GirlCarnivore (4)

How to cook brats over a campfire

Brats are one of my go-to camping ingredients. They are easy, and after a long day, way more satisfying than a hot dog. Plus, I can slice them up and add them to anything.

Arrange the brats on a level stable cooking grate over an established fire. Make sure that it’s not raging, or you will sear the outsides, leaving the insides raw. And no one likes a charred brat on one end while the other is cold. I rotate my brats while cooking, working back to forward, making sure each gets a turn over the center of the heat source.

Allow the brats to cook over the fire, often rotating for even cooking until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. (Yes, an instant-read thermometer is part of my travel cooking kit).

Another option for brats is to toss them right into that cast iron skillet mentioned above for more even heat control. This campfire stuffed peppers can be made with the brats over the fire or right in the skillet.

Mac and Cheese Stuffed Peppers | Campfire Recipe GirlCarnivore (5)

Want more camping recipe inspiration? Try some of my favorites:

  • Campfire Grilled Chicken Panini
  • Campfire Moroccan Pizza
  • Leftover Smoked Turkey Sandwich

If you’ve tried my Campfire Mac and Cheese Stuffed Peppers Recipe or any other recipe onGirlCarnivore.complease don’t forget torate the recipeand let me know where you found it in the comments below. I get inspired by your feedback and comments! You can alsoFOLLOW MEonInstagram@girlcarnivoreas well as onTwitterandFacebook.

Campfire Mac and Cheese Stuffed Peppers

5 from 3 votes

Mac and Cheese Stuffed Peppers | Campfire Recipe GirlCarnivore (6)

Stuffed pepper recipes get a makeover in this fun mac and cheese version with brats all cooked over the campfire!


  • 8 oz uncooked pasta small to medium shells is my go-to choice
  • 16 oz cheddar and Colby cheese cut into 1/4″ cubes
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 8 oz can evaporate milk
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lbs brats
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 red pepper seeded and chopped
  • 4 large bell peppers cut in half, from the top to bottom, with the seeds removed


  • In a large oven-safe pot, bring the water to a boil with salt.

  • Add the pasta and cook until al dente.

  • Carefully drain the pasta and set aside.

  • In the meantime, preheat a large cast-iron skillet.

  • Add the olive oil and cook the brats, browning evenly as you rotate them every so often.

  • For the last 7 to 10 minutes, add the chopped onion and pepper, and allow them to sautee down.

  • Remove the brats from the fire and allow to cool 5 minutes, before slicing.

  • In the same skillet with the onions and peppers, add the mustard and red pepper flakes. Stir to coat.

  • Whisk in the evaporated milk.

  • A little at a time, whisk in the cheese until completely melted.

  • Add the sliced brats to the pot with the cooked pasta and pour the cheese sauce over top.

  • Stir to combine.

  • In the now-empty skillet, carefully nestle the pepper halves in place. (I can usually fit 4 to 5 halves snuggly in each skillet)

  • Spoon in hearty portions of mac and cheese, pressing to fill.

  • Cover with aluminum foil and cook over offset heat for 35 to 40 minutes, until the peppers are softened and cooked through.

  • Repeat with the remaining pepper halves, as needed.

  • Allow the peppers to cool 5 minutes before serving.



This recipe can be made in a standard kitchen as well.

Follow the instructions and boil the water and cook the sausage and onions on the range top while finishing in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

The Mac and cheese can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 666kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 1048mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g

Course: Campfire Recipes

Cuisine: American

Author: Kita Roberts

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Categories: Campfire Recipes, Dinner, GC Original, Grilling Recipes, Ground Pork, Hot Dogs and Sausages, Pork Recipes, SP

Mac and Cheese Stuffed Peppers | Campfire Recipe GirlCarnivore (7)

Well, Hey, Y’all.

Kita is a multi-talented individual, boasting numerous accomplishments such as being an award-winning recipe developer, world-traveled professional photographer, and journalist. As the lead creative force behind Girl Carnivore®, she is widely recognized as an authority on all things meat.

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Mac and Cheese Stuffed Peppers | Campfire Recipe GirlCarnivore (2024)


How do you keep stuffed peppers from getting soggy? ›

To prevent it from happening, you should try to avoid or reduce excess moisture – here are three of the things you can do:
  1. Pre-cook Peppers. ...
  2. Use Leftover Rice. ...
  3. Save Cheese for the Topping.

Why do my stuffed peppers fall apart? ›

I think the key to stuffed peppers is the cooking of the pepper itself. If you pre-cook it, then once you fill it, it tends to be soggy and fall apart. I like my stuffed peppers to hold their shape and be hot all the way through but retain a little bit of crunch.

Why are my stuffed peppers bland? ›

The thing about most stuffed bell pepper recipes is 3that they call for salt in the filling, not for the peppers themselves. Without salt, the peppers are flabby and bland, merely a filling case. With a sprinkle of salt, they transform into a sweet and powerfully savory part of the dish.

Why do stuffed peppers take so long to cook? ›

For Uncooked Fillings in Whole Peppers:

It's possible to stuff peppers with a raw filling. If you're stuffing a whole pepper, it takes awhile to cook because the filling needs to reach a safe temperature. Out of all the stuffed peppers, this one takes the longest to cook because of its size.

Should you cook peppers before stuffing them? ›

The beauty of stuffed vegetables (like Stuffed Zucchini) is that your serving of vegetables is built right in! Add rice and protein, and you're in biz. This stuffed peppers recipe is easier than most, because you don't need to cook the peppers before stuffing them.

Do you boil peppers before stuffing? ›

The peppers need to be par-cooked before filling so that they cook through. Many recipes call for boiling the peppers first, but I prefer to roast them – more flavor and less cleanup!

How do you fix too much pepper in stuffing? ›

Sour cream, yogurt, ghee, butter and milk can all neutralize the pepper flavor, depending on the dish. Mix in a small amount of a dairy and see if you taste a difference.

How do you keep stuffed peppers upright? ›

With the simple trick of using a muffin tin, ramekin, or other handy kitchen pan, you can ensure that your stuffed peppers stay upright and always cook perfectly. Say goodbye to the frustration of toppling peppers and enjoy a hassle-free cooking experience.

Why do you boil peppers for stuffed peppers? ›

If you bake peppers this way, they will take longer to cook and will hold their shape better. If you blanch the peppers and stuff them with raw ingredients, they could become too soft and fall apart during baking. So it's easier to stuff blanched peppers with an already-cooked mixture.

Are you supposed to eat the pepper in stuffed peppers? ›

Cook the meat before stuffing the peppers. I also parboil my peppers so they are easier to stuff. The flavor the peppers impart to the dish is amazing. Don't forget to eat the peppers!

How do you get the most flavor out of peppers? ›

Filleting a pepper is the best way to easily separate the seeds and pith from the flesh. Doing this allows you to get the most pepper flavor possible with the least amount of heat.

Do I have to cover stuffed peppers when baking? ›

Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through, about 35 minutes. Uncover and divide the remaining 1/2 cup cheese evenly over the peppers. Return to the oven and bake uncovered until the cheese is melted and browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

What goes well with stuffed peppers? ›

Even though the stuffed peppers likely contain rice, a starch, they pair very well with mashed potatoes. I also recommend a simple salad with an acidic dressing such as balsamic vinaigrette.

How do you can peppers so they stay crunchy? ›

Pickles, including pickled peppers, can be made crisper by adding calcium chloride granules. Calcium chloride does not lower the acidity in the jar and is safer to use than lime. It is used in commercially canned pickles.

How do you keep bell peppers firm? ›

If not stored properly, the vegetable can easily lose its crunchy texture. "Humidity is the key here, as too much moisture can cause bell peppers to lose their crunch," Rotman says. She recommends you place bell peppers in a resealable bag and keep them in the front of the crisper drawer.

How do you firm up peppers? ›

Peppers are a tricky bunch, with their ability to bounce back depending on the type of pepper and the thickness of the skin. If they've lost their crispness and you want them for salads, you can slice them up and try a 10 minute ice bath in a bowl. You can also pickle the peppers, even in their limp state.


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