These cream cheese stuffed piquanté peppers are a simple and easy, make-ahead appetizer bursting with delicious flavors. The vibrant sweet Peppadew piquanté peppers are carefully filled with herbed cream cheese which provides a rich and velvety balance to the crunchy, sweet and tangy taste of the peppers. Characterised by their small round shape, glossy skin and vibrant red color, these sweet piquanté peppers boast a tangy and mildly spicy flavor. They are perfect to serve as a bite-sized appetizer for any occasion or gathering.
What are peppadew peppers?
A common misconception is that peppadews are the peppers themselves when in fact PEPPADEW® is a registered trademark of the South African company that created the Peppadew brand.
Scientifically known as Capsicum baccatum, the now widely recognised ‘peppadew peppers’ are actually piquanté peppers pickled by the Peppadew company brand. They were discovered in the mid 1990’s in South Africa by Johan Steenkamp, the founder of Peppadew International (Pty) Ltd.
After being deseeded and pickled in a sweet and tangy brine, these sweet piquanté peppers were introduced to the market under the Peppadew brand name.
It’s important to note that while Peppadew refers to a specific brand, the term is often colloquially used to describe this particular type of pickled, sweet, and mildly spicy pepper. With that said, there is in reality no such thing as ‘a peppadew’.
What do peppadew piquante peppers taste like?
Peppadew® have created a unique and very distinctive taste with their piquanté peppers by combining the notes of a cherry, fruity sweetness with the mild, tangy, spiciness of red pepper. The crisp texture and mild heat of the peppers along with the sweet and tangy taste of the pickle brine makes them a very versatile and flavorful addition or topping to salads, sandwiches, appetisers, pizza and more.
Which ingredients to use
This stuffed piquanté pepper recipe comes together with just a handful of ingredients:
- Peppadew peppers: Sweet piquanté peppers from the Peppadew brand are always sold in a glass jar of pickled brine. Other brands can be found in a can or plastic containers. Peppadew peppers can usually be found in supermarkets with international sections, specialty food stores or delis. When using a piquanté pepper from another brand for this recipe the result and taste might be different.
- Cream cheese: Use either an already prepared cream cheese or a plain cream cheese and add extra herbs and garlic to your liking.
- Herbs: Over and above what’s in the cream cheese, fresh parsley and chives is what works best for this sweet piquanté pepper recipe.
- Aromatics: Garlic powder, salt and pepper to give a final boost of flavor to the cream cheese.
How to make stuffed peppadew peppers
Note: All the exact quantities of the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Bursting with flavor, this stuffed Peppadew recipe is so easy to make in just 10 minutes. It’s also perfect to make ahead of time then kept in the fridge for an event later in the day or even the next day.
- Prepare the peppers: Drain the brine from the peppers by tipping them into a mesh sieve or small colander, then turn the individual peppers upside down so the brine can also be drained from the inside of the peppers. Slice off the bottom tip of the peppers so they don’t roll over when presenting them on a plate.
- Prepare the cream cheese: Finely chop the parsley and chives and mix with the cream cheese. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder, then give the cream cheese a good stir so it becomes softer to use. Same goes for when using an already prepared herbed cream cheese.
- Stuff the peppers: Add the cream cheese in a small piping bag. You can also use a ziplock bag by cutting off one corner. Pipe the cream cheese into each of the peppers, filling them to the brim. Alternatively, if you have extra time to kill you can add the cream cheese to the peppers with a small teaspoon.
- Serve: Sprinkle with chopped parsley and chives then place in the fridge for later or serve immediately.
How to serve piquante peppers
Peppadew sweet piquanté peppers can easily be eaten straight out of the jar. However, the cream cheese finishes the peppers off with a perfectly balanced flavor profile. They can be served on a silver platter as a cold appetizer or delightful finger food. And I can assure you, they will be a real crowd pleaser!
Include these cream cheese stuffed Peppadew peppers as part of an antipasto, tapas or mezze platter alongside various cured meats, cheeses or olives.
Also consider serving with these marinated mozzarella balls, tortilla pinwheels with ham and cheese, tortilla roll-ups with roasted pepper and pesto, roasted pepper hummus, or these fig and ricotta tartlets.
More South African recipes to try
- South African bobotie
- Vegetarian lentil bobotie
- Chakalaka vegetable stew
- Braaibroodjies or grilled cheese sandwiches
Cream cheese stuffed piquanté peppers (Peppadew peppers)
- 1 jar Peppadew peppers (about 20-25 peppers)
- 7 ounces (200 grams) cream cheese room temperature
- 1 teaspoon fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh chives finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Drain the Peppadew peppers. Put them upside down in a strainer or on kitchen towel making sure they are also dry on the inside.
- In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese with the finely chopped parsley and chives and season with garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well until well combined and the cheese is soft.
- Arrange the Peppadew peppers on a plate or serving tray. Slice a tiny bit off the bottom to make a flat surface so they don't roll over.
- Add the cream cheese to a piping bag (or a plastic ziplock bag with a tip cut off) and pipe the cheese into each of the piquanté peppers. Or carefully fill the cream cheese into the peppers with a small spoon. Fill to the brim.
- Sprinkle with fresh parsley and chives and serve immediately, or store in the fridge for later.