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Stuffed Piquillo Peppers

Chef John Simmons, owner of Firefly Tapas and Tacos & Beer shares his recipe for Firefly’s popular stuffed peppers featuring Spanish piquillo peppers, fresh mozzarella and garlic cream cheese. You can watch the video to follow along to see how it’s done. Give it a try at home and when you do, don’t forget to upload a picture and tag @NevadaMilk and @FireflyTapas.

Stuffed Piquillo Peppers Recipe

Servings 4 orders


Tomato-Piquillo-Sherry Sauce

  • 4 Piquillo peppers
  • 1 15 oz can High quality peeled plum tomatoes San Marzano style
  • 1 tbsp Chopped garlic
  • 4 oz Chopped onion
  • 5-6 leaves of fresh basil
  • 1 oz olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • salt and black pepper

Garlic Cream Cheese

  • 1/3 pound cream cheese
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp dry tarragon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • olive oil

Fried Onions (Optional)

  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • pinch of salt and pepper


  • 12 small mozzarella balls
  • 12 roasted piquillo peppers
  • chopped parsley
  • garlic cream cheese (from above)
  • sherry tomato sauce (from above)
  • friend onions (from above)


Tomato-Piquillo-Sherry Sauce

  • Add oil to a small, hot pot or saute pan
  • Add onion and sweat for 2 minutes
  • Add garlic and sweat for 2 more minutes or so
  • Add tomatoes, peppers and vinegar
  • Season with salt and pepper. Around 1 tbsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed
  • Simmer around 30 minutes
  • Puree in a blender

Garlic Cream Cheese

  • Place garlic in a small pot or pan and add just enough oil to cover
  • Cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes or so, until the garlic is super tender and slightly brown
  • Remove garlic and reserve garlic oil for another use
  • Smush garlic with the side of a chef's knife
  • Combine cream cheese, smushed garlic, Italian seasoning, tarragon, salt and pepper in a bowl and incorporates together with your hand.

Fried Onions (Optional)

  • Slice onion very thin
  • Mix all other ingredients in a mixing bowl
  • Toss onions to coat in the seasoned flour
  • Fry until golden brown in 375 oil
  • Remove to a dry towel or paper towels to drain


  • Stuff the peppers first with a mozzarella ball
  • Then fill to overflowing a little with the garlic cream cheese
  • Bake at 400 for 10 minutes or so until bubbly and beautiful
  • Put tomato sauce on plate in a large circle
  • Place the peppers on the sauce
  • Top with fried onions
  • Sprinkle with chopped parsley
  • Enjoy!


Recipe by Chef John Simmons, Firefly Tapas Kitchen & Bar