These starters have all the oozy, cheesy splendor of a jalapeño popper—minus the spice and the fry. I skip the breading and oil by baking instead, but these aren’t totally guilt-free (not that I believe in "guilt" when it comes to food). My mini peppers are stuffed with savory Italian sausage crumbles (mmm, fennel!) and requeijão cremoso, commonly known as Brazilian cream cheese. While it’d be easy to substitute full-sized bell peppers, using mini sweet peppers transforms this dish into a fun and seriously adorable little appetizer, perfect for the holidays. Plus, you can pop them with your hands. Who needs a fork anyway? —Taryn Pire
Taryn Pire is the associate food editor at PureWow. A graduate of Ithaca College, she's covered all things food at New Jersey Family, GOOD, Taste Talks, and ANNA Magazine. Tacos are the way to her heart and she makes a mean Old Fashioned. Follow her food adventures on Instagram @cookingwithpire.