RecipeSmokey Pepper “Turtles”

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
  • Calories: 110
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Total Fat: 7 g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 6 g
    • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 11 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4 g
  • Total Sugar: 6 g
    • Natural Sugar: 6 g
    • Added Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 135 mg

Want your little ones to eat more veggies? Presentation is key. Try making these cute and tasty “turtles” with your kiddos—it’s the perfect recipe for a rainy day activity or when you need some help making vegetables enticing. I used bell peppers, okra and tomatoes, but feel free to swap in any other colorful produce picks like okra, carrots, or sugar snap peas.

  • Prep time
  • Total Time
This recipe makes 4 turtles
  • • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • • ½ pint cherry or grape tomatoes, left whole
  • • 10 to 12 oz fresh okra pods, cut off the stem end and the pod in half*
  • • 1 orange bell pepper, seeded, cut into strips
  • • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
  • • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper

For turtle shells and body:

  • • 2 orange, yellow or red bell peppers, halved and seeded (for the turtle shells)
  • • 4 large cherry or grape tomatoes (for the head)

*May replace Okra with 2 medium zucchini, diced


Heat oil in a large sauté pan, over high heat. Add the cherry tomatoes, toss in the oil and then let them sit in one spot, undisturbed for a few minutes, to blister. Shake once and let them sit again. The skins will start to break. Remove them to a bowl and put aside while you cook the peppers and okra.

To the same pan, add the bell pepper pieces, misting with oil spray if the pan becomes too dry. Add the okra and toss everything to distribute the oil. Let the veggies cook for a minute or two, then add the garlic, salt, paprika and black pepper. Toss everything so the garlic can cook and the spices can spread out. Add back the blistered tomatoes and continue to sauté until the okra is tender. Cover with a lid if that helps keep it from getting too dry (Or add extra oil spray as needed to keep everything moving and not burning). Season with salt and pepper to taste!

To assemble the turtles: Place bell pepper halves on a plate, cut side up. Fill the cavity with the sautéed okra-pepper-tomato mixture. Use a cherry grape tomato for a head, and place 2 pointy ended okra pieces for front “hands” and 2 stubby okra pieces for the “feet.”

Nutrition provided for 1 “turtle.”