Kid-friendly Cowboy Bell Pepper Baked Breakfast Hash for Dinner Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Cowboy Bell Pepper Baked Breakfast Hash for Dinner

Recipe: Cowboy Bell Pepper Baked Breakfast Hash for Dinner

Cowboy Bell Pepper Baked Breakfast Hash for Dinner

by Erin Fletter
Photo by David Kay/
prep time
25 minutes
cook time
40 minutes
3-4 servings

Fun Food Story

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Cowboy Bell Pepper Baked Breakfast Hash for Dinner

Breakfast for dinner (or Brinner as it’s aptly named). Who doesn’t love it?! And it’s not exactly new, as 24-hour diners have been around forever. Still, there’s something almost rebellious and fun about eating breakfast at the end of the day or really any time after noon. The history behind cowboy breakfasts is this: During the time of the American Frontier, the original frontiersmen and women needed a hearty breakfast to sustain them through the long days working on the cattle drive or the ranch. And they required non-perishable foods that could last the long journey on the chuck-wagon. Breakfasts were made from dried beans, flour, ground corn, coffee beans, hard-tack crackers (made from flour, water, and salt), and salt-cured meats. Since the earlier days, cowboy breakfasts have evolved to include eggs and potatoes, and in our case: bell peppers! You could serve this for breakfast on the weekend or for dinner after a long day. And don’t forget the ketchup, a natural accompaniment for potatoes (and for many Americans, eggs!).

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • chop :

    to cut something into small, rough pieces using a blade.

  • crack :

    to break open or apart a food to get what's inside, like an egg or a coconut.

  • mix :

    to thoroughly combine two or more ingredients until uniform in texture.

  • sprinkle :

    to scatter small drops or particles of an ingredient evenly or randomly over food. 

  • toss :

    to lightly lift and drop food items together or coat food items with flour, or a sauce or dressing, as in a salad.

Equipment Checklist

  • Oven
  • Sheet pan - 9” x 13” works well
  • Parchment paper
  • Oven mitt
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Heat-resistant spatula
  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife
  • Paper towels
  • Soap for cleaning hands
  • Plates, forks, drinking glasses, napkins for serving


Cowboy Bell Pepper Baked Breakfast Hash for Dinner

  • 8 oz (about 1 1/2 C) frozen hash browns
  • 1 14-oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 C shredded cheddar cheese **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free cheese shreds, like Daiya brand)**
  • 3 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp salt + more to sprinkle on eggs
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper + more to sprinkle on eggs
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 6 eggs **(Omit for EGG ALLERGY)**

Food Allergen Substitutions

Cowboy Bell Pepper Baked Breakfast Hash for Dinner

  • Dairy: Substitute dairy-free/nut-free cheese shreds, like Daiya brand.
  • Egg: Omit eggs.


Cowboy Bell Pepper Baked Breakfast Hash for Dinner

preheat + mix

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, mix together 8 ounces frozen hash browns, 1 can pinto beans (drained and rinsed), 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

spread + bake

Evenly spread shredded potato mixture on your sheet pan. Once the oven preheats, slide the sheet pan into the oven and set a timer for 25 minutes.

chop + toss

Chop 3 green onions, 1 red bell pepper, and 1 green bell pepper. Discard the stem and inner seeds of the peppers. Toss the chopped veggies with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

flip + spread

Once the timer for 25 minutes is up, adults can help remove the sheet pan from the oven. Use a spatula to flip the potatoes, then spread the bell pepper mixture on top of the potatoes.

crack + season + bake

Crack 6 eggs over the bell peppers, making sure to crack them with an even amount of space between each egg. Season with salt and pepper and return to the oven to bake for another 15 minutes. Serve with Creative Kid Ketchup (see recipe)!

Surprise Ingredient: Bell Peppers!

back to recipe
Photo by Kritsada Namborisut/

Hi! I’m Bell Pepper!

"Do you like your pizza with green pepper on top? If you do, then you'll like me! I'm a bell pepper, and we come in different colors, like green, yellow, orange, and red. Plus, some of us are a bit sweeter than others. We bell peppers have colorful, glossy skin, and when you bite into one, it will taste fresh and crunchy. We're also very versatile and add distinctive flavor and texture to many dishes!"


  • Bell peppers may be called sweet peppers or capsicum in other countries. They are members of the nightshade family, along with tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants.
  • Peppers are native to the Americas. Spain imported their seeds in the late 1400s, and then they spread to the rest of Europe and Asia. Today, China is the largest producer of bell peppers and chili peppers, followed by Mexico, Indonesia, Spain, Turkey, and the United States.
  • The most popular bell pepper in the United States is the green bell pepper. Other peppers sold in the United States are hot peppers (also called chili peppers).
  • November is National Pepper Month!

Anatomy & Etymology

  • Bell peppers are actually fruits, not vegetables! They are technically berries but are most often used as a vegetable. 
  • The bell pepper is a tropical plant, preferring warm, moist soil to grow in.
  • Green and red bell peppers grow on the same plant. However, as the bell peppers mature and ripen, they change from green to red and become sweeter.  
  • Bell peppers are large and bell-shaped. Depending on the variety, they can be brown, white, lavender, or dark purple, but the most common colors for bell peppers are green, yellow, orange, and red. 
  • Bell peppers have crisp, thick flesh and smooth, waxy skin.
  • The scientific name for bell peppers is "Capsicum annuum." The scientific name for hot or chili peppers is "Capsicum frutescens."
  • The "pepper" name came when explorers introduced the plants in Europe. Europeans named them after the peppercorn or black pepper, which is unrelated. 
  • The word "pepper" comes from the Old English "piper," from the West Germanic "pipor," related to the Dutch "peper," from the Greek "peperi," and from Sanskrit "pippalī," meaning "berry," "peppercorn."

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • You want to harvest bell peppers with the right color and sweetness when they're full size. You may want to use all green ones, and so you would pick them at their first stage of ripeness. Many recipes use green bell peppers. Next would be yellow, orange, and then red, the sweetest. You could pick them at each stage if you want multiple colors in your salad, for instance.
  • Bell peppers can be stored in your refrigerator's crisper drawer for one to two weeks. Then, refrigerate cut bell peppers for two to three days and cooked bell peppers for three to five days.
  • Bell peppers are a good choice for dishes where you don't want spicy pepper flavor because they don't produce capsaicin like other peppers. Bell peppers have a mild, sweet taste, but the flavors of other peppers can range from mild heat to extremely hot. A hybrid variety of bell pepper, the Mexibelle, is mildly spicy due to a small amount of capsaicin.
  • Paprika is a powdered red spice made from dried red bell peppers. People often associate paprika with Hungarian cuisine, especially since the name comes from the Hungarian language. However, cooks in many European and other countries use it regularly to color and flavor foods. For example, they add it to soups and stews, sprinkle it over the tops of meats, or add it to other seasonings to make rubs for grilling. Paprika is also often found in sausages. Because red bell peppers are mild and sweet, paprika is usually not as spicy as ground chili pepper. However, paprika can add a little heat to a dish, especially when using certain varieties.  
  • One-half of a medium bell pepper counts as one serving.
  • Bell peppers are good to eat raw or cooked. They are often chopped and added to dishes such as salads, soups, omelets, stir-fries, fajitas, and pizza, but they can also be hollowed out, stuffed with a meat, veggie, and rice filling, and baked. 


  • Bell peppers are a low-calorie food and are 94 percent water. They are also nutritious, with 97 percent of the daily value of vitamin C. Bell peppers of all colors have a high amount of vitamin C and beta-carotene, but the red bell pepper contains 1.5 times the amount of vitamin C and eleven times the beta-carotene as green bell peppers.
  • Vitamin C is an antioxidant that improves your immune system to prevent heart disease and cancer. It also helps your body to absorb and store iron. It helps remove excess fluid from your body, reducing pressure in blood vessels. In addition, vitamin C may help reduce elevated blood sugar levels, and it aids in creating collagen, which is needed for wounds to heal. 
  • Beta-carotene gives yellow, orange, and red fruits and vegetables their color. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant, and it converts to vitamin A in the body, which can help prevent age-related macular degeneration. 
  • Fiber improves your digestive health and, by slowing down the speed of sugar absorption by the body, helps reduce the risk of diabetes. 


History of Breakfast Hash!

Photo by Elena Veselova/
  • Breakfast hash (or just hash) is a dish derived from leftovers. It has probably been around since the 18th century, and cheap restaurants in the 1800s were sometimes called "hash houses." 
  • A hash typically consists of chopped cooked meat and chopped cooked potatoes fried in a skillet with chopped onions. Chopped bell peppers are also sometimes added. It is often served with eggs.
  • You'll notice we just used the word "chopped" quite a bit. Well, the English word "hash" comes from the French word "hacher," which means "to chop!" It's also where we get the word "hatchet."
  • Corned beef is a popular meat of choice, but ground beef, fish, and other meats can also be used, or no meat at all. Corned beef hash is often made after a traditional boiled dinner of corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes. 
  • "Red flannel hash" includes beets, and in the South, a hash might consist of leftover barbecued pork heated with barbecue sauce served over rice. A "cowboy hash" can include eggs and sausage, like Chorizo, with potatoes. 
  • We often think of hash for breakfast, but it can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! You might even try our meatless Cowboy Bell Pepper Baked Breakfast Hash for Dinner (see recipe), which includes eggs, pinto beans, bell peppers, and hash brown potatoes.

Let's Learn About the Frontier and the Wild West!

Photo by dba duplessis/
  • A "frontier" is a border between two countries. However, it often refers to any part of a country that borders an unsettled or wilderness region. 
  • The American frontier is the westward expansion of settlement, and we've had three separate frontiers in our history! When people think of the classic American frontier, they usually think of the wide open area of land west of the Mississippi River. This region was settled from 1830 to 1890, and settlers and cowboys had to cross prairies with few trees and little rainfall. This frontier is also called the Old West or Wild West.
  • Along the frontier of the United States, cowboys had to wake up very early in the morning to tend to their herds of cattle, especially if they were on a cattle drive. A cattle drive was how cowboys moved cattle from one place to another, covering up to 25 miles in one day! 
  • The cooks (also called "cookies"), who often came along with the cowboys tending the cattle, had to cook with ingredients that traveled well, such as beans, corn, flour, molasses, and salt-cured meat. Cookies also acted as barbers, bankers, and even dentists!
  • Chuckwagons were technically the first food trucks! Cattle drives were lucky if they had access to one of these covered field kitchen wagons. They were used for storing, transporting, and cooking food, and they were usually stocked with a water barrel and firewood. 

Wild West Lingo: How many of these phrases do your students recognize? Share a few of your favorites: 

  • To save one's bacon: to protect oneself from injury or danger
  • Chow: food or dinner
  • Cooling yer heels: to stay for a while
  • To cowboy up: to give it your best, don't give up
  • Cow grease: butter
  • Hair in the butter: a delicate situation
  • To hash it out: to settle one's business or argument
  • Higgledy-piggledy: in a confused way
  • Hill of beans: something that is not valuable or worth much
  • Hold your horses: to stay calm, don't rush
  • To get out of Dodge: comes from an old Wild West phrase meaning to get out of trouble; Dodge City, in Kansas, was well-known back then.

THYME for a Laugh

Why didn't the bell peppers do archery?

Because they didn't habanero.

That's Berry Funny

Where do cowboys cook their meals?

On the "range!"

THYME for a Laugh

Why did the cowgirl get so many laughs? 

Because she was always horsing around!

That's Berry Funny

What kind of socks do you need to plant bell peppers? 

Garden hose!

THYME for a Laugh

What do you call a rabbit eating a bell pepper in a hotel?

A bell-hop!

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