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How to cook Peppers

How to cook Peppers

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Peppers are super-versatile; finely slice and add to salads, dice and sauté with onion as the base for stews and ragùs, or keep them whole and stuff before roasting. They are sweet and good to eat raw, too – especially dipped in homemade houmous. Try roasting peppers with other nightshade veggies, such as chillies and tomatoes, or adding them to curries, lasagne, pasta dishes and stir-fries. They also add a great bit of crunch to salads.


READ: Vegan chilli-stuffed peppers


Peppers are a member of the nightshade family, along with chillies, tomatoes and aubergines. Although peppers are often eaten like vegetables, because they have seeds they are actually classified as a fruit. Yellow and orange peppers are grown from special varieties of seed. Although they share the same name, peppers are not related to the plant that produces black peppercorns.


Peppers are in season from May to September, but you can also get preserved jarred peppers, which are available all the time.


Peppers should be stored in the fridge. Use them while they are still firm and shiny for maximum sweetness and crunch.

What are the health benefits?

Red, yellow or green peppers are all high in vitamin C, which helps to keep our immune system working properly so that we can fight illness and flu. Peppers also contain vitamin B6, which helps us use and store the energy we get from protein and carbohydrates.Half a pepper counts as one of your 5-a-day (one portion of veg or fruit is 80g raw weight).

15 Favorite Bell Pepper Recipes

Got bell peppers and need a way to use them? Not only are these colorful peppers delicious, they’re loaded with vitamins too. They’re very high in vitamin C, and have double your daily need. They also have Vitamin B and beta carotene. There are so many ways to use them in recipes, outside of the standard stuffed peppers.

Here’s list of the best bell pepper recipes we can find. Of course we’ve got the traditional stuffed peppers: our favorite is a Mediterranean-style recipe with quinoa and feta cheese. But there are lots of other great ways to use peppers in a supporting role: like spiced up in fajitas or diced to add texture to chili. These recipes feature all different colors, from red to orange to yellow to green bell peppers. The colors are interchangeable and you can customize them as you’d like!

How to Cook Shishito Peppers

Blistered shishito peppers are so easy to cook that you’ll know this recipe by heart after your first try. I offer exact amounts of peppers and oil below, but you really just need enough peppers to cover the base of your skillet and enough oil to lightly coat the peppers.

  • Wash and pat the peppers dry before starting. You don’t want any splatters when you add them to the pan.
  • Toss the peppers in oil before cooking, rather than heating oil in the skillet. Shishitos are irregularly shaped, so there’s no way the oil will get into all the crevices otherwise.
  • This trick also reduces the amount of oil on the pan at any given time, which means there’s less oil to overheat. Props to this YouTube video for the suggestion.
  • Warm your skillet over medium until it’s so hot that a drop of water sizzles and quickly evaporates. Most recipes will tell you to cook the peppers over high heat, but that’s too hot for olive oil (especially in cast iron).
  • Then, add the oiled peppers. Let them rest for a minute at a time before stirring, so they get a chance to char. Stir every minute until the peppers are tender and blistered in spots. Popping sounds are good! This will take about ten minutes.

That’s it! Transfer them all to a serving dish, and finish them off with a spritz of lemon juice and a generous sprinkle of salt. I’ve tried other flavorings, but shishitos are really best when they’re simply dressed.

Watch How to Cook Shishitos

2. Banana Peppers

Also called: Yellow wax pepper

Characteristics: These medium-size peppers are tangy and mild with a bright yellow color (hence the name). They get sweeter as they ripen and are frequently served pickled&mdashand happen to be an excellent source of vitamin C.

Scoville heat units: 0 to 500

How to Make Stuffed Peppers Stand Up

When I ate these as a kid, my mom served the peppers cut in half, laid on their backs. But I like stuffed peppers best when standing straight up, brimming to the top with filling.

Here are my tips to get stuffed peppers to stand up and not tip over:

  • Use a baking dish that snugly fits the peppers. The peppers shrink as they cook, so pack them in tightly when raw, and they’ll soften and fall a bit with heat.
  • Trim the bottom of the pepper. Give the peppers a flat surface to stand on by evening out their rollicking bottoms.

Who Pre-Cooks Their Peppers? Hands Up!

There are hundreds of different ways to make Stuffed Peppers. Creating different fillings, slicing the pepper in half or leaving it whole, and the most debated, to pre-cook or to not pre-cook. To blanch or not to blanch.

Note first off that pre-cooking is not the same as blanching. To blanch you get the water boiling first. Then add your veg. It goes in for a short short time and then is transferred to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Blanching helps vegetables retain a nice bright color but it doesn’t really cook the vegetable.

You can absolutely blanch your bell peppers before stuffing them. It would result in a nicer color for the finished product but it wouldn’t help you in terms of cooking time or any other thing a busy person might need. We don’t blanch our peppers but we won’t make a big deal about it if you do. We just don’t know why you’d bother.

Pre-cooking, on the other hand. That’s where it’s at!

Pre-cooking is different. Pre-cooking is the idea of quick-starting the cooking process of your stuffed pepper. Since stuffed peppers can take as long as 45 minutes to bake, shortening that down with a quick boil really helps me out.

How to do it? Cut the tops off of your peppers and get them ready for stuffing (using one of the methods from here). Then follow the instructions below.

Sear the vegetables for a minute or two. If you grill vegetables routinely, buy a grill basket to prevent your vegetables from slipping between the grates and make moving them around easier.

Alternatively, wrap them in tin foil so they lay flat. Use a fork to punch some holes in the tin foil. Turn down the temperature to medium or, if the vegetables are in a basket, move them to a cooler area of the grill.

Close the lid and grill them for 15 to 20 minutes on medium-high heat, or eight to 10 minutes on high heat, as advised by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Turn once during grilling.


    1. Here's what you do. Heat a little olive oil in a wide sauté pan until it is good and hot but not smoking. Add the peppers and cook them over medium, tossing and turning them frequently until they blister. They shouldn't char except in places. Don't rush. It takes 10 to 15 minutes to cook a panful of peppers. When they're done, toss them with sea salt and add a squeeze of fresh lemon. Slide the peppers into a bowl and serve them hot. You pick them up by the stem end and eat the whole thing, minus the stem, that is.
    2. You can probably do fancier, cheffy things with them, but they're terrific like this. For variety, I sometimes use a little toasted sesame oil instead of olive oil and finish them with togarashi. If you have leftovers, an unlikely event in my experience, chop off the stems and put the peppers in an omelet or some scrambled eggs.

    Reprinted with permission from Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom, with over 300 Deliciously Simple Recipes by Deborah Madison. Copyright © 2013 by Deborah Madison photographs copyright © 2013 by Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

    Deborah Madison is the author of eleven cookbooks and is well known for her simple, seasonal, vegetable-based cooking. She got her start in the San Francisco Bay Area at Chez Panisse before opening Greens, and has lived in New Mexico for the last twenty years. In addition to writing and teaching, she has served on the boards of Slow Food International Biodiversity Committee, the Seed Savers Exchange, and the Southwest Grassfed Livestock Alliance, among others. She is actively involved in the issues of biodiversity, gardening, and sustainable agriculture.

    Scotch Bonnet vs. Habanero

    Both Scotch bonnet and Habanero peppers are widely used in Caribbean’s cuisine. However, the Scotch bonnet is the used most commonly in local recipes.

    If you hear someone talk about hot peppers in Jamaica and most of the Caribbean, he or she is likely talking about Scotch bonnet peppers. If you ask to try a hot pepper during your vacation in the Caribbean islands, (English-Speaking Caribbean Islands in particular) it’s likely that you’ll be pointed in the direction of a the Scotch bonnet pepper.

    Scotch bonnet and habanero peppers are both seriously hot peppers with a similar fruity taste. The difference is that Scotch bonnet peppers have an additional sweetness that contributes to the overall flavor.

    When it comes to the Scoville Heat Scale, both of these peppers have relatively the same amount of kick (from 100,000 to 350,000). The two are close cousins. Since Habanero peppers are more widely available outside Jamaica and the Caribbean Islands, they can often be used as a substitute for Scotch bonnet peppers.

    Habanero pairs better with a wide range of ingredients due to the fact that it’s slightly less sweet. However, the Scotch bonnet is known for its high level of sweetness, which makes it a key ingredient in some of the tastiest tropical hot sauces around the world.

    It’s this sweetness that makes scotch bonnet peppers a favorite when it comes to preparing Caribbean food and hot sauces. If you love tropical hot sauces and Caribbean foods, Scotch bonnet chili is one of the ingredients you might want to take a good look at.

    What is a chipotle pepper?

    Chipotle peppers are basically ripened jalapeño chiles that have been smoked and dried. They can be ground and used in many Mexican and Tex Mex cooking and are typically sold in a rich, smokey flavored adobo sauce.

    The best thing to do is grab about 20 fresh jalapeños and allow them to ripen and turn red. I leave them out in a bowl uncovered near a window.

    What’s the difference between red and green jalapeños?

    They are the same pepper, it’s just that a green jalapeño is picked early before it ripens on the vine, while a red jalapeño is left on the vine longer. Like other chilies that turn red it is older. The red ripened are best to use for smoking, but the green are fine, too.

    I’m sure making chipotle peppers all started as a way to preserve bumper crops of jalapeños back in the day.

    How to make chipotle peppers.

    Wash them and dry them off. You can remove the stems if you like, but I prefer to leave them on like little handles.

    Lay them out on a rack that will fit inside your smoker and set your smoker for 200°F.

    For the wood chips or pellets, pecan is the traditional Mexican wood, but I also like to use a mild, fruity wood like apple or cherry. Hickory or oak work well too, if you don’t have the others.

    You will be smoking for these 3 hours, so plan accordingly. In other words, be sure you have enough wood or pellets!

    After the smoking process is complete and you want to store these as dried chipotle peppers, then you’ll need to dry these completely. Using a dehydrator works best, but 10 hours in an oven set at its lowest temperature, or 200°F, will do.

    Store in an airtight container or grind for chipotle powder.

    This is what they look like fresh from the smoker!

    If you want to store the smoked peppers in adobo sauce…

    I take them straight from the smoker and add the freshly smoked peppers directly to my adobo sauce, skipping the other 10 hour drying process. Simmer for another 20 minutes. Let cool completely and store all in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

    I make my own Adobo Sauce, too. The recipe for that is coming up next, so stay tuned. So get your jalapeños smoked and dried and come back to learn how to make my adobo sauce. Enjoy!

    How To Cook Shishito Peppers


    • Olive oil
    • Shishito peppers, rinsed and patted very dry (you’ll find shishitos at farmers markets, some grocery stores, and at Trader Joe’s)
    • Sea salt
    • Lemon or lime wedges (optional)


    Heat a little olive oil in a wide sauté pan or skillet until it’s good and hot but not smoking.

    Add the peppers, complete with stems, and cook them over medium, tossing and turning them frequently until they blister. They should only char in places. Don’t rush the process. It can take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to cook a panful of peppers, depending on the heat and the skillet.

    When the peppers are blistered, toss them with sea salt and, if desired, add a squeeze of citrus.

    Slide the peppers into a bowl and serve sizzling hot. Instruct guests to pick them up by the stem end and eat the whole thing—minus the stem. Originally published July 29, 2013.

    What You Need To Know About What To Do With Shishito (Or Padrón) Peppers

    Padrón peppers can be treated exactly the same way as shishitos but they tend to be hotter in terms of tongue-tingling potential, so consider yourself warned. For you overachieving types seeking inspiration, shishitos have long been the little darling of New York City chefs who toss the blistered shishitos with roasted or sautéed fingerlings. Or leave the peppers raw and instead dunk them in a brine as you would pickled jalapeños. Or infuse booze such as gin or tequila with the essence of shishito. But mostly shishitos are blistered and served in this simple yet spectacular fashion alongside cocktails. If you happen to have leftovers, which the author of this recipes describes as “an unlikely event in my experience,” just trim the stems and stir the peppers into an omelet or scrambled eggs the next morning.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    Sofia Reino

    Loved, loved these shishito peppers. I've been wanting to try this blistered shishito recipe for quite a while now, but alas, I was never able to find shishito peppers here in South Carolina…that is, until now. Trader Joe's now carries them. I followed this recipe to a T, which was pretty easy as I have always prepared Padrón peppers the exact same way, apart from the lemon.

    For someone who is used to eating Padrón peppers, you will find lots of similarities. When you bite into a pepper, you will not know if you got a spicy one, the type that will burn your whole your mouth, or a nice tasty and slightly spicy pepper with a fantastic taste, though not that crazy spicy that will make you cry, until you taste it. Compared to the Padrón, I feel the shishito pepper is not as sweet but just as good. Will be buying these peppers every time I will go to Trader Joe's from now on.

    Elsa M. Jacobson

    I spotted shishito peppers at the farmers market this morning and got a big handful, went home, pulled out a big cast-iron skillet, and sautéed them right up. I'd devoured them as a bar snack at a high-end restaurant a number of years ago, and then promptly forgotten about them until I saw a tub full of them at one of my favorite stands today.

    The preparation was quick and easy and the peppers proved to be potentially highly addictive. I see absolutely no reason to take them into fancier, chef-ier turf. And, no, there were no leftovers. Any thoughts of doing anything else with them will require careful planning on the next purchase, in which case I'd need 2 bags full of shishitos—one for this sautéed variety and the second one if I want to try fancy-ing them up.

    I’d go with a mix of 50/50 grapeseed and olive oil next time, or just grapeseed solo, rather than use olive oil for Japanese peppers, especially with a concern about heating the oil till it’s hot but not smoking. I charred the peppers for the full 15 minutes noted. Salt generously and and squeeze the citrus generously, as both enhance the charred, softened peppers. I might even pass salt and wedges of lime alongside the peppers, if I was willing to share the bowlful. Next year, maybe we’ll grow our own shishitos! And lucky me!

    As someone who likes to try the variations suggested for a recipe, I’d been searching unsuccessfully for the Padrón peppers until I happened to mention this search to an urban gardening friend with a passion for Spain. Little did I know she had them growing in her garden and happily shared a handful with me. I would not have been able to differentiate them from the shishito. Had I not known they were Padrón, I could easily have mistaken them for the shishitos. Since I had only a handful, I scored on the Russian roulette. Not a single pepper surprised me with its heat, with all of them approximately the same heat as the shishitos I had previously devoured. For me, these did not need the optional lemon or lime wedges. Just sauté till charred, toss with salt, and dive right in! And, no, no leftovers. Someday, I’ll have a lot of these and try them with the roasted or sautéed fingerlings, as suggested. Or share them.

    Renee Schettler

    Knowing how to cook shishito peppers is a terrific dinner party trick. Shishitos are abundant at farmers markets in New York City come summertime, and I never fail to scoop some up either when we’re guests at someone’s for dinner or having guests over to our place, just because they take ridiculously little time and effort to char and folks are always intrigued and surprised by the taste—not to mention the Russian roulette they play each time they try one. In fact, I've always wanted to suggest we play a drinking game in which each time someone bites into a hot shishito, that person drinks. Anyways, these shishitos are a lovely precursor to most any meal and go splendidly with just about all beers.


    If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


    The commenter wanting to grow these at home should be warned that they and the Padrons are notoriously difficult for the amateur: slow to germinate, and low yield.

    I did it in northwest Florida, once, but only once,

    These are the peppers I was trying to remember when we discussed Kimchi. I just called them Japanese Peppers…Anyway, aren’t they wonderful? I get them at my local Safeway store, believe it or not. I have some in brine as we speak, being fearful of when they are no longer available. Shishitos are great in ferments! And! As to why it has never occurred to me to make them toasted like this is beyond me. But, you can be damn sure it will be done this week!

    Love everything about this, Andi! I can’t find them at my Safeway but glad that you can! Used to snatch them up at the Union Square Greenmarket in Manhattan and now I often find them at Trader Joe’s, of all places. Good to know about the ferments, I can imagine actually liking those sorta pickles!

    These lovely bites extend way beyond the bar. We love them as a side to scrambled eggs in the morning or folded into garlic mashed potatoes (swapping out roasted poblanos!) and if you have any left for some reason, chop them up and add to a sandwich. Sigh. I will try the lemon spritz next time! Along with a drop or two of roasted sesame oil. Many thanks!

    Lovely, Judith! Greatly appreciate your shared inspirations. Brilliant, all of them. (I’m going to try the egg trick as soon as I get my hands on some shishitos…)

    Well, Sunday mornings and scrambled eggs and shishitos. . .. And maybe some sliced avocado, but, there goes the alliteration.



  1. Deortun

    Bravo, I think this is a great idea

  2. Tura

    I have removed this message

  3. Phlegethon

    Have quickly thought))))

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