7 Easy Ways to Cook Bell Peppers to Delicious Perfection

With an appealing crunch and a mix of sweet and tangy flavors, bell peppers give any dish a colorful pop.

Whether you're growing your own crop or buying them at the farmers market, bell peppers are a colorful, tasty addition to your plate. In their raw form, bell peppers make a perfect dipper as well as add a satisfying crunch to fresh salads. Cooked bell peppers are delicious in pretty much any form. Go ahead and give those bell peppers a proper wash, then follow one of these methods to cook bell peppers at home, including how to sauté bell peppers on the stove, grill, and more. If you're craving fajitas or perhaps a stuffed pepper for dinner tonight, we'll share a few of our Test Kitchen's best bell pepper recipes along the way.

saute red yellow green bell peppers wooden spatula saucepan
Blaine Moats

How to Cook Bell Peppers on the Stove

There are two ways to cook bell peppers on the stove—boiling or sautéing. Start by washing peppers and removing stems, seeds, and membranes. Cut peppers into rings or strips, then use one of the following methods:

  • To boil bell peppers: Cook peppers, covered, in a small amount of boiling salted water for 6 to 7 minutes or until crisp-tender.
  • To sauté bell peppers: Heat a skillet with 2 to 3 tablespoons of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Carefully add bell peppers and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes.

How to Steam Bell Peppers

Wash peppers and remove stems, seeds, and membranes. Cut peppers into rings or strips. In a steamer basket, cook peppers for 12 to 15 minutes or until crisp-tender.

Bell Pepper Math: One medium bell pepper equals 1 cup.

grilled red yellow sweet peppers corn
Jessica Boone

How to Grill Bell Peppers

Add a hearty, healthy side dish to your outdoor cookout by making grilled bell peppers. They can be cooked whole or cut and placed in a grill basket. Here's our Test Kitchen's method for grilling whole bell peppers for eating or your favorite recipes:

  • Brush washed and dried whole peppers with olive oil.
  • For a charcoal grill, place peppers on the grill rack directly over medium coals. For a gas grill, preheat the grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place peppers on grill rack over heat.
  • Grill (uncovered on a charcoal grill; covered on a gas grill) for 25 to 30 minutes or until skins are charred and peppers are tender, turning often to evenly char the skins.
  • Remove peppers from the grill and wrap them in foil.
  • Let stand for about 15 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Prepare according to the recipe.
roasted red green yellow sweet peppers sheet pan
Andy Lyons

How to Roast Bell Peppers

Roasting bell peppers allow the veggie to achieve a soft texture while gaining a nice smoky flavor. Here's how to roast bell peppers:

  • Wash peppers. If desired, halve lengthwise, removing stems, seeds, and membranes.
  • Place peppers (cut sides down if halved) on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake in a 425°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes. The exterior should be slightly charred and wrinkled.
  • Remove from oven. Bring foil up around peppers to enclose.
  • Let stand for about 15 minutes or until cool.
  • Use a sharp knife to loosen the edges of the skins; gently pull off the skins in strips and discard.
Meatballs and Bell Peppers on black plate
Brie Passano

How to Air-Fry Bell Peppers

Use your trusty air fryer to make perfectly tender cooked peppers without heating up the kitchen by using the stove or oven. Simply cut the bell peppers into strips or rings, toss with a couple of teaspoons of oil and seasonings of choice, then air-fry for 10 to 15 minutes at 360°F. Use our easy air-fryer roasted veggie recipe for inspiration.

How to Cook Bell Peppers in the Microwave

Cut peppers into rings or strips. Place peppers in a casserole dish with 2 tablespoons of water. Microwave, covered, on 100 percent power (high) for 2 minutes per cup of peppers or until crisp-tender, stirring once.

Ratatouille Stuffed Peppers
Kim Cornelison

How to Stuff Bell Peppers

Stuffed bell peppers make a nutritious, filling meal wrapped in a cute package. Follow these steps to learn how to stuff bell peppers with ease.

Step 1: Prepare Filling

In a large saucepan sauté filling ingredients (usually ground meat, rice, and spices) until tender.

Step 2: Stuff Peppers and Bake

Slice tops from eight small (or four large) bell peppers; remove and discard seeds. In a 3-quart rectangular baking dish, arrange peppers in a single layer. Spoon filling mixture into peppers. If desired, place pepper tops. Bake covered until peppers are crisp-tender and filling is heated through. For more tender peppers, increase the baking time to 40 to 45 minutes.

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