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How to Cut a Bell Pepper

Learning how to cut a bell pepper gets you one step closer to enjoying this delicious, crispy, vibrant, and healthy ingredient in all kinds of ways! 

You may need it hollowed out for chicken stuffed peppers or diced in big chunks for grilled chicken kabobs. Fajita veggies almost always include sliced bell pepper, like in these steak fajitas and knowing how to cut bell pepper into strips makes for a much more uniform bite!

different colored bell peppers on table

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Grilled, roasted, sautéed, steamed, or raw, bell peppers bring us an abundance of sweetness, flavor, and color to so many dishes. We enjoy adding them to soups, stews, and casseroles. We eat them in salads, as a topping on pizza, tacos, sandwiches and they’re just as delicious when eaten on their own!

Learning the best way to cut a bell pepper for something as simple as preparing a tray for raw veggies and hummus can make your life just a little easier. Whether you want rings, sliced or diced bell peppers, this easy guide will take you through each one step by step.

bell peppers being cut on cutting board

Which bell peppers are the sweetest?

Bell peppers can range in color from green, yellow, orange, and red. Green is the most bitter, and reminds us why we use them as vegetables and not actually the fruit that they are classified as! The range in colors is based on how long each one has been given a chance to mature and ripen on the vine. The green bell pepper has been harvested early on. Then, the yellow, then orange, and last the red. Red bell peppers are the sweetest because they’ve been kept on the vine the longest, giving them a chance to ripen.

How to select bell peppers

No matter what color bell pepper you’re choosing, you want to take a glance at its appearance. Choosing good-looking peppers is the first step. You want it firm, glossy, and relatively weighty. The stem should also be nice and green. Once the skin starts to wrinkle and it starts to lose its sheen, that’s a good indication it’s on its way out.

orange bell pepper being cut on cutting board

How to cut bell pepper into strips

  1. Lay the pepper on its side and cut about 1/2″ off the end with the stem as well as the bottom, exposing the inside from both ends.
  2. Run your knife all the way around the inside wall to remove the core, then slice through the outside wall to cut the bell pepper in half. Then into quarters.
  3. Lay the pepper flat, skin side down, and slice into strips as thin or as thick as you’d like. From the size of match sticks to add to a salad or to thicker strips to add to a veggie tray or toss in a stir fry.

Dicing bell peppers

Taking it one step further, diced bell peppers come in handy for things like casseroles, unstuffed peppers, vegetable skewers, and toppings for things like tacos, pizza, and salad.

  1. Lay the pepper on its side and cut about 1/2″ off the end with the stem as well as the bottom, exposing the inside from both ends.
  2. Run your knife all the way around the inside wall to remove the core, then slice through the outside wall to cut the bell pepper in half.
  3. Lay the pepper flat, skin side down, and cut into strips as wide as you’d like your diced pieces. Once you have your strips, gather them together and cut them crosswise into as big or as little chunks as desired.

yellow bell pepper being cut into rings on cutting board

Slicing bell pepper rings

  1. Lay the pepper on its side and cut about 1/2″ off the end with the stem as well as the bottom, exposing the inside from both ends.
  2. Run your knife all the way around the inside wall to remove the core.
  3. Starting from one hollowed end, slice right through the entire pepper crosswise. Depending on how thick or thin you want your rings, that will determine where you place your knife.

How to hollow out a bell pepper

  1. Lay the pepper on its side and cut about 1/2″ off the end with the stem.
  2. Run your knife all the way around the inside wall to remove the core.
  3. You can gently use a spoon to scoop out any remaining stubborn bits, much like you would a pumpkin.

cut bell peppers on cutting board

Tips

  • Wash your peppers! Keep in mind, if you’re not buying organic, even with washing peppers have a lot of residual pesticides on their skin.
  • Keep veggie scraps for later. The stem, the core, all of it. You may not use it as an ingredient, but keeping and freezing veggie scraps to make a broth is a wonderful way to reduce waste and use all parts of your produce.
  • Use a sharp knife for clean lines and ease of movement.
  • Prepare a clean work surface, preferably a cutting board.

How to store them

Cut peppers will keep in the fridge anywhere from 4-10 days depending on how fresh they were, to begin with. Keep them in an airtight container or plastic Ziploc bag and store them in the crisper. Having cut veggies on hand makes healthy snacking so easy!

Freezing sliced peppers

To freeze sliced peppers you’ll want to lay them out on a sheet to flash freeze them separately first. Otherwise, when you go to freeze them, they’ll freeze in a big clump. Whether they’re sliced, diced, or rings, you can freeze them in an airtight container or plastic bag for up to 6 months.

sliced bell peppers in white bowl

Favorite recipes to use them in:

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