How to Cut a Bell Pepper

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Bell peppers are used in so many dishes from salads to pizzas and casseroles to soups. Being such a commonly used vegetable in the kitchen means you’ll want to know the most efficient way to cut a bell pepper. This guide will teach you how to navigate this vegetable to cut it correctly, every time.

Want to practice your new skills? Make sure to check out some of the top recipes from my website that use bell peppers at the end of this post. 

How to Cut a Bell Pepper

Overhead image of how to cut up a bell pepper.

Step One: Cut off the Ends

Place your washed and dried bell pepper on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut off about 1/2 inch from both the bottom and the stem end. 

These tops and bottoms are edible and can be used as a quick snack or in another recipe where the shape/size of the bell pepper doesn’t matter.

Overhead image of how to slice bell peppers.

Step Two: Cut off the Sides

Next, cut off the sides (either three or four) as shown in the picture above. I’ve found this technique to be faster and more efficient than cutting the bell pepper in half and removing the ribs/seeds afterwards.

In five cuts, you’ll have four sides of the pepper and one large core with seeds attached. Discard the core and seeds.

Quiz Time: Female peppers have only 3 bumps/sides and are better for snacking, whereas male peppers have 4 bumps/sides and are better for cooking. True or False? Answer here

Overhead image of how to cut a red bell pepper.

Step Three: Cut into Strips

You now have three or four sections (sides) of the cut bell pepper. Take each section, lay it skin-side down on the cutting board, and use a sharp knife to cut into strips. Depending on the recipe you can cut these strips extremely thin OR thick.

For snacking, the thickness of strips are best moderately thin, just over 1/4th inch.

If you are going to be cutting the strips into cubes, be aware of how thick you want the cubes and cut the strip’s thickness accordingly.

Overhead image of how to cut red bell pepper.

Step Four: Cut into Cubes

Thick cubes: cut thick strips 2-4 times

Thinner cubes: cut medium size strips, 4-6 times

For a DICED pepper: follow steps 1-2  and then for each section of bell pepper make parallel cuts at your desired width but DON’T cut all the way through. Leave 1/4th of one end of the pepper section intact. Rotate the piece 90 degrees and then cut those strips into very small cubes. (leaving the end uncut makes cutting the other direction much easier as the strips stay in place)

Other Cuts:

How to cut bell peppers into a ring:

Complete step one. Run your knife around the inside of the flesh to cut away the core and seeds. Discard. Lay the bell pepper on its side and thinly slice it into rings.

How to cut mini peppers:

Cut (washed and dried) mini peppers in half lengthwise and remove the small core. Then prepare as necessary (strips, cubes, dice, etc.)

 

An overhead photo of to show you how to cut up a bell pepper.

Step Five: Use your Cut Peppers

Either snack on the peppers with a good veggie dip or use the seasoning mix on this roasted vegetables recipe to toss with peppers and roast as a delicious side dish. To incorporate your cut peppers into meals, check out some of the top recipes from my website that use bell peppers:

Here are some of our favorite recipes using bell peppers:

Overhead photos of recipes that include how to slice bell peppers.

(from top left to bottom right)

Italian Sausage and Veggies (Reader FAVORITE!)

Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls

Vegetarian Fajitas

Crockpot Chili (RAVE reviews!)

Cowboy Caviar

Couscous Salad (Greek)

 

How to Cut a Bell Pepper: FAQS

What is the difference between bell peppers?

Green peppers are less sweet and slightly more bitter than yellow or orange peppers. Red bell peppers are the sweetest.

Is a bell pepper and capsicum the same? 

It depends on which part of the world you are living in and what type of taste you are expecting. More info here.

Which bell peppers are good for cooking?

Bell peppers are amazing raw (especially with a good veggie dip!) and they are great for cooking. As a general rule: the more colorful, sweeter peppers (red/orange) are better for eating raw and the green pepper, with a less sweet taste, is better for cooking.

Is it okay to eat raw bell peppers?

Yes, they’re delicious! 

How do you keep peppers fresh after cutting?

Store cut peppers in plastic wrap or in a plastic bag for up to 2 days in the fridge. Bell peppers do have a tendency to get a little slimy once cut so wrap them in a sheet of paper towel to prevent that. 

How do you select the best bell peppers?

At the grocery store look for a pepper that feels firm and has a smooth skin. Look for peppers that have vivid color (especially around the stem), minor blemishes, and no soft spots. Choose peppers that feel heavy for their size; peppers that seem light may have been picked too early or lost a lot of their moisture.

 

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  1. Serve the bell pepper strips as sauteed with eggplant ; added to veggie wraps ; or mixed into ratatouille. Use the diced pepper in salads; stir them into shakshuka ; or sprinkled on top of pasta for a sweet crunch.

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