A sweet vegetable with a crunchy texture, bell peppers are the go-to vegetable for adding texture to any dish. A versatile vegetable with plenty of ways to cook, the ease of preparation makes bell peppers favorable, giving you more time to focus on other cooking tasks.
At first, cutting a bell pepper can seem tricky due to the shape. If you just got one in your hands and try to figure out the best ways to cut it, this article will help you to cut bell peppers into strips, chops, dices, and for stuffing them.
Prepare the bell pepper
Preparation is key to getting the best out of the vegetables you're using in your meals. Wash the bell peppers thoroughly to get rid of dirt and pesticides and dry them using a clean cloth. Not drying them can result in the water getting mixed up with the juice of the pepper that lessens the rich flavor.
Cutting bell peppers
Chopping bell peppers seems complicated due to the shape, but it will be effortless once you know the proper technique. All you need to cut bell peppers is a sharp paring knife or a chef's knife and a cutting board. Here is a step-by-step guide on cutting bell peppers in different ways.
Preparing the bell pepper to cut
Firstly, you need to make the bell pepper ready. That means removing the green stem, the seeds, and the membrane (ribs) inside. There are two main ways to do this, and both work just fine. Do it the way that suits you the best.
Cutting around the seeds
- Cut the pointy green stem without the need to remove it entirely. As long as you can place the bell pepper on the cutting board upside down, it's enough. You can also pull the stem to take it out.
- Place the pepper upside down on the cutting board.
- While holding it securely with your non-dominant hand (the hand that you hold ingredients), start slicing from top to bottom on the sides.
- Cut as close to the seeds as possible when taking out the slices to avoid waste.
After cutting bell peppers like this, you will have about four pieces ready to chop. If you're not comfortable not seeing how far you're cutting into the bell pepper, you can make an initial cut to the bottom of the bell pepper. Preferably, you can also trim off the membranes for a sweeter taste as the walls inside have a bitter taste.
Rolling the bell pepper
- Cut the bottom and top of the bell pepper to expose its insides. Do not throw these as they're perfectly edible aside from the stem.
- Place the bell pepper upright and make a vertical slice on one side without cutting it in half. The purpose of this is to allow us to create a starting point when starting to roll the pepper to have a single piece.
- As mentioned, place the pepper on its side and cut along the membranes while rolling the pepper.
When opening bell peppers like this, make sure not to go too deep. You can always take your knife, slice the membranes, and get rid of the core pieces if left any. Additionally, you can cut the whole pepper into two to four smaller pieces that are easier to work with unless you plan to have very long strips inside your dishes.
Here is how to cut bell pepper into strips, chop, dice, create rings, and prepare them for stuffed peppers.
How to cut bell pepper into strips
- Flatten the bell pepper with the skin side down on the cutting board.
- Start cutting them into strips (julienne) by mainly using the tip of your paring knife. Cutting with the end of the blade creates more manageable cuts that are even.
If you want to up your chef's knife skills, you can try rocking the blade over the peppers. This technique is a crucial knife skill to learn that will open up a whole new world of cutting styles for you. Learn more on how to use a chef's knife.
How to chop bell peppers
- Cut the bell peppers into strips that are at the thickness you want your chopped peppers to be.
- Start chopping the bell peppers into the desired size.
Garnish meats with chopped peppers and add them to any dish like risottos, pizzas, or sautees.
How to dice bell peppers
- Chop the bell peppers.
- Go over them with your chef's knife to reduce their size.
- Cut the bell peppers into slim strips.
- Start dicing them.
Additionally, you can mince the bell peppers using the body of your chef's knife and dehydrate them to later add to soups and stews.
Bell pepper rings
Instead of removing the seeds the way mentioned above, cut the bell pepper into rings by following these simple steps.
- Cut the top of the bell pepper from where it curves.
- While holding the bell pepper in your hand, run your knife on the membranes to remove the core.
- Place the pepper on its side and start cutting into rings.
One crucial thing is to cut carefully without snapping or breaking the bell peppers. The key to this is letting the weight of your knife do most of the work. You'll undoubtedly have problems cutting bell pepper rings if your knife is dull. Make sure to sharpen and hone your knives to have an easier time.
Bell pepper triangles
Unlike rings, bell pepper triangles don't require special preparation. Here is how to cut bell pepper into triangles after removing the stem and the core.
- Cut the bell pepper into long, thick strips that form the triangles.
- Holding the knife at a 45-degree angle and switching for every next triangle, make rectangular cuts. Ideally, your triangles should be 2.5 to 3 inches long and 1.5 to 2 inches wide.
You can prepare bell pepper for stuffing the same way you prepare it for cutting rings, but there is an additional way to do it. Instead of stuffing them whole, you can stuff halved bell peppers. Here is how.
- Using the stem as your guide, cut the bell pepper in half.
- Remove the core and the membrane using a paring knife.
- Additionally, you can cut a portion of the green stem.
How to pick a good bell pepper?
Good bell peppers are firm without wrinkles and feel quite heavy for their size. If there are softer spots or large hollow parts, it's a sign that they've lost juice and aren't as delicious as you would expect from bell pepper.
When shopping for bell pepper, look for one that has shiny skin with green stems that don't have bruises or wrinkles.
Where color matters
|Average Price (US) per LBS||Average Harvesting Time||Sweetness/Ripeness|
|Green||$1.48||60 - 70 days||4/10|
|Yellow||$1.48||70 - 80 days||6/10|
|Red||$2.32||80 - 90 days||8/10|
Despite having the same shape and name, different colors of bell peppers vary in price, with red being the most expensive, green the most affordable, and yellow somewhere in the middle.
This difference in price comes from when bell peppers are harvested. The red bell peppers are harvested the last as they turn from green to yellow to red. So, more resources are used to produce them.
It isn't just the price that color determines, though. The more ripen the bell pepper, the sweeter it gets, and red bell peppers aremore nutritious. They contain 11 times more beta carotene eight times more vitamin A, and 1.5 times more vitamin C than green bell peppers.
Are bell pepper seeds poisonous?
No, bell pepper seeds aren't poisonous, and they won't pose a threat to your health if you eat them. Most people prefer removing the seeds because they have a bitter taste that doesn't go well with the sweetness of the bell peppers.
Can my dog eat bell peppers?
There are no risks to feeding your dog with bell peppers. As much as they are nutritious for you, they provide many vitamins and antioxidants to your dog. You can feed your dog bell peppers raw or cooked without thinking about health concerns.
Are bell peppers spicy?
Despite peppers having a reputation for spiciness, bell peppers, in particular, aren't spicy. In fact, they are the sweetest "peppers."
Which bell pepper is the sweetest?
As briefly explained, red bell peppers are the sweetest out of the three types: red, yellow, and green. The more bell peppers stay on the vine, the sweeter they get; thus, red bell peppers are the sweetest.
How to store bell peppers?
Store raw bell peppers in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. When the skin slowly starts to turn wrinkly, it's the bell pepper telling you to eat me. As for cooked or cut bell peppers, store them in an airtight bag, and they will last for about three to five days.
Overall, bell peppers are versatile enough that you can cut them in many different ways. This also goes for cooking them as there are countless ways to cook bell peppers, from stir-frying to roasting to grilling or eating them raw.
Regardless of how you prepare them, you'll always need the proper kitchen equipment. Head over to our homepage to see our products.