How to Cut a Bell Pepper

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Are you looking to master cutting a bell pepper like a pro? Let me show you how to easily slice and dice this versatile vegetable with precision and ease.

Learn how to cut a bell pepper like a pro to use in various recipes.

From removing the stem to perfecting your chopping technique, learn to cut a bell pepper using this straightforward step-by-step guide. The crisp pepper can be sliced, diced, or hollowed out for stuffing. Bell peppers are a versatile ingredient to add a colorful crunch to salads, appetizers, entrees, and side dishes.

Part of the Capsicum genus, these types of peppers are botanically considered a fruit because they grow from a flowering pepper plant and contain seeds. However, they are often called vegetables for culinary applications, so technically, they are both! Enjoy them raw, or enhance the delicious flavor by cooking them in stir-fries, soups, and stews.

How to select bell peppers

They are available year-round in most markets, grown and shipped from different regions worldwide. The peak season is the summer in the United States.

Here are handy tips for selecting peppers when you are at the market:

  • Appearance: Look for an even hue on the pepper. You may notice some green spots on red, yellow, or orange peppers. That’s okay. The color changes as it matures. This skin should shine and not be wrinkly, with no soft spots, cuts, or blemishes.
  • Touch: Pick up a bell pepper. It should feel firm and relatively heavy for its size, signaling it is packed with moisture for a crispy bite.
  • Shape: Some peppers are symmetrical, while others are not. This does not impact the taste. However, if you plan to stuff the bell peppers and want them to stand up on the bottom, place them on your palm and see if they wobble.

How to cut bell peppers (6 ways)

Depending on the application, I will show you six ways to cut bell peppers. I’ll show you how to cut them into large pieces: rings, slices, and diced peppers. Great for meal-prepping. You’ll need a chef’s knife, paring knife, and spoon to dig out the membrane and seeds.

Bell peppers have smooth skin, but giving them a good rinse before cutting is still essential. This helps remove surface dirt and debris during harvesting, shipping, and storage. Washing is crucial, mainly if serving the peppers raw for dips and appetizers.

#1) Whole peppers for stuffing

Person cutting the top off a green bell pepper.

Slice off the top.

Person using a paring knife to trim around the membrane of a bell pepper.

Cut out the inside.

Person using a spoon to scoop out the seeds from a whole bell pepper.

For whole peppers, trim off a ½ inch from the stem end. Use a sharp knife to trim the membrane connected to the flesh. Remove the core with your fingers and scoop the seeds with a spoon. Trim the bottom of the pepper if needed to help it stand up in the pan.

Uses: Stuffed peppers with ground beef, chicken, or turkey filling.

#2) Cut in half for stuffing

Person trimming around the stem of a bell pepper.

Cut out the stem.

Person slicing a green bell pepper in half.

Slice in half.

Person using a spoon to scoop the membrane out of a half of pepper.

For halves, use a paring knife to remove the stem, which also helps to pull out the core. Stand it up and slice the pepper in half lengthwise. Trim the white membrane and use a spoon to remove the seeds.

Uses: Turkey-stuffed peppers or halves are also great for grilling or roasting.

#3) Cut bell pepper into strips

Person slicing off a piece of a green bell pepper.

Cut into segments.

Person holding the core and seeds of a bell pepper.

Remove the stem and core.

Person breaking down a green bell pepper into strips.

Trim the stem so the pepper can be placed on a cutting board, stem side down. Use the natural indented lines along the sides as a guide to cut into large pieces. There will be 3 to 4 of them, depending on the shape of the pepper. Discard the core and seeds.

This is also used as the popular how-to cut a bell pepper hack to cut the flesh from the seeds with less mess. From here, you can cut the pieces into strips or dice them.

Uses: Roast, grill, or make chicken fajitas. The pieces can also be used to make dipping sauces, salsa, guacamole, or dips.

#4) Cut bell pepper into rings

Person cutting the top off a green bell pepper with a chefs knife.

Slice off the top.

Person scooping the core and seeds out of a pepper.

Scoop out the core.

Person slicing a bell pepper into rings.

Lay the pepper on its side. Use a chef’s knife to cut off the top of the pepper about ½ inch from the stem end. Use a paring knife to trim the white membrane, then use a spoon to remove the seeds. Slice into ¼ to ½ inch thick rings crosswise. Halve the rings if sauteeing.

Uses: Roasting, grilling, salads, using in stir-fries or fajitas.

#5) Sliced bell peppers

Green bell pepper on a white cutting board with the top and bottom sliced off.

Slice off the top and bottom.

Person rolling a bell pepper on its side while trimming off the core.

Remove the core and seeds.

Green bell pepper on a white cutting board being sliced into small pieces.

Cut off the top a ½ inch from the stem and trim the bottom end. Make one slice lengthwise to open up the pepper. Use a chef’s knife to run it along the inside of the pepper to trim off the white membrane and seeds.

Slice the large strip of pepper into the desired width: 1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1-inch, or larger slices, depending on the dish. You can slice skin-side up or down, depending on what you are more comfortable with. Alternatively, use the peppers after cutting with the piece method to slice them into thinner strips.

Uses: Roasting, grilling, sauteing, kung pao chicken, fajitas, salads, or a crudite platter.

#6) Diced bell peppers

Person dicing a green bell pepper with a chefs knife.

Once the bell peppers are cut into strips, it’s easy to dice them into smaller bite-sized pieces. Turn the sliced peppers 90 degrees to your knife, then chop. Cut them into 1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1-inch or larger dice depending on the culinary application.

Uses: Dips, salsas, salads, stir-fries, sauteing, gumbo, jambalaya, soups, stews, and large peppers for kabobs.

Storing

  • Whole Bell Peppers: Store on the counter at room temperature if using within 1 to 2 days. Place them in the crisper drawer for 1 to 2 weeks. If left too long, you’ll notice the skin getting wrinkly, which indicates that it’s losing moisture and won’t be as crisp. It’s best to use them right away or freeze bell peppers to use in cooked dishes.
  • Cut Bell Peppers: Refrigerate large pieces, slices, or dice in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days. A portion of paper towel can be placed on the bottom of the container to wick up any moisture, extending the shelf life to about 7 days. It’s time to throw them away once they feel slimy or mushy.

More ways to use bell peppers

Perfect bell peppers add an exciting texture and flavor to any dish. They taste delicious raw or cooked. Try them in these delicious recipes:

Frequently asked questions

What are the health benefits of bell peppers?

Raw bell peppers are packed with vitamin C (ascorbic acid), an important antioxidant that protects the body’s cells and keeps them healthy and functioning. It also contains nutrients like vitamin B6, vitamin B1, vitamin K, vitamin E, and quercetin. It’s low in natural sugars and calories and has good levels of fiber. The color pigment of the pepper impacts the benefits. Red bell peppers deliver vitamin A and beta-carotene.

Is it okay to eat the white parts of the inside of the bell pepper?

Yes! The white membrane inside the bell pepper is called the pith. It doesn’t have much flavor, so it can be easily incorporated into dishes without negatively impacting the taste. It’s usually removed to help make slicing or dicing easier, which gives excellent knife cuts for presentation.

What’s the best way to remove the seeds from a bell pepper?

Bell pepper seeds are edible but have a bitter taste. It’s easiest to remove them when they are still stuck to the white membrane that also connects to the stem. Slice the pepper lengthwise to remove the flesh, not cutting into the core. Alternatively, cut off the stem and bottom end and use a paring knife to trim the membrane, which helps release the seeds. Use a spoon to scoop out any loose seeds.

Can I freeze cut bell pepper for later use?

Cut bell peppers freeze well for up to 6 months. The texture becomes softer because the plant’s cell walls burst from the juices’ expansion. It’s best to use in cooked applications or pureed dips. While peppers can be frozen, remove the stem, membrane, and seeds to make preparation easier.

The color impacts the taste

Different varieties deliver a taste ranging from sweet to slightly bitter, adding depth to any recipe. The color is based on maturity, starting from green, turning yellow, orange, and then into a red pepper. Green bell peppers tend to have a more bitter, peppery taste. Yellow and orange are sweet, and red is the most mature and sweetest.

How to Cut a Bell Pepper

Learn how to cut a bell pepper in six different ways. Whether you want slices, strips, or diced pieces, this guide will teach you how to prepare this versatile vegetable for all your favorite dishes.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Course Condiment
Cuisine American

Ingredients  

  • 1 bell pepper

Instructions 

  • Wash – Rinse the bell pepper under cool running water. Dry with a clean towel and grab a cutting board.

#1) Whole Peppers for Stuffing

  • Cut off a ½ inch from the stem end with a paring knife, then trim around the inside of the flesh to cut the connected membrane. Remove the core with your fingers and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Trim the bottom if needed to help it stand in a pan for stuffing.

#2) Cut into Halves

  • Use a paring knife to cut down and around the stem. Pull it out to remove the core. Stand it up and slice the pepper in half lengthwise. Trim any white membrane and use a spoon to remove the seeds.

#3) Cut into Strips

  • Trim the stem so that the pepper can be placed stem-side down. Use the natural indented lines along the sides of the pepper as a guide to cut into segments. There will be 3 to 4 pieces, depending on the shape of the pepper. Discard the core and seeds, and slice them into strips.

#4) Cut into Rings

  • Cut off a ½ inch from the stem end with a paring knife, then trim the membrane connected to the flesh. Use a spoon to remove the seeds. Slice into ¼ to ½ inch thick rings crosswise. Halve the rings if sauteing.

#5) Cut into Even Slices

  • Trim off a ½ inch from the stem and bottom end. Make one slice lengthwise to open it up. Run the knife along the inside of the pepper to trim off the white membrane and seeds. Slice the long strip into the desired width.

#6) Diced Pieces

  • Cut off a ½ inch from the stem and bottom end. Make one slice lengthwise to open up the pepper. Run the knife along the inside to trim off the white membrane and seeds. Slice the long strip into the desired width then turn the sliced peppers 90 degrees to your knife and chop it into diced pieces.

Recipe Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • Yield: One diced bell pepper yields about 1 cup, depending on size. 
  • Storing: Place cut pieces in an airtight container for up to 3 to 5 days. Adding a paper towel to the bottom of the container can help extend storage to about 7 days. Discard once the flesh becomes brown or mushy.
  • Freezing: Frozen bell peppers can last for up to 6 months when stored in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 4 servings
Calories 8kcalCarbohydrates 2g (1%)Protein 0.3g (1%)Fat 0.1gSaturated Fat 0.02gPolyunsaturated Fat 0.05gMonounsaturated Fat 0.003gSodium 1mgPotassium 63mg (2%)Fiber 1g (4%)Sugar 1g (1%)Vitamin A 931IU (19%)Vitamin C 38mg (46%)Calcium 2mgIron 0.1mg (1%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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