How to Roast Bell Peppers

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Learn how to roast bell peppers in 4 different ways! Try oven roasting, broiling, grilling, or my stovetop method to create tender, sweet, smoky bites.

In my step-by-step guide, I'll show you how I roast bell peppers to perfection, providing tips and tricks along the way to ensure you achieve that irresistibly charred and tender result every time.

Roasting bell peppers enhances their natural sweetness while adding a smoky flavor. The high temperature completely transforms the crispy raw texture and tenderizes the flesh, adding dimension with a delightful charred taste. Enjoy them as a side dish, or incorporate them in dips, salads, pizzas, sandwiches, wraps, or pasta. They also store well marinated with oil or pickled, so you can grab them and use them for any recipe!

You might be surprised that you can roast bell peppers in various methods. It’s not just limited to oven roasting! The grill and a stovetop gas burner can also blister and char the skin. This step-by-step guide will show you how to prepare and roast them using various techniques. Get ready to elevate your culinary game!

Pepper selection

The color of the bell pepper will impact its taste as the hue indicates its maturity. This type of pepper starts green and has a slightly more bitter flavor. As they mature, they turn yellow, orange, then red, increasing in sweetness with age.

Wash the bell peppers

Person holding a yellow bell pepper in the sink under running water.

Before roasting, rinse them well with cool water to remove any dirt and debris from harvesting. Dry the surface as I find that any moisture causes the peppers to steam instead of roast.

Roasting whole vs. cut peppers

  • Whole Roasted Peppers: Often used to marinate in oil or vinegar, added to purees, sauces, and dips, or added to a platter. The skin is charred to add a robust, smoky flavor. The stem, seeds, and skin are removed after cooking. The process takes more effort as the flesh loses structure but retains more flavorful juices. The peppers can be stuffed, sliced, or diced to add to recipes.
  • Cut Peppers: Peppers cut into halves, quarters, or thinner slices can be used as a side dish or added to sandwiches, wraps, pizzas, pasta, stir-fries, sauces, and dips. Because the stem and seeds are removed initially, it saves you time on preparation later. The skin can be removed for larger pieces or kept on for extra flavor. If leaving the skin on, do not let it char too much, or it will have a strong burnt taste.

Check out my complete guide on how to cut bell peppers to see the various techniques.

Oven-roasting whole peppers

Three whole bell peppers placed on a foil lined sheet pan.
Yellow bell pepper with charred skin.

This method requires little preparation up front. Wash, dry, and add the whole peppers to a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast at 450ºF (232ºC) for 20 minutes, then use tongs to give the peppers a quarter-turn. Cook until the skin is blistered and charred.

The process takes about 40 minutes in total time. The whole peppers stay juicy using this method, and the skin easily peels off. However, removing the stem and seeds takes a little more time.

Oven-roasting halves

Bell pepper cut in half on a white cutting board.
Roasted bell pepper halves with smoky charred surface.

Cut the peppers in half lengthwise, then remove the stem, seeds, and white membrane. It takes a few extra minutes to prep, but peeling off the skin is much easier. Cutting the peppers caramelizes the cut sides, adding more sweetness to the vegetable. This method loses more moisture, resulting in a firmer texture. Preheat the oven to 450ºF (232ºC), then cook the peppers cut side down.

The process takes about half the time, about 20 minutes total, because of the increased exposure of the entire skin to the hot air. Alternatively, cut into quarters or slices to be served as a side dish. This is my favorite method unless stuffing the peppers.

Broiling whole peppers

Peppers in the oven cooking under the broiler.
Close up of broiled bell peppers with dark charred surfaces.

Broiling using the upper heating element of the oven chars the peppers’ skin in a much shorter time than oven roasting. Using a high broiler setting, the oven can get up to 500°F to 550°F (260 to 288ºC). This method aims to blacken the skin to create a smoky taste in the flesh. Set the oven rack about 6 to 8 inches from the upper heat source.

Place the whole peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet, broil, and turn every 2 to 3 minutes until all the sides are charred. Keep a close eye on them! The process takes about 8 to 12 minutes. Steam, then peel off the burnt skin. Because the skin cooks so fast, the flesh will be firmer than oven roasting.

Stovetop roasting whole peppers

Single red pepper placed on the grates of a gas stove.
Charred red bell pepper on the stove.

This method only works if you have a gas stovetop burner. Working one pepper at a time, place it directly on the burner grate. The hot open flame that surrounds the peppers will blister the skin within minutes. Don’t take your attention off cooking the pepper. It needs to be turned every 1 to 2 minutes and moved around for even charring.

The cook time takes less than 10 minutes but requires the most hands-on. The result is similar to broiling, with a smoky taste with a firmer texture. I use this method to roast just one or two peppers for a recipe.

Grilling whole peppers

Red bell pepper placed on grill grates.
Roasted bell pepper on a barbecue grill.

Take your roasting outdoors by using a barbecue grill. Cook the whole peppers directly on the grill grates over medium-high heat, between 400°F to 450°F (204 to 232ºC). Cover the peppers while cooking so that the heat surrounds them.

The bonus is that the skin touches the hot grill grates, speeding up the charring process. Make a quarter-turn of the pepper every 5 to 7 minutes. The process takes about 20 to 30 minutes to blister the skin and tenderize the flesh.

Grilling cut peppers

Bell pepper split in half and sitting on a grill.
Grilled bell peppers using the barbecue.

For a summer barbecue, I love serving grilled roasted peppers. Cut them into halves or quarters before cooking. Grill over medium-high heat, skin-side down first, for 10 minutes to ensure the skin lightly chars and the flesh softens without losing too much moisture.

Cook for an additional 5 minutes after flipping. Note that some of the juices will be lost in the grill. I typically don’t peel the skin because it’s browned instead of blackened, but it still has a pleasant smoky taste.

Peeling the skin

Roasted bell peppers in a bowl covered with plastic wrap to steam them.
Person easily peeling the skin from a red bell pepper after using the steaming technique.

Removing the skin is essential when roasting the peppers until the skin becomes dark and charred. The smoky taste infuses into the flesh, but you don’t want to serve burnt peppers. Peel roasted peppers by adding them hot into a large bowl or pot. Tightly cover with plastic wrap, or place the lid on the pot.

Let them steam for about 15 to 20 minutes, allowing the thin, plastic-like skin to separate from the flesh. Once it’s cool enough to handle, peel by gently pulling the skin away. If needed, rinse the peppers under cool water to remove charred areas or help with peeling.

Removing the seeds and cutting

Spoon removing the seeds from a roasted bell pepper.
Roasted bell pepper cut into small slices.

If the peppers are left whole, remove the seeds. Start by using a paring knife to trim the stem. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds carefully. Leave the pieces whole, or slice or dice them into smaller pieces.

Storing

Roasted bell peppers placed in a clear glass mason jar with olive oil.

Roasting bell peppers are a great way to preserve them. After cooking, place them in the refrigerator inside an airtight container for up to one week. To extend the shelf life to about three weeks, place them whole or cut inside a glass jar and cover them with olive oil to create an oxygen barrier to slow spoilage.

For longer storage, I like to freeze bell peppers in a heavy, resealable plastic bag or container for up to 6 months.

Flavor variations

There are various ways to add more flavor to roasted bell peppers. Try these delicious ideas:

  • Marinated in Oil: Add the peppers to a jar with high-quality olive oil. Add seasonings like salt and pepper, fresh or dried herbs, raw or roasted garlic, or red pepper flakes for spiciness.
  • Pickle: Add tanginess and sweetness with a quick pickle brine. Marinate with soy sauce, honey, and rice vinegar for an umami taste.
  • Herbs: Toss with chopped fresh basil, thyme, parsley, dill, or oregano—Roast with sprigs of rosemary or thyme for aromatics.
  • Seasonings: Add sweet or smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, sea salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Oil and Vinegar: Drizzle with balsamic vinegar glaze or extra-virgin olive oil. Red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar adds acidity to balance the sweetness.
  • Spicy: Add red chili flakes, chili powder, chipotle, or cayenne. Add freshly chopped hot peppers or roast them with the bell peppers.
  • Cheese: Serve with buffalo mozzarella, burrata, crumbled feta, goat cheese, parmesan, or pecorino romano.

Serving suggestions

Frequently asked questions

What seasoning is good on peppers?

Olive oil adds richness and a fruity note. Balsamic or red wine vinegar adds fermented acidity. Minced garlic or roasted cloves add an allium note. For freshness, herbs like freshly chopped parsley, basil, oregano, or dill.

How do I roast sliced bell peppers?

Sliced bell peppers are a great healthy side dish. Remove the stem, seeds, and white membrane. Slice into ¼ to 1/2-inch thick strips. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, or desired seasonings. Roast in the oven at 450ºF (232ºC) until the surface is golden brown and lightly charred, about 10 to 20 minutes.

Can I roast hot peppers?

Smaller spicy peppers like jalapenos, serranos, shishito, or poblano can be roasted using the same technique as bell peppers. Depending on the size, the time it takes to char the skin will be much quicker. Keep a close watch for browning and blistering. Stop once charred on the surface.

Colorful roasted bell peppers on a white plate.

Roasting enhances the taste

Roasting is a dry heat method that uses hot air to surround and cook the food. Over time, a stunning browned crust forms on the surface due to the Maillard Reaction. Bell peppers can be roasted to different levels, from light blistering to a deep char for a strong smokey flavor. Concentrating the juices increases the sweetness of the flesh.

How to Roast Bell Peppers

Roasting bell peppers is my favorite way to bring out their natural sweetness and create a smoky flavor that adds depth to any dish.
4.80 from 5 votes
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Course Side
Cuisine American

Ingredients  

  • 3 bell peppers, or as needed

Instructions 

  • Prepare the Peppers – Rinse under cool running water and dry with a clean towel. Depending on the cooking method below, leave them whole, or cut them into halves, quarters, or slices.

Oven-Roasting Method

  • Roasting Whole Peppers – Set the oven rack to the middle position. Heat the oven to 450ºF (232ºC). Line a sheet pan with foil and add the peppers. Roast for 20 minutes. Use tongs to give them a quarter-turn. Continue cooking until the skin is blistered and charred, about 20 minutes.
  • Roasting Halves – Set the oven rack to the middle position. Heat the oven to 450ºF (232ºC). Line a sheet pan with foil. Place the peppers cut side down in a single layer. Roast until the skin is blistered and charred, about 20 to 25 minutes. Alternatively, cut into quarters or thinner slices. Reduce the time for smaller pieces or for less charring if leaving the skin on.

Broiling Method

  • Broiling Whole Peppers – Set the oven rack about 6 to 8 inches away from the upper heating element. Set the oven to broil. Line a sheet pan with foil. Place the peppers in a single layer. Broil, turning every 2 to 3 minutes, until all the sides are blistered and charred, about 8 to 12 minutes.

Stovetop Method

  • Stovetop Roasting – Using a gas stove, turn the burner to medium heat. Place the whole bell pepper directly on the burner grate. Roast, turning every 1 to 2 minutes with a pair of tongs, until all sides are blistered and charred, about 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat as needed.

Grilling Method

  • Grilling Whole Peppers – Heat the grill over medium-high heat. Place whole peppers on the grates. Cover and roast, making a quarter turn every 5 to 7 minutes. Cook until each side is blistered and charred, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Grilling Cut Peppers – Heat the grill over medium-high heat. Cut the peppers into halves or quarters. Place them skin side down on the grates. Cover and cook until lightly charred, about 10 minutes. Flip and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Remove the Seeds and Cut

  • Remove the Skin (Optional) – Immediately transfer the roasted peppers to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Alternatively, place them in a pot, then cover them with a lid. Let them steam for 15 to 20 minutes. Peel the skin off each pepper. Keep them whole, or proceed to remove the seeds and cut them.
  • Remove the Seeds – Trim off the stem (if still attached). Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
  • Cut the Roasted Peppers – After removing the seeds, cut them into slices or diced pieces.

Recipe Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • Storing: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
  • Freezing: Place in a large resealable plastic bag or container and place inside the freezer for up to 6 months.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 6 servings
Calories 15kcal (1%)Carbohydrates 4g (1%)Protein 1g (2%)Fat 0.2gSaturated Fat 0.03gPolyunsaturated Fat 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat 0.003gSodium 2mgPotassium 126mg (4%)Fiber 1g (4%)Sugar 2g (2%)Vitamin A 1863IU (37%)Vitamin C 76mg (92%)Calcium 4mgIron 0.3mg (2%)

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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