Sweet Mixed Peppers


Sweet Mixed Peppers. The title just brings to mind the taste of sweet peppers on your tongue, doesn’t it? Go ahead; open your mouth, let it drop from your lips with just the right balance of sweetness and bite. Cheesy, warm, and delicious! Sweet Mixed Peppers are a tasty treat you’ll keep coming back to.

 Types of Delicious Sweet Peppers

illustration featuring bell peper varietiesq

Sweet peppers don’t come in just red and green anymore—yellow, orange, and even purple bell peppers are fairly commonplace.

Plus, there are more kinds of sweet pepper than just different colors of bell peppers. See the rest of these slides to get a taste of the range of pepper you may come across at farmers’ markets and specialty stores.

Fresh Cherry Peppers

Cherry Peppers

Sweet cherry peppers can be a bit spicy, but that’s part of their fun. Mainly they are sweet little nuggets that taste like what they look like: condensed red peppers.

They’re tasty raw as a poppy little snack. They’re also good in salads or pickled.

Long Green Peppers

Cubanelle Peppers

These long, thin peppers are a pale yellow-green when they first grow but will darken and then turn red if left to fully ripen. Most are sold in their unripe state and used chopped as an aromatic for other dishes, or roasted and stuffed.

Green Peppers

Green Bell Peppers

These are the peppers we, and so many others, grew up with. They are grassy in flavor and super-crunchy in texture. We happen to like them best in stuffed peppers. Whether you decide to stuff them with ground meat or quinoa and veggies, then cook them until tender and juicy, we are sure they’ll find a special place in your heart.

Long Green Peppers

Italian Frying Peppers

These skinny, mild peppers are so named because they are at their best when either sliced long and thin or chopped up and gently fried in olive oil. The long, thin slices make a side dish all on their own. The chopped up ones are perfect for adding to sandwiches (best with Italian deli meats, of course!).

To fry them: use a large pan over medium heat with plenty of high-quality olive oil in it. Trim the peppers (remove their stems; slice them lengthwise and remove their seeds, if you like, and add them to the pan. Sprinkle with some salt and cook, stirring now and again, until the peppers are supremely soft, about 30 minutes.

Sweet Peppers—Orange

Orange Bell Peppers

Like their sunny brethren, the yellow bell peppers, orange bell peppers are a bit less flavorful than red bell peppers, but just as sweet and just as pretty. Use them raw in salads or roast them up to add their bright orange sunshine to dishes. 

Sweet Bell Peppers—Purple

Purple Bell Peppers

Purple bell peppers are less sweet than red, orange, or yellow bell peppers, but they’re definitely sweeter than green ones. They are perfect in salads or other raw dishes since their brilliant shiny purple color turns muddy and even a bit gray when cooked. 

Red Peppers

Red Bell Peppers

These are the most popular sweet peppers, This is probably because they are, in fact, quite sweet. Their bright color and sweet flavor make them perfect for tossing into salads (such as this corn avocado pepper salad or this pickled bell pepper salad).

Red peppers have a less grassy flavor than most peppers and become silken and luscious when roasted, a trait highlighted in this delicious red pepper marinara sauce.


Roasting Pimentos (Pimentons)

Roasting pimentos are best for, as you may have guessed, roasting. They tend to have a high sugar level and roasting brings out their deep sweetness and makes it silky smooth. See how to roast peppers under a broiler and how to roast peppers over a flame to make the most of these lovelies. (Note: Others may use them in dishes, but we prefer to serve them roasted and drizzled with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, and call it a day.)

Sweet Bell Peppers—Yellow

Yellow Bell Peppers

Yellow peppers can be used much like red or orange peppers. They are similarly sweet but have a milder taste. They roast up beautifully, just like red peppers, and keep their lovely yellow hue when cooked.

Different Types of Peppers to Add to Salads, Stir-Fries, and Other Tasty Recipes

Whether your dish calls for spicy chili peppers or sweet bell peppers, these picks bring the flavor (and heat).

Types of Peppers

All types of peppers are a part of the Capsicum family, which includes both the sweet peppers as well as the hot and spicy ones, often referred to as chili peppers. Fun fact: the heat of a pepper is measured using Scoville heat units (SHU), and this scale goes from o, think bell pepper, to the X Pepper which clocks in at over 3,000,000 (ouch!).

Below we broke down each type of pepper, and included their SHU measurements, so you can know exactly when and how much heat you’re adding to a dip or skillet supper. Just be warned that the heat can still vary from pepper to pepper, so one jalapeño could taste milder compared to another.

Quick tip for those who can’t handle the heat: have some dairy, like yogurt or milk, nearby to help balance the spicy heat in chilis. If you want to simply take the spice level down a notch, remove and discard the seed and whitish ribs before using it.


Bell Pepper

Bell Peppers - Types of Peppers

These big sweet peppers come in a rainbow of colors (green, red, orange, yellow, purple and more). Because of their size and mild-sweet taste, they are perfect to stuff, but are also incredibly versatile, adding flavor to any dish they are used in.



Mini Sweet Pepper

Mini Sweet Peppers - Types of Peppers

These tiny peppers look and taste similar to bell peppers but are smaller, have less seeds to dig out and are often slightly sweeter. Use them as scoops for your favorite dip or roast or sauté them like you would a bell pepper.



Cubanelle Pepper

Cubanelle Peppers - Types of Peppers

Also known as the Italian Frying Pepper, this sweet pepper packs a touch of heat. This light greenish-yellow in pepper is long, has a slight wrinkle to its thin skin and is widely used in cuisines of Cuba, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. Because of the thin skin they are ideal for quick frying, but they can be roasted as well. Up your pizza game by throwing a sliced one of these on top.

SPICE LEVEL (SHU) – 100 to 1000


Banana Pepper

Banana Peppers - Types of Peppers

These peppers got their name for their long curved shape and yellowish hue. They are tangy but mild and are most often found pickled for piling on sandwiches.

SPICE LEVEL (SHU) – 0 to 500


Cherry Pepper

Cherry Peppers - Types of Peppers

Cherry peppers or Pimento (or Pimiento) are red, heart-shaped peppers that are mild, sweet and smell like a supercharged red bell pepper. They are most often found jarred, and can add sweet pepper flavor to a dish similar to roasted red peppers.

SPICE LEVEL (SHU) – 100 to 500


Poblano Pepper

Poblano Peppers - Types of Peppers

Although hot, poblano peppers are on the mild end of the spicy pepper scale. Poblano peppers are thick and meaty just like a bell pepper, but have a slight kick. Because of their size, they are great for stuffing. They are also good for roasting, grilling and sautéing. They are one of Mexico’s most popular pepper — and when they’re fully ripened and then dried, they are anchos.

SPICE LEVEL (SHU) – 1000 – 1500



Jalapeno Peppers - Types of Peppers

Jalapeños are the king of spicy peppers. Not because they are the spiciest (in fact they are relatively moderate on the Scoville scale compared to most), but because of their popularity and availability. They do pack some heat, but the palatable kind. Guacamole wouldn’t be complete without it.

SPICE LEVEL (SHU) – 2500 – 8000


Fresno Pepper

Fresno Peppers - Types of Peppers

They might look like a red jalapeño, but they are a bit more complex overall and have a bit more heat. Fresnos get a bit fruitier and smokier in terms of taste as they mature. If you are looking to switch things up, give these a go.

SPICE LEVEL (SHU) – 2500 – 10,000


Serrano Pepper

Serrano Chilies - Types of Peppers

These long, thin red peppers pack a clean, bright punch without sending you screaming. They have thin skins so if you decide to roast a bunch (I would!), you can chop them with the charred skins on, no need to peel. Add them to salads, salsa and chiles.

SPICE LEVEL (SHU) – 10,000 – 23,000


Thai Pepper

Bird Eye Chilli - Types of Peppers

There are many many varieties of Thai pepper. You’ll most likely find the Bird’s Eye pepper in the grocery store, but all Thai peppers have a similar red color and for a tiny pepper, they pack some serious heat. They are most often used to add a hot kick to soups and stews

SPICE LEVEL (SHU) – 50,000 – 100,000

Ways to Cook Sweet Peppers

Roasted bell peppers

Cubanelle sweet pepper
Bell peppers

Eat sweet peppers raw in salads, or eat them steamed, stir-fried, roasted, grilled or roasted or stuffed. Use them in casseroles or rice dishes.

Sweet peppers are in season from late spring through late summer.

Types of Sweet Peppers

Sweet peppers are warm-season annuals in temperate regions and perennials in tropical climates. Sweet peppers are herbaceous plants that usually become woody at the stem base. They grow from 6 to 48 inches (15-122cm) tall depending upon the variety. They are multi-branched with smooth oval to lance-like, deep-green leaves 2 to 4 inches (5-10 cm) long.

Sweet peppers range in color from pale to dark green, from yellow to orange to red, and from purple to brown to black. They can be a solid color or variegated.

The juicy flesh of sweet peppers can be thick or thin and the flavor can range from bland to sweet to bittersweet.

The fruits or pods of sweet peppers are edible. The pod of the bell pepper has four lobes and is somewhat square in shape. Some sweet peppers have three lobes and some are tapered in shape with no lobes at all.

  • Bell peppers are the best known and most widely available sweet peppers. Bell peppers can vary from 3½ to 5½ inches (9-14 cm) long and from 2½ to 4 inches (6.4-10 cm) wide. Bell peppers get their name from their bell-like shape. Bell peppers have a mild, sweet flavor and crisp juicy flesh. They are usually bright green, but they also can be yellow, orange, purple, red, and brown. If a bell pepper is red, it has been vine-ripened. Red bell peppers are sweeter tasting than green bell peppers.
  • Bull’s Horn is a long, narrow, sickle-shaped green pepper with a pointed tip that turns from green to yellow to red in late summer.
  • Cubanelle—also called Cuban pepper is a long (about 4 inches/10 cm), tapered yellow to red pepper with thick meaty walls that is more flavorful than the bell pepper.
  • Lamuyo–also called European sweet pepper or rouge royal pepper is a very sweet, bell-shaped pepper that is longer and larger and more slender than the standard bell pepper with thick-flesh.
  • Pimiento is a large, heart-shaped pepper with thick, meaty flesh that is excellent for roasting and peeling.
  • Sweet Banana is a long, banana-shaped yellow pepper good to stuff or pickle.

How to Choose a Sweet Pepper

  • Select sweet peppers that are firm, glossy, and plump with no blemishes or soft spots.
  • Select brightly colored peppers.
  • Peppers that are heavy for their size will have thick, meaty walls.
  • Avoid peppers that are shriveled or have soft spots.
  • If a pepper is green, it was harvested before it ripened. A green pepper will turn yellow and red as it matures. Purple, brown and black peppers will become green as they ripen.
  • Peppers that ripen on the plant will be sweeter and more fragrant than those that don’t. Red and orange peppers are the sweetest.

How to Store Sweet Peppers

  • Unwashed sweet peppers will keep in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in a cool, dry spot for up to 2 weeks. Store peppers whole rather than sliced.
  • If blanched or roasted and peeled, peppers will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months. Dried peppers will keep for up to 1 year.
Sliced Cubanelle peppers
Sliced Cubanelle peppers

How to Prep Sweet Peppers

  • Cut sweet peppers into slices, strips or pieces. Remove the stem, the core, and the seeds before cutting.
  • Cut sweet peppers crosswise for rings and lengthwise for julienne strips or diced cubes.
  • For stuffing, parboil the whole pepper for 3 to 5 minutes then refresh in cold water for 5 minutes.
  • To peel a pepper, first, bake the whole pepper in a preheated oven at 350º F (176º C) for 5 to 8 minutes; place the baked pepper in a paper or plastic bag and seal; let sit for about 15 minutes; remove, slice and remove the seeds; peel off the skin with your fingers.
  • To stuff a pepper, make a cut around the stem and remove it; or cut about ¼ or ½ inch (6-13 mm) off the top; pare out the seeds and core and any whitish veins; fill the cored pepper with stuffing and replace the top. To shorten the cooking time, blanch the pepper in advance.

Sweet Pepper Cooking Suggestions

  • Use raw slices or diced peppers to add color and flavor to vegetable platters and salads or to garnish casseroles and soups.
  • Simmer pepper pieces 3 to 7 minutes.
  • Steam pieces or cored whole peppers for 5 to 10 minutes depending upon the thickness of the walls.
  • Sauté or stir-dry pepper pieces without coating or batter for 4 to 9 minutes or long enough to soften.
  • Sauté sweet pepper strips in olive oil with onions and garlic, sprinkle with vinegar, and chill. There you have a tasty weekend salad. But wait! You can use this same mix to top hot Italian sausages.
  • Pan-fry or deep-fat fry pepper slices in a wet or a dipped batter until the crust is golden brown.
  • Bake whole stuffed peppers until the stuffing is browned.
  • Peppers become sweet when cooked. Don’t overcook peppers; they will lose flavor and nutrients.
  • Cooking will cause brown, black, and purple peppers to become green.
Steamed sweet peppers
Steamed and stuffed bell peppers

How to Steam Sweet Peppers

Steam whole bell peppers for stuffing, or steam pieces of peppers for a side dish.

  1. Cut out the stem and seeds.
  2. Place whole peppers upright in a steaming basket or place cut pieces in the basket. Be sure the water below the basket does not touch the peppers.
  3. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat; cover and steam until the peppers are just tender, about 4 to 10 minutes depending on the size of the peppers.
  4. Whole peppers can be stuffed with rice, chopped vegetables, seasoning, and cheese.
Saute of peppers and vegetables
Sauted sweet peppers with vegetables and shrimp

How to Sauté (Stir-Fry) Sweet Peppers

  1. Cut the pepper into small pieces.
  2. Heat a small amount of oil over medium heat in a heavy skillet.
  3. Add pepper pieces and stir occasionally so the pieces cook evenly.
  4. Add flavorings such as chopped onions, minced garlic, freshly ground black peppers, or a few teaspoons of lemon or lime juice.
  5. Cook until the peppers become tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Add other vegetables such as onions and mushrooms just after the peppers if you like.

Roasted bell peppers
Roasted bell peppers

How to Roast Sweet Peppers

  1. Brush the peppers with a light coat of vegetable oil.
  2. Place the peppers on a broiler in the oven.
  3. Turn the peppers as they broil to brown them evenly, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  4. When they are charred, place the peppers inside either a plastic resealable or brown paper bag for 15 minutes before peeling off the outer charred layer.
  5. Cut up the peppers as desired based on how you plan to use them.

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