Perfect Grilled Peppers, Every Single Time!
Simply put, I’m completely smitten with grilled veggies! Charred, smoky-sweet veggies are my absolute favorite thing to grill – it’s both a miracle & one of my deepest joys that grilling season coincides with summer’s abundant harvest.
& while I’ve never met a grilled vegetable I didn’t like, grilled peppers hold an extra special place in my heart. Eaten raw, bell peppers are one of nature’s candies, but bell peppers grilled? Well, they magically transform just about any dish they touch. ✨ If I’m being honest, I’ll generally eat grilled peppers straight off the grates (they’re THAT good!), but you can use them to zhuzh up any of your favorite everyday meals, from breakfast omelets to weeknight pasta dishes, & everything in between!
Aside from being downright delicious, grilled bell peppers are so simple to make. All you need is a handful of peppers, 2-3 pantry staples, & about 15 minutes to make some serious flavor happen.
Grilled Bell Peppers Recipe Highlights
TL;DR? You will LOVE this easy grilled peppers recipe because…
- ONLY 4 INGREDIENTS. My perfect grilled pepper recipe is made with just peppers & a couple of kitchen staple ingredients, meaning big flavor is never far from reach!
- MADE IN 15 MINUTES OR LESS. With little to no prep work involved, this recipe leaves you plenty of time to pour yourself a glass of something delicious while you tend to the grill. Trust me, this gives a whole new meaning to Happy Hour.
- A TOTAL CROWD PLEASER! When it comes to grilling for friends, family, or yourself, grilled peppers are always a good choice. They’re naturally vegetarian, vegan, & dairy-free, so everyone can enjoy these grilled bell peppers – no matter their individual diet or food preferences!
Deliciously quick & endlessly versatile – I have a feeling you are going to love this easy grilled peppers recipe just as much as we do! ♡ Read on to learn more about How to Make Grilled Peppers, or jump straight to the recipe & get grilling!
Key Ingredients for Grilled Bell Peppers
Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
As promised, this easy grilled peppers recipe doesn’t call for much. Here’s what you’ll need…
- Bell Peppers – Green bell peppers lean a bit more earthy in their flavor profile, whereas red, orange, & yellow peppers are typically sweeter. Mini bell peppers also grill nicely, just be sure to leave them whole for grilling, de-seeding them once they’ve grilled so they don’t slip through the grates! Keep in mind! ⇢ This recipe will work equally well with whichever variety of pepper you love most. Check the Ingredient Spotlight, below, for some suggestions & guidance.
- Avocado oil – I always have a bottle of avocado oil at the ready when grilling. It’s the perfect neutral oil with a nice, high smoke point. Feel free to swap in grapeseed, vegetable, corn, or even peanut oil.
- Kosher salt & ground black pepper – Simple, simple!
- (Optional!) Fresh herbs – Fresh herbs are pure summertime magic. If you opt to add in fresh herbs, fresh basil, oregano, or thyme all pair with peppers beautifully. A vibrant fresh herb sauce, like basil pesto or chimichurri, also takes already delicious grilled peppers completely over the top!
What are the Best Peppers to Grill?
Did you know there are literally hundreds of types of peppers in the world? And that peppers are technically a fruit, not a veggie? This recipe for easy grilled peppers will work for any fresh variety of pepper that you love most – from Anaheims & banana peppers to piquillos & padrons.
When choosing the right kind of peppers to grill, the first thing to consider is how spicy they are. The best way to determine spiciness is known as the Scoville Heat Index. Spice levels from super tame capsicums that rank at zero SHUs (Scoville Heat Units) all the way to scorching hot ghost peppers that clock in at over 1 million SHUs. Choose wisely, friends!
Next, consider the size of the peppers you want to grill. If they are on the larger end of the spectrum, I suggest removing the seeds & stems prior to tossing them on the BBQ as shown below. However, if your peppers are on the smaller side, I’d suggest keeping them whole until *after* you grill them so they don’t fall through the grates. If you prefer, you can also use a grill basket or kebab skewers to help wrangle some of the smaller peppers.
Important reminder! ⇢ Capsaicin, which is the primary compound that makes peppers taste spicy, lives primarily in the seeds & membranes of your peppers. Take extreme caution when removing them from peppers with a higher SHU score; some are spicy enough that they can make your skin burn! If you love spicy peppers, be sure to keep a pair of gloves & protective eyewear on hand.
How To Grill Peppers Perfectly
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Making grilled bell peppers couldn’t be easier! They’re the perfect way to add instant smoky-sweet to any meal. Here’s how it’s done…
Prep bell peppers for the grill. Slice from the stem down the sides of the pepper, cutting away the core. You should end up with 3-4 flat pieces of bell pepper. Why? ⇢ This knife work helps provide surface area for a beautiful char & helps prevent the peppers from falling through the grill grates when laid flat. Win-win! Remember, if you are using smaller peppers, leave them whole until after grilling. From there, place the bell peppers on a small baking sheet or large plate. Drizzle with oil over top, season with salt & ground black pepper then toss to coat. Simple as that!
Grill the peppers. Place the bell peppers directly on the grates of a grill preheated for medium-high direct head grilling (about 450-500 degrees F). Grill 5-6 minutes, flipping the peppers halfway through. You’ll know the peppers are ready once they are as tender & beautifully charred as you like!
Serve. You can serve your grilled peppers immediately, hot off the grill. Enjoy them on their own, garnish with a sprinkling of fresh herbs or a drizzle of zippy vinaigrette or pesto, or slice them up for a smoky-sweet add-on for your favorite summer meals.
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How to Use Your Grilled Bell Peppers
Grilled peppers are sure to liven up any weeknight meal! They’re excellent on burgers, a tried & true staple for fajitas of all kinds, & are excellent to add-in for puréed soups. Speaking from experience, once you try them, you’ll be putting them on everything.
Here are some of my favorite recipes for using grilled peppers…
- Grilled BBQ Chicken Bowls – Pair with spiced BBQ chicken, smoky-sweet grilled sweet potatoes, & greens for the BEST light-yet-hearty summer dinner.
- Grilled Vegetable Salad or Grilled Vegetable Platter – Pair your grilled peppers with an abundance of grilled veggies & serve with a zippy, herbaceous sauce or dressing.
- Chicken Fajita Burritos or Grilled Veggie Burrito Bowls – Pair with hearty beans & creamy green rice!
- Sheet Pan Salsa Verde Chicken – Swap grilled poblano in place of roasted for a touch of smoky heat.
- Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup – Swap jarred peppers for freshly grilled peppers & blend into a satisfying, silky-smooth soup.
- Grilled Pizza – Since you already have the grill fired up for your veggies, make an epic grilled veggie pizza, complete with smoky-sweet grilled peppers.
Quick Tips & Tricks!
How to grill tiny peppers? If all they had at the store was mini bell peppers (or if you’re working with a smaller pepper like fresnos or jalapeños), don’t fret! Just grill them whole, then remove the seeds & stems after the fact. (Just be sure to wear gloves & eye protection if you’re dealing with spicy peppers!) If you’re still worried about them falling through the grates, try using kabab skewers or a grill basket instead.
How to peel grilled peppers? ⇢ If you’re not a fan of pepper skin after cooking, no worries! Simply transfer the cooked peppers to a bowl while they’re still hot & cover them with some plastic wrap. Let them steam for about 5 minutes, then voila – the skins will slide right off.
What to do with leftover grilled peppers? ⇢ These grilled peppers can be eaten straight away after cooking, but they’re also great for meal prep. Simply store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Pro Tip! ⇢ Let them come to room temperature before serving for the best possible flavor.
How to freeze grilled peppers? ⇢ If you have an abundance of summer peppers & want to preserve them for future use, simply freeze them in a single layer on a parchment lined sheet tray. When they are chilled through (about 30 minutes), transfer them to a zip top bag & keep for up to 2 months in the freezer.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do I need to grill bell peppers?
If the bell peppers are cut as directed in this recipe, they are usually perfect after about 5-6 minutes on the BBQ. If you are grilling the peppers whole, you may need to add a few minutes to the overall grill time to ensure you get nice charring on all sides.
What are the best peppers to grill?
Whatever peppers you love the most! You can use this recipe as a template for making the grilled pepper plate of your dreams. If you’re a fan of mild, sweet peppers, I suggest bell peppers, banana peppers, or pimentos. For fans of medium or hot peppers, try poblanos, anaheim, or pasilla peppers.
What should I do with grilled peppers?
Why, eat them, of course! 😉 I personally love them as-is, straight from the grill, but they’re super versatile. Add them to grilled cheese sandwiches, fritattas, pizzas, soups, grain bowls… the possibilities are endless!
How to store grilled peppers?
If you can resist finishing off your grilled bell peppers hot off the grill, feel free to pop them in the fridge for up to 1 week, or freeze them for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator when ready to use for smoky-sweet gratification on-demand.
How can you make grilled peppers without an outdoor grill?
As a Minnesotan who endures long, cold winters, I relish any opportunity to use my outdoor grill. That said, you can just as easily make these indoors with a cast-iron grill pan or an electric grill & still achieve delightfully smoky flavor.
My grilled peppers are too spicy… HELP!
If you opted for bravery when choosing your peppers, we salute your courage. The best way to tame a fiery tongue is with dairy. Take a spoonful of Greek yogurt or sour cream, drink a glass of milk, or reach for some ice cream. Also, don’t make the common mistake of trying to wash the heat away with anything carbonated; the bubbles will only make it worse. Trust me. 😅
I can’t wait for you to try this recipe for the Easiest Grilled Peppers! If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations!
Looking for more grilling season inspiration? You’re in the right place! 🙌🏼 Be sure to try our Best-Ever Grilled BBQ Chicken, Perfectly Grilled Buffalo Wings, or Best-Ever Grilled Turkey Burgers next, or check out our A-Z Guide to the Best Grilled Vegetables. ♡ Happy grilling!Print
If you’ve ever wondered how to grill peppers, this Easy Grilled Peppers recipe is the perfect place to start! Grilling bell peppers is not only quick & simple – this recipe calls for just 4 ingredients & is ready in about 15 minutes – but also results in a platter of smoky-sweet pepper perfection to jazz up any dish this summer. Add these brightly-hued beauties to everything from burgers & brats to soups & grilled pizzas!
Naturally vegetarian, vegan, & dairy-free.
- 2 bell peppers or peppers of choice (see blog post, above, for suggestions)
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- kosher salt & ground black pepper
- for serving, as desired: fresh basil, fresh oregano, fresh thyme, etc.
- Grilled peppers prep: Preheat the grill for medium-high direct heat grilling, about 450-500 degrees F. While the grill preheats, prep the bell peppers. Slice from the stem down the sides of the pepper, cutting away the core. You should end up with 3-4 flat pieces of bell pepper. Discard the core. Place the bell peppers on a small baking sheet or large plate. Drizzle the oil over top, tossing to coat in the oil. Season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired, tossing again to coat.
- Grill the peppers: Place the bell peppers on the grill. Grill 5-6 minutes, flipping the peppers halfway through, until tender & charred as desired.
- Serve immediately, with a sprinkling of fresh herbs as desired. If serving on a grilled vegetable platter, drizzle with a light & bright herbaceous sauce, like pesto or chimichurri. Grilled peppers are also amazing add-ons for any variety of meals, from grilled chicken bowls to grilled pizza to silky-smooth creamy soup. Enjoy!
- What types of pepper are best for grilling? Whatever peppers you love the most! If you’re a fan of mild, sweet peppers, I suggest bell peppers, banana peppers, or pimentos. If you like medium or hot peppers, try poblanos, anaheim, or pasilla peppers.
- How to grill small peppers? ⇢ If you’re working with smaller peppers, like mini bell peppers, fresnos, or jalapeños, I suggest grilling them whole to prevent them from falling through the grill grates & removing the seeds & stems after the fact. If you’re still worried about them falling through the grates, try using kabab skewers or a grill basket instead.
- Reminder! ⇢ Take extreme caution when handling the seeds & membranes of hot peppers – some are spicy enough to make your skin burn, so you may want to use a pair of gloves & protective eyewear if you like spicy peppers.
- Storage & Freezing Instructions: Leftover grilled peppers will keep, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 1 week. Alternatively, you can freeze grilled peppers for future use. Arrange in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. When they are chilled solid (~30 minutes), transfer them to a zip top bag and keep for up to 2 months in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator & serve. Serving tip! ⇢ Let chilled peppers come to room temperature before serving for the best possible flavor.
Keywords: grilled peppers recipe, how to grill vegetables, how to grill bell peppers, grilled hot peppers
Recipe by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Eat Love Eat
Ready to Hit the Grill?
If this all still feels new to you, I encourage you to head over to Grilling 101, a compilation of tips and tricks for all of the grilling basics – everything from how to light your grill to how to clean your grill.
All this talk about grilling have you feelin’ ready to hit the grill? Me too! Be sure to check out this post for my 15 go-to marinades you need this grilling season. At our house, a good marinade is at the heart of grilling season. I’m positive these marinades will be on repeat at your house this summer! For even more grilled goodness, be sure to check out all of our Grilling and Smoking recipes.
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