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Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Bell Peppers

While most bell peppers start out green, depending on the variety, they will mature into a rainbow of red, orange, yellow and sometimes even purple. Bell peppers are abundant late summer into fall and these colorful veggies have a sweet, not spicy flavor (the spicy peppers we know and love are referred to as chile peppers). Green bell peppers have a grassy flavor and are less sweet than their red, orange or yellow counterparts. When choosing bell peppers, make sure to pick those with shiny, blemish-free skin. No wrinkles or soft spots for these beauties. Their size and shape will vary greatly so don’t use that as an indicator of age or taste. Packed with vitamins and low in calories, bell peppers can (and should) be added to a variety of dishes to bring both color and flavor to your diet. Use them raw or roasted and freeze them if you end up with more than you can handle. Add some to your basket and try one of our ideas tonight!

1.  Add peppers to your favorite kabobs for late summer grilling. This is when it’s a great idea to get one of each color.

2.  Add chopped bell pepper to your favorite tuna or chicken salad for extra crunch. Or try our easy and tasty recipe for Honey Mustard Salmon Salad.

3.  Puree homemade or jarred roasted red peppers and stir into hummus for a simple dip for veggies or pita chips. Or try our Nutty Red Pepper and Basil Dip made with cashews, peppers and tahini.

4.  Make a colorful pepper slaw. Thinly slice peppers and toss with green onions, cider vinegar and just enough mayonnaise to coat the mixture. Let sit in refrigerator until peppers soften slightly.

5.  Bell peppers are the perfect ingredient in a stir-fry. They not only bring bright color and flavor but when thinly sliced, they cook quickly.

6.  Add chopped or sliced red peppers to a veggie-packed frittata or serve chopped roasted red peppers over scrambled eggs for a savory breakfast treat.

7.  Stuffed peppers are a no-brainer. Their shape and sturdiness make a perfect vessel for whatever you desire (rice, ground beef, cheese, etc.). Try our Curried Stuffed Peppers filled with a mixture of ground turkey, zucchini, cilantro, curry powder and (of course) peppers. Or, get your grains with our Roasted Bell Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa.

8.  Make one of my personal favorite sauces, romesco. This delicious mixture of peppers, tomato, garlic, almonds and paprika comes together in minutes in a food processor. Personalize to your taste by trying with hazelnuts instead of almonds. Serve romesco over meat or fish or as a dip for grilled veggies. Try Roasted Pimenton-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Romesco Sauce or simple Romesco Sauce to pair with whatever you like.

9.  Make a gorgeous pepper pizza. Brush a pizza crust with extra-virgin olive oil. Top with thinly sliced red, orange and yellow peppers and add dollops of ricotta cheese. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and bake until golden. Add fresh basil leaves just before pizza finishes cooking.

10.  Bell peppers make excellent dippers. Cut wide strips and use for hummus, salsa, baba ghanouj and more.

What’s your best bell pepper recipe?

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Joy In Your Kitchen says …

Great information and recipes! The roasted bell peppers stuffed with Quinoa looks delish! Joy (joyskitchen)

Maurice Couture says …

Whole Foods in DC recently had colored peppers on sale for $2.50 for a 3pk. I've been using peppers all this summer in a pasta salad with red onion and cherry tomato's.

NoRecipeRequired says …

I love using fresh bell peppers in a ratatouille. The mix of vegetables is awesome and makes a great side dish. Got a recipe here http://www.noreciperequired.com/recipe/ratatouille

Christine Bonner says …

I recently made bell peppers stuffed with Jasmine rice, to that I added garlic, diced bell peppers, onions, mushrooms and diced tomatoes then poured homemade veg. juice and baked, awesome.

J.woodard says …

I take Italian sausage and remove the casing, crumble and brown in a large pot. I then remove the sausage and set aside and then saute sliced bell peppers and onions. Return sausage back to pot and add a can of chopped tomatoes. Add red pepper flakes, Tony Chachere's (oh yea, baby), salt and pepper, to taste. Serve over your favorite pasta (Whole Wheat Penne, for me) and top all of this off with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Now, I wish that I could give you amounts; however, I just sort of wing it when I am cooking and add more of this or that as I go along.....sorry!

Dana says …

I love them plain Jane...yummy. but my husband loves them stuffed with goat cheese drizzled with evoo and grilled yummy!

Aimee says …

This summer, my mom used some of our green peppers from the garden to make stuffed peppers. She hadn't ever made them before, but she used to have them as a child and decided to try her hand at it. They came out delicious! Our whole family was sad to learn that we only had enough for one per person. Being back at college now, I miss the great food my family makes, and I'll definitely ask my mom to make more stuffed peppers when I go home at fall break!

Katie says …

While I will NEVER get sick of stuffed bell peppers, these stuffed baby peppers are my absolute favorite way to mix things up a little: http://www.glutenfreeblondie.com/2011/09/recipe-cheese-prosciutto-stuffed-baby.html