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How To Cut Bell Peppers

Learn how to efficiently cut bell peppers in the kitchen with this simple step-by-step guide! We’ll show you four easy ways to cut bell peppers, giving you a number of options depending on the recipe, personal preference, cooking style, etc.

Learning how to cut bell peppers properly happens to be a great opportunity to practice your knife skills and become a faster, more efficient cook in the kitchen.

slicing into a red pepper on a wooden cutting board

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How To Select Bell Peppers

Before we get to chopping, I quickly want to go over how to select the best bell peppers and dispel a common myth about these versatile vegetables.

In the kitchen, using quality ingredients not only affects the flavor of food but also its appearance. As such being able to properly identify and select good quality produce is a good skill to have.

Regardless of where you purchase your peppers, (or maybe you are picking them from the garden!), you want to select peppers that are:

  • firm and feel heavy in the hand
  • smooth, with as few blemishes or soft spots as possible
  • fully matured with a vibrant, fully developed color
red and orange bell peppers displayed on a wooden cutting board

Peppers that have soft spots, wrinkles, or other imperfections can indicate the pepper is old and starting to decompose, was mishandled during transport, or is infected with some kind of mold or other disease (especially if mold or other black spots are visible).

Choosing peppers based on the number of ‘bumps’ in the hopes of choosing male or female peppers is a myth and not actually a thing, as some social media posts may have you believe.

There is no such thing as a male or female peppers, and characteristics such as sweetness, number of bumps on the bottom, etc. are due to the variety and growing conditions of the individual pepper plant.

How To Cut Bell Peppers 4 Different Ways

Well then, let’s get to the real purpose of this article, shall we!? There are generally four different ways you can cut bell peppers. Which kind you choose will depend on what you plan on doing with the pepper in the end as well as personal preferance.

Are you julienning the pepper for a fancy stir-fry? Slicing rings for a salad? Stuffing the pepper with other ingredients? Or maybe just dicing the pepper as part of a more complex recipe?

Most often the individual recipe will indicate which cut to use, but if the specific terminology has you confused, don’t worry we’ll clear it up!

How To Julienne Bell Peppers

Begin by laying the pepper flat on its side, and remove the top (stem end) of the bell pepper as well as the bottom. Remove the stem if it is still attached to the removed top portion, and discard it. Set the removed top and bottom of the pepper aside.

Stand the pepper up on its bottom cut side, then slice down through one side of the bell pepper. Lay the pepper flat on its side again and, beginning at the last cut you made, slide your knife along the inside of the pepper, releasing the core from the walls as you go.

Once the core has been removed, lay the bell pepper skin side down on your cutting board, and carefully remove any white pith from the flesh. Removing the pith helps to ensure an even thickness of pepper in the final julienne cut.

Once the pith has been removed, cut the trimmed bell pepper into a thin julienne roughly 2mm x 2mm x 4 -5cm long.

a close up of a red bell pepper julienne cut

How To Dice Bell Peppers

Begin by laying the bell pepper flat on its side, and cut off the top (stem end) and the bottom. Remove and discard the stem if it remains attached to the removed top portion.

Stand the pepper back up and cut open one side of the pepper. Slide your knife along the inside walls of the pepper, releasing the core and leaving you with one long strip of pepper.

Lay the pepper flat on your cutting board, and cut the pepper into thick strips. Bunch a few of the strips together, and cutting perpendicular to the strips, cut the strips into even squares or chunks of pepper.

Related:  All About Knife Skills - Knife Care, Safety, and More

The removed top and bottom of the pepper can then be cut in a similar fashion to match the size of the previous cuts.

close up of diced red bell pepper on a wooden cutting board

How To Slice Bell Pepper Rings

Lay the pepper flat on its side and remove the top (stem end) of the bell pepper. Leave the bottom end intact, (this gives you something to hold on to later, and prevents the pepper from squishing together as easily when you cut the rings).

Remove and discard the core by running your knife along the inside walls of the pepper.

Keeping the pepper flat on it’s side, cut off thin cross-sections of the pepper with a very sharp knife, leaving you with perfect bell pepper rings.

close up of sliced bell pepper rings on a wooden cutting board

How To Stuff Bell Pepper

Lay the bell pepper flat on its side and remove the top (stem end) of the bell pepper. Save the intact top as a ‘lid’ if you like.

Trim a very small amount of pepper off the bottom, to ‘flatten’ it out and prevent it from wobbling or falling over when stuffed. Remove only enough to create a flat base, not enough to create a hole in the bottom of the pepper.

Slide your knife along the inside walls of the pepper to remove the core. Discard the core, and stuff the hollow pepper with whatever filling you wish!

slicing into a red pepper on a wooden cutting board

How To Cut Bell Pepper (4 Different Ways)

Chef Markus Mueller
Learn how to efficiently cut bell peppers in the kitchen with this simple step-by-step guide! We'll show you four easy ways to cut bell peppers, giving you a number of options depending on the recipe, your personal preference, and cooking style.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Knife Skills
Cuisine Canadian
Servings 1 chopped bell pepper
Calories 26 kcal

Equipment

  • A chefs knife or paring knife
  • Cutting board

Ingredients
  

  • 1 whole bell pepper

Instructions
 

Removing A Bell Pepper Core

  • Begin by laying the bell pepper flat on its side, and cut off the top (stem end) and the bottom. Remove and discard the stem if it remains attached to the removed top portion. Stand the pepper back up and cut open one side of the pepper. Slide your knife along the inside walls of the pepper, releasing the core and leaving you with one long strip of pepper.
    cutting around the core of a bell pepper

Julienne Bell Pepper

  • Once the core has been removed, lay the bell pepper skin side down on your cutting board, and carefully remove any white pith from the flesh. Removing the pith helps to ensure an even thickness of pepper in the final julienne cut.
    removing the pith of a bell pepper
  • Once the pith has been removed, cut the trimmed bell pepper into a thin julienne roughly 2mm x 2mm x 4 -5cm long.
    julienning a bell pepper

Diced Bell Pepper

  • Once the bell pepper core has been removed, lay the pepper flat on your cutting board, and cut the pepper into thick strips.
    cutting the bell pepper into strips
  • Bunch a few of the strips together, and cutting perpendicular to the strips, cut the strips into even squares or chunks of pepper.
    cutting bell pepper strips into a square dice cut

Sliced Bell Pepper Rings

  • After the core has been removed, lay the pepper flat on its side, and cut off thin cross-sections of the pepper with a very sharp knife, leaving you with perfect bell pepper rings.
    slicing bell pepper rings off a hollowed out pepper

Stuffed Bell Pepper

  • Remove only the top of the pepper (stem end), as well as the core, by running your knife around the inside of the pepper sides, leaving the side intact.
    hollowing out a bell pepper with a knife
  • Once The core has been removed, you may trim the bottom end of the pepper to get it to sit upright. Stuff the hollowed out bell pepper as you see fit.
    a hollowed out red bell pepper, ready to be stuffed
Keyword how to cut bell pepper rings, how to dice bell pepper, how to julienne bell peppers, how to remove a bell pepper core, how to stuff bell peppers

How To Grow Your Own Bell Peppers

Did you know bell peppers can easily be grown in your own backyard or on a balcony in containers? Being able to grow and provide yourself with fresh produce is a very rewarding feeling, and if you are interested, can learn how to grow your own bell pepper in our detailed guide!

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