Grilled bell peppers are my absolute favorite BBQ food! I’m not sure this really counts as a recipe or if it’s just a really good idea but either way you should definitely try it. Grilled peppers make a fantastic addition to burgers, salads, as part of a grilled vegetable platter or served with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. The sweet, smoky flavor is irresistible.
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How to Slice a Pepper
The easiest way that I have found to cut up a pepper is:
- Cut off the top and bottom.
- Cut off the four sides.
- Trim the flesh away from the stem on the top.
This method is great because the inedible bits in the middle of the pepper are left behind and it’s so quick and easy!
Tips for Making Grilled Bell Peppers
- Keep your slices as big as possible. It’s so sad when a piece slips between the grill and gets lost in the fire.
- For smaller pieces, use a grill basket. The bits from the top of the pepper and the bottom are generally too small to cook directly on the grill, so a basket is a great way to cook them. If you don’t have a grill basket you can just add the raw pepper to a salad.
- Peel off the burnt skin. It doesn’t taste great and it’s not particularly healthy to eat burnt food.
Notes on Ingredients
Bell peppers (or capsicums if you’re in Australia) change color as they ripen. Green peppers are the least ripe and red peppers have been on the vine the longest. Red, orange, and yellow peppers are sweeter and that’s what I recommend for this recipe. If you prefer green peppers though, go for it.
Light olive oil is the best option because it has a higher smoke point. When an oil is heated past its smoke point, it generates free radicals which are very harmful to your body. By using light olive oil instead of extra virgin you give yourself some wiggle room on this point. High-quality extra virgin oil is better enjoyed uncooked in my opinion anyway.
Tips for Making Sure Your BBQ is Hot Enough
Newer BBQs often come with a thermometer on the outside. When the needle reaches 400F/200C, then you’re good to go for grilling peppers. For steaks, like this Grilled Steak Salad, you probably want it a little hotter to get a nice sear.
If your grill does not have a thermometer, you can hold your hand about 5 inches above the flame and count how many seconds you can leave it there comfortably.
- 5-6 seconds: Your grill is low heat about 250F/120C.
- 3-4 seconds: Your grill is medium heat about 350F/180C.
- 1-2 seconds: Your grill is high heat about 450F/230C.
For this recipe, your BBQ should be medium hot. If it’s too cool, just give the charcoals more time to heat up or turn the gas up higher. If it’s too hot, then you can scatter the coals a little (not too much, you don’t want the fire to go out!) or simply turn down the gas flame.
Health Benefits of Bell Peppers
- Peppers are very low in calories with only 32 calories per serving and they’re relatively high in fiber. They’re a great way to fill up if you’re trying to lose weight.
- Capsanthin, a powerful antioxidant, is particularly high in red bell peppers. Capsanthin can provide protection to the eye and promote eye health.
- Because they are high in fiber bell peppers can help slow the absorption of blood sugar, so they’re great for people who suffer from insulin resistance as many women with PCOS do.
Please note that the European Food Safety Authority advises against eating burnt food so make sure to remove the pepper skin before eating.
These peppers are so delicious, you can put them on so many things! They’re great on a burger, in a salad, or as part of grilled vegetable platter (eggplant and zucchini go well too). They’re so good with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Or, keep leftovers and add them to an omelette the next day, or blend them into hummus or mayonnaise. You could also just have them on your plate with other BBQ goodies like corn on the cob!
If you make this recipe, please let me know in the comments below! I love hearing what people think and what changes or additions you make.
Please share this recipe with your friends and family!
Grilled Bell Peppers
- Sharp knife
- Chopping board
- Grill basket (optional)
- 3 bell peppers
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Preheat your grill. A gas grill should be heatedo medium-high (about 400°F). A charcoal grill usually takes about 20 minutes to preheat. The coals should be light grey or white not black. You can test the temperature by holding your hand over the grill. If you need to take your hand away after 5-6 seconds, your grill is low heat, 3-4 it's medium heat, and 1-2 it's high heat. If your grill is too cool give it more time to heat up. If it's too hot, scatter the coals a little.
- Rinse the bell peppers. Slice the top and bottom off then slice off the four sides. Cut the flesh from the top of the pepper leaving behind the stem.
- Coat the pieces of pepper with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the sides of the pepper skin side down directly on the grill. The smaller bits of pepper from the top and bottom can go in a grilling basket.
- Cook until the skin turns black and begins to blister, about 15 minutes. Turn and finish cooking on the other side, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the burnt skin before eating. Serve with burgers, salad or a simple drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Disclaimer: Cooking with fire is dangerous. Please take all necessary precautions. BBQ safety information can be found here.