How to Grill Peppers for Dinner Tonight

Learn the basics of how to prep and cook different types of peppers, then get ideas for how to serve them hot off the grill for dinner.


Smoky, sweet, and sometimes packing a little heat, grilled peppers are one of the hidden gems of summertime cuisine. Whether you're seeking a fast and easy side dish to go with your dinner or are putting up a big batch of home-grown beauties for winter, cooking those peppers and chiles on the grill is a great way to get the job done.

Pepper Prep

For larger varieties, such as bell peppers, it will be a lot less work in the long run if you remove the seeds and core before grilling. To do this, slice off a sliver off the bottom to create a flat surface. Stand the pepper upright and cut off the four sides to create four flat planks. For smaller chiles like jalapeños and cherry peppers, it's easiest to throw them on the grill whole to prevent smaller pieces from slipping through the grates. If you want to make a fajitas-style vegetable medley, then we recommend using a grill basket that will be able to contain the thin slices of peppers, onions, and mushrooms.

Grill Time

As you're cutting up the peppers, fire up the grill to medium-high and let it preheat while you prep. When the grill is ready, toss the peppers in just enough oil to coat them evenly and season them with salt. Place them skin-side-down on the grill and cook—without flipping—until the skins are blistered and charred, this should take 8 to 10 minutes. (If you're grilling the peppers whole, then make sure you flip them often to get an even char on all sides.)

Easy Peel

When the peppers are good and charred, you'll need to remove the skins. This final step is worth doing—pepper skins don't break down and they aren't easy to digest, so this will avoid both stringy textures in the food and tummy aches. The easiest way to do this is to transfer the hot peppers to a covered bowl and let them sit for a few minutes; the steam created will help loosen them up. Then, simply remove the skins with a paper towel or, for more stubborn pieces, gently scrape them off with a butter knife. It doesn't need to be perfect, and it's a net positive if little bits of char are still left on the peeled peppers.

Use Them Up

Using up these pretty and piquant grilled peppers is the easiest part; from relishes and antipasto platters to fresh pasta and salads, you'll keep wanting to slip these sweet and flavorful grilled peppers into everything. You can grill up a big batch and store them for up to one week in the fridge (or freeze them for longer-term storage), or cook just a few up at a time and eat them alongside your steak tonight.

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