Need to slice or dice a bell pepper for a recipe and you’re not sure where to start? Learn how to cut a bell pepper with ease in this simple guide!

Fresh sliced colorful bell peppers on a white plate, resting on a marble countertop.
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Some vegetables are easy to cut. Take a cucumber or zucchini: cut off the ends and slice. Easy! But other vegetables are a little trickier. 

How to Cut a Bell Pepper

One of those tricky veggies is bell peppers. When you’re making Sautéed Peppers or cutting a pepper for Classic Greek Salad, do you lop off the top? Or cut it out like you do with a pumpkin when you’re making a jack-o-lantern?

How do you get the seeds out without getting them all over?

Consider this guide to how to cut a bell pepper your ultimate source for everything you need to know about dicing and slicing peppers, from start to finish!

Fresh sliced colorful bell peppers in a cast iron sauté pan on a stovetop.

Choosing and Storing Bell Peppers

Before you even get started with cutting your bell pepper, it’s important to select the right one at the grocery store or farmers market.

Whatever color or variety you’re buying, look for peppers that are brightly colored and firm, with glossy skin. Avoid peppers that look dull or that have wrinkly skin—this is a sign that they’re past their prime.

It helps to give them a little squeeze too; the riper ones should be a bit soft, but still firm.

Once you’ve got the perfect pepper, you’ll need to store it. Bell peppers are sensitive to their storage conditions and they can go bad quickly, so they should be refrigerated as soon as possible.

They’ll keep in the crisper drawer for up to a week, and sometimes even beyond that, depending on how long ago they were harvested.

A close up of sauteed bell peppers

How to Cut Bell Peppers: Step-By-Step

First, it’s important to note that there are a lot of ways to cut bell peppers and everyone has their own preferences—there’s no right or wrong here. That said, after trying ever method there is, these are the ones that I find to be the easiest, neatest, and least wasteful. 

Start by washing and drying your bell pepper. Then, follow the steps below.

Tips

  • Use a sharp knife for cutting bell peppers so you can cut all the way through the skin without a lot of effort.

  • You’ll want to remove all the seeds before using your peppers; although the seeds are edible, they’re bitter.

Cutting Bell Peppers Into Rings

  1. Step 1 – Stand the pepper on a cutting board with the stem facing upwards.
  2. Step 2 – Use a paring knife to cut around the stem, with the knife angled downwards—this is where your jack-o-lantern carving skills will come in handy.
  3. Step 3 – Pull out the stem and core, along with the seeds. Use your knife to loosen it if needed, or use a spoon to scoop it. Turn the pepper upside down and tap out any additional seeds that have fallen from the core.
  4. Step 4 – Turn the pepper on its side and carefully cut it into rings of your desired thickness using a chef’s knife.
  5. Step 5 – Trim any white flesh (membrane) from the insides of the rings, if desired. 

Cutting Bell Peppers for Stuffing

  1. Step 1 – Stand the pepper on a cutting board with the stem facing upwards.
  2. Step 2 – Use a paring knife to cut around the stem, with the knife angled downwards—this is where your jack-o-lantern carving skills will come in handy.
  3. Step 3 – Pull out the stem and core, along with the seeds. Use your knife to loosen it if needed, or use a spoon to scoop it. Turn the pepper upside down and tap out any additional seeds that have fallen from the core.

Slicing Bell Peppers

  1. Step 1 – Lay the pepper on its side and cut off the top and bottom. 
  2. Step 2 – Stand the pepper up and make a vertical slice from top to bottom. 
  3. Step 3 – Turn the pepper on its side again, then use the knife to cut along the inside of the pepper to remove the core, seeds, and membrane. When you’re finished, you’ll have one long strip of bell pepper.
  4. Step 4 – Cut the “strip” of bell pepper in half, then slice each half to your desired thickness.

Dicing Bell Peppers

  1. Step 1 – Lay the pepper on its side and cut off the top and bottom. 
  2. Step 2 – Stand the pepper up and make a vertical slice from top to bottom. 
  3. Step 3 – Turn the pepper on its side again, then use the knife to cut along the inside of the pepper to remove the core, seeds, and membrane. When you’re finished, you’ll have one long strip of bell pepper.
  4. Step 4 – Cut the “strip” of bell pepper in half, then slice each half to your desired thickness.
  5. Step 5 – Stack a few of the strips at a time and cross-cut them to your desired size.
A cast iron pan on the stove, full of red green and yellow sliced peppers preparing to saute.
A cast iron pan on the stove, full of red green and yellow sliced peppers preparing to saute.

Tools to Use

You’ll need a sharp chef’s knife that can easily cut through the pepper skin and a cutting board. A grippy, non-slip cutting board is best, but any cutting board will do.

How to Store

Refrigerate cut bell peppers in an airtight container for up to a week.

Recipe Ideas

Here are some recipes to make with your bell peppers:

Frequently Asked Questions

Which color bell pepper is the healthiest?

Red bell peppers are the ripest and also the healthiest. The extra time growing on the plant means they have more beta-carotene and vitamin C.

Do different color bell peppers have different flavors?

Yes, there are some subtle flavor differences between different colors of bell peppers. Generally speaking, red bell peppers have the sweetest and most intense flavor, followed by yellow and then green.
Green bell peppers tend to be a bit more bitter in comparison. Cooking can also bring out certain flavors—red bell peppers become sweeter when roasted or grilled, while green bell peppers become more savory. 

Should you wear gloves when cutting peppers?

While gloves are recommended for cutting jalapeños and other spicy peppers, they aren’t needed when you’re cutting bell peppers.

What cutting tool should I use to dice a bell pepper?

A sharp knife is usually the best tool for cutting bell peppers. A paring knife is best for cutting around the stem to remove it, while a chef’s knife works well for the rest of the process.

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