Sometimes it can seem frustrating to try a new recipe and not know how much of an ingredient to purchase at the store. Sometimes they give you a quantity of bell pepper in volume (2 cups), sometimes as a weight (8 ounces) and still others the bell pepper is given as a produce description (2 medium peppers). But what are they really talking about? So how much is in a bell pepper? In order to help make cooking easier we did some experiments to help tell you exactly how many bell peppers you need to buy.
To answer How many bell peppers in a cup we went to the grocery store to check out the produce section. After surveying their selection we discovered that 1 pound of bell peppers is equal to about 5 medium or 3 large bell peppers.
We decided to use a medium bell pepper for our calculations. We then started chopping and found it took 2 seeded bell peppers to reach the 1 cup mark.
Did you know that since bell peppers have seeds and come from flowering plants, they are actually fruits, not vegetables? Bell peppers belong to the same plant genus as the spicy, hot peppers; however, the bells have no capsicum, thus their "sweet peppers" nickname. Bell peppers are native to Mexico, and Central and South American regions.
Next time your recipe calls for a cup of chopped bell peppers you'll feel confident knowing how many bell peppers you need. You can also use our conversion tool below for any custom how many bell peppers in a... measurements you need.
Bell peppers are mild sweet peppers native to Mexico and Central and South America, and are now cultivated throughout the world. They are also called sweet peppers. In cooking, they are used as vegetables. They do not produce capsaicin, the compound that causes the spiciness of most peppers.
Bell peppers are the fruit of plants in the Capsicum genus that are available in many colors, most commonly red, yellow, green and orange. There are also brown, white, purple and lavender varieties. Green peppers are usually unripe peppers that if allowed to ripen, turn yellow, then orange, then red. They get sweeter and more nutritious as they ripen.
A bell pepper is botanically a fruit, but it is used as a vegetable in cooking.
There are approximately 50,000 varieties of bell pepper, but they are commonly sold by color, as the color of the pepper indicates the flavor profile. Green, red, orange and yellow are the most common colors sold in stores. Bell peppers are green when unripe. They turn yellow, then orange, then red as they ripen, and they become sweeter and contain more vitamin C and vitamin A as they ripen.
They are sold as mini bell peppers that are 3-4 inches long and full sized peppers that are 4-6 inches tall and 3-5 inches in diameter.
Bell peppers are sold as mini bell peppers that are 3-4 inches long and an inch or two in diameter and full sized bell peppers that are 4-6 inches tall and 3-5 inches in diameter. They have a boxy shape with very thin, smooth, shiny skin, a heavy stem at one end, grooves that run down the sides and a rounded bottom. They are hollow, with clusters of seeds inside, and a crisp texture.
They can be green, yellow, orange or red. They are sweeter than most vegetables, but not as sweet as most fruits. They have a fruity, mild pepper flavor that is strongest in green peppers and mildest in red peppers.
Raw bell peppers are used as healthy snacks and as crudites usually served with dip. They are often stuffed and cooked. They can be a main ingredient in dishes like stir fries or sausage and peppers. They are added to sauces like spaghetti sauce as a flavoring ingredient. There are also sauces and soups that use bell peppers either as a dominant or contributing flavor.
Other mild peppers like poblano and Anaheim peppers can be substituted for bell peppers, but they will increase the spiciness of the dish. Paprika can be used, but it is made of many peppers and will change the flavor profile. Onions or bok choy can also be substituted if you don’t want the bell pepper flavor.
Bell peppers are a healthy snack for your dog. As with any new or unusual food, only feed small amounts, as large amounts may cause intestinal upset. Cats don’t usually like bell peppers, but it is safe for them to eat small amounts. Birds can eat bell peppers, and they help provide Vitamins A and C in their diet. The seeds are not toxic for them, but the stems can be, so remove them before feeding. Lizards can eat bell peppers in small amounts, but they have more phosphorus than calcium, so they should be fed as a treat to avoid metabolic bone diseases. It’s better to feed them red bell peppers as they have more vitamin A and vitamin C. Remove the seeds before feeding to lizards.
Yes, bell peppers give some people gas. They have a lot of fiber which can cause gas, and the capsaicin they contain can stimulate the intestinal tract. Cooked bell peppers are easier to digest for most people. Removing the skin can also make them easier to digest. While they are very mild peppers, they are still peppers, and can cause problems for people with gastritis or acid reflux.
Bell peppers will last 4-5 days at room temperature, however they may lose moisture and crispness.
Cut bell peppers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Store unwashed bell peppers in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Wash them just before using them so that the moisture doesn’t make them rot in the refrigerator. They can last a few weeks in the refrigerator, but may lose their crisp texture.
Bell peppers freeze well for use in cooked dishes. To freeze them, wash them and remove the stems. Cut them into strips or quarters and remove the ribs and seeds. Lay the pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet and place them in the freezer. Be sure they aren't touching each other. Once frozen, transfer them to a plastic bag, remove as much air as possible and seal tightly. They will last several months, but won't be as crisp as fresh peppers, so they work best in cooked dishes.
There are different methods to cut bell peppers.
For the first method, cut the top off by cutting a half inch into, but not through, the pepper all the way around it just below the top. Pull off the top, and most of the seeds will come with it. Cut a half an inch off the bottom. The top (with the seeds and stem removed) and bottom can be cut up and eaten raw or used in recipes. Then cut the body of the pepper in half or quarters vertically. Lay each piece flat on a cutting board with the inside facing up. Holding one of the cut ends, use a paring knife to cut off the white ribs that stick up above the flesh. Discard the ribs and seeds. Now you have a square or rectangular piece of pepper that can be cut into any shape you choose.
For the second method, hold the bell pepper by the stem with the bottom on a cutting board. Cut straight down each of the four sides half an inch to an inch away from the stem to get large pieces. Discard the stem, remove the few remaining seeds from the pieces, then cut them into the desired shapes and sizes.
The skin of a bell pepper is very thin and translucent. For most people, the skin is edible, but for some, it can cause intestinal upset.
To remove the skin, you can use a vegetable peeler, but it will be difficult to get the skin out of the grooves of some peppers. To peel them for cooked preparations, place whole or halved washed bell peppers on a sheet pan under the broiler, or under or on top of a gas burner or gas or charcoal grill, turning to be sure all sides get charred (you want them to turn slightly black). You can also place them on a sheet pan in a 475 degree oven for 5-10 minutes.
Remove peppers from heat and place into a plastic bag or a bowl. Seal the bag or cover the bowl so the peppers will steam, and let it sit for ten minutes, then use a paring knife to scrape off the thin skins.
Cut through the flesh of each side of the pepper, without cutting into the middle, just below the top, and remove the top, which will remove the center and most of the seeds. Discard the top. Cut off the bottom half inch. Then cut down vertically through the pepper to get halves or quarters. Lay each piece flat on a cutting board with the raw side up. Lay your knife flat on the top of each piece and cut straight across to remove the white ribs and any remaining seeds. Then you can slice each piece into strips.
You can also remove the top of the bell pepper as described, then lay the pepper on its side on a cutting board. Slice across the pepper to get rings.
Cut through the flesh but not the middle of each side of the pepper just below the top. Remove the top, which will remove the stem and a lot of the seeds. Discard the top.
Cut a half an inch off the bottom of the pepper and cut it into the desired size pieces.
Then cut down through the pepper vertically to get halves, then quarters. Lay each piece flat on a cutting board with the flesh side up. Lay your knife on top of each piece and cut parallel to the skin to remove the ribs, and brush away any remaining seeds.
Cut each piece into slices, then cut across the slices to get smaller pieces.
Cut around the stem of the pepper and pull it out. Remove remaining seeds by tapping the pepper on a cutting board or against your hand. Cut vertically down through the sides to get strips, then cut across the strips to dice or mince them.
Bell peppers are not made into zest. It is most commonly done with citrus fruit skin.
Once the bell peppers are cleaned with cool running water and the seeds removed, then they are ready to grate or shred.
A box grater works well for bell peppers. You can also use the grating disk in a food processor.
Once the bell peppers have been cleaned and seeded, they can be cut into pieces and juiced with an electric juicer.
Bell peppers have non-toxic seeds that can be eaten, but they may contribute an unpleasant texture to a dish.
To remove the seeds, cut around the stem of a bell pepper and pull it out. This will remove the center and a lot of the seeds. The remaining seeds can be removed by tapping the raw pepper against the cutting board or your hand with the open side down. Any remaining seeds are easily brushed away. Seeds can be scraped off the inside of a cooked pepper with a paring knife.
Bell peppers are sensitive to chilling injury at temperatures below 45°F (7.2°C).
Peppers harvested at their full size will continue to color in storage.
Peppers do best with cool, moist storage; store peppers in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, or loose in the crisper portion of the refrigerator to absorb the humidity of the surrounding air. Green bell peppers will hold their quality for 8 to 10 days; red sweet peppers only hold for 3 to 4 days.Once peppers are cut, refrigerate in sealed plastic bag and use as soon as possible.
For long term storage, cut them in the size you'd like to use them later, put them in a Ziploc bag, and stick them in the freezer.
The sweet tasting bell pepper is the most familiar and has a bell-like shape. Green peppers are picked before they ripen. When ripe, a bell pepper is red, yellow, orange, white or purple, depending on the variety; these are actually sweeter and more crisp than green ones.
One of the biggest hassles when cooking and working in the kitchen is when a recipe calls for "the juice of 1 lime" or a similar measurement. Often times when cooking people use bottled juices, pre-sliced vegetables and other convenient cooking time savers. Produce Converter will help you convert the "juice of 1 lime" and other similar recipe instructions into tablespoons, cups and other concrete measurements.
Produce Converter can also be used to figure out how many vegetables to buy when you need, for instance, "A cup of diced onion." You can use our easy conversion tool to figure out exactly how many onions you need to buy at the store in order to end up with the amount you need for your cooking.
We hope you enjoy Produce Converter and if you have any suggestions for how we can improve it and make your cooking easier please let us know.