Did you know that bell peppers are a fruit, not a vegetable? Yes, it’s true.
Botanically, anything that starts as a flower on a plant, such as peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and melons, is a fruit. Anything that is a part of a plant, such as carrots which are roots and lettuce which are plant leaves, is a vegetable.
From bright green, red, yellow, orange, purple and even white, these sweet peppers come in a variety of colors and sizes.
If you’re fond of cooking, you probably love experimenting with bell peppers.
These versatile peppers have a pleasant flavor that goes well in salads, soups, stews, and casseroles at the very least and roasted over the fire or stuffed with meat, vegetables, and cheese at the very most. You can also munch on them raw as a healthy, crunchy snack or add a few slices to your cheeseburger or grilled cheese sandwich.
That’s not all! These peppers are also a rich source of vitamins C, A and B6 and also contain dietary fiber that makes them an essential part of any healthy diet.
If you’re tired of stocking your pantry with bell peppers only to find them spoiled after a few days, you may thank us for coming to your rescue.
We’ve come up with three incredibly simple methods to store bell peppers – whole, chopped or cooked. Try them out and see which method suits you best, and do let us know how well it worked out for you.
- Method 1: Whole Bell Peppers (1 to 2 weeks)
- Method 2: Chopped Bell Peppers
- A. Refrigerate Bell Pepper Slices (up to 1 week)
- B. Freeze Bell Pepper Slices (10 to 12 months)
- Method 3: Cooked Bell Peppers (4 to 6 months)
Method 1: Whole Bell Peppers (1 to 2 weeks)
Do you love to host weekend gatherings and serve gourmet delicacies to your guests, but you’re uncertain about buying bell peppers in advance, fearing they might spoil before you use them?
Well, using this amazingly simple hack you can ensure that your bell peppers stay fresh and unspoiled for weeks.
Single-Step Method: Refrigerate whole bell peppers in a sealable plastic bag
- Place whole bell peppers in a ziplock bag and seal it.
- Put the bag in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer.
You can just open the bag and take out a whole bell pepper when needed and keep the rest refrigerated.
When stored this way, bell peppers will last 1 to 2 weeks. Note that green bell peppers will last longer than the red or yellow ones.
Method 2: Chopped Bell Peppers
You can also keep cut bell peppers fresh by refrigerating them for short-term storage or freezing them for a longer time.
A. Refrigerate Bell Pepper Slices (up to 1 week)
If you have an incredibly hectic weekly schedule and prefer to chop your vegetables in advance, then this method can prove to be a godsend for you.
Step 1. Wash, deseed and cut the bell peppers into slices
- Wash the bell peppers thoroughly to remove any dirt or other impurities.
- Carefully slice the peppers in half. Remove the stem and seeds, as shown above.
- Cut the deseeded peppers into thick slices.
Step 2. Wrap the slices in a paper towel
- To store bell peppers, place the slices on a paper towel and wrap them up.
Step 3. Place the slices in an airtight container, add water & refrigerate
- Place the wrapped bundle in an airtight container.
- Pour about ½ inch of cold water into the container.
- Put on the airtight lid and place the container in the vegetable crisper of your refrigerator.
The bell pepper slices will stay crisp and fresh for up to 1 week using this method. If you wish to store them longer, make sure to change the water after a week.
B. Freeze Bell Pepper Slices (10 to 12 months)
If you wish to store bell peppers to add some zing to your stews and stir-fries during the harsh winter months, you can do so by simply freezing freshly cut bell pepper slices.
Step 1. Freeze bell pepper slices for 1 hour
- Spread out the sliced bell peppers on a baking tray.
- Put the tray in the freezer for 1 hour or more, until the slices are completely frozen.
Step 2. Put the frozen slices in a ziplock and freeze them
- Put the frozen slices in a ziplock bag and seal it shut.
- Store the sealed bag in the freezer.
You can take out a few slices when needed, or prepare separate batches and thaw them one at a time.
Bell peppers stored this way will last for 10 to 12 months, although it is recommended that frozen vegetables be used within 8 months.
Method 3: Cooked Bell Peppers (4 to 6 months)
Another way to avoid waste and even help cut down on your cooking time is to freeze cooked bell peppers.
The trick is to cook the bell peppers halfway, so they maintain their crispness and flavor without becoming too soggy. Simply, sauté the bell pepper slices in a little bit of olive oil and remove them from the heat once they are half-done.
Step 1. Freeze the cooked pepper slices
- Spread out the cooked bell pepper slices on a plate.
- Put it in the freezer for 1 hour or longer, until they are frozen.
Step 2. Vacuum seal them in a ziplock bag & store in the freezer
- Put the frozen slices in a ziplock bag.
- Use a straw to suck out all the air and seal the bag shut, thereby efficiently vacuum sealing the bag.
- Store the bag of slices in the freezer.
When you’re ready to use them, you can remove them from the freezer and safely store them in the refrigerator for an additional 3 to 4 days. We recommend that you freeze several small batches and thaw one bag at a time when needed.
Cooked bell pepper slices can be stored in the freezer for 4 to 6 months.
- While these methods will help you store bell peppers for a longer time, you must keep an eye out for spoilage. When bell peppers start going bad, they will become soft and discolored. Also, throw them out the minute they start smelling bad.
- If you want a simple storage method to keep chopped bell peppers fresh for 2 to 3 days, you can store them safely in the refrigerator. Just ensure that you put them in an airtight container.
- Apart from enhancing your broths and stews, bell peppers can also be used to make perfectly shaped sunny-side-up eggs.
- You can also check out our hacks to store sweet corns and sweet potatoes.