Sauteed peppers and onions are colorful and full of sweet caramelized flavor! Eat as a healthy side dish or throw on sandwiches or tacos.
Looking for a healthy and easy side dish? These sauteed peppers and onions are a rainbow of tender, caramelized flavor! Oddly enough, this revelation is a new find over here. We’ve made the requisite fajita veggies, and thrown those peppers and onions on the grill. But simply sauteeing them up in a pan seemed too simple…until we tasted them. The sweet flavor and tender texture are truly irresistible! Even better: they’re full of nutrients and jam packed with Vitamin C. Eat them as a side or throw them in sandwiches, on pizza, or in tacos: you name it! Game changer.
Ingredients for sauteed peppers and onions
This sauteed peppers and onions recipe is perfect for when you have lots of bell peppers on hand. Ever bought a pack of those multi-colored peppers and then forget about them in the fridge? Here’s how to use them up. The ingredients you’ll need are:
- 3 bell peppers: we used red, yellow and green
- 1 white onion
- 1 red onion
- Olive oil
- Dried oregano
Seasoning with just salt and oregano sounds overly simple, but it really allows the caramelized flavor of the peppers and onions to shine.
Also try: Ultimate Sauteed Vegetables, which adds broccoli and carrots!
How to sauté peppers and onions: some tips
Sautéing is one of the fastest methods to cook vegetables! This method for cooking browns the outside of the food, helping complex flavors to develop (called the Maillard reaction, if you want to get technical!). The word saute means “jump” in French, meaning you need to keep the food moving by stirring or flipping the pan. Here’s what to know about how to saute peppers and onions:
- Thinly slice the veggies. The thinner the slices, the faster it will cook.
- Add the fat. You can use olive oil or butter for sautéing. Butter has a richer, more savory flavor.
- Cook on medium high heat and stir occasionally. Watch that the heat is not too high.
- Cook until crisp tender, or very tender: you choose! You’ll need about 10 to 12 minutes for crisp tender, and about 15 for very tender. The texture depends on your personal preferences and how you plan to serve your peppers.
Want another variation? Try these delicious Roasted Bell Peppers.
Want to change up the seasonings for these sauteed peppers and onions? There are lots of other ideas for seasoning blends or spices to add. Here are some ideas:
- Fajita or taco seasoning. Planning to add them to a taco or fajitas? Add 1 tablespoon taco seasoning or fajita seasoning.
- Cajun or blackened seasoning: Peppers and onions are perfect with Cajun food. Add big flavor with Cajun seasoning to taste (spicy) or blackened seasoning (mild).
- All purpose seasoning. This all purpose seasoning says it’s for fish, but we use it on just about anything. It would add great flavor here!
Ways to serve sauteed peppers and onions
So, you’ve got the beautiful rainbow pan of sauteed peppers and onions! How to use them to complete a healthy dinner? There’s a myriad of ideas; here are some of our favorites:
- With salmon or shrimp. Try them with broiled salmon, blackened salmon, blackened shrimp, or garlic butter shrimp.
- Sandwich filling. They add big flavor in a avocado grilled cheese or rainbow vegetable sandwich.
- Breakfast scramble. Add them to a breakfast vegetable scramble.
- Fajitas. Add black beans and tortillas, and you’ve got make-shift fajitas!
- Quesadillas. Use them as a quesadilla filling.
- Nachos. Pile them on top of nachos for a tasty treat.
- Tacos. They work in tacos too: try avocado tacos, egg tacos, or shrimp tacos.
- Pizza topping. Throw them on a pizza, like this one.
Bell pepper nutrition
One of the reasons Alex and I eat so many bell peppers: they’re loaded with nutrients and literally packed with Vitamin C. In fact, eating 1 serving of this sauteed peppers and onions recipe provides 126% of daily Vitamin C, since it uses 3 bell peppers. How’s that for healthy side dish? Here are the highlights of this super vegetable:
- Peppers are loaded with Vitamin C. A medium red bell pepper provides a whopping 169% of your daily vitamin C! (Source)
- Peppers may improve eye health and prevent against anemia. Some studies indicate peppers could cut the risk of macular degeneration and low iron (Source).
This sauteed pepper and onion recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.Print
Sauteed peppers and onions are colorful and full of sweet caramelized flavor! Eat them as a healthy side dish or throw them on sandwiches or tacos.
- 3 multi-colored bell peppers
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 medium red onion
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- Thinly slice the peppers. Thinly slice the onions. Toss them in a bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper.
- In large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. Cook the peppers until tender and lightly charred, about 10 to 12 minutes for crisp tender or about 15 minutes for tender, stirring occasionally. Taste and add additional salt to taste. Serve immediately.
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Sauteed
- Cuisine: Vegetarian
Keywords: Sauteed peppers and onions, sauteed peppers, sauteed bell peppers, sauteed onions, how to saute peppers and onions, how to saute peppers
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.