Freezing and Using Up an Abundance of Peppers

Written by Erin Odom, Contributing Writer

I don’t pretend to be a master gardener. In fact, my thumb is more black than green. But one vegetable that always seems to flourish in my garden is the pepper. And, despite my limited abilities, my family always ends up with an abundance of them!

Thankfully, peppers freeze extremely well, and there are lots of great recipes that call for peppers that you can implement in your kitchen all year round.

Health Benefits of Peppers

Besides being fairly easy to grow, peppers are full of wonderful health benefits, like:

  • antioxidant abilities that help neutralize free radicals in the body
  • rich source of both vitamins A and C
  • great source of fiber, folate, vitamins K and B6 and beta-carotene (red bell peppers)
  • may help burn calories and stabilize metabolism (source)

Image by Linda N.

Freezing Peppers

Peppers are extremely easy to freeze. All you have to do is wash them, pat them dry, chop or slice them, place them in a freezer bag, and store them in the freezer! I really wish I had known this the first year we gardened. I regret that I let a lot of peppers go bad while sitting in the fridge.

I normally freeze my peppers in two different ways: diced into tiny chunks and ready for casseroles, egg dishes, etc. or sliced and ready for stir fry, fajitas, etc. I usually store about one pepper per freezer bag.

It is important to note that you can’t really eat thawed-out peppers raw. They will be a little mushy. But frozen peppers are perfect to add to cooked dishes.

Image by La Grande Farmers’ Market

Using Up All Those Peppers!

There are so many dishes that call for peppers. Obviously, you will get the best health benefits by eating peppers raw, but you may not have that option when it’s the middle of winter and you are using your thawed-out peppers that you so faithfully froze from your summer garden’s abundance.

The following meals should help you take advantage of all your peppers–without making your family bored!

Breakfast Dishes

  • Add peppers to omelets or simply toss them into scrambled eggs.
  • Make gallo pinto: This traditional Costa Rican breakfast calls for any color bell pepper. This dish may double as a lunch or even supper for an American.
  • Spread toast, an English muffin or bagel with homemade pepper jelly. (You’ll want to trade out sucanat for sugar in the linked recipe.)
  • Bake bell pepper muffins: I’ve never made these, but you can’t deny they are unique! (If I were to make this recipe, I’d modify it a bit for health reasons.)

Image by suavehouse113

 

Lunch/Soups/Salads

Appetizers/Sauces/Side Dishes

Supper

I have yet to discover any desserts that call for peppers; I’m curious if anyone in the Keeper of the Home community has any unique pepper recipes to share!

Have you ever frozen peppers? What are some unique ways you use up an abundance of peppers?

Top Image by Itinerant Tightwad

About Erin O

Erin is a follower of Jesus, wife to Will and mommy to three little redheaded girls (born in 2008, 2010 and 2012). She is a life-long, professional dreamer and recovering overwhelmed homemaker. Her mission is to encourage, educate and empower her readers at The Humbled Homemaker to live a grace-filled, natural life. She is the author of a 200+-page eBook all about cloth diapering-- Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert: A Simple, Comprehensive Guide to Using Cloth Diapers.

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Comments

  1. I love all of the great ideas. I prefer to dice them or cut them in chunks for stir fry. Plus, I have to ask if the first picture is yours? And where did you get that basket?!

  2. Mmmm! These peppers look so great! I haven’t attempted peppers yet but I know my husband would love it and I seem to use bell peppers in everything!

  3. Always freeze the pepers from the summer. Great on pizza and thrown into chili during the winter.

  4. Brittany E says:

    I grew up dicing peppers and freezing them on cookie sheets. Once they were frozen we would put them in ziplock bags. It was a shock to realize how expensive peppers were once I moved away and got married! I was so used to always having them, but now I just stock up at Farmer’s Markets and freeze them.

  5. so many great options for peppers, I LOVE cooked peppers but can’t stand them raw.

  6. You know what, I’m so lazy I freeze the peppers whole! Sometimes I chop them, but most of the time I just shove them in a zippered freezer bag and call it a day. Thanks for linking to my sweet potato black bean recipe! I love that one.

  7. Thanks for all the great ideas on how to use peppers! I have been freezing peppers alot lately, both from our own garden & farmers market. I have made a friend with a local farmer who once he found out I will take 2nds, has been bringing me a few grocery bags every week FULL to the brim of peppers he won’t sell because of appearance-for $5!!!! Since peppers are on the Dirty Dozen list, freezing fresh, organic peppers in the summer is the difference between our family eating peppers in the winter months or not–a bag of frozen, organic peppers here is about $4-$5/10 oz. bag-NOT in the budget!!

  8. I’ve been freezing bell peppers from my garden for the last few years; it saves tons of money! My only regret this year is that I didn’t plant enough peppers (a move disrupted my garden plans this year… but next year we will do better!). I find slicing them and freezing them in snack ziplocs to be just right for us, though some of these other ideas mentioned are great.

  9. I freeze tons of peppers too, and here is a tip if you find a good deal on red peppers (ask for a box of seconds at your farmers market). Roast them and then freeze them! It is wonderful to have roasted red peppers for pizza, pasta and dips all winter long. Just takes a a few minutes to roast a couple of trays of them, then slip the skins off, flash freeze on a cookie tray and then store in the freezer in a freezer bag. MUCH less expensive than a jar of roasted red peppers from the grocery.

  10. I run them through my food processor, chopping very finely, put them in little ziplock snack bags and freeze. When I have a recipe calling for a tsp, tbsp, or 1/4 cup, I break off a piece of the frozen pepper–feel like I’m not wasting any little amount either. I use these for quiche, sauce, etc. I do the same with onions and always have a large ziplock bag of little snack bags in the freezer. *great to process any leftover vegetables before vacation or what you wont use, etc and freeze.

  11. Wow! I love all of the great recipes and ideas! We too, have had an overabundance of peppers (actually last year – the jalapenos are still in the freezer! Hmmm…).

    I am going to try the crock pot stuffed pepper recipe from Stacy Makes Cents – and the Pepper Jelly recipe! Thanks!

  12. I do the same and freeze my excess peppers. Not just bell peppers, but also banana peppers, jalapeno peppers & anaheim peppers. I LOVE them all! Winter would be so sad without them, but I am not about to pay $2/pepper when I can get them for $5/big bag or free out of my garden in the summer.

  13. I rely on my stash of frozen peppers all winter long – I’d be lost without them! :-)

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