Quick and easy to make in just 15 minutes, these Sautéed Bell Peppers are a wonderful way to add color, flavor, and a veggie to so many meals! These perfect peppers make the for the ideal side dish or topping for tacos, fajitas, salads, and more.

Sauteed bell peppers in a bowl with a wooden serving spoon. They are topped with fresh thyme. There is a striped tan napkin under the bowl, fresh thyme next to it, and glassed of water and plates with forks beside it.

I am always looking for delicious and easy vegetable sides to add to dinners. Through my many years of cooking and recipe developing, I have absolutely found some truly fun side dishes that make dinners flavorful and veggie-loaded(try the Tex-Mex Roasted Cabbage Steaks, trust me). However, I also love leaning into truly simple classics when I don’t feel like reinventing the wheel…..like these sautéed bell peppers.

Why is this simple 15 minute dish a standby favorite of a woman who has made it her life’s work creating out-of-the-box recipes incorporating vegetables? Because it is a classic for a reason: delicious, colorful, and super easy! Bell peppers are naturally sweet and but can easily have a lovely savory side to them with the right seasoning (I like to use salt and thyme). Sautéing them with a little olive oil enhances their natural flavors and creates a delicious and colorful addition to a meal that requires little work!

Plus, this bell pepper recipe takes just 15 minutes, utilizes just 4 ingredients, and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. They make a great side, but can also be an amazing topping for tacos, fajitas, as part of a stuffed baked potato bar, on top of grilled meat, as part of a fun salad, or added to a quick pasta.

Bell peppers also tend to be a favorite veg among kids (I remember my preschool students would inhale them at snack time), so these sautéed bell peppers are likely to be a family veggie win! And since is recipe calls for such minimal ingredients, it also is naturally gluten free, dairy-free, nut free, Paleo, vegan, vegetarian, plant based, and everything in between!

How to make sautéed bell peppers: Visual Guide

A person washing a bell pepper in a sink over a strainer with more bell peppers.
Wash your bell peppers.
A person removing the core of a bell pepper on a wooden cutting board.
Cut the stem and seeds out. I like to use this method for cutting bell peppers for minimal waste.
Sliced bell peppers on a wooden cutting board with bowls of dried thyme, salt, and oil next to it.
Thinly slice your deseeded bell peppers into 1/2 inch strips and gather remaining ingredients.
Sliced bell peppers being poured from a wooden cutting board into a large metal skillet with oil.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the bell peppers.
A person pouring dried thyme into a skillet with sliced bell peppers.
Season the peppers with salt and thyme.
A person using tongs to toss seasoned sliced bell peppers in a skillet.
Toss to coat. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until slightly brown and tender.

Serving ideas

There is no wrong way to enjoy these sautéed bell peppers, but if you are looking for a little inspiration, try serving this recipe with one of these ideas!

  • Grilled or roasted meats: Sautéed bell peppers are a delicious pairing for grilled or roasted meats such as steak, chicken, pork, or lamb. The mildly sweet flavor of the bell peppers often compliment savory flavors of the meat.
  • Seafood: I love how the light crunch of these sautéed bell peppers pairs with the tender texture of post seafood.
  • Pasta or rice: Have you ever added sautéed bell peppers to cooked angel hair with a little parmesan cheese? Oh my. Heavenly! Same can be said for rice! Just cook up these bell peppers, add them to your cooked pasta or rice and season with things like garlic, onions, herbs, and cheese (I suggest Parmesan, mozzarella, or goat cheese) to create a simple, flavorful dish.
  • Veggie stir-fry: These sautéed bell peppers can be great jumping off point for dinner! Cook them up and add other vegetables such as onions, carrots, broccoli, or mushrooms, and stir-fried with a sauce of your choice to create a colorful and healthy meal.
  • Tacos + fajitas: Sautéed bell peppers are a classic topping for tacos or part of fajitas. They can be cooked with onions, and served alongside grilled or cooked meats, beans, or other toppings for a delicious and flavorful taco or fajita filling.
  • Sandwiches + salads: Sautéed bell peppers can also be used as a delicious veggie filling for sandwiches or topping for salads. I love to pair them with leftover cooked chicken or shrimp, lettuce, and a flavorful dressing (try this 5-Minute Green Goddess Sauce) for a simple + delicious lunch.
  • Baked potato bar: I love making baked potatoes as part of an easy (and budget friendly) dinner. These sautéed bell peppers are a delicious and easy topping for those baked potatoes.

Want to find out the BEST way to cut bell peppers? Head over to my How To Cut a Bell Pepper…to minimize waste! post!

Suggested adaptations

This is a delightfully simple bell pepper recipe. Yet, there are a few ways to tweak the flavors to match what you love!

  • Switch up the herbs. I love to use thyme on my sautéed bell peppers. But there are other herbs that also compliment the sweetness of them that you can use, too. Try adding basil, chives, cilantro, coriander, cumin, curry, garlic, marjoram, or rosemary to you bell peppers when cooking for more amazing flavor combinations.
  • Top them with cheese. Sautéed bell peppers are amazing with a little added cheese and can really elevate their flavor and presentation. Try crumbling some goat cheese or feta over your peppers. Or grate a little fresh Parmesan or a sprinkling of mozzarella.
  • Add other veggies into the pan. Bell peppers play so well with other veggies. So, use this recipe as a jumping off point for a giant skillet of sautéed vegetables! Add diced eggplant, thinly sliced onions, shallots, tomatoes and/or diced zucchini in with your bell peppers and have an amazing start to a veggie-packed meal.

Did you try this bell pepper recipe and now you’re hungry for more? 

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Sautéed bell peppers in a a skillet with a wooden spoon.
5 from 1 vote

15-Minute Sautéed Bell Peppers

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Quick and easy to make in just 15 minutes, these Sautéed Bell Peppers are a wonderful way to add color, flavor, and a veggie to so many meals! These perfect peppers make the for the ideal side dish or topping for tacos, fajitas, salads, and more.


  • 3 bell peppers , cut into ½-inch strips
  • Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Heat oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the sliced peppers and season with salt and thyme.
    A hand pouring salt and dried thyme into a metal skillet with sliced bell peppers.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are tender and starting to brown, about 10-15 minutes or until your preferred tenderness is achieved
    A person using tongs to toss seasoned bell peppers in a metal skillet.
Calories: 70kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Sodium: 294mg, Potassium: 190mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 2804IU, Vitamin C: 114mg, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 1mg