These classic Sauteed Peppers and Onions are simple to prepare and full of rich flavor! Seasoned with garlic, spicy pepper flakes, Italian seasoning and balsamic vinegar, they are delicious as a stand-alone side, or perfect on pasta, burgers, polenta, pizza and more! It’s a versatile, healthy dish your family will love! (keto-friendly, gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian and vegan)
Sauteed Peppers and Onions
Sweet peppers and delicate yellow onions are perfectly sauteed with fragrant garlic, flavorful Italian seasoning, spicy crushed pepper flakes, fresh basil and fruity-tart balsamic vinegar. Sweet and savory, these colorful, vibrant ribbons are buttery, rich and melt-in-your-mouth tender with a beautiful fresh crispness.
Bursting with flavor, these luscious vegetables are more than just a side dish and will make a vegetable lover out of you!
You can serve them with toasted bread, grilled meats, roasted chicken, lush omelettes, fried eggs, buttery mashed potatoes, pasta, pizza and more! These uncomplicated yet bold, insanely delicious sauteed peppers and onions can completely transform a meal from something ordinary to something extraordinary!
How to season?
You can season peppers and onions with various spices! This side dish can be as bold or mild as you desire! While this recipe uses Italian seasonings, spicy pepper flakes and balsamic vinegar, I encourage you to try new things and play with your favorite spices and dry herbs!
Spice mixes to use for seasoning:
Herbs to use:
What temperature to sauté?
The onions and peppers should be cooked at various temperatures in order to ensure they become golden, caramelized and perfectly sautéed!
The onions are added to the pan first and cooked (sweat) over medium heat until they are just softened and slightly golden in color. The peppers are then added to the pan and the heat is increased to medium-high in order to slightly blister the skins. To finish cooking, the heat is reduced to low and the vegetables are cooked until tender and perfectly caramelized.
Can you sauté in butter instead of oil?
While you can use butter instead of oil when sautéing, I don’t recommend it. The milk solids in butter can burn which will affect the color and taste of the vegetables.
Instead, if you would like to use butter, I recommend using a combination of equal parts butter and oil.
What to make with peppers and onions?
- Salad – Make a salad out of vegetables by adding pearl mozzarella, pine nuts and plenty of fresh herbs. Finish the salad with a balsamic vinaigrette.
- Crostini – Top slices of toasted baguette with soft cheese such as burrata or mozzarella and a pile of peppers and onions for a quick and easy appetizer.
- Omelet or Frittata – Use vegetables as an easy filling for omelets and frittatas.
- Avocado Toast – Make the most of your toast by adding a generous serving of peppers and onions.
- Soup – Stir peppers and onions into your favorite soup.
- Burgers and Sandwiches – use veggies as a topping for various burgers and sandwiches.
- Quesadillas and Burritos – veggies can be used as a filling for quesadillas or burritos.
- Pizza – Use them as a delicious topping for pizza pies.
- Casseroles – Add them to casseroles and bakes.
What to goes with sautéed vegetables?
- Steak, Chicken or Sausage – Add a heaping pile of sautéed vegetables to the top of steak and chicken. Or, pile vegetables alongside sausages.
- Meatballs – Italian vegetables make the perfect side dish for saucy beef or chicken meatballs.
- Hoagies or Sub Sandwiches – Either add peppers to the top of a sub or serve them on the side.
- Pasta – You can either stir the peppers into hot, buttery noodles or serve them on the side!
- Italian Bakes or Pasta Casseroles – Vegetables make the perfect lighter side option for heartier bakes!
- Polenta – A big bowl of creamy polenta pairs fabulously with Italian vegetables.
- Mashed Potatoes or Mashed Cauliflower – A pile of buttery mash is the perfect complement to rich sautéed vegetables.
How to sauté peppers and onions?
(Scroll down for the detailed measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page)
- Sauté onions: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions. Sauté, stirring frequently, until softened and slightly golden in color, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add peppers and seasonings: Add the peppers, Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper flakes. Increase heat to medium-high. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are softened and slightly browned, about 12-15 minutes. NOTE: The bottom of the pan should start to develop browned bits, known as Fond during cooking. You can either use a wooden spoon to stir the vegetables into the browned bits, or add a few splashes of water, wine or broth to the pan and stir it into the vegetables. The fond is what adds a rich flavor to the dish!
- Add garlic and balsamic: Add the garlic to the pan and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Stir well to combine. Reduce heat to low and add the balsamic. Stir again to combine. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender.
- Add basil: Stir in the fresh basil. Taste and adjust for seasoning as desired.
- Serve: Garnish with fresh herbs and cheese if desired. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
How long are cooked peppers and onions good for?
Leftover cooked vegetables should be stored in an airtight container or zip-closure bag in the refrigerator. Properly stored, they will last up to a week in the fridge.
Can they be frozen?
Sautéed vegetables freeze beautifully! Cooking vegetables in big batches and then freezing ensures you can add a healthy serving of vegetables to any meal!
- Sauté. Sauté vegetables according to recipe instructions.
- Cool. Remove vegetables from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Flash freeze. Spread the vegetables out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet in a single layer so they don’t clump together. Use multiple baking sheet if needed. Transfer baking sheet to the freezer and flash freeze for about 1 hour, or until vegetables are frozen. Note: It is best to flash freeze vegetables so they are completely cooled before being transferred to storage containers. Warm vegetables will trap heat, which can alter the freezing process.
- Store. Transfer frozen vegetables to airtight containers or freezer-safe zip-closure bags. If using bags, press out any remaining air in the bag before sealing.
- Freeze. Transfer storage containers to the freezer and freeze. Vegetables will keep in the freezer for up to 4 months.
How to reheat peppers and onions?
You can either add frozen vegetables right to a recipe that will be cooked, or they can be thawed and reheated.
There are three easy ways to reheat:
- Stovetop: Gently warm the vegetables in a pan over medium-low heat on the stove. Be sure to toss and stir the vegetables so they reheat evenly.
- Oven: Spread the vegetables out on a baking sheet and lightly drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar or a combination of both. Reheat in an oven preheated to 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 6-10 minutes, or until vegetables are warm. If vegetables seem dry, cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Microwave: Place vegetables in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Gently steam in the microwave until vegetables are just warm to the touch.
Are sauteed peppers and onions good for you?
Peppers and onions are a wonderful, healthy side dish option! This dish is low in calories and loaded with health benefits!
Bell peppers are high in fiber and an excellent source of vitamins A and C, folic acid and potassium. Onions are also a good source of fiber and folic acid, plus they contain vitamin B and are loaded with antioxidants.
In addition, this dish is keto-friendly, gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian and vegan. Please note, if you have strict dietary restraints, always check nutrition labels to ensure the brand you are using is safe and meets your needs.
How many calories and carbs?
The exact number of calories and carbohydrates will depend upon the precise measurement and ingredients used. This recipe serves six and has approximately 86 calories and 9 grams of carbohydrates per serving.
These tender, rich vegetables are the perfect, versatile side dish you and your family will love! But, fair warning, they are so delicious you may find yourself eating them straight from the pan!
Until next week, friends, cheers – to stellar sides!
How to make the best sauteed peppers and onions👇
These classic Sautéed Peppers and Onions are simple to prepare and full of rich flavor! Seasoned with garlic, spicy pepper flakes, Italian seasoning and balsamic vinegar, they are delicious as a stand-alone side, or perfect on pasta, burgers, polenta, pizza and more! It's a versatile, healthy dish your family will love!
Recipe can be scaled up or down by using the slider if you hover your mouse over the number of Servings.
- 2 TBS Olive Oil
- 2 Yellow Onions – thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
- 3 large Bell Peppers – stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced (SEE NOTES)
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning – homemade or store-bought
- ¼ - ½ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/ Kosher Salt & Ground Black Pepper
- 2 cloves Garlic – peeled & finely diced
- 1 TBS Balsamic Vinegar (SEE NOTES)
- ¼-1/3 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves – torn or chiffonade, plus more for garnish
Sauté onions: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat (SEE NOTES). Add the onions. Sauté, stirring frequently, until softened and slightly golden in color, about 8-10 minutes.
Add peppers and seasonings: Add the peppers, Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper flakes. Increase heat to medium-high. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are softened and slightly browned, about 12-15 minutes. NOTE: The bottom of the pan should start to develop browned bits, known as Fond during cooking. You can either use a wooden spoon to stir the vegetables into the browned bits, or add a few splashes of water, wine or broth to the pan and stir it into the vegetables. The fond is what adds a rich flavor to the dish!)
Add garlic and balsamic: Add the garlic to the pan and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Stir well to combine. Reduce heat to low and add the balsamic. Stir again to combine. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender.
Add basil: Stir in the fresh basil. Taste and adjust for seasoning as desired.
Serve: Garnish with fresh herbs and cheese if desired. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
- You can substitute red onion or sweet onion for a different color and taste.
- You can substitute 6-7 sweet Italian chili peppers or 8 sweet mini peppers for the bell peppers.
- Green bell peppers have a more bitter taste, while red, yellow and orange peppers are sweeter. If you want to use green bell pepper, I recommend using less green bell pepper than the other colors. (example: 1 green & 2 red).
- Make sure you use a high quality balsamic vinegar for the best taste!
- If you want caramelized peppers and onions, I highly recommend using a stainless steel or cast-iron skillet for this recipe. While you absolutely can use a non-stick skillet, you won’t get develop as much fond on the bottom of the pan (the browned bits). Those browned bits give the onions and peppers a richer, more complex caramelized flavor.
Recipe Yield: Approximately 5 Cups
Recipe Serves: 4-6
Nutritional information is an approximation based upon 6 servings.
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