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banana peppers - what to do with them all?

My banana pepper (sweet) plants are flourishing this year - I'm picking about a dozen peppers a day - pretty good for a handful of plants in my little container garden!

There's just two of us and we can't keep up! My coworkers are meat-and-potato-without-the-potato types, so it's hard to even push them off on others.

Other them putting them on a pizza, what can I do? I've tried them in a few iterations of pasta salads, and they don't work for me that way.

It breaks my heart to have such big, fresh peppers going to waste. We ultimately use about half of what I pick over the course of a week.

Any suggestions? I have a 90-minute-each-way commute - so I try to keep things simple.

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  1. Roast, peel, and freeze for the taste of summer in winter?

    Roast peppers are good in fritata, with sauteed onions and/or roast potatoes and a little fresh herbs and grated cheese of your preference.

    Also, how about stuffed peppers? A large pan of these makes a couple of meals.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Louise

      Banana peppers aren't that big to make stuffed peppers. Just a bit too skinny.

      1. re: descolada

        I fully disagree! Every year we get hot banana peppers and make hot sausage stuffed banana peppers!

        I use the following recipe, except I do half hot sausage and half ground sirloin. The recipe works for 3-4 pounds of peppers, not the eight peppers the recipe calls for! I also make a double batch of the sauce. They free extremely well are are great served over pasta.


        1. re: Rick

          i'll bet that dish is popular. it looks terrific.

    2. Freeze them, straight up. Wash them and let them dry - then lay them out on a cookie sheet and stick them in the freezer overnight. Dump the frozen peppers into a freezer bags and put them back in . Pull them out whenever you need them - they'll still be great for pizza, sauces, etc.

      Sounds like the container garden worked out for you - I've never had the discipline to keep up with them.

      1. A Southern favorite:

        Banana peppers, sliced in half and seeded
        1 c. milk
        1/4 c. flour
        1 1/4 lb. cracker meal, unseasoned
        1 1/4 tbsp. red pepper
        Oil for deep frying

        Cut peppers in half; soak in milk and flour. Combine cracker meal, flour and red pepper to make breading mixture. Remove peppers from milk and roll in breading. Deep fry at 350 degrees until golden brown.

        4 Replies
        1. re: DetectDave

          we deep fry them too but in beer batter.yummy

          1. re: DetectDave

            Hey Dave- so does the heat stay with the peppers or after soaked in the milk does it tame them down

            1. re: Manley

              Hot banana peppers aren't that hot. At best they're mild.

              1. re: descolada

                That depends - some banana peppers can be quite hot.

          2. not that I've ever done this myself, but you could try brining or pickling them and then using them on sandwiches (I'm kind of obsessed with the pepper rings they have at Blimpie) or in salads. I'm so jealous!

            6 Replies
            1. re: Sophia.

              I was going to suggest pickling them as well.

              1. re: QueenB

                what's your recipe for a small amount of skinny peppers to pickle them. Thanks my friend, can you e mail me at jillmccartney7777@gmail.com as i do not get on this site very often.... I appreciate any help as i would love to pickle them... thanks again my friend....

              2. re: Sophia.

                Sophia, Thats what we do also. They make pizza great also. Brining is WAY easy. I bring a quart of water to a boil w/ 2 T sea salt. While its cooling, I clean and chop my peppers and fill my wide mouth quart mason jars. Then I ladle the cold brine over the top to cover the peppers and put a plastic lid on the jar hand tight. I did a real pretty jar of these whole, with red onion rings and garlic cloves too.

                1. re: FarmSchooler

                  Will this actually preserve peppers? No canning? How long will they stay good that way? Thanks for your help.

                2. re: Sophia.

                  I buy the commercially pickled banana peppers all the time. We put them in salads and use as toppings on sandwiches. DH sometimes chops them up fine, and tosses into red sauce for pasta. So, if pickling the fresh ones is easy (and I'd guess it is), that's what I'd do with them.

                  1. re: masha

                    I finely chop the pickled banana peppers and use them in turkey burgers or meatloaf

                3. I usually do this to hot peppers but I don't see why it wouldn't work with sweet ones.

                  I slit up the side and pull out seeds using the back of an Asian soup spoon. Stuff with goat cheese and chorizo or a good blue cheese, cover in egg bath and panko and deep fry.

                  I serve with a sweet and sour.... oh so good.

                  1 Reply
                  1. thanks for the great suggestions, everyone! They will be well tested!

                    And yes, my containers are doing incredibly well, and I'm not exactly a green thumb. I usually hope half of what I plant will live (we travel a lot, so watering is hard) this year - they all did!

                    I really do need to get over my irrational fear of pickling and do some research - it looks like I'll have enough for every option possible. My grandmother had a massive garden and my childhood memories are her holing up in the kitchen for a week or two every summer, with jars all around, doing it. I think it intimidated me into thinking it's more involved than it most likely really is.

                    1. Here's an easy reciepe that I use all the time. Brown bulk sausage and drain thoroughly. Either melt a soft chesse product or make a quick white sauce and add your favorite cheese to it. Mix the cheese (or cheese sauce) into the sausage. Slice the top of the banana pepper off and make a slit down one side, seed the pepper. Spoon the sausage and cheese mixture into the pepper. Cover the entire pepper with store-bought canned cresent rolls to seal them up ( Large peppers may take up to 3 cresents, but with this , the more the better). Bake according to the cresent roll can. These are simply delicious. I usually make 6-8 peppers and refrigerate the left overs. A friend of mine gave me the reciepe, but she uses hamburger instead. If you freeze your peppers whole, you can thaw them out and fix this any time of the year.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: renwill

                        I cut the tops off, and take the seeds out. Put in a ziplock bag, add salt, pepper and a little olive oil. Close the bag, and coat the peppers with the salt, pepper and oil, by shaking the bag. Remove peppers from ziplock. Grill on a medium-high grill (with the cover shut), for 2-3 minutes on each side. Tak off grill, add slices of good feta cheese, and gently place back on grill for a few minutes without turning, to melt the cheese. These have been a favorite of ours this summer, either as an app., or side.

                        1. re: renwill

                          I tried this with goat cheese and puff pastry. It was really good! Thanks for the idea!

                          1. re: renwill

                            OH MY GOODNESS!!!! We tried this and even had some spontaneous dinner guest and we ALL loved this!!!!! My DH brought a big brown paper bag home from work filled with banana peppers and I had no idea what to do with them all so I googled it and crossed this site. I became a member just so I could tell you what a great and tasty idea this it. It was all the satisfaction of a chili relleno but better. No soggy stuff here but awesome flavor. This is what I did:

                            I basically did as instructed but because I’m a real home cook (and not a chef) I improvised with what I had. I used one pound ground beef and one pound Italian sausage. For the cheese sauce I made the white sauce (rue: butter, flour and milk) and then mixed in about ½ pound or so of Monterey Jack Cheese. Oh Yummm….then I mixed it with drained meat and stuffed the filling in the peppers and stated and so forth in the above post.

                            I doubted the tenderness of the peppers to cook in the crescent rolls for only 8-12 minuets (It seemed as though it took about 15 minuets to start to brown out crescents) but the Pepper wasn’t hard and crunchy, it was nice and tender….soooo good. I had left over filling and later in the week I used some of our red bell peppers and quarter them long ways like a boat, filled, wrapped and baked…Still Delish! We served ours with Spanish rice and guacamole…then ate the leftover chilies as a snack during a movie…I have to say…These are Addicting!

                            1. re: renwill

                              I wasn't sure this would cook the peppers, but they were delicious wrapped in the crescent rolls. We stuffed them with Thai laab gai (spicy ground chicken dish), served them with a mango sauce and the flavors were wonderful. The peppers were still slightly crisp but very tender - perfect! We might try puff pastries next time. My banana peppers weren't all nice and straight so it was hard to wrap some of them. Thanks for posting this idea, it's a wonderful way to cook all these banana peppers. Pigs in a blanket with peppers. LOL

                              I also stuffed some with a sausage mix and had a tomato sauce on top - cooked for an hour and they were really good too. I have lots of peppers and don't like them pickled.

                            2. I'm italian and originally from PA and I'm telling you, you could make a mint there w/ your harvest of banana peppers. All the Italians have their own recipe for canned italian peppers. The peppers are cut into rings and doused w/ large amounts of an olive oil blend along with oregano and fresh garlic. Some folks add mushrooms and olives too. But they are served on italian bread w/ butter before meals, on salads, pizza, sandwiches, you name it. They are completely addicting and I've never found them anywhere else.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: lynnlato

                                I am also from PA and purchased the peppers doused in olive oil blend from a woman who lives near our camp. I have been searching for the recipe. Any idea on how to make them?

                              2. I'm in your shoes this summer, 6 plants are yielding many peppers and my tomatoes are not ripe yet so I can not make the chowchow I had planned for them. I'm looking for a way to use them and I'm wondering which recipe ideas worked for you ?

                                1. I'd can them so I have them to eat all winter. You can also clean them and put them in a freezer bag to use in soups and stews through out the year.

                                  It wouldn't be a problem with me. I eat them raw just clean them and eat them with salt. I'll eat 3 or 4 day if I have them in the house.

                                  1. I don't roast or peel, but I dice, freeze spread out on a cookie sheet, then pack in freezer bags to use off season. They are loose, so you can use as much or as little as you need. There's some expression for that....

                                    1. Here is one you can use and enjoy

                                      Cheesy Grilled Banana Peppers

                                      Mild banana peppers, creamy Gouda cheese, a bit of bacon for a smoky richness, and tomatoes to offer a bit of freshness. Grill them to add another layer of flavor to the dish.

                                      Serve these as an appetizer or unexpected side dish at your next barbecue!

                                      Uses panko, or Japanese breadcrumbs in this recipe. You can substitute whatever breadcrumbs you have on hand.

                                      15 Minutes to Prepare and Cook

                                      4 banana peppers, fresh
                                      2 slices bacon
                                      1 tomato, diced
                                      3 oz smoked Gouda cheese, diced
                                      1 T parsley or cilantro, chopped
                                      1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

                                      Preheat the grill to medium heat. Wash and cut the stems off the peppers. Using a fork or vegetable peeler, scoop out the seeds.

                                      Cook bacon until brown but not crisp; drain and crumble. Combine all remaining ingredients and stuff them into the peppers. Wrap each pepper in a piece of aluminum foil, taking care to cover the tops tightly.

                                      Place foil packets on the grill so they stand upright, keeping the filling inside the peppers. Cook with grill lid closed for 10 minutes.

                                      Number of Servings: 4

                                      Nutritional Info
                                      Servings Per Recipe: 4
                                      Amount Per Serving
                                      Calories: 140.7
                                      Total Fat: 7.8 g
                                      Cholesterol: 26.9 mg
                                      Sodium: 244.0 mg
                                      Total Carbs: 10.4 g
                                      Dietary Fiber: 2.2 g
                                      Protein: 8.1 g

                                        1. Here's a really interesting take on how to pickle peppers:


                                          It's the old-fashioned way, by actual fermentation rather than pickling with loads of vinegar (formerly known as "quick pickles").

                                          1. I have a recipe that I just learned from my coworkers, use your banana peppers to flavor your baked chicken. About a month ago I swore off baked chicken for good, it always takes too long to cook, the breast turns out dry, not enough flavor, etc. I was discussing this at work and several of my coworkers suggested I use my abundant supply of banana peppers in my next batch of chicken. So here is my recipe:
                                            Take any cut up portion of chicken (I used whole wings first) then salt and pepper and place in large pan with tall sides not a cookie sheet. Cut up several potatoes, a little bit onion, and about 6-15 banana peppers cut into rings (I just used my kitchen shears to cut them up over my pan) and spread them out pretty evenly over the whole dish. Sprinkle a little thyme and rosemary over the whole dish (I used dry herbs) then sprinkle a little Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning over the whole dish for some extra seasons and a little spice. Lastly add about a 1-2 cups of chicken stock to the bottom of the pan. Cover with foil and bake for approx 1.5-2 hrs at 350' alternating removing the foil for about 15 min after every 30 min. uncovering the last 5-10 min under a broiler to brown the edges some if need be. I use my electric fork to check center temp of chicken starting after the first hour so as to not overcook. Then I serve with rice cooked in chicken stock for even more flavor. My hubbie and I eat the whole pan every time now. I love the way the banana peppers taste cooked like this. I hope you enjoy.

                                            3 Replies
                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                Probably a large fork with a built in meat thermometer, most likely found in BBQ supply sections.

                                                1. re: paulj

                                                  i've got one of those, but it won't reach past the exterior of the meat.....

                                            1. I created a variation on a Northern New Mexican stuffed pepper dish that I served at a party this weekend - it was a huge hit. I used mini-sweet peppers but it would be fine with whole ones as well.

                                              Braise a couple pounds of chuck roast in broth or dry red wine with some chili powder, garlic, cumin, etc. Let cool and shred. Dice and saute a couple of red onions with some salt, then add a couple of chopped very ripe plantains and saute until everything is caramelized. Mix the shredded beef into the plantain and onion, add a handful of toasted pine nuts and some jarred mole sauce (or make your own) to taste and season with additional salt if necessary, or whatever other spices you feel it needs (I like them spicy but others don't so I usually add spice later with a poblano cream sauce on top). Stuff this into your peppers and bake or grill them till soft and charred. So tasty. You could also just bake them halfway and then freeze them - would make for an easy meal later!

                                              1. I had an overabundance of sweet bananas, jalapeno and pepperoncini earlier this summer.

                                                I sliced them into thin rounds and poured them onto a jar with a solution of half white wine vinegar and half water with brining salt and a couple of cloves of garlic and a thin slice of onion.

                                                Shook everything up to dissolve the salt and threw them in the fridge.

                                                This isn't real canning, of course, and I have no idea how long they will last if left alone.

                                                I can tell you that they didn't last very long though, as I was planning dinners around garnishing with those peppers. We put them on sandwiches, burgers, tacos, salads, etc.

                                                I am hoping to get another crop before it gets cold.

                                                1. For a quick snack we like to split in half, wash and clean the stuff with cream cheese or pimento cheese. Great to take to work for lunch, too.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. Freeze them whole. Diced two yesterday, added nice flavor to a meatloaf on the grill. Salads - sandwiches- heck even bloddy marys....

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: Maggie19

                                                      I tired to freeze some last year in air sealed bags and when I thawed them they were soggy and lost their "crunch". Do you have to blanch them first?

                                                      1. re: ingridg2

                                                        The best way I've found for freezing peppers is to cut them into pieces and lay them on a cookie sheet in the freezer. they freeze evenly and completely, then after frozen, move to a ziplock freezer bag.

                                                        1. re: descolada

                                                          Thanks, I'll try that way as I'm about to get way more than I can eat. Last time I just put them in there whole, but ended up throwing them out since they weren't crispy like peppers.

                                                    2. I really like this Hot Pepper Butter. It is a good condiment on lots of things. Or mixed into hot dips.

                                                      Hot Pepper Butter

                                                      36-40 hot banana peppers
                                                      1 quart vinegar
                                                      1 quart prepared mustard
                                                      6 cups sugar
                                                      1 cup flour

                                                      Chop peppers VERY finely or process in food processor.
                                                      Cook peppers, vinegar, mustard & sugar in a large pot & cook until pepper is translucent).
                                                      Make a paste of flour and cold water and add that to mixture in pot, stirring
                                                      constantly. Cook until thick and smooth. Pour into hot jars, seal,
                                                      boiling water bath fifteen minutes.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: ahill

                                                        Wow! How many 8 oz jars do you think?

                                                        1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                          16 8 oz jars. I did 8 pints last year and am just running out. A jar lasts us a while, but I gave a couple away. Time to make some more!

                                                      2. Does anyone have a recipe for banana peppers that contains pepper rings, oil, vinegar, onion , oregano and garlic, ? I have bought these in the past but can't find the recipe. They are in a pint jar but not cold packed. Any ideas??

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: ElaineMarie

                                                          This is the closest I could find. I guess just take out the things you don't want and add in some onion. http://www.cooks.com/rec/doc/0,1818,1...

                                                          1. re: ElaineMarie

                                                            ElaineMarie, I'm so sorry, I just saw your post up above asking for a recipe almost a year ago! I'll post the recipe below for Pennsylvania canned Italian peppers. They are very easy to make. Here is a pic of them from my old food blog: http://mamaliciouseats.files.wordpres...

                                                            Canned Italian Peppers - PA style

                                                            1/4 Bushel hot banana peppers, washed, seeds removed and cut into rings. Toss pepper rings with a 1/2 cup of salt and allow to drain in a colander overnight.

                                                            Toss peppers with olive oil to coat and dried oregano. Place a smashed garlic clove in each sterilized jar and fill jars with peppers and then cover peppers with an olive oil/soybean blended oil (25% olive oil). You can add a 1 ounce shot of white vinegar to each jar before you pour in the oil. Be sure and leave a 1-inch head space. Process jars 5 minutes in a boiling water bath.

                                                            Some folks add green olives or canned mushrooms to the peppers - I do not. If you like them hotter, leave in some of the seeds & membranes. I know the instructions are rather vague but the recipe & process is very simple (and it was given to me by an elderly close family friend - those old school Italians are short on details - ha). But they are soooo good on Italian bread, pizza, salads, hoagies, etc.

                                                            1. re: lynnlato

                                                              lynnlato, those look great, and made me think that they'd be good on cottage cheese, too. or atop some black eyed peas. ;-).

                                                              1. re: lynnlato

                                                                I'm sure this recipe is soooo delicious being from Italian tradition.

                                                                And very respectfully, I'd point out that it would be risky to preserve peppers this way. Peppers have a high pH and need to be canned with a pressure canner unless they are pickled. Products canned with oil are notorious for developing botulism because they create an anaerobic environment even after you open them.

                                                                Safe home canning requires a bit of home study. These folks can explain everything in detail:

                                                                Of course you could prep and eat them right away with the only danger being that you would eat them all in one sitting.

                                                              2. re: ElaineMarie

                                                                1 Bushel Banana peppers wiped down with paper towel (do not wash)
                                                                12 hot peppers (use as many as you like- if you like it hot, use more.)
                                                                Fresh garlic – (you will need ½ cup of chopped garlic and one garlic clove for each jar)
                                                                1 large jug of white vinegar
                                                                1 regular container of Oregano
                                                                1 large jar of Spanish Olives- drained and chopped
                                                                Mazola corn oil
                                                                Pickling Salt 1 Cup
                                                                Cut stem off each pepper then make a cut down the side of each pepper and de-seed and devein.
                                                                Cut each pepper in half-inch rings.
                                                                In a large plastic container, add peppers, vinegar, oregano and pickling salt. Stir and cover with a clean cloth. Let set overnight, stir occasionally.
                                                                Strain pepper in large strainer. Place banana peppers in a large plastic container add chopped Spanish Olives and stir. In large clean jars, add banana peppers mixture then add Mazola corn oil. Finally add one clove of garlic to each jar . Place lid and rim on each jar. Banana Peppers must be refrigerated.

                                                              3. See if you can get this page to open. I just typed up this recipe for stuffed peppers (sausage, cream cheese, shredded cheddar, etc). I think it's awesome.


                                                                1. slice in halves, lay any type of ham on halves, top with feta and broil

                                                                  1. Make pepper relish. Take a standard pickled pepper recipe, and twist it. For every 3 cups of sliced peppers I would use 1cup sliced carrots and 1 cup sliced celery. Substitute honey for the sugar in the recipe. (Maybe toss in a hot banana pepper or two also if you like it zippy.) Can it according to Ball and it has a wonderful fresh taste and you use up a lot of peppers. We used this on sandwiches and in chicken stir frys and it was fantastic.

                                                                    1. I threw some on the grill the other day with other vegetables. We really liked them grilled.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: MrsJonesey

                                                                        I grow sweet banana peppers for main purpose to make and can sweet banana mustard.

                                                                        1. re: ColleenB

                                                                          Share the recipe you use please! I have some growing in the garden now & love to use them every which way, this sounds so good.