Caramelized Onions and Bell Peppers

5 stars based on 3 votes

caramelized onions

Eaten raw, bell peppers are sweet and crunchy yet when cooked, they become tender, luscious and – in this case – ever so slightly charred.  The same goes for the onions, which start off sharp and pungent, but transform into sweet caramel-colored ribbons. Try this dish with steak, spicy Italian sausage or on top of a bowl of hot and creamy polenta.


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Caramelized Onions and Bell Peppers

Servings: 4
Total Time: 25 Minutes


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  2. Cook, stirring every few minutes, until onions are caramelized and peppers are tender and slightly browned, about 15 - 20 minutes.
  3. Add balsamic vinegar and thyme and turn heat to low. Cook for a few more minutes. Taste and add remaining salt and pepper if desired. Serve hot or at room temperature.
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Reviews & Comments

  • Has anyone tried freezing recipe for future use? Thanks in advance.

    - Alexandra Caruana on June 23, 2018 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Excellent and easy! I’ll make this again.

    - Anna on March 5, 2018 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I buy a 3-pepper blend, frozen, in Kroger. Can your recipe be frozen safely and used as needed? I use it to make omelets. Thanks!

    - Paul Wooten on February 5, 2018 Reply
    • Hi Paul, I’ve never frozen these, but I think it would be perfectly fine.

      - Jenn on February 5, 2018 Reply
  • Having a party and would like to know how far in advance that this can be made or keep in the fridge once made? Thank you.

    - Alberta on July 25, 2017 Reply
    • These would be good for 2 – 3 days if stored in the fridge. Hope you enjoy!

      - Jenn on July 26, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Thanks. I have used this recipe multiple times since I happened upon it. I often eat this with grilled lamb – either backstraps or loins, and a good Mediterranean salad that has to include olives and feta. If you can add some good homemade hummus, even better. Cheers.

    - Lobster on May 17, 2016 Reply
  • Holy delicious! I put this on a chicken burger with guacamole and it was amazing.

    - Jacob on May 24, 2014 Reply
  • I have been wanting to try a pepper, or capsicum as they are called here in New Zealand, recipe forever- I’m so glad I tried this one. So good!! Already planning when I can make it again. Just working my way through the whole site since every recipe Jen does is the bomb. Thanks for doing what you do!

    - Katie on February 9, 2014 Reply
  • I added garlic and poblano to this and it was gorgeous! I also drizzled with olive oil after which gave it a wonderful fresh pop.

    Love it! Thank you!

    - Sylvia on May 17, 2013 Reply
  • Having the best year ever for my garden – lots of peppers. Love the bright colors & flavor of this dish. We enjoyed it with some grilled chicken – perfect summer meal. Just can not beat the fresh flavors of home grown!

    - Cherie on October 2, 2012 Reply
  • So simple and so good.

    - Amy Flick on May 21, 2012 Reply
  • I had this last night with Grilled Salmon. What a Treat..Just right and pleasing to the eye as well as the palett

    - Bob Smith on May 15, 2012 Reply
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