Many folks often ask, “what to do with banana peppers?” Sure, they’re great for salads, but did you know there are tons of amazing banana pepper recipes out there?
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If you’ve ever had a garden and grown banana peppers, you know how prolific banana pepper plants are. One day, you’re excited about the one pepper your plant has produced, and the next day, you’ve got a bushel of bright yellow peppers. The good news is that there’s so much you can do with them.
Banana peppers are usually medium-sized mild chili peppers with a tangy but slightly sweet flavor. They are generally bright yellow but can turn red, green, or orange as they mature.
Unlike their cousin, the jalapeno, banana peppers are about five times milder with a sweet and zesty taste that’s very popular in many recipes like pizza, salads, and sandwiches.
They can be eaten fresh, although most folks eat them pickled. And, as you probably guessed, banana peppers got their name because they resemble bananas.
People also tend to confuse banana peppers for pepperoncini, but they are not the same, while these peppers look very similar. For one, banana peppers measure lower in spiciness, with only 1-500 Scoville Heat Units.
On the other hand, pepperoncini have 100-500 SCU. It’s a minor difference but still pretty notable. Also, banana peppers are typically smooth, whereas pepperoncini have wrinkled skin.
Banana peppers, known for their mild tangy taste and bright yellow color, can be a perfect addition to many dishes. These versatile peppers can be used in various ways, from salads and casseroles to sandwiches and pizza toppings. This article will explore some delicious and creative banana pepper recipes that are sure to delight the taste buds and awaken the senses.
Utilizing banana peppers in cooking is not only about adding flavor to the recipe, but they also offer various health benefits. Rich in vitamins A, C, and fiber, these peppers make a nutritious choice for any meal. Plus, they have a surprisingly low Scoville heat rating, making them enjoyable for those who may not tolerate spicier peppers.
From stuffed banana peppers and tangy pickles to savory pasta dishes and hearty soups, there are countless ways to incorporate this delectable pepper into one’s culinary repertoire. The following recipes will showcase the versatility of banana peppers, offering options for appetizers, main courses, and everything in between. So, let the culinary adventure begin!
Understanding Banana Peppers
Color and Spiciness
Banana peppers are a popular type of pepper that can be found in various colors, including yellow, orange, red, and green. These colors indicate the level of ripeness of the pepper, with green peppers being the least ripe and red peppers being the most ripe. The spiciness of banana peppers can also vary; however, they generally have a mild taste compared to other peppers.
The spiciness of a banana pepper can be attributed to the amount of capsaicin it contains. Typically, banana peppers have a Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) rating ranging from 0 to 500, making them one of the least spicy pepper varieties. Additionally, the sweetness of the pepper increases as it ripens, with red banana peppers being the sweetest among the color variations.
Cultivation and Harvest
The cultivation of banana peppers is relatively straightforward and can be done in a home garden or on a larger scale in fields. These peppers thrive in warm, sunny environments and should be planted after the last frost of the season, ideally in well-drained soil with a pH ranging from 6.0 to 6.8.
To ensure proper growth and development, it is essential to space the plants about 18-24 inches apart. The peppers will begin to appear on the plant approximately 60-75 days after planting and should be harvested when they reach their desired size and color.
There are several ways to harvest banana peppers:
- Using a sharp, clean pair of garden scissors, snip the pepper stem approximately ¼ inch above the fruit, making sure not to damage the plant.
- Gently twist the pepper off the stem, taking care not to tear the skin of the fruit or the plant.
It is essential to handle the harvested banana peppers carefully, as they can bruise easily. Once harvested, the peppers can be preserved through various techniques, such as pickling, freezing, or drying. They can also be used in a wide range of banana-pepper-recipes, such as salads, salsas, and stuffed peppers, adding a delicious flavor and a touch of mild spiciness to your dishes.
Storing and Preparing Banana Peppers
Banana peppers are versatile and can add flavor to various dishes. To get the best results, it is essential to store and prepare them correctly. This section discusses pickling banana peppers and other storage methods.
Pickling is a popular way to preserve banana peppers. A pickled banana pepper recipe typically includes vinegar, sugar, and salt as its main ingredients. The brine can be made using white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or a mix of both. The sugar used can be white sugar or brown sugar, depending on your preference. Additionally, spices like celery seed can be added to enhance the flavor of the pickled peppers.
- Clean and slice the banana peppers: Carefully wash and remove the seeds from the banana peppers, then slice them into rings.
- Prepare the brine: In a pot, combine vinegar, sugar, salt, and any additional spices you prefer. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Add the banana peppers: Submerge the sliced peppers in the boiling brine and cook them for a few minutes.
- Transfer to jars: Using tongs, place the cooked peppers into clean, sterilized jars. Pour the brine over them, ensuring they are fully covered.
- Seal and store: Seal the jars and let them sit for a few days at room temperature before refrigerating. Pickled banana peppers can be stored for several months in the fridge.
In addition to pickling, there are other methods to store banana peppers. Here are two common methods:
- Refrigeration: Banana peppers can be stored in a plastic bag or container in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer. Ensure the peppers are dry and well-ventilated to prevent excess moisture. This method can keep them fresh for around two weeks.
- Freezing: To extend their shelf life, freeze banana peppers in an airtight container or freezer bag. Before freezing, you may want to slice or dice the peppers, depending on how you plan to use them. Frozen banana peppers can be used in recipes like stir-fries or stews and maintain their quality for up to 6 months.
By properly storing and preparing banana peppers, you can enjoy their flavors and benefits in various dishes. Pickled banana peppers can be used in salads, sandwiches, or as a topping for your favorite pizza, while fresh or frozen peppers can be incorporated into cooked dishes for a burst of flavor.
But you still want to know what to make with banana peppers, right?
Well, below, we’ve got 11 delicious recipes using banana peppers that are sure to knock your socks off!
Last summer, while we were on vacation, my wife and I came across a local restaurant serving a few unique appetizers. After trying their beer-battered banana peppers, we were blown away and thought we’d try making it at home.
After some searching, we found this amazing recipe, and I must say, it’s become one of our all-time favorite fried treats! At big get-togethers, my family often battles over who gets the last ring!
These pepper rings are super-easy to make, and if you don’t want to mess with traditional frying, you can also throw him in the air-fryer for the same amazing results.
The ingredients you need for this recipe are pretty straightforward. You’ll need canned banana pepper rings, all-purpose flour, salt, and corn oil.
Some of the most popular sweet banana pepper recipes involve pizza. There’s just something magical about banana peppers on top of a hot, cheesy, melty, saucy pizza that just takes it over the top.
This recipe shows you have to make pizza from scratch with a homemade crust and sauce. The combination of spicy pepperoni and tangy banana peppers is just a match made in heaven!
The ingredients you’ll need for this recipe include pizza dough, pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, pickled banana pepper rings, pepperoni slices, and red pepper flakes.
You can also add a bit more spice by switching out the mozzarella for pepper jack or adding more cheeses like Monteraray jack and parmesan for a super cheesy experience!
If you like stuffed jalapeno and bell peppers, then you definitely need to try stuffed banana peppers. They bring a whole new dimension of flavor to your favorite stuffing and are super-easy to make.
Plus, they are freezer-friendly for when you need some quick appetizers. With hearty cheese and sausage, these stuffed peppers make for a great breakfast, lunch, or dinner as well.
The ingredients you’ll need to make this dish include banana peppers, cooked sausage, cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, pepper, and garlic salt.
If you want to freeze them, we recommend baking them first. You can freeze them without baking them, but the taste and texture are much better if you cook them beforehand.
This recipe for Mississippi Roast is perfect for all kinds of recipes, such as sandwiches or served with veggies. This recipe delivers a juicy, tender roast with an incredibly zesty and savory flavor you’ll fall in love with!
Plus, you can make this recipe ahead of time and store it in the fridge for up to five days or freeze it for three months!
The ingredients you’ll need include chuck roast, stone seasoning (black pepper, kosher salt, granulated garlic, or garlic powder), and banana peppers.
You can also make this recipe closer to the traditional recipe by adding ranch seasoning and corn starch.
This dish is perfect with roasted carrots and mashed potatoes, and you can even turn it into a delicious soup or stew!
If you grow your own banana peppers or just like to buy fresh ones from the store, you can make your own pickled banana peppers at home using just a few simple steps.
Best of all, it’s surprisingly quick, so you don’t have to wait weeks or months. However, the longer you allow them to soak in the brine, the tastier and tangier they’ll become.
The minimum should be about 24 hours, but if you can hold out for at least a week, you’ll get even better results.
The ingredients you’ll need include banana peppers, garlic cloves, white vinegar, water, kosher salt, sugar, mustard seeds (optional), and celery seed (optional).
These are amazing on salads, in sandwiches, and other dishes!
While stuffed banana peppers are fantastic, when you add bacon to the party, you’ve got yourself a real situation because there’s no way you’re getting away with just making one batch of these babies!
Combining banana peppers’ tangy, sweet flavor with melty cheese and crispy bacon creates a legendary appetizer your guests won’t stop talking about for years.
The ingredients for this recipe include banana peppers, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, cream cheese, diced tomato, diced onion, diced green bell pepper, diced jalapeño pepper, salt, pepper, and thick-cut bacon slices.
Also, you want to get larger 6-7-inch banana peppers for this recipe as they are much easier to stuff.
When it comes to hot banana pepper recipes, this hot stuffed banana pepper pasta dish knocks it out of the park!
These savory bites of banana peppers stuffed with Italian sausage really jazz up any style of pasta.
The ingredients you’ll need include sweet Italian sausage, olive oil, grape tomatoes, banana peppers, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, crushed garlic, cooked pasta, and grated cheese (optional).
We also tossed our pasta in a delicious pesto sauce for even more flavor, but it’s also great plain or with marinara.
Another one of our favorite stuffed banana pepper recipes combines the flavors of three types of meats and cheese to create a distinct flavor.
Plus, this recipe freezes very well, so you can enjoy this dish as a quick meal anytime.
The ingredients for this recipe include tomato sauce, banana peppers, minced garlic cloves, salt, large eggs, ground beef, pepper, bread crumbs, hot Italian sausage, Parmesan cheese, ground veal, minced fresh basil (or dried basil), and olive oil.
The full-flavored sweet tomato sauce really adds new dimensions to this dish. I also added a bit of mozzarella cheese to the recipe, both in the stuffing and on top, for a melty delight!
You can serve this dish with rice, over noodles, or with mashed potatoes.
Another great variation of stuffed banana peppers uses buffalo chicken for an unforgettable taste.
If you love buffalo chicken wings and stuffed peppers, then this recipe for stuffed buffalo chicken banana peppers is a match made in heaven!
The spicy boldness of the buffalo chicken combined with the rice and cheddar cheese make for a super delicious and hearty meal. Also, the saffron rice adds something special in taste and texture.
The ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe include fresh banana peppers (the bigger, the better), chicken breast, canned cream of chicken soup, yellow saffron rice, water, shredded cheddar cheese, salt, and Mrs. Dash seasoning mix.
Once these come out of the oven, you’ve got yourself something to smile about!
Another great recipe for fresh banana peppers is garden fresh banana pepper salsa, which combines tangy and spicy flavors to create a wonderfully flavorful salsa.
Plus, it’s a super healthy power-packed with nutrients!
The ingredients you’ll need include scotch bonnet or habanero peppers, banana peppers, sweet onion, diced tomatoes, white sugar, brown sugar, lime juice, minced garlic, canned tomato paste, vinegar, cilantro, and salt.
This salsa is perfect with tortilla chips, burritos, quesadillas, and tacos. But, you can also throw this on steak, grilled or baked chicken, fish, or any meat dish you can imagine.
Finally, we have this simple chicken recipe that combines banana peppers with Italian seasonings to create a mind-blowing meal you’ll want to make every week!
Italian banana pepper chicken is also quick and easy to make, with some authentic flavors of Itlay and a sweet, tangy kick thanks to the banana peppers.
This dish is perfect for those busy weeknights when you don’t have much time to spare in the kitchen.
The ingredients for this meal include boneless, skinless chicken breasts, Italian seasoning, olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder, pickled banana peppers, shredded mozzarella cheese, and butter.
You can also add some shredded parmesan cheese into the mix for an even more incredible flavor!
And here’s a video with a fantastic recipe for beef and banana pepper stir-fry.
Slow Cooker Pepperoncini Roast (11+ Delicious Banana Pepper Recipes)
- 3 pound beef roast
- 1 Tbsp. Stone House Seasoning
- 1 jar Pepperoncini peppers
- 1.5 tsp. ranch seasoning mix
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
- Add all ingredients to the slow cooker, with the roast on the bottom.
- Cook on low for 8 hours.
- Shred using two forks and serve
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.