Peperonata is simply stewed peppers and it is one of those traditional dishes that Italian cuisine is renown for. I try to make peperonata as often as I can, especially when peppers can be found on sale. I was out for brunch with my family recently, and we stopped off at a local grocery store on our way home.

All I needed were oranges and lemons, but of course, I ended up with four bags full of groceries! There was a great sale on produce, and bell peppers were on sale for less than a dollar each. I couldn’t help myself, and before I knew it, I had a dozen large peppers in my grocery cart.

Once I arrived home, I knew that I would have to find a way to use my pepper bounty as soon as possible. In the end, I settled on this traditional dish of peppers gently stewed in tomatoes. This “pepper stew” is lovely with grilled or roasted meats or as an addition to an antipasti table.

I even enjoy a scoop of these peppers alongside some creamy cheese and crusty Italian bread for lunch or a light dinner. Since I like a bit of spice, I add one or two hot peppers into the mix of sweet peppers but feel free to leave them out if you prefer.

Depending on my mood, I may add other vegetables such as mushrooms and celery, but I always start out with the basic recipe below. This dish freezes well, so I put half my finished pepper dish in the freezer to enjoy over the holidays.

Buon Appetito
Deborah Mele 



Yield: Serves 4 - 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

A tender stew of sweet and spicy peppers that works well as a great side dish.


  • 4 to 5 Mixed Red and Yellow Peppers
  • 2 Hot Banana Peppers (Optional)
  • 6 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Cloves Minced Garlic
  • 1 (14 oz.) Can Chopped Tomatoes
  • Fresh Chopped Parsley
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Pitted Kalamata Olives (Optional)


  1. Wash and dry all of the peppers.
  2. Cut off the tops, and cut in half, removing seeds and membranes and slice into 1 inch strips.
  3. Slice the onion into thin slices, and cut these slices into quarters.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pan, and add the onions, garlic and peppers.
  5. Cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently, until both the onions and peppers have softened and taken on some color.
  6. Add the tomatoes, and reduce heat to a simmer.
  7. Season with salt and pepper and cook for an additional 30 to 40 minutes, adding a little water if the mixture seems to be drying out too much.
  8. Add the parsley and olives, and cook an additional 5 minutes.
  9. Taste once more, and adjust seasonings if needed.
  10. Place mixture into a platter, and allow to come to room temperature.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 151Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 58mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g

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