Bell Peppers: Do the Different Colors Taste Any Different?

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Bell peppers come in the colors green, yellow, orange, and red.

Bell peppers come in the colors green, yellow, orange, and red.

Information About the Bell Pepper

Bell peppers are also known as "sweet peppers." Many people consider them a vegetable, but they are technically a fruit. Bells are part of the Capsicum species. They are the only Capsicum that doesn't produce capsaicin. Capsaicin is the chemical in peppers that causes the spiciness. That is why bell peppers are referred to as sweet peppers, because they are sweet, not spicy.

You can enjoy peppers plain, with a veggie dip, or cooked into a meal. Many people enjoy stuffed bell peppers filled with ground beef, garlic, onion, and tomatoes. You can use a bell pepper ring and cook an egg inside it on the stove-top for a unique and nutritious breakfast choice.

Did you know bell peppers were packed with vitamins? Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and more are all provided by this fruit-like vegetable.

Green bell peppers are typically cooked.

Green bell peppers are typically cooked.

Green Peppers

Green peppers are the most commonly used bell pepper. They have a rather bitter taste. Not many people enjoy eating them plain because of this, but they are a popular ingredient in cooking. This version is not yet ripe and that is why the taste is off compared to the brightly colored versions.

Yellow bell peppers are good plain or cooked.

Yellow bell peppers are good plain or cooked.

Yellow Peppers

These are actually my favorite bell peppers. They taste the best, in my opinion. Yellow peppers have an almost fruity taste and are very sweet. They are great for cooking or eating plain.

Orange bell peppers aren't as popular as the other colors.

Orange bell peppers aren't as popular as the other colors.

Orange Peppers

Orange peppers are the least commonly used peppers. They are similar to the yellow pepper but a little less sweet. These are good for eating, and they're also good for cooking and adding some color to your plate.

Red bell peppers are the sweetest.

Red bell peppers are the sweetest.

Red Peppers

Red peppers are said to be the sweetest and juiciest bell peppers. They are fully ripe and the most mature. Since they are fully ripe, they contain more nutrients than the other peppers (including vitamins A and C). Also, red peppers contain lycopene, which is a carotenoid that may lower the risk of various cancers. If you're going to choose just one color to eat, then red should be on your plate!

A Purple Pepper?

A purple bell pepper is possible...

A purple bell pepper is possible...

Did you know that purple bell peppers are also possible? I didn't! I only recently discovered that a vibrant purple pepper was an option. It's still sweet like its red, orange, and yellow counterparts. In some locations, a green pepper can turn to white due to the weather. Eventually a purple stripe may develop, leading to the entire thing shading darker to a deep purple hue. If you can't find this color in your local shop, you can try to get some purple pepper seeds online instead. Purple-shaded foods, like blueberries, are often higher in antioxidants.

So, Do They Taste Different?

Yes! The different colors of bell peppers actually do taste different. Green is the least ripe and the most bitter. The others are much sweeter, with red being the sweetest. If a recipe calls for green peppers, or you simply feel like adding some color to your meal, I would choose yellow or red (or maybe even the unique purple) instead. Red is said to have the most nutrients and is one of the healthiest "vegetables" you can eat.


MarG on May 06, 2020:

We love stuffed peppers with a filling of browned ground beef, cooked rice, onion and canned diced tomatoes, and stir in some chili powder. Use ALL the different colors of peppers. They are ALL delicious this way.

DL on August 01, 2019:

Green are my favorite for omelettes, together with red onion, sliced mushrooms, and either ham, bacon, or sausage. Have a bumper crop of peppers this year in my garden from a variety called "Wonderful".

Philly on June 14, 2019:

Green peppers are picked to promote growth in the plant but why waste them

Brad Bodie on April 23, 2019:

My wife and I are 66 years old, and we have spent our lives ignorant of the truth about bell peppers! We always bought green and avoided the rest — but NO MORE! Today I will venture out and boldly purchase a red and a yellow... where no one in our family has gone before. So tonight we can begin our new adventuresome life... thanks for the information!

Rachelle Whiting on March 22, 2019:

Totally agree yellow is where it is at. Loved the traffic light analogy

Vhon (Weston Super Mare, Somerset) on July 30, 2014:


My daughter Amelia and I eat them raw, we love them she even take pepper sticks to school as a snack, I've heard that peppers are good for you if you have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) not sure if it's true. So if anyone can tell me that would be great xx

P.S... excellent write up on colours and taste xx

jenny on March 09, 2014:

I eat them raw, like apples! Red, yellow and orange chopped up in a bowl. I cook more with the green peppers. I grow 4 different types in my veggie garden. Purple ones are very sweet too. Very healthy!

Brandi Goodman (author) from Holland, MI on April 02, 2012:

Robin, red peppers are definitely better looking and tasting than the green, so I can see why you'd use them the most. They're also the healthiest out of the 4, so that's good for you! I like all of them. Yellow is probably my favorite, but I use all of them equally.

Robin Oatley on April 02, 2012:

I just recently had a discussion about the differences between these colors. I don't care for green peppers at all, though I really like the red ones. Whether it's just cut in pieces, in a salad, in a pasta sauce or some kind of stew; always red peppers. And for the color, sometimes a yellow or orange one ;)

Brandi Goodman (author) from Holland, MI on March 19, 2012:

Thanks everyone for the comments. Glad you enjoyed my hub. I was making a stir-fry type of dish last week and bought all 4 colors of bell peppers to use. I wondered then, do they really taste any different, and took a bite of each to find out. They did! Then I did some research and put it in a hub. I read that the red actually has double or more nutrients than the green! Very interesting to find out. Thanks again to all for reading.

Dianna Mendez on March 17, 2012:

I love bell peppers in my salad raw or sauteed with a little onion and garlic. I do prefer the yellow for the milder taste and color. Great hub topic and voted up.

Leah Kennedy-Jangraw from Massachusetts on March 17, 2012:

Nice hub! Good information.

I tend to use red and green interchangably, so that is interesting that red are the better option nutrient-wise. Sometimes I use yellow or orange like Rochelle Frank said I also use them when I want to make a dish look nicer.

Rochelle Frank from California Gold Country on March 16, 2012:

I use the red ones frequently-- always have some on hand. I don't care for the bitterness of the green ones, but yellow and orange are nice too. I love the fact that they are nutrient rich, but the side benefit is that they make your dinner plate look so much prettier.

Thanks for the information.

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