Peperonata (Sautéed Peppers and Onions)

Peperonata or Sautéed Peppers and Onions - Italian bell pepper, onion, tomato sauté, with garlic, ground oregano, and fresh basil. An easy summer side dish.

Elise Bauer

Peperonata - Sautéed Peppers and Onions

Have you noticed the brightly colored bell peppers in the market lately? They're glorious.

Here's a quick and easy recipe for Italian peperonata, or sautéed peppers and onions with fresh plum tomatoes, garlic, and basil.

This is one of those "I almost ate the whole batch" dishes, only reluctantly shared with my parents who agreed they were terrific.

How to Sauté Onions and Peppers

Peperonata recipes come in many versions; some get cooked a good long time, some get cooked with potatoes, or without tomatoes. This dish is certainly open-for-improvisation!

Rather than cooking the peppers until they were stew-like, we opted for a light sauté so there is still some crunch in the vegetables. A perfect side dish for chicken or fish, these sautéed peppers and onions go great on bread, and great on their own too.

By the way, we made a little video of a quick and easy way to slice bell peppers. Enjoy!

Peperonata (Sautéed Peppers and Onions)

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded, sliced into 2 1/2- to 3-inch-long strips

  • 2 yellow bell peppers, seeded, sliced into 2 1/2- to 3-inch-long strips

  • 2 orange or green bell peppers, seeded, sliced into 2 1/2- to 3-inch-long strips

  • 1 large onion, sliced into half-moons

  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thin

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 4 to 5 Roma or other plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn roughly

  • Lemon juice


  1. Sauté the onions:

    Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onions. Sprinkle with a little salt and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until the onions just begin to color.

  2. Add the peppers:

    Add the peppers and stir well to combine with the onions. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring often. The peppers should be al dente—cooked, but with a little crunch left in them.

  3. Add the garlic:

    Add the garlic, and sauté another 1-2 minutes.

  4. Add salt, sugar, oregano:

    Sprinkle a little more salt over everything and add the sugar and dried oregano. Cook 1 minute.

  5. Add the diced tomatoes:

    and cook just one minute further.

  6. Add basil, black pepper, lemon juice:

    Turn off the heat and mix in the torn basil. Grind some black pepper over everything. Right before serving squeeze a little lemon juice over the dish.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
134 Calories
9g Fat
13g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 134
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 55mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 85mg 423%
Calcium 43mg 3%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 330mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.