Italian Fried Peppers (friggitelli in padella)

This super easy Italian fried peppers recipe is the perfect appetizer for everyday meals. Serve with some crusty bread and enjoy them in your al fresco dinner any weeknight!

Italian fried peppers

About The Recipe

Italian fried peppers or friggitelli in padella is a traditional Italian dish that is quite simply just fried peppers. A very simple yet flavorful recipe with only a few ingredients. 

The recipe is made with a type of pepper called friggitelli that is known in other parts of the world as Cubanelle peppers, Italianelles, or Sweet Italian Long Pepper.

The traditional recipe for making frying peppers is by just frying them whole with the stem on in extra virgin olive oil with salt.

Then they are eaten by grabbing the pepper by the stem, putting the pepper in your mouth, and then pulling the stem off and discarding it.

Italian fried peppers

What Are Friggitelli Peppers?

Friggitelli peppers are long peppers that change in color from green to yellow to red and have a slightly sweet and bitter taste. 

In the Campania region, those sweet peppers are known by the name of friarelli (not to be confused with friarielli – which has an I before the E).

Italian frying peppers can be eaten at every stage of their growth and are a great pepper for frying up in some olive oil. 

Like all peppers, Italian peppers are a good source of Vitamin C and a great source of fiber. They are a great addition to any diet. 

Raw Italian frying peppers

How To Make Italian Fried Peppers?

Place peppers in a large colander and wash them under cold water.

Leave the sweet peppers to drain for a couple of minutes then spread them on a kitchen towel and pat dry them to remove the excess moisture.

Pat drying friggitelli peppers with a paper towel.

Now, heat a good glug of extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat.

Add the peppers. Don’t worry if they are overlapped, they will shrink during the cooking.

Italian peppers friggitelli in a pan.

Sauté for 5 minutes or until the peppers get blisters on all sides.

Sautéing Italian friggitelli peppers in a pan.

Now, add about 1/4 cup of water, place the lid on and reduce the heat to low.

Allow cooking the friggitelli for 8 minutes or until nicely soft on all sides. Remove the lid and sauté for a couple of minutes until all liquid has gone.

Italian fried peppers, aka Italian frying peppers fully cooked on a pan.

Allow to cool down, then transfer to a plate and serve your Italian fried peppers. Buon appetito!

Recipe Notes

  • I suggest you rinse your peppers thoroughly before cooking them and pat them dry with a dish towel so they are not wet when you put them in the pan.
  • Preheat the olive oil so the friggitelli start to cook as soon as you put them in the pan. 
  • This is a very simple recipe, ingredients quality is the one thing that makes it outstanding, that’s why Extra virgin olive is really my oil of choice as it is the least processed of all olive oils and has an amazing flavor. 
  • For a flavor kick, sauté one or two garlic cloves with the skin on along with the peppers. Remove before serving.

How To Serve

Italian fried peppers are served as an antipasto (appetizer) on their own or with some crusty bread on the side to soak up the extra olive oil.

Grab a baguette or focaccia from your local bakery or make up this Faster No Knead Bread. Or just stuff them in a sandwich! 

If you are looking to serve these frying peppers as an easy side dish, try these Classic Italian Meatballs or serve them alongside this Beef Braciole With Tomato Sauce

Though not traditionally served this way, I sometimes like to sprinkle some red pepper flakes and grate some Parmigiano cheese on top. 

FAQS

What is the best substitute for an Italian frying pepper?

If you can’t find Italian frying peppers you can substitute with sweet bell peppers, Anaheim, or Poblano peppers. 

Are Italian frying peppers spicy?

No. Italian frying peppers have a sweet and bitter taste compared to bell peppers and are not spicy at all.

Can I cook friggitelli peppers in the oven?

Yes, definitely you can make Italian frying peppers in the oven. Just place them on a large baking sheet in a single layer, toss with olive oil and bake at 360°F/180°C for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with salt before serving.

Do the stems have to be removed before cooking friggitelli peppers?

I recommend keeping the stems on so you can pick up the peppers and eat them. Finger foods are great in my book and eating these peppers with our fingers alongside some friends and a glass of wine is my kind of meal. 

What are Italian frying peppers called?

Italian frying peppers are called friggitelli. You can find them in other parts of the world as cubanelle peppers or just Italian long-shape peppers.

Can I make a double batch of these peppers?

You can double the batch of peppers and keep half in the fridge for another meal. These peppers can easily be added to sandwiches and salads or turned into a pasta dish. 

How To Store

Store any leftover Italian frying peppers in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. I don’t like freezing these peppers because they become mushy when defrosted, so I wouldn’t recommend you place leftovers in the freezer.

More Italian Recipes

Italian fried peppers

Italian Fried Peppers (friggitelli in padella)

author Maricruz
Friggitelli in padella, known as Italian fried peppers, is an easy and simple dish that can be served as an appetizer with crusty bread or as a side for main dishes.
prep 5 minutes
cook 15 minutes
total 20 minutes
serving 2

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb Italian friggitelli peppers (aka cubanelle peppers)
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt (to taste)

Instructions
 

  • Wash friggitelli peppers under running cold water.
  • Pat dry them with a kitchen towel.
  • Heat a good glug of extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
  • Add the peppers and sauté for 5 minutes or until they get blisters on all sides.
  • Add about ¼ cup of water, place the lid on and reduce the heat to low.
  • Allow cooking the friggitelli for 8 minutes or until nicely soft on all sides.
  • Remove the lid and sauté for a couple of minutes until all liquid has gone.
  • Allow to cool down, transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with salt. Serve.

Notes

  • I suggest you rinse your peppers thoroughly before cooking them and pat them dry with a dish towel so they are not wet when you put them in the pan.
  • Preheat the olive oil so the friggitelli start to cook as soon as you put them in the pan. 
  • This is a very simple recipe, ingredients quality is the one thing that makes it outstanding, that’s why Extra virgin olive is really my oil of choice as it is the least processed of all olive oils and has an amazing flavor. 
  • For a flavor kick, sauté one or two garlic cloves with the skin on along with the peppers. Remove before serving.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 183kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 1172mg | Potassium: 479mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 7101IU | Vitamin C: 290mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg
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