how to cut a bell pepper quickly

Josiah and I recently took a super short vacation to gather with his side of the family in Tahoe, California. While we were making dinner together one night, his brother Ben (who works at one of my favorite food places) stopped me as I was cutting up some bell peppers for shish kabobs. He politely mentioned that there’s a much more effective way to cut them.

What, you mean my “cut around the top stem and try to shake out all the seeds” method wasn’t the best? Ha.

Here it is….. How to cut a bell pepper quickly:

how to cut a bell pepper quickly - The Burlap Bag

This might not seem like that big of a change – but I had to cut 6 bell peppers that night – and there was no “shake out the seed” mess happening! This way really simplifies the process. He called it the “box method”.

As you can see in the photos above:

1. Cut off the bottom. This makes it so your bell pepper can stand all on it’s own, usually even if it’s a wonky shaped one!
2. Cut off “side 1”. You’re going to be cutting off all 4 sides, making this the “box method”.
3. Cut off “side 2”. 
4. Cut off “side 3”. 
5. Cut off “side 4”. (as you do this more and more, you can practice at getting your sides even – and your “seed avoiding skills”. Josiah did it in the photos above, for the first time ever, so our sides are all a little uneven. Noob)
6. Discard the core and seeds! Admire all your lovely bell pepper chunks. And cut them up more as needed. Plus you can still use the bottom that you cut off.

Seriously, that’s all! No cutting around the stem and then digging out the seeds. This will leave most seeds in the middle with the stem, and great rectangle pieces for you to cut as you need!  You can cut the big pieces in half or thirds and they are perfect for dipping – or in thin slices for lovely fajitas.



  1. Rae August 14, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Perfect timing for this post! Kabobs are on the menu this week at my house!

  2. Mike Panic October 5, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    This is a great tip – but cutting on glass will damage your knives, much better to use a wood cutting board, preferably end grain.

  3. Apryldawn Lister October 15, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    I guess if you want that shape but we always use them in long slivers for dipping so cutting the top off real close to the stem, then give the stem a twist & it falls right out & you get to use all of the pepper by the stem no waste at all.

  4. Katie October 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Bell peppers are my favorite snack…thanks for this!

  5. Lauren June 3, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    A way that’s quicker!
    1. Cut off the top about an inch from the stem.
    2. Pop out the stem from the top you cut off
    3. Pull out the core and smack the pepper on the counter one time.
    4. Wa-la! Cut it how you wish.
    It takes me all of about 30 seconds to completely cut the pepper from start to finish for cooking, dipping etc!
    Hope this is useful!

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