This bell pepper salad bursts with vibrant color and sweet-meets-savory flavor in 10 minutes or less! Sliced mini sweet peppers steal the show with their concentrated flavor and extra satisfying crunch.
This bell pepper salad comes from my cookbook. I wrote it as a bit of a love letter to those candy-sweet bags of mini peppers that live next to the lettuce at the supermarket. I often snag a bag on a whim with little plan for when I get home. The sweet, crisp peppers become an easy (accidentally gluten-free) vessel for hummus, often threatening to steal pita chip’s throne.
I tend to slice any remaining stragglers for a fresh and easy salad. This version, with juicy tomatoes, briny olives, and bright fresh dill is my favorite combination thus far. It’s pretty enough for a dinner party, comes together in minutes, and is filled with great texture and fresh, summery flavor.
This simple bell pepper salad swaps a fancy dressing for a no-whisk lemon vinaigrette of sorts. Tart sumac brings a Mediterranean flair, but you can leave it off if you don’t have it on hand–or, better yet, stock up at the shop. You can serve this right away if you’re short on time, but a quick 20-minute rest is worth the extra-bold flavor it brings.
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Bell Pepper Salad Ingredients
Make this bell pepper salad in the late summer and early fall, when the sweet, crunchy peppers and juicy tomatoes are at their prime. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Mini sweet peppers: You can make this fresh salad with any bell peppers you’d like, but I love the extra crunch, vibrant color, and burst of sweetness from the miniature peppers that come in the big bags at the grocery store.
- Tomatoes: Use the juiciest tomatoes you can get your hands on. Campari tomatoes are easy to find and super sweet, but you could replace them with halved cherry or grape tomatoes if you’d like.
- Scallions: Add a sweet and savory onion flavor that plays well with the tomatoes and peppers. You can substitute with shallot, chives, or red onion if you’d like.
- Dill: Add a fresh, bright quality and Mediterranean flavor. Substitute with parsley or mint if you’re not a fan.
- Garlic: Crushed garlic adds a mild kick without overpowering.
- Olives: Add a briny flavor to balance the bright lemon and sweet and savory fruits and vegetables. You can leave them off or substitute with capers if you’d prefer.
- Seasoning: Kosher salt and black pepper enhance the flavor. Sumac, a Mediterranean spice often compared to lemon zest, adds pops of brightness. You can read all about it in our guide, What is Sumac? To add this incredible spice to your list of flavor makers you can find our favorite sumac at our shop!
- Lemon: Both the zest and juice add acidity to balance the sweet flavors.
- Extra virgin olive oil: Adds richness to bring the salad together. Use a high quality flavorful variety. I like our Spanish Hojiblanca to give this salad a peppery element, but any of the oils from our shop would be delicious in this recipe.
How to Make Bell Pepper Salad
This bell pepper salad comes together in minutes but benefits greatly when the flavors can get to know each other. Try to allow 20 minutes of resting time if you can. Here’s how you make it:
- Mix the salad. Grab a large mixing bowl to add the veggies to as you go. Stem and thinly slice 1 pound of mini sweet peppers. Quarter 6 Campari tomatoes. Trim and chop 2 scallions (both white and green parts). Chop enough dill fronds to yield ½ cup. Mince 1 small garlic clove. Pit and roughly chop 6-8 marinated olives. Toss everything to combine.
- Dress the salad. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sumac (if using) and a large pinch of salt and pepper (about ½ teaspoon each). Zest in 1 lemon, then slice it in half and squeeze in the juice. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and give it a good toss. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Rest and serve. If you have time, set the salad aside for 20 minutes or so before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
What to Serve with Bell Pepper Salad
This bell pepper and tomato salad is super versatile: it goes with just about any savory main, either as a side dish or as part of a bigger mezze spread. It’s very fresh and crunchy, so it goes particularly well alongside creamy dips, like whipped feta or hummus and pita chips or a simple crudités platter.
You really can’t go wrong with the main course, but something spicy and savory to go with the sweet and bright salad will have your taste buds singing. Grilled chicken legs with garlic-harissa marinade or spicy salmon both come to mind.
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Bell Pepper Salad with Mini Sweet Peppers
- 1 pound mini sweet peppers (any color or a mix), stemmed and thinly sliced into rings
- 6 Campari tomatoes, stemmed and quartered
- 2 scallions, trimmed and chopped (both white and green parts)
- ½ cup chopped fresh dill fronds
- 1 small garlic clove minced
- 6 to 8 marinated olives, green or Kalamata, pitted and roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon sumac (optional)
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Mix the salad. In a large bowl, combine the bell peppers, tomatoes, scallions, dill, garlic, and olives. Sprinkle with the sumac and a large pinch of salt and pepper (about ½ teaspoon each).
- Dress the salad. Add the lemon zest and juice along with the olive oil and give it a good toss. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Rest and serve. If you have time, set aside for 20 minutes or so before serving to allow the flavors to meld.