DO YOU REMEMBER the bounty of bell peppers I harvested last week? I turned them into Piperade. This fabulous (and freeze-able!) French/Spanish saute of peppers, onion, garlic and thyme instantly transforms everyday food into haute cuisine.  Making an omelet? Give it a shimmering topping of Piperade. Ditto for pasta, fish, chicken, and even frozen, store-bought pizza. The recipe:

First, a disclaimer: I did not make this Piperade all by myself. I received tremendous help from Lily, my ever-lovin’ sous-chef.

Grab an onion…

And slice it up.

Then take a couple of green bell peppers…

And a couple of red peppers…

And turn them into match-size strips.

Tip! The easiest way to slice up a pepper is to first cut sections of wall away from the seed casing, as shown.

This way, the seeds won’t disperse and make a mess of things.

To produce match-size strips (also known as “julienne strips”), cut the wall segments in half…

And cut each half into thin strips, as shown.

Or, just slice the peppers any darn way you like.

If you’d like to add garlic to your Piperade, by all means have at it.

Finely dice the garlic.

Throw all of these ingredients into a big bowl, and mix them up.

Then, in a big skillet set over a medium flame, heat some butter and olive oil.

Tip the pepper mixture into the skillet…

Add a big pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper…

And some leaves of dried (or fresh) thyme.

Then give this scented symphony a quick toss with the polka-dotted spatula that your wacky (but thoughtful!) mother sent to you.

Cover the skillet, lower the heat,  and let the veggies sweat until crisp-tender — about 5 minutes.

Use can use the Piperade right away, or let it come to room temperature and then freeze it. Sealed in plastic bags or little tubs, the mixture will keep for months.

But your Piperade won’t last for months! Because if you have this lovely condiment on hand, you’ll use it up, and rather quickly, too.

Toss it over sauteed chicken, and voila! — you’ve got the famous Basque dish known as Chicken Piperade.

Then there is the aforementioned Omelet Piperade…

And a so-delicious-you-will-swoon Linguine Piperade…

And all kinds of you-name-it Piperades.

Honestly, besides a sensibly-sized bottle of vodka, Piperade is the most-used item I have in my freezer.  Promise me you’ll make this fabulous French flourish some day!

Here’s the printable:


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: about 2 cups


A freezable condiment that turns everyday food into haute cuisine


  • 2 each medium (or large) green and red bell ("sweet") peppers, cut into julienne strips
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • Optional: 1 garlic clove, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon each unsalted butter and good quality olive oil, for sauteing
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • Grinds of black pepper
  • 1 generous teaspoon dried thyme leaves (triple the amount for fresh leaves)


  1. Toss the sliced peppers, onion and optional garlic together in a big bowl.
  2. In a large skillet set over a medium flame, heat the butter and olive oil. Tip the pepper mixture into the skillet, add the salt, pepper and thyme. Immediately toss the ingredients until all become coated with the butter and oil.
  3. Cover the skillet, lower the heat, and let the veggies cook under crisp-tender -- about 5 minutes.
  4. If you plan to freeze this colorful condiment, first let it come to room temperature. Then seal it in plastic bags or tubs. When frozen, Piperade will keep for months.


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  1. Michele Reeves says:

    This looks fabulous! As does all the recipes you post!

  2. Suzanne Bennett says:

    Glad to see Lily looking well! I make this when I buy too may peppers at and need to use them up. It makes everything taste better!!

  3. myrtle miller says:

    I was having a bad day: air conditioner out, exam on Friday and was just feeling blah and then read your post. Had to laugh. Thanks for sharing your world with us. Where’s Lily’s hat?

  4. Hi Kevin,
    Tell me, I know the origin of this handy little mix is French, but do you happen to know what “piperade” means?

  5. Hi Tracy – Pepper is “piper” (peep-er) in the French Basque Country.

  6. Oh Kevin! This post could not have come at a better time. My kitchen counter is covered in bell peppers of all colors. I harvested 12 peppers in one day and I know there are at least 20 more still outside waiting. Last year I made a lot of Cowboy Candy or just cut them up and froze them–and then was faced with what to do with them later. But now there is a solution! Thank you! If you want to know more about Cowboy Candy–let me know. You will love it.

  7. Myrtle Miller – Good idea. Maybe I can find a little toque (chef’s hat) for Ms. Lily to wear for Halloween.

    Hi Cheryl – Cowboy candy? Do tell!

    Suzanne – Yes. Piperade makes almost everything taste better. It’s the first item to disappear from my freezer!

  8. When is your cookbook coming out? Can’t wait!

  9. Hi Kevin–just want you to know that I made your Piperade recipe yesterday! I quadrupled the recipe and It took forever to clean and julienne the peppers–but was so worth it–and now all is in my freezer in 8-oz. bags. Thanks! I would like to share my recipe for Cowboy Candy with you–how can I do that so I can send a photo with it?

  10. Lovely!

  11. Hi Kevin…..That looks so good as do all your receipes. I will throw it together this coming week!! I don’t have a poka dotted spatula, your mom must have your sense of humor, nor a sweet dog like Lily but I know it will turn out fine!!! THANKS!!!

  12. Judy walker nalda says:

    Can you freeze it before cooking, kevin?

  13. Hi Cheryl – So glad you made the Piperade! Let me know how quickly it disappears, okay? Oh – you can post Cowboy Candy recipe here in the comments section — or just email with pix to kevin (at) agardenforthehouse.com (Use @ for “at” and no spaces.)

    Hi Judy – Definitely cook the ingredients first.

  14. Piperade! The photos alone makes me want to lick my iPad screen. I’m definitely going to make a bunch of this. Thank you for sharing.
    Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii

  15. Marvelous, I make this all the time for various recipes and didn’t know it had a name, nor that I can freeze it!! Thanks!!!

  16. Angela Willis says:

    Fabulous, Kevin! My favorite way to eat piperade is on steak tips, a baked potato, or as fajitias! Ummm… so good!

  17. I like your mother’s taste in kitchen tools! I’m not big on space hogging gadgets, but a polka dotted spatula would undoubtedly bring joy to my meal prep.

    The piperade looks good to 😉

  18. Oops, that’s “too”

  19. Love this recipe. Also, love your sous chef.

  20. got peppers from my garden and garlic but am out of onions ugh will have to do this tomorrow after i go to the market ..hubby is taking me out for breakfast so will run in after for the onions and make this tomorrow was out of ideas for the peppers i made 12 stuffed peppers for the freezer and cut up 2 bowls of chopped peppers to add to dishes and gave a bag away and more showed up this am on my counter from the garden i also have so many in the fridge for salads and i just love to eat them raw for a snack so with my bounty i will make a batches of this peperade and keep in the freezer also i will give some to daughter and daughter in law for thier cooking better get a big bunch of onions yahooo cant wait to make this Kevin thanks for the wonderful recipe

  21. Great idea. When I saw the picture of the pizza I assumed you had corrupted the words Pie Parade for a catchy name for your pizza.

  22. Carole – Pie-Parade. Love it!

  23. i could actually smell the Piperade coming off my screen………………………what a great thing to pull out of the freezer when all is grey………

  24. Made a load of this yesterday and didn’t even get it FROZEN before my husband used it in fajitas! Awesome way to use all my peppers!

  25. Please post the Cowboy Candy recipe.

  26. Hi, I just picked some peppers and was trying to figure out what to do with them, besides stuffing them. Then I saw this delicious looking recipe and thought what a perfect new delicacy to try. As always, this recipe looks wonderful! Thank you for the recipe/s!

  27. Kevin..It’s a winner!!! Delish!!

  28. I often do this and add sliced fresh mushrooms.

  29. Kathryn Phillips says:

    Kevin – your newsletter is the only one I receive that I really look forward to. Every one is a delight! I just finished making a batch of Piperade (I went online to find out how to pronounce it!). When I was searching for the pronunciation, I saw other variables of the recipe and yours was the only one that I even considered. It turned out wonderfully, was a breeze to make even though I didn’t have a polka dotted spatula. (I also didn’t have a darling little Lily to supervise, but my two Golden Retrievers were right there waiting for something to maybe drop.) The only change I made was to add a little lemon pepper. I don’t have a pepper mill and my garlic seemed devoid of flavor, but the lemon pepper gave it the zing I seemed to be missing.
    Thank you for your newsletters – you are truly awesome

  30. Perveez jamaji says:

    Hi Kevin the piperade recepe looks and smells great too, no wonder lily is nosing around, I have
    some pork chops and will go great with them I am sure, I did not make enough to freeze, just enough to try today. Thanks a lot for this easy recipe. Now that peppers are plentiful in the market I,ll be making it and serving it more often.

  31. Donna Augenstein says:

    I love all your presentations on this site. They are helpful and inspirational, Above all, I adore your humor, tossed in like a surprise burst of lemon zest!

  32. I use this mixture as the “Peppers” of Italian Sausages and Peppers. ( the onions and garlic spice it up.). This was so good that my Wisconsin brother-in-law said that he was giving up bratwurst and making these instead.

  33. Another winner–thank you so much!! And Hello Lily

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