This warm Sauteed Bell Pepper Salad with Carrots and Red Onion is the perfect side dish for cooler weather. Thinly sliced Bell Peppers are sauteed quickly in a garlicky olive oil for lots of flavor, and retain all their crunch and nutrients.
Perfect as a side dish or for tacos or fajitas!
As the weather cools down, I find myself wanting to eat warm foods. Cold side salads just don't cut it any more.
This Warm Bell Pepper Salad is the perfect solution: Crisp, flavorful, light, nutritious like a salad but with a bit of warmth thanks to a quick sate of the sliced bell peppers.
It's the perfect compromise between healthy and comforting, without going into Soup Mode.
How to make Bell Pepper Salad:
This cold-weather salad is a combination of bell peppers, red onion, and carrots all thinly sliced and sauteed for a hot second in a garlicky olive oil.
The bell peppers and the rest of the veggies retain their crunch and their nutritional value because the cooking time is so quick. The bell peppers gain a super tasty garlicky flavor from a quick trip to the skillet.
Related recipe: Pan-fried green beans with balsamic sauce
The sauteed bell pepper salad gets a drizzle of lemon juice and a dash or salt and pepper to give it more flavor. A pinch of fresh diced parsley for a pop of color and and freshness.
This bell pepper salad is a great alternative to lettuce salads. You still get all the fresh veggies and all the benefits of a healthy salad, but you get so much more flavor without any heavy dressings, and without chewing on lettuce or spinach leaves for what feels like dayssss.
I love the color and flavor of this bell pepper salad and how easy it is to make. The part that takes the longest is thinly dicing all veggies. And you do want to take the time to dice all the veggies as thinly as you can get them - this will make the salad feel so much better in your mouth.
Time-saving tip to make this sautéed bell pepper salad:
You can wash and prep the veggies up to a day in advance and store them in the fridge in a closed container. This way when you are ready to cook the salad it will take you all of 5 minutes to finish make it.
This makes it perfect for a healthy weeknight side dish.
A few tips to make this bell pepper salad extra tasty:
Fresh is best! I definitely recommend using fresh garlic, fresh lemon juice, and fresh parsley for this recipe. The whole salad will taste so much fresher this way.
Here are a few of my favorite tools for making this salad - they definitely make it easier to make things fresh:
- Lemon Squeezer. It only takes a few seconds to use this, and freshly squeezed lemon juice has a brighter flavor than the bottled stuff. And a bonus - no preservatives needed! I got one of these as soon as I saw my mom use it once to squeeze lemon juice onto a salad. Brilliant.
- Garlic press. Just one press and your garlic is minced. No fine dicing required. My mom got me this one as soon as I moved out on my own and it's still going strong 13 years later.
- Herb scissors. Sooo much easier than chopping by hand, and fun to use! I have these and I love them.
Recipe variations for this bell pepper salad:
If you end up making this salad a few times, you'll probably want to try switching things up a bit. So here are some ideas for how you can change this basic recipe to make a whole new dish:
- Add some crumbled feta cheese on top of the salad. Everything is betta with feta!
- Try it with lime juice and cilantro instead of lemon juice and parsley
- Add a teaspoon or two of fajita or taco seasoning while you're sauteing the veggies
- Take it a step further and serve this salad on top of tacos the next day!
Shop for this recipe:
More than a side dish
This bell pepper salad is a great side dish, and goes really well with meat dishes. I would serve this salad with meatballs (how about my Mediterranean Meatballs Recipe) or kebabs (Pork and Vegetable Kebabs), and a generous helping of mashed potatoes.
This bell pepper salad would also make a great topping for tacos or fajitas. I would recommend making fish tacos with this 10-minute Chili Lime Swai recipe and topping the tacos with this bell pepper recipe. It would be so tasty! Different, but tasty.
Let me dispel a popular myth about bell peppers...
Contrary to what many websites say, bell peppers do NOT all come from the same plant. Lots of websites claim that different color bell peppers are just different levels of ripeness - that bell peppers turn yellow, then orange, then red. THIS IS FAKE NEWS.
Yes, all bell pepper start out green, which is how you get green bell peppers. But the color they turn when they ripen depends on what kind of plant they are - yellow, orange, or red. There are even purple bell peppers! And multi-colored ones! But they are all different - but related - plants that are meant to grow different color peppers.
Think about it - that's why when you buy bell pepper seeds or plants for your garden they sell seeds for different color bell peppers. And that's why they ripen right from green to yellow, or from green to orange, depending on what kind of bell pepper plant they are.
So don't believe everything you read on the internet.
Anyway, enough about bell peppers.
Here are some other healthy fun recipes you might enjoy:
- Charred corn salsa - a warmed up corn salsa recipe that can double as a corn side salad!
- Roasted Brussels sprouts and chickpea salad
- White bean kale soup with root vegetables
- Spicy crunch chicken salad
- 20 Minute Sausage and shrimp skillet with bell peppers
- Garlic chili chicken and bell pepper stir fry
If you enjoyed this recipe, please let me know with a comment and a star rating below, and don't forget to save it on Pinterest for later!
Warm Bell Pepper Salad
- 1/2 red bell pepper (see notes)
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper
- 1 medium carrot
- 1/2 small red onion
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (from 1/2 of a lemon)
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves chopped
- Remove the seeds from the bell peppers. Peel the carrots. Thinly slice the bell pepper, carrots, and red onion.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over low heat, and add the minced garlic. Saute the garlic for 2-3 minutes, trying not to let the garlic brown. Add the sliced bell peppers, carrots, and onion to the pan and stir fry for about 1 minute, until the veggies are coated in the garlic oil and are warmed up. Season with salt and pepper.Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Serve warm, garnishing with fresh parsley leaves.