How To: Dehydrate Bell Peppers

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Learn how to dehydrate bell peppers to preserve your harvest at the height of freshness! This easy preserving method takes the guesswork of storing your peppers.

Dehydrating peppers is a fantastic way to preserve their vibrant colors, flavors, and nutritional benefits for extended periods. Whether you’re a home gardener with an abundant harvest or simply a pepper enthusiast looking to explore new culinary possibilities, learning how to dehydrate sweet bell peppers opens up a world of opportunities in the kitchen.

The process of dehydrating peppers not only ensures longer shelf life, but also concentrates their taste, making them an excellent addition to spice blends, soups, stews, and countless other dishes. Plus, using dried peppers can help reduce food waste while providing you with a convenient and cost-effective way to enjoy your favorite pepper varieties all year round.

This guide to dehydrating bell peppers is dedicated to vibrance.

Dehydrated bell peppers in a gold measuring cup.

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Tips


  • Pick the freshest, most vibrant foods you can when dehydrating. The most important reason for this is that the fresher the food that goes into the dehydrator, the fresher the flavor and texture when reconstituted.
  • Aim for consistency in your slice or dice. I say it with every dehydrating recipe I post, but it bears repeating! The more consistent the pieces you are dehydrating, the more consistent the drying time, the final result, and the rehydrated product.
  • It can be a bit of a pain for storage purposes, but storing the dehydrated bell peppers in smaller jars is better – because we are removing so much volume, a lot of peppers fit in one jar. Large jars mean more opening and closing the jar and exposing your dehydrated veg to the air which can degrade the quality.
  • I do almost all of my dehydrating in a dehydrator – I find the process much easier with the help of a smidge of heat and some airflow, but if you don’t have a dehydrator, my sister has an excellent guide on how to dry peppers without a dehydrator!
  • Some people recommend blanching your peppers before drying, but I have never found a noticeable difference between blanched and unblanched peppers – so I take the time savings and skip that step!
Dried sweet peppers in a mason jar.

Key Ingredients

Peppers: Choose fresh, firm, ripe bell peppers without blemishes, holes, or mold. Any peppers with wrinkled or dark spots should be either discarded or have those bits cut out.

While this recipe is written for bell peppers, it will work for any pepper; poblano, serrano, habanero, etc. though, I do have a guide on dehydrating jalapeno peppers if you’re looking for one that deals specifically with hot peppers.

Labeled ingredient photo containing red, yellow and green sweet peppers.

How To Dehydrate Bell Peppers

Prepare Peppers:

  1. Wash your peppers well in cool water. Allow them to air dry, or dry with a soft, clean kitchen towel. Excess moisture left on the peppers means more work for your food dehydrator!
  2. Slice off the stem of your peppers and remove the membrane and seeds from each pepper.
  3. Decide how you’d like them prepared:
    Rings – Slice peppers in 1/4 – 3/8″ rings
    Strips – Slice pepper in half, then cut into 1/4″ strips.
    Diced – Slice peppers into strips, then dice to desired size.
    Halves – Slice peppers in halves.
    The larger to pieces, the longer the drying time.

Dehydrate Peppers:

  1. Spread prepared pepper pieces on dehydrator trays, it’s important to keep it in a single layer, again, to improve drying time, efficiency, and consistency.
  2. Dehydrate peppers at 125f until completely dry. Test for doneness by removing a few pieces and allowing them to cool to room temperature, then bend them. Fully dried peppers will snap, peppers that aren’t quite done will bend.

Store + Condition:

  1. Once the pepper pieces are completely dried, allow the racks to cool in the dehydrator for 30-45 minutes before transferring to long term storage containers. This allows the heat to dissipate and reduces the chances of condensation forming in your storage container.
  2. Once the dried pepper pieces are in storage containers, shake the jar each day or so for a week and observe the container for signs of moisture. If there are no signs of moisture, you’re good to go, place them in a cool dark place for long-term storage! If there is evidence of moisture in the container, you must add the peppers back to the dehydrator and dry it longer. After they’ve been dried the second time, you’ll need to go through the conditioning process again.

Batch + Storage Information

Batch: 

There is no limit to how many peppers you can dehydrate using this method, aside from your available dehydrator space!

Storage:

Dehydrated peppers, when properly stored in an airtight container, preferably glass jar, in a climate controlled location will maintain their quality for at least 12 months. Aim to keep yours in a cool, dark location, away from light that can degrade the quality during long term storage.

I personally like to store dehydrated sweet peppers in jars and vacuum seal them in my Avid Armor USV32 chamber vacuum sealer! It works amazing for removing the air from mason jars, giving my dehydrated goods a longer shelf life.

From there, they go into our storage room in the basement, where they are protected from sunlight, heat, and temperature swings.

More Dehydrating Recipes To Try

How To Rehydrate Peppers

The steps to rehydrate dried bell peppers are the same as most dehydrated foods – add an equal amount of dehydrated pepper and water – by volume – and allow to soak.

The dried pieces can be reconstituted using hot water or cold water, hot water will begin cooking the peppers while cool water will take longer to rehydrate. Avoid soaking for longer than 2 hours – it can get a little gross!

If you’re adding dehydrated bell peppers to soups and stews, just toss them into the boiling pot. The soup will do all the work for you!

You’ll know the pepper pieces are rehydrated when they are nearly the same size as they were before going into the dehydrator.

Overhead view of dehydrated peppers in a gold measuring cup.

Converting Fresh To Dried

Dehydrating removes around 95% of the moisture in the peppers so the weight drops drastically, the pepper pieces themselves will also shrink in size.

The conversion from fresh to dried is going to be different for each way you prepare your peppers. I usually find that 3 tablespoons dried diced peppers = 1 cup fresh diced peppers.

My favorite way to determine the conversion is to fill the top rack of my dehydrator with 2 cups of prepared peppers, and then measure the resulting volume after dehydrating and divide by 2. Then I write the conversion for that batch on a strip of painters tape and stick it to the side of my jar.

Measuring bell peppers going onto dehydrate tray.

Using Dried Bell Peppers

These dried peppers can be used similarly to fresh peppers. The texture won’t be quite the same, but the flavor is there. I recommend using them in a cooked dish or a recipe that doesn’t rely on the crunch of fresh pepper.

Use your dehydrated peppers:

  • Dry them till brittle and blend them in a spice grinder, food processor, or high-powered blender to make an incredible homemade paprika powder.
  • Blend them with salt in a food processor or blender to make a mild version of my JALAPENO SALT!
  • Add to soups, stews, and pasta sauce for a flavor boost without the mess.

More Preserving Recipes You’ll Enjoy

Reducing Drying Time

When it comes to peppers, drying time is crucial. The longer the drying time, the less tender and flavorful the rehydrated peppers become.

It’s important to prepare your peppers in uniform pieces, whether that be slices, rounds, strips, or cubes. One of the easiest ways to do ensure consistency is to use a chopper or food processor or a really sharp knife! This ensures that most of the pieces are sufficiently dried within the same timeframe.

Leaving space between the pieces on the trays is another way to help reduce drying time. Sounds simple, but it allows airflow around all sides of the pepper, ensuring even drying.

Some hurdles are harder to overcome than consistent knife skills and spreading the bits. High humidity in your home or rainy days can drastically affect the drying time, expect your peppers to take much longer when the humidity is higher.

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Dried sweet peppers in a mason jar.

How To Dehydrate Bell Peppers

Allyson Letal
Embrace the vibrant flavors of dehydrated bell peppers in your pantry Packed with nutrients and bursting with color, these preserved gems add a delightful twist to your dishes. From adding a pop of crunch to your salads and stir-fries, to enhancing the taste of soups and stews, dehydrated bell peppers are versatile and convenient.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Dehydrator Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 10 minutes
Course Preserved
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 29 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb bell peppers

Instructions
 

Prepare Peppers:

  • Wash your peppers well in cool water. Allow them to air dry, or dry with a soft, clean kitchen towel. Excess moisture left on the peppers means more work for your food dehydrator!
  • Slice off the stem of your peppers and remove the membrane and seeds from each pepper.
  • Decide how you'd like them prepared:Rings – Slice peppers in 1/4 – 3/8" ringsStrips – Slice pepper in half, then cut into 1/4" strips.Diced – Slice peppers into strips, then dice to desired size.Halves – Slice peppers in halves.The larger to pieces, the longer the drying time.

Dehydrate Peppers:

  • Spread prepared pepper pieces on dehydrator trays, it's important to keep it in a single layer, again, to improve drying time, efficiency, and consistency.
  • Dehydrate peppers at 125f until completely dry. Test for doneness by removing a few pieces and allowing them to cool to room temperature, then bend them. Fully dried peppers will snap, peppers that aren't quite done will bend.

Store + Condition:

  • Once the pepper pieces are completely dried, allow the racks to cool in the dehydrator for 30-45 minutes before transferring to long term storage containers. This allows the heat to dissipate and reduces the chances of condensation forming in your storage container.
  • Once the dried pepper pieces are in storage containers, shake the jar each day or so for a week and observe the container for signs of moisture. If there are no signs of moisture, you're good to go, place them in a cool dark place for long-term storage! If there is evidence of moisture in the container, you must add the celery back to the dehydrator and dry it longer. After they've been dried the second time, you'll need to go through the conditioning process again.

Notes

Batch: 

There is no limit to how many peppers you can dehydrate using this method, aside from your available dehydrator space!

Storage:

Dehydrated peppers, when properly stored in an airtight container, preferably glass jar, in a climate controlled location will maintain their quality for at least 12 months. Aim to keep yours in a cool, dark location, away from light that can degrade the quality during long term storage.
I personally like to store dehydrated sweet peppers in jars and vacuum seal them in my Avid Armor USV32 chamber vacuum sealer! It works amazing for removing the air from mason jars, giving my dehydrated goods a longer shelf life.
From there, they go into our storage room in the basement, where they are protected from sunlight, heat, and temperature swings.

how to rehydrate peppers

Add an equal amount of dehydrated pepper and water – by volume – and allow to soak.
The dried pieces can be reconstituted using hot water or cold water, hot water will begin cooking the peppers while cool water will take longer to rehydrate. Avoid soaking for longer than 2 hours – it can get a little gross!
If you're adding dehydrated bell peppers to soups and stews, just toss them into the boiling pot. The soup will do all the work for you!

converting fresh to dried

Dehydrating removes around 95% of the moisture in the peppers so the weight drops drastically, the pepper pieces themselves will also shrink in size.
The conversion from fresh to dried is going to be different for each way you prepare your peppers. I usually find that 3 tablespoons dried diced peppers = 1 cup fresh diced peppers.
My favorite way to determine the conversion is to fill the top rack of my dehydrator with 2 cups of prepared peppers, and then measure the resulting volume after dehydrating and divide by 2. Then I write the conversion for that batch on a strip of painters tape and stick it to the side of my jar.

Nutrition

Serving: 8gCalories: 29kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 1gFat: 0.3gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 5mgPotassium: 239mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 3550IUVitamin C: 145mgCalcium: 8mgIron: 0.5mg
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