Do Bell Peppers Go Bad? How Long Do Bell Peppers Last?

Bell peppers come in a variety of colors. You can get them in red, yellow, orange, and green. They all have different flavors but similar needs.

Quick Answer

Whole bell peppers when stored properly can last from 1 to 2 weeks. Green bell peppers last a little bit longer. Whole green peppers can be kept for an extra week. Once the peppers have been cut, they will last for only about 3 days. If the bell peppers have been cooked, bell peppers should be used within 3 to 5 days.  Bell peppers will last in the freezer for about 10 to 12 months whether they are whole, cut, or already cooked.

There is a lot to know about bell peppers before it even comes to cooking them. You need to know how to properly store them, whether or not they can be frozen, and how to tell if they’re bad. Read on to find the answers.

Do Bell Peppers Go Bad? How Long Do Bell Peppers Last?

All varieties of bell peppers have a different length of shelf life depending on how they are stored. They can be left out, kept in the fridge, or stored in the freezer.

How Long Do Bell Peppers Last Left Out?

Raw peppers that are whole can last when stored on the counter for about 4 to 5 days. They will typically begin to wilt after that.

Cut bell peppers should not be left out and should be refrigerated if not used right away. The USDA recommends that cut vegetables that are unrefrigerated should be discarded after 2 hours.

As is the guideline with most cooked foods, cooked bell peppers should not be left out for more than 2 hours. Bacteria can rapidly grow in those conditions.

How Long Do Bell Peppers Last In The Fridge?

Whole bell peppers that are stored properly in the refrigerator can be good for about 1 to 2 weeks. Green peppers fare a little better and can be good for up to 3 weeks.

Cut bell peppers of any color should be properly stored and can remain good to eat in the refrigerator for about 1 to 3 days.

Cooked bell peppers follow the same guidelines as many other leftovers. They should not be kept in the refrigerator for more than about 5 days.

How Long Do Bell Peppers Last In The Freezer?

The freezer is known for extending the shelf life of many foods and it does the same for some fresh produce. Bell peppers are one vegetable that can be frozen.

It is not typical to store whole bell peppers in the freezer. They can, however, be cut before frozen and will last in the freezer for about 10 to 12 months.

Cooked bell peppers have a very similar shelf life in the freezer. When packaged correctly, they can last in the freezer for around 10 to 12 months.

Bell peppers are very versatile and can be stored in many different ways. The fridge is your best option for short-term storage while the freezer offers a safe option for long-term storage.

How To Tell If Bell Peppers Have Gone Bad/How To Know Bell Peppers Are Fresh?

Fresh bell peppers, whether they’re red, yellow, orange, or green, have characteristics that help you know they are fresh. You often look for these when you’re selecting them from the store.

Texture: Fresh bell peppers should be firm to the touch. When bitten, they should be crisp, crunchy, and juicy.

Color: Good bell peppers should have a vibrant color and should appear glossy.

Taste: Orange bell peppers have a sweet, tangy, and fruity flavor. Green bell peppers are a little tangier and slightly bitter. Red bell peppers are the sweetest bell pepper. Yellow bell peppers are sweet and fruity.

There are also ways to tell if bell peppers have gone bad.

Texture: Bell peppers that are nearing the end of their shelf life will become wrinkled on the outside and the skin will be softer. After becoming soft, they can begin to get slimy and mold can start to develop.

Soft spots: Peppers can develop soft spots. If there are just one or two small soft spots, you can cut those out but if there are a lot or the soft spot is large, throw it out.

Cut Peppers: Cut peppers will develop a white moistness on the side where it was cut. They should not be eaten if you see this.

How To Store Bell Peppers?

Bell peppers can be stored several different ways depending on if they’re whole, cut, or cooked.

Whole Peppers: Whole bell peppers of any color would best be stored in the vegetable crisper drawer in your refrigerator. The moisture level in that drawer helps keep your peppers fresh and crisp.

Cut Peppers: Once the bell pepper has been cut, it needs to be placed in an airtight plastic bag or plastic container and stored in the fridge. Another option you have is to freeze them for longer keeping.

Cooked Peppers: Cooked peppers are often stored the way many leftovers are: in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. 

Can You Freeze Bell Peppers? How?

Bell peppers can be frozen to help extend the shelf life. This can be done with cut or cooked bell peppers.

Select good peppers: Make sure you select peppers that are firm, crisp, and tender.

Clean them: Wash the peppers by using a clean vegetable brush under cold running water.

Remove stems and membrane: Cut out the stem and remove all of the seeds and membrane inside the pepper.

Cut how you like: You can cut the peppers into strips, dice, slice, or mince them depending on what you plan on using them for.

Tray freeze: Freeze the peppers on a clean cookie sheet in a single layer until they are frozen. This should take 1 to 2 hours.

Bag them: Transfer the frozen peppers into a freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible.

Use as needed: When following these directions, you can use the amount of frozen pepper needed and reseal the bag to keep the rest in the freezer for longer.

Cooked Bell Peppers: If you are freezing cooked bell peppers, let them cool completely before storing them. Place them in a freezer bag or airtight plastic container. 

How To Thaw Bell Peppers?

Thawing bell peppers is as easy as freezing them.

Place in the fridge: You can thaw your bell peppers by removing them from the freezer and placing them into the fridge overnight.

Microwave: You can thaw your bell peppers out in the microwave. Run the microwave in 20-second increments until they are thawed.

Drain them: If you use the microwave, you may need to drain the excess water. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Bell Peppers Shelf Life

I ate a slimy bell pepper: will I get sick? You can get sick from eating old bell peppers because they can grow bacteria and mold. While it shouldn’t make you dangerously ill, you should avoid it if possible. The appearance of a rotten pepper is usually enough to keep you from eating it. Eating old or rotten bell peppers can cause digestive problems. The slimy stage usually comes before it starts growing mold.

My bell peppers are wrinkly; can I still eat them? Yes! Bell peppers can start to wrinkle as a result of moisture loss. They are not as attractive and are not ideal for serving on a veggie tray with dip because they will not be as crisp. They would be fine to use in cooking dishes such as stir fry or an omelet. The pepper taste may be stronger since the pepper is so ripe.

Wrap-Up

Bell peppers are a great vegetable that can be enjoyed raw or cooked. I hope you have learned the best way to store them and tips for spotting rotten ones.

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