How to Core and Seed a Bell Pepper

Go From Whole Pepper to Strips in Just a Few Steps

Slicing bell pepper
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Whole bell peppers are not the most convenient shape when you need to end up with thin, even slices of pepper. It is bulbous and hollow inside, with a narrow core, bits of seeds, and connective membranes. The challenge in cutting a bell pepper is turning this roundish fruit into nice, straight, flat, and consistent pieces, without wasting too much produce. 

Before you begin, make sure you have a cutting board and a sharp knife, and that you know how to use a chef's knife and you're familiar with the basic grips.

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Watch Now: How to Cut a Bell Pepper

  • 01 of 08

    Trim Off the Bottom

    Begin By Trimming Off the Bottom

    The Spruce / Danilo Alfaro

    Once you are ready to get started, place the pepper on its side on the cutting board and evenly trim off the bottom end. This way, the pepper will stand up straight.

  • 02 of 08

    Slice Off the Top

    Slice Off the Top

    The Spruce / Danilo Alfaro

    If you're making knife cuts that need to be nice and straight (such as a batonnet), the bottom and top pieces will be hard to manipulate into your desired shape. So you will need to cut off the top of the pepper. You can toss it, snack on it, compost it, or dice it and use in another recipe.

  • 03 of 08

    Stand Up the Pepper

    Turn Pepper Onto Its Bottom

    The Spruce / Danilo Alfaro

    Looking down into the interior of the pepper, you can see that there are several ribs that attach the pepper's core to its outer shell or hull. The objective is to slice through those ribs, thereby detaching the hull in a single piece, while leaving the outer shell intact. Find a spot anywhere on the edge of the pepper, other than where one of the ribs meets the outer shell, and position the tip of your knife there.

  • 04 of 08

    Slice From Top to Bottom

    Slice the Pepper from Top to Bottom

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    Make a single cut from the top of the pepper to the bottom.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Sweep Your Knife Through the Inner Ribs

    Sweep Your Knife Through the Inner Ribs

    The Spruce / Danilo Alfaro

    This step is the tricky part. A sharp knife makes this easier because you'll barely have to apply any pressure at all. As if you are unrolling the pepper, sweep the blade sideways along the inside of the flesh through the ribs. As you do this, the entire pepper should just unfurl itself on the cutting board.

    If you're not totally confident in your knife skills, don't worry. Place the pepper back on its bottom (as in step 4) and just cut out the individual panels (the wide square sections separated by the ribs) by making a series of straight downward cuts. The pepper won't be in one single piece when you're done, but more importantly, your hands and fingers will be.

  • 06 of 08

    Remove the Core

    Remove the Core

    The Spruce / Danilo Alfaro

    If cut correctly, the core and all the seeds should come out all in one piece. Discard or compost them. 

  • 07 of 08

    Trim the Membranes

    Trim the Membranes

    The Spruce / Danilo Alfaro

    You can unroll the pepper so that it sits flat on the cutting board. Then trim out the little white membranes.

  • 08 of 08

    Ready to Cut

    Voila! You've Removed the Core and Seeds from a Pepper!

    The Spruce / Danilo Alfaro

    Now that you've transformed that weird bulbous fruit into a nice straight flat shape, you're ready to slice and dice it any way you like.