A brief overview of the popular pepper variety known as banana peppers. Learn how to grow them, what they're used for, and more!
What are Banana Peppers?
A popular pepper variety for use in cooking is the banana pepper, often referred to as banana chiles or yellow wax peppers, they are not to be confused with pepperoncini peppers as they are totally different from one another.
Banana peppers tend to be larger than typical hot peppers, and they can vary in color from yellow to green (called as hot banana peppers) to orange to red or crimson (known as sweet banana peppers).
These small peppers get their name from their curved banana-like shape and slightly yellow hue, although some varieties can appear almost entirely green.
Some common uses for banana peppers include pickling or roasting and using them as a topping or garnish on pizzas, sandwiches, and tacos. They can also be sliced up into salads or chopped up and added to soups or stews for extra heat and tangy flavor.
What Do They Taste Like?
Some people say that banana peppers taste like a cross between hot and bell peppers. Others say they have a more mild, sweet flavor with just a hint of spiciness. Either way, banana chili is a popular ingredient in many dishes, from salads to pizzas.
As banana peppers can range from mildly sweet to moderately spicy. This makes them a great option for those who want to add a little bit of spice to their dishes without going overboard.
What Are Stuffed Banana Peppers?
Stuffed banana peppers, also known simply as stuffed peppers, are a popular dish made by filling them with a flavorful mix of ground meat, rice, and spices. Though there are many different ways to prepare stuffed peppers, most recipes include variations on these basic ingredients.
- These unique stuffed peppers are typically prepared by cutting the tops off of them and then removing the seeds and pulp.
- The peppers can then be filled with a variety of ingredients depending on the desired flavor profile of the dish. Some popular combinations include ground beef, cheese, spices or quinoa, beans, corn, and salsa.
- Whatever the filling is, it is important to make sure that it is well seasoned and evenly distributed throughout each pepper.
- Once prepared, the stuffed peppers can either be baked or pan-seared until they are hot and crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside, whether you're looking for a delicious appetizer or an easy weeknight dinner.
How To Grow Banana Peppers
Growing banana peppers is a fun and rewarding gardening experience that is easy to do at home.
- Pot or Container: To get started, you will need a container or pot that is at least 6 inches deep.
- Seedlings: Once you have selected the perfect pot, all you need to do is plant your seeds directly into the soil and water the soil just enough to make the soil moist. Plant your banana pepper seeds in rows about 6 to 10 inches apart and then water them thoroughly. Start with the seeds indoors for the first two months, then move the pot outside.
- Planting: Be sure to choose a spot in your yard that gets plenty of sunlight and has well-draining soil. You can remove the plant from the pot, plant them directly in the ground, and water it.
- Growth: Over time, they will grow big and strong, eventually producing beautiful yellow or red fruit that is perfect for cooking or snacking.
- Caring tips: To help your plants thrive, remember to keep them well-fertilized and mulched with organic matter like compost or peat moss.
- Pruning: Additionally, pruning out any withered or yellowing leaves can help prevent disease and leave more energy for new fruit development.
When To Pick Banana Peppers?
Traditionally, they are ready to be picked when they are ripe in size (4-5′′ long) and have a pale yellow tint. However, if they are left on the plant for longer, they will continue to turn orange before becoming red.
How To Freeze
If you've ever had a bumper crop of these peppers, or want to enjoy the taste of summer all year round, freezing is a great option. Peppers can be frozen whole, in slices, or as part of a recipe. Here's a step-by-step guide to freezing them:
- First, wash the peppers and remove the stems. Cut the peppers into the desired size - whole, sliced, or chopped.
- Next, blanch the peppers in boiling water for two minutes. This will help to preserve their color and flavor.
- After blanching, immediately place the peppers in cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Once the peppers are cooled, drain them well and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for two hours or until solid.
- Once frozen, transfer the peppers to a freezer bag or container and label them with the date. Frozen banana peppers will keep for up to nine months.
How To Pickle Banana Peppers
This delicious method of preserving peppers is easy to do at home and can add a unique flavor to any dish. Here's everything you need to know about pickling banana peppers.
- Supplies: First, you'll need to gather your supplies. You'll need fresh banana peppers, a sterile jar, white vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and spices.
- Equipment: You'll also need a stovetop and a canning pot.
- Prep: Sterilize your jar by boiling it in the canning pot for 10 minutes. Then, wash your yellow wax pepper and slice them into thin rounds or leave them entire. Add the peppers to the jar.
- Cooking: In a small saucepan, mix together the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and spices. Bring the mixture to a boil and then pour it over the peppers in the jar.
- Pickling: Make sure the peppers are completely covered with liquid. Seal the jar and let it cool to room temperature.
- Storing: Store the jar in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks so that the flavors have time to develop. After 2 weeks, you can start using your pickled banana pepper in all your dishes such as sandwiches, salads, pizzas - really anything you like.
People Also Ask [FAQs]
Banana peppers are indeed low-carb. They are a fantastic option for individuals following the ketogenic diet because they are low in net carbohydrates and barely processed.
Banana peppers are not spicy. They taste sweet and mild, and they are about five times less spicy than the typical jalapeno. It would be a stretch to describe these peppers as "hot," as their taste is more akin to a mild tang.
Wrap up: Banana peppers
- They are also known as banana chilies or yellow wax peppers, a type of pepper variety that is popular for cooking.
- They tend to be larger than typical hot peppers, and they can vary in color from typically bright yellow, often called as hot pepper, to orange to crimson, known as sweet banana pepper.
- These small banana peppers get their name from their curved banana-like shape and slightly yellow hue, although some varieties can appear almost entirely green.
- They are easy to grow and care for and can be frozen or pickled for later use.
- They are also keto-friendly and low in spice, making them a great option for those on a restricted diet.
- Whether you're enjoying them fresh off the plant or in a recipe, banana peppers are sure to add a unique flavor to your meal.
Have you ever tried a banana pepper? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!
Stuffed Banana Peppers Recipe
- 6 each banana peppers
- ½ pound ground beef
- ½ cup cooked rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut the tops off of the banana peppers and remove the seeds.
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil and cook the ground beef over medium heat until it's browned. Drain any excess grease.
- Add the rice, marinara sauce, minced garlic, mozzarella cheese, and Italian seasoning to the pot and stir until everything is evenly mixed.
- Spoon the mixture into the banana peppers, filling them evenly.
- Place the peppers in a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Garnish with some Cilantro and Serve immediately.
Add some spice to the recipe by using hot Italian sausage instead of ground beef.