How Long Do Bell Peppers Last?

You’ve bought a bag of bell peppers on a sale, and now you’re wondering: how long do bell peppers last before they go bad?

Or maybe there are a couple of sweet peppers in your fridge. And they sit there for a few days already. Now you want to know how much time you have until they go all mushy.

Either way, you could benefit from learning a thing or two about storage, shelf life, and bell peppers’ spoilage. And that’s what this article is all about.

Read on.

Info

Pretty much all of the info below applies to all kinds of bell peppers: red, green, yellow, and orange ones. If there’s an important difference between the various colors, I make sure to let you know.

Three bell peppers
Three bell peppers: yellow, red, and green

How To Store Bell Peppers

Keep fresh bell peppers in the crisper drawer in the fridge. They should be in a plastic bag or a freezer bag, which helps lengthen their storage time a bit.

The optimal temperature for bell peppers is 45°F (7.5°C) ([UOC]), which is a bit above the fridge’s temperature. That’s why I suggest the crisper drawer, where it’s somewhat warmer than in the rest of the refrigerator.

Tip

Don’t wash bell peppers before putting them in storage.

Sliced bell peppers on a plate
Sliced bell peppers on a plate

Another goal when storing bell peppers is to help them retain moisture.

The produce drawer, where it’s usually quite humid, is a good option. To take things to the next level, put the peppers in a bag, which helps seal the moisture content even better.

Tip

If you keep the peppers in the crisper drawer, and you know you’re going to use them within a week or so, skip the bag.

Cut bell peppers should sit in the fridge in an airtight container. The same thing applies to cooked peppers and any leftovers.

Bell pepper halved
Bell pepper halved

How Long Do Bell Peppers Last?

Red, yellow, and orange bell peppers last for up to two weeks in the fridge, while green ones retain quality for a few days longer. Cut bell peppers stay fine for about 4 to 5 days.

Typically, bell peppers stay fresh for between a week ([FC]), and two weeks ([UOC]). Green ones are the exception here, as they stay okay for a couple of days more ([FC]).

My guess is that’s because, in many cases, the green bell peppers we buy are simply unripened red bell peppers ([IN]).

Tip

The better quality peppers you buy, the longer they’ll stay okay. Buy bell peppers with firm skin without any wrinkles or sunken spots, and with a green stem ([FC]).

Bell peppers in a pot
Bell peppers in a pot

Cut bell peppers keep for about 4 to 5 days in an airtight container.

I often remove the stem and the seeds and keep a cut-up pepper or two in the fridge. This way, it’s easy to add it to meals without any further prep.

Note

Interested in jalapeno peppers? We have an article that covers them.

Fridge
Bell peppers (red, yellow, orange)7 – 14 days
Green bell peppers10 – 20 days
Cut bell peppers4 – 5 days
Please note that the periods in the table above are estimates only. Always check old peppers for spoilage before eating.
Bell peppers side by side
Bell peppers side by side

How To Tell If a Bell Pepper Is Bad?

Bell peppers are quite similar to other veggies (like leeks or tomatoes) when it comes to spoilage.

Throw out bell peppers that:

  • Are soft to the touch or have large sunken spots. In most cases, that’s a sign they’ve lost some moisture, and they’re no good.
  • Are starting to rot or grow mold. You can cut out small parts spoiled or damaged parts, like you likely do for most veggies. But, at a certain point, it’s time to discard the veggie.
  • Smell off in any way. I’ve never had a pepper that exuded an off odor, but if yours does, it’s a sure sign it’s time to let it go.
Soft spot on a bell pepper
Soft spot on a bell pepper, cut those out
Tip

Not all peppers taste the same. Yellow and red ones tend to taste a bit sweeter than green ones. I find that many green ones hardly have any taste at all.

Sometimes a pepper has a darkened patch or is half green and half yellow (or any other mix of colors). That’s normal and nothing to be concerned about.

Finally, if there’s anything in the bell pepper that concerns you, assume that it’s spoiled, and discard it. Better safe than sorry.

Slight discoloration on a green bell pepper
Slight discoloration on a green bell pepper, quite normal

Sources

Cut bell peppers closeup
Cut bell peppers closeup