Sautéed Bell Peppers and Onions with Cumin and Cilantro

Photo_Concepts/ Royalty-free/ Getty Images
Photo_Concepts/ Royalty-free/ Getty Images

“Fresh bell peppers and onions cooked quickly over medium-high heat, then seasoned with cumin, fresh lime juice and cilantro.”

Everyone has a favorite, go-to vegetable. A vegetable that they love or one that they know their family loves. In my house the bell pepper rules. It’s easy to see why we like it, with its variety of colors and sweet taste. It’s a great vegetable for any side dish and pairs well with so many different styles of cuisine. Bell peppers are delicious raw in salads and taste amazing when quickly sautéed and tossed with fresh herbs and spices. When it’s taco night in my house, I always turn to this quick sauté of bell peppers and onions. Tossed with cumin, fresh lime juice and cilantro, it’s the perfect topping for any taco, fajita or burrito.

If you’re time-strapped, search your grocery store’s produce aisle or salad bar for precut onions and bell peppers. If you can’t find them there, try the freezer section, where you can find them among the other bags of frozen vegetables. If you decide to use frozen peppers and onions for this recipe, add an additional few minutes for cooking, otherwise, follow the directions as written.

Bell peppers are a nutritious addition to any meal. Those bright colors mean antioxidants and those antioxidants help protect us from disease. Bell peppers are also an easy way to add flavor, without the extra calories. Their sweet crunch is satisfying and is a great trick for “filling-up” without “weighing-down.”

My advice? Keep bell peppers stocked in your kitchen, too. If fresh aren’t available, buy frozen. This way you are prepared for not only taco night, but also pasta night, pizza night, stir-fry night, well, you get the picture!

Food Safety Tip: Wash all of your produce. It seems obvious, but many people forget to wash some of their produce, especially onions and limes. Vegetables and fruits are exposed to a myriad of surfaces and hands during processing, so it’s always a good idea to give them a good scrub before using. Buy a good scrubbing brush to clean your produce and don’t forget to wash your scrubbing brush with hot, soapy water when you’re done using it.

Sautéed Bell Peppers and Onions with Cumin and Cilantro

Recipe by Sara Haas, RDN, LDN


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and washed, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, washed, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, washed, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, washed, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, washed and chopped


  1. Set a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for about 3 minutes. Add the peppers, stir and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes, until slightly softened. Stir in the cumin and cook 1 more minute.
  2. Remove peppers and onions from the heat and stir in lime juice and cilantro.
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Sara Haas
Sara Haas, RDN, LDN, is a Chicago-based dietitian and co-author of the Fertility Foods Cookbook. Read her blog, The Cooking RD, and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.