How to make Pimientos del Padron

On a recent adventure through Spain, I stumbled upon a culinary gem that piqued both my interest and taste buds: Pimientos del Padrón. These small, green peppers, fried in canola oil until blistered and sprinkled with coarse salt, offer a delightful bite-sized treat. Each pepper carries the potential for a surprising burst of heat, making every serving a playful gamble between mild and spicy.

Captivated by this simple yet tantalizing dish, I became determined to bring the essence of this Spanish experience home. Through experimentation and careful tasting, I was able to replicate the authentic flavor of Pimientos del Padrón. Now, I’m thrilled to share this recipe with you. Embodying the spirit of Spanish tapas culture, this dish invites you to gather around the table, share stories, and enjoy a taste of Spain’s rich culinary heritage. Let’s embark on this flavorful journey together, exploring the delight that comes with each bite of Pimientos del Padrón.

Pimientos del Padron

Pimientos del Padrón is a simple yet irresistible Spanish dish that has won the hearts of many through its straightforward preparation and surprising flavor. At its core, this tapas dish features small, green Padrón peppers that are quickly fried in canola oil until their skin blisters, then sprinkled with coarse salt to finish. The allure of Pimientos del Padrón lies in the culinary roulette it presents—most peppers are mild and sweet, but occasionally, one packs a surprising punch of heat, making each bite an exciting gamble. Discovered during a captivating journey through Spain, and after experimenting back home to master its preparation, the recipe for Pimientos del Padrón now stands ready to be shared. This dish embodies the convivial spirit of Spanish tapas culture, inviting friends and family to gather around the table for a shared experience of delicious unpredictability and the joy of discovery. Through sharing this recipe, there's an opportunity to bring a taste of Spain’s rich culinary heritage into kitchens worldwide, encouraging others to explore the delightful contrasts of flavors and textures that make Pimientos del Padrón a beloved treat.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Vegetable
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 6
Calories 529 kcal


  • 1 cast-iron pan


  • Coarse sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 ounces Padrón peppers
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil


  • In a cast-iron pan big enough to hold the peppers in a thin layer, heat the olive oil over high heat.
  • Stir the peppers when the heat has been reduced to a mild smokiness.
  • Cook for thirty seconds without rotating the pan until the first side is blistered.
  • Continue to fry, rotating periodically, until the peppers are thoroughly charred all over and delicate, approximately 11⁄2 minutes overall.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
Keyword canola oil, Padrón peppers

Cooking tips about Pimientos del Padron

Como Freír Pimientos de Padrón - Javi Recetas

  • Choosing the Right Peppers: Look for fresh Padrón peppers that are bright green in color, firm, and free from blemishes. The size can vary, but smaller peppers tend to be milder.
  • Preparation: There’s no need for extensive preparation. Simply wash the peppers and pat them dry. The whole pepper is cooked, including the seeds.
  • Oil Temperature: Heat a generous amount of canola oil (or olive oil for a more traditional flavor) in a wide frying pan over high heat. The oil should be hot enough that the peppers start to sizzle as soon as they touch the pan, but not so hot that the oil smokes.
  • Cooking the Peppers: Add the peppers to the pan in a single layer, ensuring they have room to blister and char slightly. Cook them for about 1-2 minutes on each side until they blister but remain tender inside. Don’t overcrowd the pan; work in batches if necessary.
  • Stirring or Flipping: Use tongs to turn the peppers occasionally, ensuring they blister evenly on all sides. A good blistering adds to the smoky flavor and texture contrast.
  • Season While Hot: As soon as the peppers are done, transfer them to a serving plate and while they’re still hot, sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt. The salt sticks better when the peppers are hot and enhances their natural flavor.
  • Serving: Serve immediately while hot and crisp. Padrón peppers are best enjoyed fresh out of the pan when their unique combination of mild heat and smokiness is most potent.
  • Accompaniments: Although Pimientos del Padrón are excellent on their own, you can serve them as part of a tapas spread alongside other dishes such as chorizo, Manchego cheese, and crusty bread to complement the flavors.
  • Heat Variation: Remember, while most Padrón peppers are mild, occasionally, you’ll encounter a spicy one. This unpredictable aspect is part of the dish’s charm, so advise your guests about the potential for a spicy surprise.

Serving suggestions about Pimientos del Padron

Blistered Padron peppers (pimientos de Padrón) - Caroline's Cooking

  • As a Standalone Tapas: Serve Pimientos del Padrón as they are, right out of the pan and onto a rustic plate or wooden board. This no-fuss presentation underscores the casual, social essence of tapas culture, inviting guests to reach in and share the experience together.
  • Sea Salt Finish: Ensure a generous sprinkle of coarse sea salt over the hot, blistered peppers. The salt not only enhances their flavor but also adds a crunchy texture contrast that’s irresistible.
  • With a Cold Beer or Crisp White Wine: Pair the peppers with a chilled glass of Spanish beer or a crisp white wine, such as Albariño or Verdejo. The refreshing beverage complements the potential spiciness of the peppers and cleanses the palate between bites.
  • Accompanying Other Tapas: Create an authentic Spanish tapas spread by pairing Pimientos del Padrón with other traditional dishes like chorizo, Manchego cheese, patatas bravas, and olives. A varied selection allows for a richer dining experience, letting guests compare and savor the wide array of flavors.
  • Side Dish for Grilled Meats or Fish: Pimientos del Padrón can also serve as a splendid side dish to grilled meats or fish, adding a touch of Spanish flair to the main course. The smoky, slightly spicy peppers are particularly good alongside the rich flavors of grilled lamb or seafood.
  • With Alioli for Dipping: For an added flavor dimension, offer a small bowl of alioli (garlic mayonnaise) for dipping the peppers. The creamy, garlicky sauce balances well with the peppers’ heat and adds a luxurious touch to the dish.
  • Lemon Wedges on the Side: Some enjoy a light squeeze of lemon over their Pimientos del Padrón for an acidic kick that brightens their natural flavors. Serving the dish with lemon wedges on the side lets guests adjust to their taste.
  • As Part of a Vegetarian Feast: Pimientos del Padrón are inherently vegetarian, making them an excellent component of a vegetarian or plant-based meal. Pair with other vegetable-centric dishes for a green and vibrant menu.

Top 5 FAQs about Pimientos del Padron

Blistered Padron Peppers (pimientos De Padrón) Caroline's, 44% OFF

  • What makes Pimientos del Padrón unique from other pepper dishes? Pimientos del Padrón are distinct for their “culinary roulette” aspect—while the majority of these small green peppers are mild and sweet, a few in the batch can be surprisingly hot. This unpredictability adds an exciting twist to eating them, making each bite a delightful gamble.
  • How should Pimientos del Padrón be cooked to achieve the best flavor? For the best flavor, Pimientos del Padrón should be fried in a generous amount of hot canola or olive oil until their skin blisters, ensuring they’re cooked in a single layer for even blistering. Once done, they should be immediately seasoned with coarse salt while still hot, enhancing their natural taste and smoky aroma.
  • Are Pimientos del Padrón spicy? Most Pimientos del Padrón are not spicy and offer a mild, sweet flavor. However, the dish is known for its occasional hot peppers. The level of heat can vary widely among the peppers, adding an element of surprise when enjoying them.
  • Can Pimientos del Padrón be prepared in advance? Pimientos del Padrón are best enjoyed fresh out of the pan. Preparing them in advance is not recommended as they lose their crisp texture and vibrant flavor. For the best experience, serve them immediately after cooking along with a cold beer or crisp white wine.
  • How do I select the best Padrón peppers for cooking? When selecting Padrón peppers, look for ones that are bright green, firm, and free from blemishes. Smaller peppers tend to be milder, which is something to consider depending on your preference for heat. Freshness is key, so try to use them as soon as possible after purchasing for optimal flavor and texture.

By mastering the art of preparing this simple yet profound dish, we connect with a tradition that spans generations, inviting others to partake in an experience that is as unpredictable as it is enjoyable. Pimientos del Padrón teaches us to appreciate the beauty in simplicity, the thrill of surprise, and the importance of shared experiences. It stands as a testament to the vibrancy of Spanish culture, a culture that finds profound joy in the act of gathering, sharing, and celebrating through food. As we share this dish with friends and family, we extend an invitation to dive into the heart of Spanish culinary traditions, embracing the warmth, the laughter, and the unpredictable nature of life itself, one pepper at a time.


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