Calabrian-style potatoes and peppers is a spicy side dish that is full of flavor and just the right amount of heat.  Made using Long Hot peppers, red onion, red bell peppers, and Yukon Gold potatoes, this is the perfect dish to serve alongside grilled meat, sausage, or even scrambled eggs.

Wooden spoon scooping out potatoes and peppers.


 

If you know me at all, you know I love spicy food. 

Whether it’s pork chops and cherry peppers, spaghetti arrabbiata, or shrimp fra diavolo, I’m always down for a meal with some heat.

And this is why I adore food from the Calabrian region of Italy, especially their most well-known condiment, chili paste.

I use Calabrian chili paste in many dishes when I’m looking to add heat, like my spicy creamy mushroom pasta, and while I do use it in this potatoes and peppers recipe, there is a decent amount of heat from the Long Hot peppers, that you may not even need to add any more.  

Be sure to do a taste test to determine if the level of heat is sufficient before adding the chili paste.

Want to learn more about Italian condiments? If you love spicy food and other Italian condiments as much as we do, you will probably want to listen to The Sip and Feast podcast episode 15 – Top Italian Condiments.

If you’re not a fan of spice, that’s ok too!  Instead of Long Hots, you can absolutely substitute cubanelle peppers, or simply add more bell pepper.  The dish will be just as good! 

Recipe Ingredients

All ingredients for this recipe are shown in the pic below and special notes are made in this bulleted list to assist you.

  • Italian Long Hots – These moderately spicy peppers (about 3-5,000 on the Scoville scale) can be tough to find. If you can’t find them just use a bit more Calabrian chili paste.
  • Red onion – Feel free to use white or yellow onions as well.
  • Yukon Gold potatoes – Feel free to substitute any white or yellow potato for this dish.
  • Calabrian chili paste – This spicy paste adds a delicious smoky flavor to many dishes, but is especially useful for making this Calabrian potato recipe.
  • Sicilian oregano – This wonderful smelling and tasting oregano is sold with the oregano flower tops and it often comes in bags. The best way to describe it is that it smells like a NY pizzeria. Feel free to substitute any type of oregano you have though.
Ingredients shown: assorted peppers, red onion, potatoes, Calabrian chili paste, oregano, garlic, and basil.

How to make it

Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.

  1. Slice 5 medium (approximately 2 pounds) Yukon Gold potatoes about a quarter-inch thick (Photo #1)
Calabrian style potatoes and peppers recipe process shot collage group number one.
  1. Slice 1 medium red onion and roughly chop 5 cloves of garlic.  Also, remove the seeds and slice 5 red bell peppers and 5 Long Hot peppers (Photo #2)
  2. In your largest pan, (this is my favorite 14″ pan)  heat a 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat and add the potatoes.  Spread them out and cook for 10 minutes (Photo #3)Note: You will get some color on the potatoes as shown below, but don’t worry about getting the potatoes too brown.
Recipe process shot collage group number two.
  1. After cooking the potatoes for 10 minutes add in all the peppers, onions, and garlic.  Add a teaspoon of Sicilian oregano (or any high-quality Italian oregano), and season with salt and pepper.  Saute for 5 minutes and mix well to get everything coated with the olive oil (Photo #4)
  2. Add a 1/4 cup of water to the pan and cover with a tight-fitting lid (Photo #5).
Recipe process shot collage group number three.
  1. Remove the lid after 10 minutes.  The peppers should be very soft.  If they are not soft enough, give the potatoes and peppers a stir and cover again for about 5 more minutes.  Once satisfied, turn off the heat and taste test.  Make final adjustments to salt and spice levels.  If you want the dish extra spicy add a teaspoon or more of Calabrian chili paste.  Tear and sprinkle a 1/4 cup of basil, mix together, and serve with crusty Italian bread (Photo #6).
White plate with potatoes and peppers.

How to serve Calabrian potatoes and peppers

One of the reasons I love potatoes and peppers is that it is such a versatile side dish that nearly everyone, picky eaters included, enjoys it.

I will often serve this alongside some grilled sausage, or grilled chicken thighs, or a juicy ribeye steak.

If I have any leftovers, I’ll scramble some eggs along with the potatoes and peppers to make a fantastic breakfast or lunch.

These potatoes and peppers would also be great on a sandwich with eggs and mozzarella, similar to this Italian pepper and egg sandwich. 

Large pan of peppers and potatoes with Italian bread on the side.

If you love peppers and potatoes…

Here are some of our favorite recipes that include one or both of these versatile ingredients!  Which is your favorite?

  • Stuffed cubanelle peppers – With Italian sausage, rice, garlic, Pecorino, and mozzarella cheese stuffing.
  • Peperonata – Stewed peppers and onions with a bit of sweet and sour, plus mint and basil.
  • Chicken Scarpariello – Crispy chicken, sweet fennel sausage, potatoes, bell peppers, and cherry peppers in a pungent vinegar-based sauce.
  • Chicken Vesuvio – The Chicago classic with chicken, potatoes, and peas in a lemon wine sauce.
  • Italian Baked Chicken and Potatoes – Chicken pieces and potatoes seasoned with garlic, onion, parsley, and oregano and roasted to perfection.
  • Ciambotta – Summer veggie stew made from zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, and potatoes.
  • Sausage and peppers – New York-style Italian-American festival food at its finest!

If you’ve enjoyed this potato and peppers recipe or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and leave a review.

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Potatoes and Peppers

5 from 6 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Spicy Calabrian style side dish of sauteed Yukon gold potatoes, red onion, bell peppers, and Long Hot peppers.

Ingredients 

  • 5 large Yukon Gold potatoes sliced, about 2 pounds
  • 5 large red bell peppers sliced
  • 5 large long hots sliced, see notes below
  • 1 medium red onion sliced
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves torn
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon Sicilian oregano
  • 5 cloves garlic rough chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Calabrian chili paste optional, to taste
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Heat a very large pan to medium heat and add the olive oil then the potatoes. Saute the potatoes for about 10 minutes or until browned a bit.
  • Next, add the peppers and onions. Season with salt and oregano and saute stirring frequently for 5 minutes.
  • Next, add the water to the pan and cover. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the peppers and onions are soft. Remove the cover and continue to cook until the water has evaporated.
  • Taste test and adjust salt to taste. Add the Calabrian chili paste now if you want the dish even spicier. Turn off the heat and add the basil leaves and stir. Serve with crusty Italian bread.

Notes

  • Cooking times are approximate.  You want the peppers to be very soft.  If they are still a bit hard just cover and cook for a few more minutes.
  • Use any peppers you like.  Multicolored bell peppers, Italian frying (cubanelle), Long Hots, etc. all work great.
  • Add the Calabrian chili paste if the dish is not spicy enough for your liking.  Spice levels will depend on what type of peppers were used.
  • Make sure to serve with plenty of crusty Italian bread to mop up the oily drippings.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 5 days and can be reheated in the microwave or on a stovetop at moderate heat.

Nutrition

Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 37.5g | Protein: 4.4g | Fat: 17.4g | Saturated Fat: 2.4g | Sodium: 401mg | Potassium: 944mg | Fiber: 6.2g | Sugar: 10.5g | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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10 Comments

  1. My grandmother was from Calabria and she lived with us when we were growing up. This was a family staple in our house but she’d make it a main dish by adding Italian sausage links and then slicing them into the potatoes and peppers. It’s delicious eaten with a fork or in a hoagie roll as a sandwich.

  2. 5 stars
    This is so delicious and my mother fixed it often. I love it as a main course with garlic bread. Start out with an antipasto and/or caprice salad. Thanks for posting this Jim as you reminded me of how much I love this dish and I will be making it soon.

  3. 5 stars
    I grew up with this called, Potatoes O’Brien – and Irish recipe. I put the hot peppers in, but they aren’t traditionally added.

  4. Looks sooo good! I feel I use oregano in a lot of dishes purely out of havit but realize, I really don’t like oregano! Was thinking of rosemary as a substitute. I love rosemary! What do you think?

    1. Hi Laura, I always encourage people to use what they like or what they have on hand. If you’re not an oregano fan you can certainly try it with rosemary or just skip it entirely.

    1. Hi, Cindy. I’d serve this either as a side with roasted chicken or pork, or you can have this as your main meal with a green salad on the side. It’s also good for breakfast with fried or scrambled eggs.