Home » Dehydrating » How to Dehydrate Bell Peppers & DIY ‘Paprika’

How to Dehydrate Bell Peppers & DIY ‘Paprika’

Learn how to dehydrate sweet bell peppers and make them last even longer for your pantry – and make a mock paprika powder for your spice cabinet!

Bell peppers with pepper powder and dried pepper bits

Are you tired of running out to buy one bell pepper for a soup, stew or casserole, and always buy a second or third because you might need it later, only to let them go bad because you didn’t need it after all? Or you just hate having to pay $2+  apiece for them and wish you knew how to preserve them when they are $.75 each during the season?

Dehydrating bell peppers is so easy to do, and can give you peppers for cooking all through the year without paying high prices for them out of season.

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And at the end of the post, I’ll show you how you can dehydrate bell peppers and then make them into a ‘mock Paprika’!!

I also use dried bell peppers are part of my holy trinity blend!

How to Dehydrate Bell Peppers

► QUICK REFERENCE: Dehydrate at 125F/51 C for 6-10 hours

1. Wash Bell Peppers

Even though bell peppers look perfectly clean coming home from the store, and they have a super-thin wax coating to protect them, who knows how many hands have been handling them in the grocery store before you get a chance to pick your perfect one? Seriously — wash them.

2. Cut the Core and ribs and discard seeds

Are you Team core and rib or Team Roll With It? Either method works just fine!

Sweet bell peppers being broken down for dehydrating

3. Chop into small pieces

You can chop by hand, use a handy-dandy chopper like the one I use here, use a food processor or whatever works easiest for you. You may even choose to just slice into long slices because you prefer that. Any method works well.

Just remember, when you dehydrate bell peppers,  the smaller the pieces, the fast they dry.

Red bell pepper being diced in a Fullstar Vegetable Chopper

One bell pepper makes approximately 2/3 Cup of diced peppers. But that is dependent on the size of your pepper and the size you dice it.

Yellow Bell pepper and diced bell pepper in measuring cup.

Using the OXO Good Grip Angled 2 cup measuring cup

4. Place on dehydrator trays


I totally forgot to put down protection on my sheets before I did this. Bell peppers WILL stain your mesh. So put parchment paper or use some ParaFlexx silicone sheets to protect your dehydrator mesh (or you can use a less expensive variety).

Diced yellow, red and orange bell peppers being dehydrated on Excalibur Dehydrator trays.

I use an Excalibur dehydrator, but any dehydrator will do. But if you’re looking for one – be sure to find one that has an adjustable temperature control!

5. Dry at 125F / 52 C

Peppers take approximately 6-10 hours to dry. The wide gap is between how hydrated your peppers are, what your home humidity level is, and the power of your machine. My Excalibur took about 8 hours to fully dry the peppers I had, but they were packed heavily on the trays.

How Do I Know My Bell Peppers Are Dry?

Bell peppers are fully dry when they snap apart.

To test: Allow them to come to room temperature and then try to break them apart. They should snap. If they are still a little bendy, put them back into the machine for a while and test again in another hour.

Fully dehydrated red bell peppers on Excalibur dehydrator tray

At this point, condition your bell peppers. What is conditioning? It’s the act of making sure all of your bell pepper pieces are at an even humidity level (should be about 10% for vegetables.

How to Condition Dehydrated Capsicums 

Did you catch that name change? In Australia, bell peppers are known as capsicums.

  1. Place in a jar to about 2/3 full.
  2. Shake once or twice a day and look for signs of humidity – water on the inside of the jar, water droplets on pieces.
  3. Repeat for 7-10 days.
  4. Store as normal when through.

►If you see water on the jar or on pieces, throw back onto the dehydrator to fully dry your food.

►If you see mold on anything at any point, toss the produce and sanitize your jar and lid.

How to Store Dehydrated Bell Peppers

Store dehydrated bell peppers in an airtight container (keeping dehydrated powders dry is really important) in a cool dark place. Vacuum sealing works best as it gets the extra air out of your jar.

If you choose to vacuum seal in a Food Saver-type bag or mylar, please be sure to put the peppers in a paper bag first, then vacuum seal. The sharp edges of the bell pepper pieces could pierce a hole in your plastic bags over time.

Rehydrating Bell Peppers

When using bell peppers in dishes, rehydrating is recommended if you aren’t doing a slow-simmering soup or stew.

To Rehydrate Bell Peppers

  • Soak in a bowl of hot water for up to 30 minutes, or
  • Soak in a bowl of water in the refrigerator overnight.

Uses for Dried Bell Peppers

  • Toss onto pizzas
  • Use in salad or chicken salad
  • Rehydrate for adding into quick cook meals like this Taco Soup in a Jar meal
  • Toss into spaghetti sauce to rehydrate and cook

How to Make Mock Paprika

Bell peppers, metal spoon, dehydrated bell peppers powder on wooden tray on white background

Put in your desired amount of peppers to a coffee grinder (I use this Cuisinart Coffee Grinder), a small blender (I just started using this Nutri Ninja Blender and really love it for larger amounts), or a blender.

Sweet bell peppers, dehydrated bell peppers in a jar, and dehydrated bell pepper with Nutri-Ninja blender

Conversion Measurements

1 Bell Pepper is approximately 1/2 Cup of dehydrated bell pepper which is approximately 1 Tablespoon of Bell Pepper Powder (Mock Paprika)

Fresh yellow bell pepper, 1/2C dehydrated bell pepper, 1 tablespoon bell pepper powder on wooden tray

How to Use Bell Pepper Powder

In many of the ways you would use sweet paprika or mild paprika, you can use this powder. It’s slightly sweet and slightly spicy.

  • Meat rubs
  • Sprinkle on popcorn
  • Use in tomato soup to make it pop
  • Add to breading to give a fun flavor and color
  • Garnish deviled eggs
  • Sprinkle on hummus
  • Sprinkle on corn on the cob

What do you think?

Do you think this is a project you’ll tackle at the height of summer when all of your peppers are maturing at the same time? Or is this a fun project to do for a whim, but not something you’d do often?

Want to learn more about dehydrating?

Dehydrating Basics & Journal book and ebook mockup
Bell peppers with pepper powder and dried pepper bits

Dehydrate Bell Peppers

Learn to dehydrate bell peppers to use on pizza, in sauce, and salads all year long!
Print PIN THIS! Rate
Course: Preserved Food
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Drying Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 24kcal


  • Liner Parchment / baking paper, fruit leather sheets



  • Wash peppers well
  • Remove stem and core
  • Trim ribs if desired
  • Cut into strips, rings or dice
  • Place on dehydrator trays protect by fruit leather sheets or parchment/baking paper as they can stain
  • Dry at 125°F/52°C for 10-14 hours
  • Test: Will be dry, pliable, hard, and should break easily when dried (cool before testing)
  • Condition
  • Store in airtight container for up to two years


Darcy’s Tips

Rehydrating Note:
When using bell peppers in meals, remember that they need to be rehydrated and still need some time to cook. You typically saute peppers before putting them into meals, but if they aren’t cooked before dehydrating, they do need a little time, in the end, to soften up in the dish.
DIY Mock ‘Paprika’ Powder
Blend pepper pieces in a coffee grinder or bullet blender. Depending on the sweetness or spiciness of your pepper, it can be used to substitute for paprika.
To use:
  • Toss onto pizzas, into salad or chicken salad
  • Rehydrate for adding into quick-cook meals
  • Toss into spaghetti sauce to rehydrate and cook


Calories: 24kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 208mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 440IU | Vitamin C: 96mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutritional information is an estimation only. Nutrient information for dehydrated foods is based on fresh. Use 1/4 of the servicing size for the same nutrient information. Thus 1 Cup of fresh fruit has the same sugars as 1/4 dried.

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  1. Avatar for Charlotte Amodeo Charlotte Amodeo says:

    Hi great info. Thanks. I do not have dehydrator can I dehydrate peppers in the oven like the small tomatoes?

  2. I roast my pimento peppers under the broiler for 5-10 minutes, turning them until skin is charred all the way around. Not as good as smoking them – but close!. Works great in place of sweet paprika, and does have a mildly smoked flavor.

  3. how would you make smoked paprika?ty

    1. True smoked paprika is a specific process with a specific pepper, but to make this verison, you can just smoke your peppers first before you dehydrate them. The process isn’t something I do, but instructions on various DIY smokers are available online.

  4. Avatar for wanda dunford wanda dunford says:

    thank you so much for the info…I don’t know anything about drying food…

  5. What a wonderful idea…wouldn’t have thought, yet I dehydrate many things. I shall do this…it will also make wonderful gifts.

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