food / Spain

Spanish Food: Pimientos del Padrón

This week, I tried my hand at another delicious tapas dish – pimientos del padrón! These are lovely little green peppers that are salty and delicious. I usually don’t like peppers, but this is one of my favorite tapas. It’s a must-try Spanish dish. Spanish-food-tapas-Barcelona-Rincon-del-Cava-pimientos

There’s a popular saying about pimientos del padrón – “unos pican, otros no” (some are spicy, others aren’t). I haven’t come across a spicy one yet, but I live in hope!

Now, I don’t do much cooking, but I had a serious craving for these. When I saw how easy they were to make, I had to try it out. Luckily, they turned out amazingly well. Trust me, if I can make them, you can too. (Really – I’m the girl who set pasta on fire while it was in a pot of water.)

Best of all? It only takes about ten minutes. So here’s how you make pimientos del padrón:

Ingredients: padrón peppers (or other small green peppers), enough olive oil to put a couple of inches in your pan, and sea salt.

It’s super easy – heat up your pan, add the oil, and when it’s hot, drop in the peppers. I had to put something over my pan because the oil started spitting and I’m a nervous cook.


When they start looking wrinkly and a little brown, pop them out and sprinkle salt on them. ¡Ya está!  


These are really yummy, and you can cook as many or as few as you want. They’re an easy way to get a taste of Spanish tapas. Here’s how mine turned out:


Here’s a more official recipe, but I couldn’t find one that was much more difficult than my not-really-recipe:

Currently listening to:Anything Could Happen” by Ellie Goulding

Currently reading: One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde

Besos y buen provecho!


36 thoughts on “Spanish Food: Pimientos del Padrón

  1. One of my favorites also, but a little scary if you’re a nervous cook. I’ve also found that you need to be careful about the peppers you buy. I’ve bought ones that look identical but aren’t del Padron and the result is a plate of delicious, but mild peppers. As a spicy food addict it’s a bit anti-climactic.
    On another note I like to go out with friends and bet the restaurant check on who picks up the most spicy peppers. The best part about it is that it’s absolutely impossible to predict.
    Just wait till you hit that first spicy one. They kick like a mule.

    • Ooh, with really spicy chilies it could get really hot! I’m sure it tastes delicious with any kind of pepper – there’s not much that can go wrong with olive oil and salt.

  2. Love the padrons too. I tend to make them in the oven, just rubbed in oil and with a sprinkle of salt.
    I’ve heard about spicy padrons, but never been in a group that found one. Maybe restaurants used to throw i a green chilly to keep the legend alive?

  3. I’ve never come across a spicy one either, and am always nervous to do so, as I have heard stories… (I like a bit of spicy food but think the spicy padron’s are probably a bit too much for my liking!) But the non-spicy ones are delicious at least 😉

    • So it’s not just me! I have a suspicion they aren’t that spicy because when the Spanish say something is “muy picante”, I think it’s just a tiny bit spicy. I guess we’ll have to wait until we win the pimientos del padrón lottery to find out.

  4. Hola, Jessica! Thanks for this great post! We just got in fresh padrón peppers here at I empathize with those who made comments about the spiciness. We always sautee a few batches from each shipment we get – in part because we want to be sure they are not all wildly spicy – we find it’s about 1 in 10 for this year’s crop, and in part because we LOVE to eat them here at the office and warehouse. It is so worth it to have the authentic peppers – they are a little sweet and a little nutty and really, very few have the spicy heat. But we’ll keep you posted if they do! Thanks for your blog! Keep up the great work 🙂

    Best wishes,

  5. That’s very much a Chinese dish called ‘Tiger skin’ peppers … That’s usually made with larger peppers but I bet these smaller ones make for a far nicer appetizer!

  6. My boyfriend loves those Padrón suckers! haha I like them actually. It was like the tapa that would never go away — we had to have it every time we did tapeo. Wait until I tell him how easy the recipe is…oh boy. 😛 Thanks for posting!

  7. Was just thinking about these the other day! I regret not eating them in Spain. I saw them a lot when I was at the tapa bars in Madrid and in Seville. My boyfriend likes them! I have a question for you. I was watching a Spanish documentary awhile ago and they said that people in Spain travel in 4’s to go tapa tasting, like its a cultural thing. What do they call this?

    • I’ve heard it called ‘tapeando’ (tapa-ing) from ‘tapear’ (to go for tapas). But I haven’t heard of it as being limited to groups of 4…I’ll have to research that!

  8. I love pimientos al padrón!!!! Soooo good!! And for a nice salad, I love frying red peppers with garlic in olive oil til they’re soft, cutting them into strips, and adding a bit of tuna and olives before putting it all in the fridge to get cold (I love it cold). Delicious!

  9. I’ve had one or two spicy in my day but that’s part of the fun isn’t it?! 😉 Did you know they are called Padron because the peppers originate from a town called Padrón in Galicia? I just discovered that on my recent trip to northwest Spain.

  10. Pingback: Guest Post: Gambas al Ajillo | ¡Hola Yessica!

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