Pepper and Egg Sandwich

This pepper and egg sandwich is simply (and satisfyingly) scrambled eggs along with sweet bell peppers and onions and stuffed into bread. An Italian American staple perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and in between. Here’s how to make it.

A pepper and egg sandwich on a wooden table with pieces of pepper and onion falling out.

The pepper and egg sandwich is an Italian staple. And it’s not just for breakfast. Or so we were informed by several of our recipe testers who hoovered this exact same sandwich back in the day whenever mom set it before them as a midweek staple. So when we made the mistake of referring to the recipe as a “Breakfast Hero,” they let us know that no, in fact, it was not just for mornings. It was for morning, noon, night, and any moment in between—especially those times when the household was short on time or groceries or both. Incidentally, they also informed us that this pepper and egg sandwich tasted exactly like what mom used to make.–Renee Schettler

Pepper and Egg Sandwich

  • Quick Glance
  • (4)
  • 20 M
  • 20 M
  • Serves 2 to 3
5/5 - 4 reviews
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Ingredients

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Directions

Cut the bell peppers in half, remove the seeds and stems, and then slice the peppers into 1/2-inch-wide strips and then cut the strips in half so they’re about 1 1/2 inches long. Cut the onion into chunks or strips the same size as the peppers.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk and season with half the salt and half the black pepper.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until it starts to dance. Add the peppers and onion along with the remaining salt and black pepper. If you don’t care for your vegetables to be blackened at the edges, turn the heat down to medium or medium-low. Cook until the veggies are your desired tenderness, 5 to 10 minutes. Your entire house will smell like peppers and onions—and that’s a good thing.

Turn the heat down to medium if you haven’t already. If you want a richer pepper and egg sandwich, add 2 tablespoons butter to the skillet and let it melt.

Add the beaten eggs to the skillet and cook, stirring almost continuously with a fork or spatula, until they’re sorta fluffy and scrambled but still a little soft, 2 to 4 minutes. (Because the eggs are scrambled with vegetables, they’re not going to be as fluffy as they may be if you made them in a skillet by themselves. That’s okay. It’s not about looks. Just wait’ll you taste it.)

Remove from the heat and, if desired, sprinkle with cheese.

Cut the loaf of bread in half lengthwise and open it. Cut the loaf crosswise into three 5- to 6-inch portions. Using your fingertips, scoop out some of the bread from the crust to make space for the peppers and eggs and reserve the bread for bread crumbs another day. If desired, slather the cut sides of the bread with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.

Pile the eggs and peppers on the bread. Serve the sandwiches immediately and feel free to plonk a bottle of hot sauce on the table alongside. Originally published April 19, 2018.

Print RecipeBuy the Staten Italy cookbook

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    *Which Peppers To Use For This Pepper and Egg Sandwich?

    • Depending on where you grew up, your mom may have used Cubanelle peppers (aka Italian frying pepper) in place of bell peppers. There’s a subtle difference in flavor but we suspect no one will complain if you use bell peppers instead.

    Recipe Testers Reviews

    Growing up in an Italian family, I know this pepper and egg sandwich as a staple meal in our house. This recipe was like a trip back in time for me. It was often served for lunch or dinner.

    As written, the recipe is on the money, and I followed it to a T. All the cooking times were accurate, and it was all done in just 30 minutes. It's perfect.

    I had this for dinner and served it on a freshly baked baguette. It made 3 sandwiches, each about 6 inches or so. I topped it off with some Sriracha and I was in heaven.

    This recipe is a little taste of Italy and one that I will be sure to make again.

    Psst. Let me tell you a secret. In an Italian-American home, peppers and eggs are not just for breakfast. All of the good salumerias around Brooklyn, NY, have this delicious sandwich on the menu for lunch. The recipe is simple and yields an authentic Italian-American hero.

    There's a very distinct and alluring fragrance that permeates the house when mom is making this classic. I started with a seeded semolina loaf of Italian bread cut into 5-inch portions, making 3 sandwiches. I cut the pepper and onions into a very large chop, somewhere around 1/2-inch to 1-inch pieces. I got them going in a pan with a bit less than 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. The vegetables took about 10 minutes to soften and brown. I turned the heat down and added a bit of butter to the pan with the eggs. When you cook eggs with vegetables in this way, you never get the same clean, creamy curds you do when the eggs are cooked alone. Rather, the eggs become random-size curds that cling and surround the vegetables. There is also a bit of water in the vegetables, so don't expect fluffy eggs, as they aren't supposed to be fluffy. Peppers and eggs look like an egg hash when they're done, if you can imagine that.

    Truth be told, I like to save some calories for a generous pour of wine at night, so I didn't butter my Italian bread before piling the eggs onto the scooped-out hero. Feel free to do so, or follow my lead and add a little mellow hot sauce. Serves 3 very generously.

    This easy pepper and egg sandwich is a very inexpensive, hearty, any-time-of-the-day meal. In fact, my taster and I enjoyed it for dinner. The 7 eggs make it substantial enough that you’ll forget that you’re eating a meatless hero. Since the eggs are simply flavored with salt and black pepper, the wonderful aroma and flavor of the sautéed peppers and onions (an irresistible duo, yes?) really stand out.

    We didn’t add anything to the sandwich, but thought hot sauce may be a good thing to have available on the table for those who like a little heat. Be a little patient when cooking the veggies; mine (I sliced my peppers 1/2 inch wide to match the onions) took just over 10 minutes to become tender enough to “flex” a bit with the eggs. The bread I used came from a local supermarket (the long oval loaf that most grocery stores generally call “Italian bread”), and was 12 inches long and 5 inches wide. Not all the scrambled eggs fit in the bread, leaving a little left over to go with toast the next day. This sandwich can serve 4 hungry people or 2 very hungry stomachs.

    Quick and easy to put together. I made this pepper and egg sandwich for dinner after having just made fresh homemade pita bread. (Sorry, I cheated and didn't use a loaf of bread.) The house smelled great!

    The eggs, when added, were soft and fluffy in 4 minutes. We filled the still-warm pita with the egg mixture, and I served it with salsa and grated cheese for my tasters to add as they pleased. This recipe served 3 people. We all added salsa and one of us also added grated cheese. We all agreed that we loved it in the pita bread.

    HUNGRY FOR MORE?

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    Comments

    1. Yous are clearly missing an ingredient now aren’t you.

      In Philly, here’s how you do it. You roast long hots open on the oven pan in just olive oil on 375 for about 20 minutes, then let them cool. If I were you, I’d slice them jawns down the middle and deseed the friggin monsters. Then dice ’em up.

      Fry up some diced green bell peppers on medium-high, then when they’re soft turn the heat down, add the long hots to warm them back up, mis those peppers around so you ain’t get a big pocket of one or the other in the bite, then toss in your eggs–whisked together or just into the pan, don’t matter. Salt and pepper them eggs, stir them around, and bam.

      I like to sprinkle some pecorino romano over mine at the end. Just a little bit though.

      Now, the roll. I know all over the rest of the country people wish they had our rolls, but you can make good ones yourself if you follow Joe Beddia’s pizza dough recipe, and just use that dough to make rolls. He published it for free on the Inquirer website, just google it. Or you can use whatever bread yous got I guess I don’t know.

      Slice that roll now, but be careful you don’t go all the way through. This ain’t no peanut butter and jelly. Lay down your layer or two of cooper sharp (some people do american, I don’t know nothing about them people). Put them peppers and eggs down in the thing and eat with a bag of chips. Gotta have chips. I go sour cream & onion. My boy Migs does the chips ON the sandwich, you can be a alien like him if yous are that type of maniac.

      I also do a drizzle of Frank’s or some hot sauce like that on there.

      We got a lot of good sandwiches in Philly. This is my favorite one, cause you can just make it right there in the kitchen without no big grill or nothing. You can just stand there in your sweats doing up the peppers and eggs while your Aunt Kathleen or somebody like that sits there at the table yapping your ear off about your ungrateful cousins and church.

      Enjoy

      1. Love that kitchen scene you painted, Mikey. And fair on the long hots! Go ahead and toss ’em in, you have our blessing—-not that you needed it! I went to school in Philly a long time ago. They know their sandwiches.

        1. Hehe God help me Renee it’s all true, glad yous got to spend some time in the greatest city on Earth!

          And don’t say that, I need all the blessings you can give lol

    2. For the most authentic version, use fried sweet peppers from a jar, such as Cento or Mama Mancini, to replace bell peppers. Milder than strong green bell peppers. I grew up in an Italian neighborhood and this was a staple meal on meatless Fridays.

    3. I forgot to take a picture! But I made this for dinner tonight! It was both filling and satisfying. I used one enormous red pepper, it was plenty and made use of finishing off last night’s garlic bread to use for this tasty sandwich. During this time of isolationism, my trips to the grocery store are rare, and effective meal planning is a major part of each day. Thanks David

    4. Being Portuguese and Italian, from the land of chourico and linguica, they make a wonderful spicy addition.

    5. This was a Lenten sandwich served to workers in bars in Chicago in place of the Italian beef. Still is!

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