Seared Shishito Peppers

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These gems are always such a crowd-pleaser and couldn’t be easier to make!

Legend has it that 9 out of 10 shishito peppers are very mild, but that the tenth pepper has some major heat!  Well, that isn’t just legend, it’s true, but don’t worry, the hot ones aren’t that hot. You will be amazed at how guests will gather around the stove as you sear these up. They are addictively delicious! And come together in minutes!

An overhead view of a white serving plate filled with a pile of seared shishito peppers all next to a couple of limes and a small jar of sea salt.

How to Make Seared Shishito Peppers


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The Ingredients You Will Need

The shishito peppers are clearly the star of this wonderful appetizer. All you need is a little citrus and coarse salt to bring them to life. Here’s what you’ll need to have on hand:

Oil – Olive, vegetable, or canola are all good choices.
Shishito peppers – Found in the produce section of many supermarkets, as well as Trader Joes, Sprouts, Whole Foods, or you can order them online.
Lime zest – From a couple of fresh limes. If you don’t have a zester, you can rub a line on the small wholes of a box graters.
Shallots – Finely chopped. This is optional, but we think it adds a nice addition to the flavor of the peppers. Don’t add them until the peppers are almost ready. If you add them too soon, they will burn.
Coarse salt – Also know as finishing salt. Maldon Sea Salt is fantastic, but any kind of coarse sea salt will work, too.

EXPERT TIP: As shishito peppers continue to ripen, they will go from green to red. The red peppers carry much more heat. Look for a bag with all green peppers, or mostly all green.

A person holding a bunch of uncooked shishito peppers in the palms of his hands.

Tips for Making Perfect Seared Shishito Peppers

Use a Hot Skillet – A hot skillet is key for getting a nice sear on the peppers without overcooking them.

Don’t Overcrowd the Skillet – Cook the peppers in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the skillet, which can cause them to steam instead of sear.

Season Generously: Season the peppers generously with coarse sea salt to bring out their flavor and add texture, and top with finely chopped shallots and lime zest for a bright, zesty finish. Remember, don’t add the shallot until the very end.

A large stainless steel skillet filled with shishito peppers and chopped shallots that are being sautéed.

Other Party Appetizer Recipes to Try

The following recipes are some of favorite appetizers to serve when we’re having a gathering of family and friends.

Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms
Parmesan Bacon Gougères (Puff Balls)
Philly Cheesesteak Egg Rolls (to come)
Sausage, Bean, and Spinach Dip
Southern Crab Beignets
Spanish-Style Garlic Shrimp
Oysters Rockefeller
Beef Negimaki
Pork Pot Stickers

These are all spectacular in their own right. But, in the meantime, aren’t these gems catching your eye?

A person holding up a single seared shishito pepper that has been sprinkled with lime zest and coarse sea salt.

If you are looking for a new party appetizer that is sure to be a big hit with guests, these shishito peppers will surely fit the bill.

Be sure to warn your party-goers that every now and then someone may get a pepper that packs some heat.

And be sure let everyone gather round as you sear them in the skillet. Serve nice and hot and get ready for rave reviews!

A straight-on view of a white serving dish filled with seared shishito peppers that are topped with coarse sea salt and lime zest.

Ready to make the best party appetizer in town? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!

An overhead view of a white serving plate filled with a pile of seared shishito peppers all next to a couple of limes and a small jar of sea salt.

Seared Shishito Peppers

These seared shishito peppers really might be the perfect finger party food appetizer. So delicious and so simple to make. They are mild (well, most of them are) and so flavorful. Delicious!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American / Japanese
Keyword: Easy Appetizer, Peppers, Shishito
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 28kcal


  • 1 Large skillet


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 oz. shishito peppers
  • Zest 2 limes
  • Coarse sea salt to taste
  • ¼ cup shallot minced (optional)


  • Heat the oil over medium heat. Toss in the peppers, and cook, stirring occasionally.
    1 tbsp olive oil, 8 oz. shishito peppers
  • After the pepper skins have started to blister slightly, add a pinch of the lime zest and a pinch of the sea salt. Stir to incorporate.
    Zest 2 limes, Coarse sea salt
  • Once tender and lightly blistered (about 8 - 10 minutes), remove from heat and stir in the shallots.
    ¼ cup shallot
  • Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with a little more lime zest and plenty of sea salt (to taste).


See the video near the top of the blog post for visual guidance. If you liked the video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel. 
Shishito peppers can be found in the produce section of some supermarkets. Trader Joe's, Sprouts, and Whole Foods also carry them. They can also be purchased online. 
These are best served nice and hot right out of the skillet, but they are still incredibly tasty even after they've cooled off. 
The recipe can be doubled or tripled if serving to a crowd. We recommend doing them in batches. Folks enjoy watching them become blistered as you sear them in the skillet. 


Calories: 28kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 33mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 0.4IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!

POST UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in August 2015, but was updated with improved tweaks to the recipe with new tips and photography, and a fabulous new video in November 2023!


  • Hi Kris- thank you for the kind words. You and Wesley are my go-to guys for most recipes. One think I’m extremely fond of is Vietnamese cuisine. I was wondering if you could research “catfish is clay pot”. It’s delicious and think it would be very popular, at least with me! Thanks for all you two do

  • These were incredible. The lime zest, maldon salt and peppers, I ate the whole bag myself. Another fantastic recipe. Thanks, Chris and Wesley

    • Hi Mark! We LOVE that you made the shishito peppers! That’s an old post but we do love them! The flavors are simple but really work together! Thank you for sharing! You’re the best!

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