One Prep, Two Meals: Grilled Peppers

Grilled peppers upgrade many quick, easy meals. Get one prep, two meal recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
If you search through the blog’s recipe index, it quickly becomes obvious that grilling and smoking are my favorite ways to prepare peppers. Sure, raw peppers add a crisp, sweet flavor to everything from salads to summer rolls. But quickly cut free their cores and place them on a hot grill, and you have an immediate upgrade to salsas, sauces, kebabs, black bean burgers, and even canning projects. Set them on a grill over low heat and smoking woodchips, and you can smoke chilies until they are dry enough to store for winter use or just enough to puree them into my favorite chili paste.

For many of these uses, I’m grilling bumper crops of peppers until I run out of coals. But you can enjoy the same intense flavor with just a pepper or two for a weeknight meal. Better yet, make room for just a little extra veg and you can prep two meals at once. I lean toward pasta on the grilling night: I multitask by cooking the pasta while I’m prepping or monitoring the grill, and then I make a creamy sauce base while I’m waiting for the peppers to cool enough to peel. The next night, all I need to do is chop up the grilled veg before stirring it into batter for savory pancakes.

Ready to give it a try? Full details are in the recipe below, but here are the basics:
For creamy pasta, you just need pasta, grilled vegetables, and some kitchen staples.
1. Cook the pasta (while grilling the vegetables).
2. Make the sauce base.
3. Add the grilled vegetables, garnish, and enjoy.

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Creamy Grilled Bell Pepper Pasta

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: 1
  • Print
1 large grilled red bell pepper, peeled and chopped
1 small grilled onion, chopped
3 cloves grilled or Roasted Garlic, chopped
6 ounces penne or other tube-shaped pasta
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon unbleached flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup Vegetable Stock or water
2 tablespoons half-and-half
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or other hard cheese, or to taste (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (optional)

Grill and chop the vegetables, refrigerating any extra for your next meal (see below). Heat a large pot of water. Boil the pasta until al dente, following package instructions.

Prepare a roux by melting the butter in a large skillet. Stir in the flour and a pinch each of salt and black pepper and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute, until golden. Gradually whisk in the stock followed by the cream, adding it in a slow stream that is absorbed before you pour in more. Bring it to just below a boil, stirring, and then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute, until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat. Stir in the bell pepper, onion, and garlic.

Drain the pasta, and then divide it among bowls. Top with the hot sauce before sprinkling each serving with cheese and basil. Serve immediately. Serves 2–3.

Tips & Tricks
  • The cream sauce is a tasty but optional upgrade. For an even quicker grill-night meal, skip the cream sauce and just toss the hot grilled vegetables with the pasta, perhaps mixing a little oil and cheese into the hot pasta like you do for Wilted Arugula Pasta. Vegans can also skip the cheese; if you’re gluten-free, choose appropriate noodles.
  • On the other end, you can expand the meal by adding blackened fish, shrimp, or mushrooms to the grill and serving it atop the dish. For an even easier one prep, two meals variation, double the recipe and serve half hot for dinner with seafood and the rest cold as a pasta salad with hard-boiled egg and chunks of mozzarella.
  • Homemade stock and fresh herbs enhance this recipe, but you can still enjoy the dish with water and dried herbs. Other grilled, roasted, and smoked vegetables, such as asparagus, corn, and eggplant, can be served in the same way.


Grilled peppers upgrade many quick, easy meals. Get one prep, two meal recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.

Twice as Tasty

Grilled peppers upgrade many quick, easy meals. Get one prep, two meal recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.Savory pancakes are one of my summer staples. They can incorporate or be paired with various garden goodies and can even be gluten free. They’re easy to make yet filling, and they cook quickly on the stovetop (especially my fancy new one!), so the heat won’t drive you out of the house. Leftovers can be reheated in a toaster oven for any meal; I also enjoy them at room temperature.

I first started making savory pancakes with zucchini but soon began adapting that recipe for other vegetables. The mellow flavor of grilled or roasted onions and sweet peppers pairs nicely with the tang of goat cheese. The pancakes need a bit more tending than Creamy Grilled Bell Pepper Pasta, so I make them as a night 2 meal. Grilled vegetables release less liquid than grated zucchini, so you need a little more milk or water for batter consistency. Otherwise, the process is much like the other pancake recipes on the blog.

Ready to give it a try? Full details are in the recipe below, but here are the basics:
You need just 2 main ingredients plus some kitchen staples.
1. Mix the batter.
2. Cook each pancake in a hot skillet.
3. Top with creamy goat cheese and enjoy.

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Grilled Pepper Pancakes with Goat Cheese

  • Servings: 8 pancakes
  • Difficulty: 2
  • Print
2 large grilled red bell pepper (about 1-1/3 cups peeled and minced)
4 ounces goat cheese
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1-1/2 cups milk or water, divided
2 cloves grilled or Roasted Garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced chives
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano

Set the oven or toaster oven to warm; place a heatproof plate inside. Peel and mince the grilled pepper, retaining any released juices. Set out the goat cheese so that it can come to room temperature.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Beat the egg in a measuring cup, and then beat in enough milk or water to equal 1-1/2 cups. Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients, mixing to make a batter. Add the pepper and its juices, garlic, chives, and oregano; mix until combined.

Heat an 8-inch skillet over medium heat, add a bit of sunflower or other oil, and swirl the pan to coat the bottom. Spoon about 1/3 cup of batter into the pan, and use the back of a fork to spread it evenly over the entire pan bottom. Cook about 2 minutes, until the top surface starts to form bubbles and become firm, and then flip the pancake; the underside should be lightly browned. Cook 2 minutes more, and then slide the pancake onto the warmed plate. Continue with the remaining pancakes in the same way, oiling the pan before each pancake.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the goat cheese with 2 tablespoons of milk or water. Whip with a fork until smooth, adding an additional splash or two of liquid as needed. Serve immediately with the warm pancakes. Makes about 8 pancakes.

Tips & Tricks
  • Vegans can drop the egg from this recipe—the egg makes a somewhat smoother batter but adds little flavor. Just make sure the batter liquid equals 1-1/2 cups.
  • You can set aside or mince extra herbs to use as garnish or blend into the goat cheese. Even extra grilled pepper can be chopped and sprinkled over each cake.
  • For a gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free variation, swap the grilled pepper for most of the scallions in Scallion Pancakes with Chickpea Flour, adjusting the liquid as needed for a workable consistency. For a fuller meal, serve the pancakes with Marinated and Grilled Portobello Mushrooms or Grilled Shrimp with Chermoula.


This post is the latest addition to the One Prep, Two Meal series. For other ideas, check out these posts:

Want to play with more variations? Twice as Tasty is teaching these techniques in a workshop held in your own kitchen, among friends—and with my personal help. Click here to learn more.

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