I didn’t have much interest in spicy or pickled foods when I was growing up, with one exception: The pepperoncini that came standard in the boxes of a certain, somewhat controversial of late, delivery pizza. Biting into one, with its rush of kicky brine that burst out everywhere, was about as daring as I got those days. I’ve long since developed an affinity for many more vinegary, tongue-tingling foods, but pepperoncini remain a staple that I always need to have in my refrigerator.

Sometimes referred to as Greek or Tuscan peppers, pepperoncini are about 2 to 3 inches long with a wrinkly appearance. Most of us are accustomed to them in their jarred, pickled form you can buy at the grocery store, which is what I’ll be focusing on here. They make great additions to pizzas, salads, sandwiches and even a cheese board. I’m partial to sliding them into quesadillas made with my Instant Pot black beans.

For more pepperoncini inspiration, check out these recipes from our archives.

Greek-ish Potato Nachos. This supremely noshable dish is an enticing mash-up of nachos and Greek salad, with the pepperoncini popping against creamy feta and a lemony yogurt drizzle.


Baba Ghanouj Pizza With Pepperoncini, Mint and Chile Oil. This vegan pie uses the silky eggplant spread known as baba ghanouj as the base for a plethora of flavor-packed toppings.


Italian Chopped Salad. This flexible, filling salad stands well enough on its own to be enjoyed as a main course. Along with the pepperoncini, the recipe includes cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, kalamata olives and mozzarella, though you can adapt it to ingredients you have on hand.


Nancy’s Chopped Salad. Chickpeas, provolone and salami bulk up this very large salad from chef and cookbook author Nancy Silverton that can easily feed a whole family — eight people as a first course or four as a main.


Muffuletta Salad. Here’s another anything-but-bland salad. This one is a meatless riff on the classic New Orleans sandwich, loaded with olives, cauliflower florets, red peppers, provolone and a dozen pepperoncini.


Grilled Salmon With Greek Salad Salsa. Cookbook author and public television host Sara Moulton first brines salmon and then grills it, but the real power play comes in with the salsa, made with pepperoncini, red onion, olives, cucumber, tomatoes and more. If you don’t have or don’t want to use an outdoor grill, a stove-top grill pan works, too.


Potato and Roasted Cauliflower Salad. Using cauliflower in place of some of the spuds in a standard potato salad adds nutritional and textural benefits. As with other recipes here, pepperoncini co-star with olives, onion and feta.

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