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This pepper and egg sandwich nails the New York-area, Italian-American classic recipe. It’s equally great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

a pepper and egg sandwich on an italian roll on a plate with a napkin
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Why we love this recipe

A pepper and egg sandwich has so much to recommend it. It’s:

  • Pure comfort food with a totally respectable nutritional profile
  • Equally appropriate any time of day, including the wee hours
  • Quick and easy to make
  • Vegetarian
  • Beloved by grownups and kids alike

This version gets the classic vibe just right, with generous ingredient ratios and tons of well-balanced flavor.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

ingredients in bowls
  • For the bread, you can use an Italian roll (also called a hoagie or hero roll) or a six-inch segment cut from a loaf of Italian bread. Both of these options have a structure that will hold up to the fillings while yielding easily to the bite.
  • For a single sandwich, you’ll use half of a medium-sized yellow onion. (You can substitute red or white onion if you prefer a little extra sweetness.) You’ll cut it from tip to root, rather than crosswise, to create a nicer shape and a structure that stays intact even when very tender.
  • I like to use a cubanelle pepper, which has sweet, mild flesh that’s thinner and less watery than a bell pepper. It’s traditional in this dish and truly great for pan-frying. You can use an Anaheim pepper or even a green bell pepper instead if that’s what you’ve got.
  • You can use any eggs you like, but sourcing good ones makes all the difference in terms of flavor, animal welfare, and environmental health. I’ve devoted a short section below to helping you parse the details, if you’d like to.
  • If you like, you can add cheese. My favorite options are shredded provolone, mozzarella, or extra-sharp cheddar, or a couple of slices of American cheese. Here I’ve pictured smoked fresh mozzarella, which just works so beautifully.
  • Even in a sandwich like this, I’m going to advocate for a really good-quality butter, because it just makes everything taste so much better. Here and virtually everywhere, I start with a cultured, salted butter from grass-fed cows. This sounds fancy but doesn’t have to be. Kerrygold, for example, is sold in most supermarkets at a reasonable price.

Sourcing eggs

The least-complicated (though often not the most convenient) way to source great eggs is to buy from local farmers whom you know and trust, either directly from the farm or at a farmers’ market or small grocery store.

If you’re shopping at a U.S. supermarket, things can get a little more complicated. Here’s a quick guide to the terminology that will and won’t help you choose the best eggs you can afford.

Words that mean something

  • Organic
  • Pastured (best) or free-range
  • USDA A or AA
  • Certified Humane or Animal Welfare Approved seals

Words that don’t mean anything

  • Natural (anything can be called natural)
  • Vegetarian-fed (chickens are natural omnivores)
  • No added hormones (this is required by the government)
  • Antibiotic-free (chickens are rarely medicated with antibiotics)

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a fabulous pepper and egg sandwich. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. First you’ll split, butter, and toast the roll.
  2. Sauté the peppers and onions.
  3. Scramble the eggs and cook them with the peppers and onions. Melt in cheese if using.
  4. Pile the whole thing into the griddled roll. That’s it!

Expert tips and FAQs

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

You can sauté the pepper and onion up to a week in advance if you like, store in an airtight container in the fridge, and reheat at the point that the recipe instructs you to begin cooking it. This recipe is also a great way to use leftover peppers and onions. Cook the rest of the ingredients and assemble the sandwich just before serving.

Sandwich leftovers are tricky and really depend on your tolerance for bread that’s no longer performing at peak levels. If you want to go for it, I recommend wrapping the leftovers in foil and reheating in the oven or toaster oven until warmed through.

More favorite egg sandwiches

a pepper and egg sandwich on an italian roll on a plate with a napkin

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a pepper and egg sandwich on an italian roll on a plate with a napkin
4.67 from 3 votes

Pepper and Egg Sandwich

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
This pepper and egg sandwich nails the New York-area, Italian-American classic recipe. It's equally great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 1 Cubanelle pepper
  • ½ small yellow onion
  • 1 Italian roll or 6-inch segment Italian bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1//8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces shredded provolone, mozzarella, or extra-sharp cheddar, or two slices American cheese, optional
  • Hot sauce, optional, for serving

Instructions 

  • Remove the stem and seeds from the pepper and slice the flesh into approximate 1/2-inch by 2-inch pieces. Trim the onion and slice into 1/4-inch slices from tip to root.
  • Split the roll or bread in half almost all the way, leaving one side intact to form a hinge. Spread each cut face with about 1/2 tablespoon of the butter. Place cut-sides down onto a 10-inch skillet or dark nonstick frying pan set over medium heat and cook until lightly toasted. Remove to a plate.
  • Melt remaining tablespoon of butter in the skillet.
  • Add pepper and onions, sprinkle with half the salt, and cook, stirring from time, until softened and lightly browned in spots.
  • Crack the eggs into a small mixing bowl and add the remaining salt and the pepper. Beat with a fork until homogenous.
  • Pour the scrambled eggs into the skillet. Cook, dragging the edges to the center from time to time and swirling the pan once in a while to encourage the uncooked top parts to wend their way to the bottom.
  • Optional: When egg is just about cooked, sprinkle or place the cheese on top and fold it in, letting it melt a bit.
  • Pile the egg mixture into the roll and serve right away, with hot sauce if you like.

Notes

  1. For the bread, you can use an Italian roll (also called a hoagie or hero roll) or a six-inch segment cut from a loaf of Italian bread. Both of these options have a structure that will hold up to the fillings while yielding easily to the bite.
  2. For a single sandwich, you'll use half of a medium-sized yellow onion. (You can substitute red or white onion if you prefer a little extra sweetness.) You'll cut it from tip to root, rather than crosswise, to create a nicer shape and a structure that stays intact even when very tender.
  3. I like to use a cubanelle pepper, which has sweet, mild flesh that's thinner and less watery than a bell pepper. It's traditional in this dish and truly great for pan-frying. You can use an Anaheim pepper or even a green bell pepper instead if that's what you've got.
  4. If you like, you can add cheese. My favorite options are shredded provolone, mozzarella, or extra-sharp cheddar, or a couple of slices of American cheese. Here I've pictured smoked fresh mozzarella, which just works so beautifully.
  5. Even in a sandwich like this, I'm going to advocate for a really good-quality butter, because it just makes everything taste so much better. Here and virtually everywhere, I start with a cultured, salted butter from grass-fed cows. This sounds fancy but doesn't have to be. Kerrygold, for example, is sold in most supermarkets at a reasonable price.
  6. You can sauté the pepper and onion up to a week in advance if you like, store in an airtight container in the fridge, and reheat at the point that the recipe instructs you to begin cooking it. This recipe is also a great way to use leftover peppers and onions. Cook the rest of the ingredients and assemble the sandwich just before serving.
  7. Sandwich leftovers are tricky and really depend on your tolerance for bread that's no longer performing at peak levels. If you want to go for it, I recommend wrapping the leftovers in foil and reheating in the oven or toaster oven until warmed through.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 1096kcal, Carbohydrates: 49g, Protein: 54g, Fat: 76g, Saturated Fat: 42g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 27g, Trans Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 553mg, Sodium: 2646mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Breakfast and Brunch
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

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Carolyn Gratzer Cope Bio Photo

About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

4.67 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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2 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness. I’m going to veganize this dish by using scrambled tofu (seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, and turmeric or curry powder) instead of scrambled egg, and using vegan margarine or butter instead of the dairy equivalent, but I just had to comment because of how unbelievably scrumptious this dish looks to me. I’m not even sure why, because it’s extremely simple and straightforward, but the moment I saw it a lightbulb went off in my head and I felt like I was seeing an example of one of the tastiest dishes that I will have ever ate up until this point in my lifetime. Sounds a bit dramatic but that’s honestly how I felt – I just imagine that the combination of sauteed pepper, scrambled tofu (made to taste similar to egg), and toasted bread will be a truly winning combination, and an example of how simplicity can produce an incredible dish when the ingredients are chosen wisely. I think pepper and scrambled tofu-egg will go really, really well together, for some reason – a combination that I imagine will be as classic as say, blueberry and lemon. I’ve made scrambled tofu once (using the recipe from Sarah’s Vegan Kitchen), and there were some small diced bell pepper pieces mixed along it, but I imagine that larger pieces of pepper (and hopefully I can get the Cubanelle or Anaheim pepper, like you recommend) will be a totally different experience.

    Sorry for my ramble. I discovered your blog earlier today, and I really like the fact that you include pictures of each step (which is so helpful to visual learners like me, and something I wish was standard across all food blogs), and also that you explain the underlying theory behind the steps rather than just listing the steps themselves. I also admire how unconventional some of your recipes are to what I’ve seen before, such as your Vegan Savory Oatmeal with Crispy Shiitakes – I only just recently learnt that oatmeal can be savory through the addition of tahini, but adding shiitake mushrooms takes that to a whole new arena. I’d never think that it’d be okay to add oats and oat milk into the same pot as olive oil, shallots and garlic, yet you did so and it has reminded me to stop being so rigid in my assumptions of what is permissible in cooking. It has encouraged me to experiment more and not feel obligated to follow the approach taken by recipes that I’ve seen before.

    I’ve already added several of your recipes to my Samsung Food collection, and look forward to scouring through more to see what else I can add.