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This 10-minute meal of scrambled eggs with peppers and onions, cheese, and hot sauce with a generous sprinkle of cilantro works equally well for breakfast or dinner. Which may be why we can’t stop making it. Here’s how.

scrambled eggs cooked with onion and red bell pepper, sprinkled with cotija cheese, cilantro, and hot sauce, on a black plate on a white background
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Why we love this recipe

Here’s something I probably shouldn’t put in writing: One day several years ago, our tween daughter had a helluva cough and plowed through a whole bag of mentholated cough drops in one day. By that night she was MUCH more giggly than usual, especially for someone not feeling so well. “I think I’m high on cough drops!” she said, laughing and dancing around the kitchen.

We all thought it was pretty funny and didn’t make a big deal out of it. I didn’t even Google whether it was possible to be high on mentholated cough drops.

The next morning she slept really late, and when she woke up she asked for a big plate of eggs with peppers and onions and cheese and hot sauce. In other words, hangover food.

Whoops! 

The worst part is, I’m not even sorry it happened, because this meal is damn good. I’ve made it countless times since, and it always hits the spot. Even if you’re not recovering simultaneously from an illness and a cough drop problem. Even if you’re not recovering from anything, but when is that really ever the case?

What you’ll need

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

ingredients in bowls
  • You can use yellow or red onion, whichever you’ve got on hand.
  • Same goes for the bell pepper. Use green, red, or any other color you like. For a slightly spicier version with more nuanced flavor, you could use poblanos.
  • Here and everywhere, try to start with really good eggs. I’ve got several favorite local sources, but I’ve also been crushing on Pete & Gerry’s at the supermarket for years.
  • I typically use cotija cheese, but this recipe is very flexible. You can use queso fresco or ranchero, or even substitute feta or shredded jack or extra-sharp cheddar if you like.
  • Lots of fresh cilantro and your favorite hot sauce bring the whole thing together. We love Cholula with this dish, but feel free to use whatever kind you prefer.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a quick, satisfying meal of peppers and onions scrambled eggs. 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. Heat the olive oil in a heavy nonstick pan. Add the diced onion and bell pepper, along with a good pinch of salt (I use basil salt in the video just for fun) and cook, stirring frequently, until they’re softened to your liking.
  2. Beat the eggs with a fork until homogenous and pour into the pan. Turn the heat to medium-low.
  3. Cook the eggs until just set throughout, waiting for them to set on the underside and then pulling them with a silicone spatula from the edges to the center of the pan. (You’ll repeat this process a few times.)
  4. Slide the peppers and onions scrambled eggs onto serving plates and sprinkle with crumbled cotija, chopped fresh cilantro, and hot sauce. That’s it!

Expert tips and FAQs

What is cotija cheese?

Cotija cheese is a crumbly white cheese made primarily from cow’s milk. It’s available in a lot of big supermarkets in the U.S., but if you can’t find it, there are plenty of other options that will work beautifully. To keep with the Mexican-inspire vibe, try queso fresco or queso ranchero. Or can substitute a basic cow’s milk feta, or even shredded jack, pepper jack, or extra-sharp cheddar.

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

As with most scrambled egg recipes, this one takes mere moments to make and is at its best shortly after cooking. I don’t recommend making it in advance.

That said, leftovers keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for a week. Reheat with a short spin in the microwave or a frying pan.

More favorite scrambled egg recipes

closeup of scrambled eggs cooked with onion and red bell pepper, sprinkled with cotija cheese, cilantro, and hot sauce, on a black plate on a white background

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overhead shot of scrambled eggs cooked with onion and red bell pepper, sprinkled with cotija cheese, cilantro, and hot sauce, on a black plate on a white background
4.69 from 54 votes

Peppers and Onions Scrambled Eggs

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
Peppers and onions scrambled eggs, topped with cotija cheese, cilantro, and hot sauce, make a great hearty vegetarian breakfast.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup (60 grams) crumbled cotija cheese
  • cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Cholula or other hot sauce, to taste

Instructions 

  • Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a 10-inch nonstick skillet.
  • Add peppers, onions, salt, and pepper. Cook for a few minutes, until softened to your liking.
  • Meanwhile, scramble the eggs in a medium bowl.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low. Pour eggs into the skillet and cook, pulling to the center with a silicone spatula as the set underneath, until just cooked through.
  • Divide between two plates and top with cheese, cilantro, and hot sauce to taste.

Step-by-step video

Notes

  1. Cotija cheese is a crumbly white cheese made primarily from cow's milk. It's available in a lot of big supermarkets in the U.S., but if you can't find it, there are plenty of other options that will work beautifully. To keep with the Mexican-inspire vibe, try queso fresco or queso ranchero. Or can substitute a basic cow's milk feta, or even shredded jack, pepper jack, or extra-sharp cheddar.
  2. As with most scrambled egg recipes, this one takes mere moments to make and is at its best shortly after cooking. I don't recommend making it in advance.
  3. That said, leftovers keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for a week. Reheat with a short spin in the microwave or a frying pan.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 249kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 373mg, Sodium: 492mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g

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!

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

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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.

4.69 from 54 votes (54 ratings without comment)

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