This Padron peppers recipe is an easy-to-make classic Spanish tapas recipe with only 3 ingredients. We share two different Padron pepper recipes including a stovetop version and an Air Fryer version.
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Tools to make Padron peppers:
- Cast iron skillet – We use the Uno Casa Cast Iron Skillet. Use this link to save 10% on all UnoCasa products. Discount applied at checkout.
- Air fryer – We have the Cosori 5.8 Air Fryer
- Maldon salt – I love Maldon flake salt, which you can buy on Amazon here.
What Are Pimientos De Padron – Spanish Blistered Peppers
Also known as Pimiento de Herbón, Pimientos de Padron, literally translates to “peppers from Padron.” Padron is a small town located in the northwestern region of Galicia. While it might be a small town, the impact of pimientos de Padron on Spanish cuisine is not. They are easily one of the most asked for tapas dishes in Spain. And for good reason, a pimiento de Padron is delicious.
The peppers themselves only measure to around 2 inches. Occasionally you’ll find a larger pepper, but their sizes make them the perfect tapas or snack. A mild pepper, it’s not uncommon to find one or two that are spicy. Having enjoyed many plates of pimientos de Padron, it’s always fun to see who ends up biting into the hot one.
While the peppers are very popular, during our three years living in Spain, we would only find them in the big cities like Madrid and Barcelona. We could rarely find them in Girona where we lived. When we had a craving we made them at home.
Where To Buy Padron Peppers
If you are not living in Spain, it’s not always easy to buy Padron cooking peppers. I was kind of shocked to find them where we live in Ireland.
You can buy Padron cooking peppers, though, in many US supermarkets in the produce section. They are normally sold in half-pound or pound increments. For the ingredients below, it really doesn’t matter the proportion of the ingredients the same way it does for other ingredients. A half pound is about write for two tapas portions.
If you can’t find them in your local supermarket, you can try a Latin market, which might have them even though Latin markets tend to specialize more in Mexican and Central American cuisine rather than Spanish.
Check out some of our other Spanish tapas recipes:
Ingredients For A Pimientos De Padron Recipe
This recipe for pimientos de Padron only has 3 ingredients. In fact, most Padron recipes should only have 3 ingredients.
- Fresh Padron peppers, rinsed and dried
- Olive oil, Spanish olive oil if you have it
- Salt, preferably a Maldon salt or rock salt
How To Make This Padron Peppers Recipe – Stovetop
The more traditional way to make a Pimiento de Padron recipe is on the stovetop in a skillet or frying pan. I like to use a cast iron skillet.
Place the skillet over high heat to warm and then reduce to medium heat when adding the peppers. You want it hot, but not so hot it burns.
Once the skillet is hot, add the oil. After 2-3 minutes, add the peppers. Use rubber tongs to toss them periodically to allow them to cook, or blister, on both sides. The peppers will pop and sing. Because they are releasing the heat built inside, be careful. Stand back and avoid bending over the pan in case a pepper releases steam.
I used an Uno Casa Cast Iron Skillet to make these peppers. They have a 2 skillet set, which can be used on the stovetop and in the oven. The smaller of the two is the perfect size to make this dish. It heats up nicely and stays hot when cooking the peppers. Using cast iron can help with the blistering process too.
How To Make This Padron Peppers Recipe – Air Fryer
Cooking Padron peppers is a little easier in the air fryer. It might not be as traditional, but it is more hands-off and allows you to prepare other Spanish tapas while the air fryer is running.
Preheat the air fryer. While it is preheating, Toss the peppers in a bowl and spray them with olive oil spray, or toss them in regular olive oil. When the preheat is done, add the peppers to the basket.
Set the temperature to 330 F or 165C and the time for 8 minutes. Check the status halfway through and shake. You will hear the peppers start to cry a bit, it’s okay. The blistered Padron peppers shouldn’t be blackened. They tend to darken as they cool.
FAQs – Tips For How To Cook Padron Peppers
Yes, Padron peppers are tapas! This is how they are most commonly served in Spain. And, they make the perfect tapa, or small plate portion, because they are not filling. But, because of the saltiness, they pair perfectly with beer, wine, or Spanish cider.
Padron peppers are medium-sized green peppers, traditionally from Spain. They are used in Spanish cuisine, particularly in tapas recipes.
Well, generally, not hot at all. This is one of the things about these peppers. Some Padron peppers are hot. Those are the surprise peppers. For the most, part, though, they are not spicy like jalapeno or habanero peppers.
Well, not really. With only three ingredients, there aren’t a lot of variations. Sure, there are different ways to make Padron peppers. The most traditional is to make it on the stovetop. But there are variations made in an air fryer, baked, or even on the grill. In the end, though, the recipe still comes down to peppers, olive oil, and salt!