This feta stuffed Padrón peppers recipe has an interesting twist when compared to the well known Spanish tapas dish ‘grilled Padrón peppers’. The saltiness of the feta cheese pairs really well with the rich, charred aroma of the Padrón pepper. When grilled to perfection to bring out the sweet flavour of the stuffed peppers and when the crumbled feta cheese is just slightly melted makes it an impressive appetizer to serve to your guests. You can also enjoy this dish by yourself as a snack with a drink at any time of the day.
What are Padrón peppers?
Spanish Padrón peppers or pimientos de Padrón, as they are called in Spain are small green peppers originating from the municipality of Padrón in Galicia, Spain, hence their name. They are bite-sized chilli peppers which are very popular in Spain to serve as a side dish but are more often served as a Spanish tapas dish. Find here the authentic way to make grilled Spanish Padrón peppers.
These peppers of Padrón are very similar to Shishito peppers which are the East Asian variety. They differ slightly in flavour, but if you cannot find the Spanish pimientos de Padrón, these Shishito peppers can be used as an alternative.
What makes these Spanish peppers so special?
Generally, these green 2 inch long peppers have a very mild and sweet aroma which is even more intensified after grilling. But be warned, 10% of these chillies have a nice kick and can be really spicy. Often referred to as ‘some are hot and some are not’, they can also be seen as a nice game of edible ‘Russian roulette’ when sharing this tapas dish with friends to see who will be the winner and bite into a green fire. Adding the feta cheese brings a nice salty balance to the sweet flavour of the Padrón pepper and will also bring some relief to the spicy one.
Why use feta cheese?
The salty flavour of feta cheese pairs really well with sweet and mild (most are, some not) peppers. Also, feta cheese does not completely melt like other types of cheeses such as Gouda or Cheddar. Feta cheese also adds to the Mediterranean flair of this dish.
How to make Padrón peppers
Note: All the exact quantities of the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Feta stuffed Padrón peppers are quick and easy to prepare. In under 15 minutes, these green delicacies can be served as an appetizer with a refreshing drink. Here are the steps to follow:
- Prepare the stuffing
Finely dice a sweet onion or a shallot. In a mixing bowl, combine the crumbled feta cheese and the diced onion with salt, pepper and dried basil. Mix well.
- Prepare the Padrón peppers
Cut the peppers lengthwise in half, leaving the stem but removing the seeds. The stem should not be eaten, but it makes it easy to hold the pepper when eaten by hand. Fill each of the pepper halves with the feta and onion mix.
TIP: Make sure the peppers are properly dried after washing to get a better result when grilling and blistering the peppers.
- Cook the Padrón peppers
It is important to cook the peppers at medium-high heat, so use a heavy frying pan or a cast iron skillet. Heat some olive oil in a skillet and add the pepper halves with the stuffing facing upwards. Cover with a lid to allow the feta cheese to melt. The peppers are ready when the skin is blistered and charred and the feta cheese is melted. Serve on a large plate to share with a good pinch of flaky sea salt or ‘fleur de sel’.
How to serve?
You can serve the stuffed Padrón peppers with feta cheese as an appetizer at a dinner party or during a summer barbecue, or as a Spanish tapa before a meal with a nice refreshing drink. They can also be served as a side dish with grilled meat, like these chicken skewers.
Padrón peppers are usually eaten by hand, which is the reason not to remove the stem. Hold the pepper with the stem and eat it in one bite, but not the stem. Serve with some crackers, baguette or French loaf.
More tapas recipes inspiration:
- Spanish chorizo in red wine
- Tuna stuffed mini peppers
- Chilled Spanish gazpacho
- Crispy oven roasted chickpeas
- Blue cheese and fig bruschetta
Feta stuffed Padrón peppers
- 7 ounces (or 200 grams) Padrón Peppers cut in half and seeded
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 50 g feta cheese
- ½ sweet white onion finely chopped
- flaky sea salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Finely dice the sweet onion and mix it with the crumbled feta cheese in a mixing bowl. Add salt, pepper and dried basil.
- Cut the Padron peppers in half, leave the stem but remove the seeds. Fill the pepper halves with the feta and onion mix.
- Add olive oil to a frying pan on medium-high heat, then place the pepper halves stuffing side upwards in the pan. Cover and cook for 5 minutes until the skin of the peppers are blistered and soft and the feta cheese is melted. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and serve.
- Serve on a large plate for everyone to share.
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