Can You Eat Wrinkled Peppers? Everything You Need To Know

Pulling a bell pepper out of the fridge and finding that it has turned wrinkly is a frustrating experience. You might be wondering whether the wrinkles indicate that the pepper is no longer okay to eat, or if you can still consume it.

Bell peppers that have turned a little wrinkly should be fine to eat as long as they don’t show other signs of decay. If the pepper has spots of mold, a slimy texture, or a strange smell, you will need to compost it, because it won’t be safe to eat. Always check peppers before slicing and eating them, especially if you’re going to eat them raw.

In this article, we’re going to talk about when bell peppers are safe to eat, and when it’s time to throw them away.

Are Wrinkled Bell Peppers Safe To Eat?

wrinkled peppers

If you have taken a bell pepper out of the fridge and found that it has turned a little wrinkly, you should check for all of the following:

  • Spots of mold around the stem or on the soft edges of the vegetable if it has been cut open
  • Sliminess or stickiness on the pepper, especially if it has been cut
  • A sour or unusual odor
  • Softness with liquid leaking out
  • Mushy, brown, or black spots

A small amount of wrinkling is fine and simply suggests that the pepper has lost a little bit of its moisture. However, if the pepper has become very wrinkly, this suggests that it is starting to go past its best and spoil, and this is the point at which you need to look for more signs of decay.

Before you cut a pepper up to eat it, you should inspect it thoroughly for any indication that it is starting to turn moldy. Wrinkles will not hurt you, even if you eat the pepper raw, but mold spots or a sour smell suggest that the pepper is past the point where you can eat it. 

It is pretty normal to see a pepper develop a few wrinkles when it has started to get a little old, because peppers have a lot of moisture in them and this will start to evaporate as the fruit is stored. Even if you keep peppers in a damp and cold environment to minimize evaporation, it will lose moisture.

Can You Eat Wrinkled Peppers Raw?

Wrinkled peppers are okay to eat raw, but they often don’t taste as good. Most people enjoy the crisp “snap” of a fresh pepper, and the more wrinkly the pepper is, the less it will have this. Fresh and crunchy peppers taste a lot better, and may also be healthier, so aim to eat your peppers as soon as possible after purchasing them.

As vegetables age, they tend to lose some of their nutrients, so an old pepper will not be as beneficial as a fresh one. It will still contain vitamins, but some will have been lost. It may also not taste as pleasant.

If you find a pepper that has wrinkled, it’s best to cook it. This will disguise the softer texture and make it much more palatable. Use fresh peppers for salads and sandwiches, as these will taste much better.

How Should You Store A Pepper To Avoid Wrinkling?

The best place to keep your bell peppers is in the fridge. This will maximize their freshness and keep as much moisture as possible inside the vegetable. The crisper drawer will provide the perfect environment for them, so try to put all bell peppers here as soon as you have purchased them.

It’s a good idea to gently pat your pepper dry before putting it away. Condensation lingering on the vegetable could lead to rotting and mushiness, inviting mold into the flesh. Use a clean towel to wipe away any moisture, and then put it in the fridge.

Stored correctly, bell peppers should last for about 1 or 2 weeks, although they may start turning wrinkly before the 2 week period is up. Their skins are fairly watertight and will keep them from rotting for quite a while if they are kept in the fridge. If you store your bell peppers on the counter, they will probably only last for a few days.

Once you have cut into a bell pepper, it will start to decay more quickly because mold can get to the softer flesh inside the pepper. You will need to keep the pepper in an airtight container or wrap the edge to minimize the airflow and prevent moisture loss. This should slow the spread of bacteria, although a cut pepper will still need using up faster than a whole pepper.

What Happens If You Eat A Spoiled Pepper?

Spoiled peppers will often have a bad flavor, so it’s unlikely that you will accidentally consume one. However, if you do, it might give you stomach cramps, nausea, or diarrhea. There is also a small chance of getting food poisoning, so it’s important not to take this risk.

In serious cases, food poisoning can lead to hospitalization, so you need to be very careful if you are eating peppers that you think may have spoiled. It is best not to eat them if you aren’t sure that they are safe, as cooking is not always sufficient to destroy the bacteria and toxins that they leave behind in food.

Always check a pepper for signs of decay before you eat it, especially if it has turned wrinkly. Peppers that are going moldy will smell bad, and may have mushy patches or brown areas. Compost these instead of consuming them.


Peppers that have gone a little wrinkly in the fridge are generally completely fine to eat and many people cook with them. They have simply lost a little moisture, and may not have quite such a good texture, which means you probably won’t want to eat them raw. However, you should check the pepper over for signs of mold or decay, and avoid eating any that have gone bad.

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for over five years! I've set up this blog because I'm passionate about veganism and living a more spiritually fulfilling life where I'm more in tune with nature. Hopefully, I can use Vegan Foundry as a channel to help you out on your own journey!