Pepper and Egg Sandwich Recipe

Smoky peppers and onions and creamy eggs on a roll makes this classic Chicago sandwich a satisfying vegetarian dinner. . Nick Kindelsperger

When putting together the Chicago Food Glossary, a number of people chimed in that I had forgotten to include the pepper and egg sandwich, which was apparently a staple at hot dog stands during Lent. Even though another commenter noted that he'd eaten them in Boston, thereby disqualifying the item as a unique Chicago dish, all the talk finally got me interested in a sandwich that I'd always considered humble and, well, kind of boring. Perhaps I was missing something.

Thing is, all the versions I'd tried featured overly soft and mushy peppers mixed with dry and overcooked eggs. So my main focus was to make sure each component got a little more attention. Instead of cooking the peppers over moderate heat until soft, I took a trick from fajitas and cooked them over high heat. This resulted in peppers and onions with a slight smoky char, along with some actual texture. As for the eggs, I wanted them to be creamy and soft, which meant I had to go in the opposite cooking direction—low and slow.

This turned out to be easier to accomplish than I'd imagined. The peppers and onions are cooked over high heat, and then the heat is reduced to medium-low before the eggs are gently cooked. I was genuinely happy with the result, and the only addition I could think of was a drizzle of hot sauce and ketchup.

Recipe Details

Pepper and Egg Sandwich Recipe

Active 20 mins
Total 20 mins
Serves 4 servings


  • 4 sandwich rolls

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch slices

  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch slices

  • 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

  • 6 eggs

  • 2 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 teaspoons)

  • Hot sauce, ketchup, or other condiments as desired


  1. Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap each roll in aluminum foil and set on a baking sheet. Transfer to the oven to warm while preparing the rest of the meal.

  2. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until barely smoking. Add green and red bell peppers and onions. Cook, stirring often, until they start to blacken in spots and soften, 5 to 8 minutes. Season with a pinch of a salt. Reduce heat to medium low, and let the pan cool down for 1 minute.

  3. While the pan is cooling, crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk until combined. Stir in the cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper.

  4. Add garlic to skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the eggs and let cook for 10 seconds before stirring. Continue stirring every ten seconds until eggs have set but are still relatively soft. Turn off the heat.

  5. Carefully remove rolls from the oven. Slice each roll horizontally along one side, leaving the other long side still attached. Use your hands to remove some excess bread in the middle if necessary. Scoop some of the egg and pepper mixture in each roll.Top with condiments as desired and serve.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
433 Calories
22g Fat
40g Carbs
20g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 433
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 6g 31%
Cholesterol 295mg 98%
Sodium 637mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 14%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 72mg 361%
Calcium 260mg 20%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 346mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)