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Bell Peppers vs. Capsicum: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on June 21, 2024
Bell peppers and capsicum refer to the same vegetable; the term "bell peppers" is commonly used in American English, while "capsicum" is used in British English and other countries.

Key Differences

Bell peppers, known as capsicum in many parts of the world, are a type of sweet, mild pepper. In American English, "bell peppers" specifically refers to these sweet varieties. Capsicum, the term used in British and Commonwealth English, encompasses a wider range of pepper varieties, including both sweet and hot types. Bell peppers are characterized by their bell shape and lack of heat.
Bell peppers come in a variety of colors, including green, red, yellow, and orange, known for their sweet and mild flavor. Capsicum, in its broader definition, includes peppers that vary widely in both color and spiciness.
In culinary contexts, bell peppers are often used in salads, stir-fries, and as a stuffed vegetable due to their mild flavor. Capsicum, in regions where the term is used, may refer to similar culinary uses but can also include hotter varieties.
Nutritionally, bell peppers are a source of vitamins C and A, and their sweetness enhances many dishes. Capsicum, when referring to the same vegetable, offers similar nutritional benefits and culinary versatility.

Comparison Chart


Common in American English
Common in British and Commonwealth English

Type of Pepper

Specifically sweet and mild varieties
Includes both sweet and hot varieties

Usage in Cooking

Salads, stir-fries, stuffed dishes
Similar uses, plus in dishes requiring heat

Flavor Profile

Sweet and mild
Ranges from sweet to spicy

Nutritional Content

High in vitamins C and A
Similar nutritional content

Bell Peppers and Capsicum Definitions

Bell Peppers

Bell peppers come in various colors like green, red, and yellow.
He grilled a mix of green and yellow bell peppers.


Capsicum encompasses a range of pepper varieties, from sweet to hot.
His garden had a variety of capsicum plants.

Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are commonly used in American cuisine.
The recipe called for diced bell peppers for extra flavor.


Capsicum is a key ingredient in many international cuisines.
She used red capsicum to add color and flavor to the dish.

Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are a nutritious addition to many meals.
They grew bell peppers in their garden for healthy eating.


Capsicum can refer to bell peppers in British English.
The stir-fry included sliced capsicum for sweetness.

Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are known for being non-spicy.
She preferred bell peppers to spicy peppers in her dishes.


Capsicum is a term for peppers, including bell peppers, in many countries.
The curry recipe required green capsicum.

Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are sweet, mild peppers with a bell shape.
She added red bell peppers to the salad for a splash of color.


Capsicum provides nutritional benefits in various dishes.
He added capsicum to his diet for its vitamin content.


Any of various tropical American pepper plants of the genus Capsicum, especially any of the numerous cultivated forms of the species C. annuum and C. frutescens.


The fruit of any of these plants, especially the dried pungent types used as a condiment and in medicine.


Are bell peppers spicy?

No, they are known for their sweet and mild flavor.

What are bell peppers?

Sweet, mild peppers common in American cuisine.

What is capsicum?

A term for peppers, including sweet and spicy varieties, used in British and Commonwealth English.

What colors do bell peppers come in?

Green, red, yellow, and orange.

Is capsicum used differently in cooking?

Similar uses, but may include hotter peppers in some cuisines.

Are bell peppers nutritious?

Yes, they're high in vitamins C and A.

Can capsicum be hot?

Yes, it can refer to both sweet and hot pepper varieties.

Does capsicum offer health benefits?

Yes, similar to bell peppers, they're nutritious.

Are bell peppers and capsicum the same?

Yes, but the usage of the term varies by region.

Can bell peppers be eaten raw?

Yes, they are often eaten raw in salads.

Are there different varieties of capsicum?

Yes, ranging from sweet to very hot.

Do bell peppers change color as they ripen?

Yes, they can change from green to red, yellow, or orange.

Is capsicum used in Mexican cuisine?

Yes, especially the hotter varieties.

Can capsicum be used in salads?

Yes, both sweet and hot varieties can be used.

How are bell peppers used in American cuisine?

In salads, stir-fries, and as a stuffed vegetable.

Is capsicum a common ingredient in Indian cooking?

Yes, especially in curries and stir-fries.

Can bell peppers be cooked?

Yes, they can be grilled, roasted, or stir-fried.

Do bell peppers have seeds?

Yes, they contain seeds that are usually removed before eating.

Can capsicum be used in spicy dishes?

Yes, especially the hotter varieties.

Are bell peppers good for stuffing?

Yes, their shape and size make them ideal for stuffing.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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