In order to optimize the water and nitrogen management mode and realize the efficient scale production of sweet pepper, from 2021 to 2022, field experiments on sweet pepper cultivation with different water and nitrogen coupling modes were conducted in the Hexi Oasis irrigation areas. The regulation effects of the water–nitrogen coupling mode on the dry matter accumulation characteristics, photosynthesis, yield, and water–nitrogen utilization efficiency of sweet pepper were further discussed. Irrigation was set for full irrigation (W1, 75–85% FC [field capacity]), mild (W2, 65–75% FC), and moderate (W3, 55–65% FC) water deficit levels. Three levels of nitrogen were applied, high (N1, 300 kg·ha−1
), medium (N2, 225 kg·ha−1
) and low (N3, 150 kg·ha−1
), with full irrigation and no nitrogen application used as the control (CK). The results showed that the appropriate water–nitrogen coupling mode could enhance the photosynthetic rate, increase dry matter accumulation and the accumulation rate, advance the days of a maximum rate of dry matter accumulation, and improve yield and water–nitrogen utilization efficiency. N1W1 had the greatest dry matter accumulation, the mean rate and the maximum increase rate of dry matter accumulation in sweet pepper, which was not a significant difference from N2W2, but significantly increased by 19.61%, 19.67%, and 23.45%, respectively, compared with CK. Water deficit significantly advanced the days of a maximum rate of dry matter accumulation. The days of a maximum rate of dry matter accumulation appeared 1.18–5.79 days earlier at W3 than at W2 and W1, and the maximum rate appeared gradually later with increasing irrigation. The net photosynthetic rate, the transpiration rate, and stomatal conductance of N2W2 sweet pepper showed the best performance at all growth stages, significantly increasing by 23.87%, 27.71%, and 27.39%, respectively, compared with CK. Moreover, the Intercellular CO2
concentration was significantly reduced by 14.77% in N2W2 compared to CK. The N2W2 had the highest yield, water use efficiency, and irrigation water use efficiency of sweet pepper, significantly increasing 26.89%, 33.74%, and 31.22% compared to CK. Excessive water and nitrogen dosage reduced nitrogen partial factor productivity, while an appropriate increase in irrigation under reduced nitrogen conditions facilitated the water nitrogen potential. Passage path analysis further showed that water–nitrogen coupling promotes plant biomass formation and distribution by increasing photosynthetic assimilation capacity, ultimately increasing yield. Therefore, the N2W2 treatment (65–75% FC, 225 kg·ha−1
) is the ideal water and nitrogen mode for obtaining higher yields and water and nitrogen use efficiency of sweet pepper in a cold and arid environment.