Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

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    This roasted red pepper pesto is a great variation to regular basil pesto

    Have you ever heard the theory that your taste buds “change” every 7 years? Which could explain why you didn’t like something when you were young but absolutely LOVE it now.

    That is really true for me, and partly why I believe that taste buds really do change. I used to hate pickles, onions, and peppers. I refused to eat them even if they made a dish smell good or even if you couldn’t really taste it in a dish. I’m now singing a completely new tune. I love onions, in fact it’s very rare I cook without them, I love pickles, and I love peppers. Specifically bell peppers. This is coming from the girl who used to PICK every ingredient she didn’t like out of a dish and put it to the side. Yeah, clearly I love bell peppers now because I stuffed some and ate the entire thing.

    And then I decided to make this pesto with some bell peppers.

    And then I smeared it on every crevice of bread and pasta I could find.

    And then I decided to just dip veggies in it as if it were some dressing.

    Yeah, it’s that kind of relationship. And you’re lucky because I like sharing. So today, I share with you this holy grail of pestos.

    Mhmmm guurrllfraaand.

    I have a killer pasta made with this pesto coming tomorrow. You won’t want to miss it!!

    5 from 1 vote

    Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

    A great variation on regular pesto!
    Prep Time: 25 mins
    Cook Time: 5 mins
    Total Time: 30 mins
    Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 1 small jar
    Calories: 459kcal
    Author: Julie Chiou
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    • 2 large red bell peppers, de-seeded and membranes removed
    • 1 clove large garlic
    • 2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
    • 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • Olive oil


    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    • Slice the red bell peppers into large pieces and place skin side down on a large baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the bell peppers and sprinkle some salt. Place in oven for 20-25 minutes until peppers are soft and the edges slightly transparent. The skin that was touching the baking sheet should be slightly blackened, too.
    • Meanwhile, lightly toast the pine nuts in a skillet on medium heat.
    • In a food processor, throw in the bell peppers, garlic clove, pine nuts, and basil.
    • Turn on the food processor and drizzle olive oil through the feed tube and mix it until a nice thick consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
    • Keep in an airtight jar for up to 2 weeks, if it lasts that long ;)


    Nutrition Facts
    Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
    Amount Per Serving (1 Jar)
    Calories 459 Calories from Fat 351
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 39g60%
    Carbohydrates 19g6%
    Fiber 7g28%
    Sugar 9g10%
    Protein 5g10%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

    Julie Wampler of Table for Two
    Meet The Author: Julie Chiou
    Dinner for Two Cookbook
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    Recipe Rating


  • Rachel Cooks says:

    This looks fabulous!

  • Priscilla says:

    Super recipe…& simple! That’s key for me. Also, your photo boards are looking good!

  • Blog is the New black says:

    Oh looks super yummy!

  • Living The Sweet Life says:

    I’ve never been told that your tastebuds change every 7 years, that’s pretty cool!! And I guess that DOES make sense – – cool!

    This is one snazzy looking pesto, I can just see it now – smeared over some hot focaccia. *drool

  • DessertForTwo says:

    I bought bead board! I’m doing your food photo boards DIY project this weekend! Wahooo!

  • Amanda at the red table says:

    mmmm.mmmm. I love pestos, but I haven’t tried a red pepper one … yet. :)

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen says:

    I see a lovely new white photoboard in this shoot! ;)
    I believe the tastebud thing too. I used to loathe all sorts of seafood as a kid (it might’ve been a mental thing than an actual physical dislike of the taste but whatever) and now I could easily be a pescatarian if it weren’t for a big juicy rare steak every once and a while :)

  • Megan {Country Cleaver} says:

    Annndd Now I know what I will be doing with my 8 basil plants and the red pepper I have in my fridge. Holy fregoli sister!

  • amy @ fearless homemaker says:

    yum, i love red peppers + frequently make a roasted red pepper sauce for pasta. this would be an awesome twist on that – thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    I think it’s more of a maturity thing… and with that I must admit I still despise certain food and will pick them out LOL. But I do love pickles. This sounds fantastic though, for real.

  • Lauren says:

    I’m a roasted red pepper freak! This sounds amazing…

  • Stephanie (kitchen frolic) says:

    I love red peppers so this pesto sauce is definitely a must-try! I can definitely see a nice, light summery pasta being made with this sauce!

    • Julie says:

      And you are correct! That pasta is coming tomorrow :)

  • Monet says:

    Ah! Your blog is too cute! Thank you for sharing this recipe with me. It looks heavenly, and it would be perfect with some homemade foccacia. I hope you have a wonderful day!

  • Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen says:

    Perfect pesto… and look at your photo board :) Yay!

  • Bev @ Bev Cooks says:

    Roasted red pepper pesto governs my soul. Gorgeous!

  • Villy @ For the love of Feeding says:

    Yum and slurp! Just give me some bread with that and I’m done!

  • Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet says:

    Gorgeous! Amazing! I can see myself becoming totally obsessed with this. Thank you, Julie!

  • Cassie says:

    Yes, my tastebuds continue to change all the time. I would just eat this from the jar. LOVE!

  • Kathryn says:

    I had no idea that taste buds changed every 7 years but it does make lots of sense! I love love love the taste of roasted red peppers so this sounds perfect for me.

  • Ryan @ Spicy Richmond says:

    This looks SO good Julie! I made a red pepper pesto a while back so this is giving me the itch to make it again!

  • Stephanie @ Macaroni and Cheesecake says:

    Oh gurrl! This sounds amazing!:) and my tastebuds have completely changed from when I was growing up! I used to only eat very basic foods like chicken fingers and baked potato, haha:) I had no idea they still changed every 7 years though. That’s neat. This pesto sounds amazing and I’m salivating at the idea of the pasta you are going to share with us soon!

  • Ashley says:

    My taste buds are always surprising me with new found taste lovers! Bell peppers and I have always been tight – this pesto would surely rock my world!!

  • Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen says:

    I think it’s an understatement to say that I LOVE red pepper pesto! Great photos…love the new boards!

  • Tracey says:

    I’m the same way – there are so many foods I wouldn’t have touched years ago that I’ve really come to love recently! Sadly, red peppers are still on the “eh” list for me because this pesto looks amazing!!

  • Aimee @ ShugarySweets says:

    I would say I am the same way, but I can count on one hand the foods I won’t eat. Yep, not picky at all here!!! This pesto looks amazing, and I have 4 red pepper plants in the garden this year! Can’t wait!

  • Carla @ Carlas Confections says:

    Oh man! I have just recently come to love bell peppers (capsicum as they call it in NZ…) and suddenly have a craving for this pesto! Oh yum! :) Sooooo looking forward to the pasta recipe!!!

  • Michael @ BlueberryChuckle says:

    I love roasted red pepper anything. This looks uh-mazing!

  • sally @ sallys baking addiction says:

    So glad you posted this recipe Julie! After the twitter teaser over the weekend! I love roasted red peppers but have never had it in/as pesto. Just beautiful!

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says:

    Great photos, Julie! I noticed that you’re using the white boards! I really need to get on that and make some too.

    As for my tastebuds, they have DRASTICALLY changed since I was younger. I never went near pastrami but now it’s one of my favorite things ever! I wasn’t much of a bell pepper person either but now I love them and I’ve been meaning to make red pepper pesto but I just never got around to it. I will have to make this soon! It would be so amazing tossed in some spaghetti or something.

  • Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen says:

    I am right there with you on being picky and I have grown to like all of those things too. I wouldn’t touch anything that had bell peppers in it! Your pesto looks truly amazing!

  • Jenny @ BAKE says:

    This looks delicious! Hooray for not tomato based pasta sauces

  • Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen says:

    I can’t express how good this looks! I’m going to have to make it as soon as possible. Headed over to check out the pasta right now!

  • David Crichton says:

    Totally agree about the taste buds, they say you start sweet, then go savoury then back to sweet as you get older. As long as I never lose the taste for good wine I don’t care.

    Love your pesto, I love pestos they transform dishes. It’s good to have a red one in the repitoire rather than the green ones all he time.

    Love your blog btw.


  • Lynna says:

    After reading what you`ve written about this sauce, I feel like it`s magic! I will make this soon!!

  • Tanya P says:

    this looks amazing!

  • val says:

    I have to make this soon. Looks and sounds delicious.

  • Vicky says:

    This sounds delicious! I make pesto all the time but have yet to try it with roasted red peppers! Next on my to make list!

  • Karen says:

    Mine does not look nearly as pretty thanks to the fact that my food processor is a 14-cupper so the pieces are bigger, but it tastes great and I don’t love peppers! Great use for some csa peppers.

  • CG says:

    Can’t argue with you about the taste bud theory.

    I always hated peppers too; still can’t stand green ones.

    But this pesto rocks! I served it one night with some lightly buttered pasta and cheese.

    Not a single complaint from the picky eaters!!!

    Excellent, excellent pesto.

    Keep ’em coming!

  • Chris says:

    My mum wasn’t a fan of red pesto but this converted her.

    So simple to make and tastes very yummy.

    Served it with fresh tagliatelle and stirred in a little taleggio cheese for an extra smoked nuttiness

  • Vanessa says:

    This looks amaaazing! :)

  • Michael LaMonda says:

    Great recipe I’ll be making it tomorrow!

  • Regina Tholmer says:

    I didn’t know pesto could be made with peppers until I saw a cooking show the other day. I looked up the recipe and found yours. I only had an orange pepper so I used it. I also roasted the garlic with the peppers. and used Pecorino Romano instead of parmesan. It was wonderful and it’s all gone!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      I’m glad you were able to make this!

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