Roasted Red Pepper Pesto


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!!

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
30 mins

A great variation on regular pesto!

Servings: 1 small jar
  • 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
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. 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.
  3. Meanwhile, lightly toast the pine nuts in a skillet on medium heat.
  4. In a food processor, throw in the bell peppers, garlic clove, pine nuts, and basil.
  5. 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.
  6. Keep in an airtight jar for up to 2 weeks, if it lasts that long ;)


Posted on June 20, 2012

Leave a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment! Please be patient when asking questions to a recipe as it may take up to 48 hours for me to respond. In the meantime, you may want to read previous comments to see if your question has already been answered. Please take a moment to read my comment policy as a gentle reminder of feedback etiquette. Have a great day!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. 06/20/2012 at 8:39 am

    This looks fabulous!

  2. Priscilla
    06/20/2012 at 8:41 am

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

  3. 06/20/2012 at 8:42 am

    Oh looks super yummy!

  4. 06/20/2012 at 8:47 am

    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

  5. 06/20/2012 at 8:54 am

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

  6. 06/20/2012 at 9:06 am

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

  7. 06/20/2012 at 9:35 am

    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 :)

  8. 06/20/2012 at 9:50 am

    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!

  9. 06/20/2012 at 9:58 am

    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!

  10. 06/20/2012 at 9:58 am

    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.

  11. 06/20/2012 at 10:11 am

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

  12. 06/20/2012 at 10:14 am

    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!

    • 06/20/2012 at 10:30 am

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

  13. 06/20/2012 at 10:37 am

    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!

  14. 06/20/2012 at 10:56 am

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

  15. 06/20/2012 at 11:22 am

    Roasted red pepper pesto governs my soul. Gorgeous!

  16. 06/20/2012 at 11:50 am

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

  17. 06/20/2012 at 12:23 pm

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

  18. 06/20/2012 at 1:10 pm

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

  19. 06/20/2012 at 1:31 pm

    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.

  20. 06/20/2012 at 1:40 pm

    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!

  21. 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!

  22. Ashley
    06/20/2012 at 2:45 pm

    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!!

  23. 06/20/2012 at 2:51 pm

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

  24. 06/20/2012 at 3:19 pm

    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!!

  25. 06/20/2012 at 4:53 pm

    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!

  26. 06/20/2012 at 5:59 pm

    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!!!

  27. 06/20/2012 at 9:07 pm

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

  28. 06/20/2012 at 9:28 pm

    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!

  29. 06/21/2012 at 1:02 am

    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.

  30. 06/21/2012 at 1:10 am

    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!

  31. 06/21/2012 at 4:30 am

    This looks delicious! Hooray for not tomato based pasta sauces

  32. 06/21/2012 at 9:55 am

    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!

  33. 06/22/2012 at 4:32 am

    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.


  34. 06/23/2012 at 3:12 pm

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

  35. Tanya P
    06/23/2012 at 4:12 pm

    this looks amazing!

  36. 06/25/2012 at 5:53 am

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

  37. 06/28/2012 at 9:33 am

    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!

  38. Karen
    08/30/2012 at 10:13 pm

    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.

  39. CG
    10/26/2012 at 3:20 pm

    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!

  40. Chris
    02/01/2013 at 3:37 pm

    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

  41. 04/23/2014 at 2:56 am

    This looks amaaazing! :)

Back to Top