Red Pepper Pesto
Jul 07, 2021
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This red pepper pesto dish is elegant, flavorful, full of texture and will really uplift your next pasta night. Ready in under 30 minutes. You can smother this on crispy bread, over fish, chicken or mix it into your favorite pasta.
Table of Contents
Why Make Red Pepper Pesto?
When it comes to versatile and vibrant condiments, pesto has long been a favorite. Originating from Italy, the classic basil pesto is celebrated for its aromatic basil leaves, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese. But have you ever ventured beyond the traditional green and explored the world of red pepper pesto? You will love it.
You can fold this red pepper pesto into pastas, spread it on pizzas for a great “sauce” base. Dip Air Fryer Garlic Bread in it or eat it on sandwiches, Turkey Burgers and more. The options are endless here. It’s a great sauce and dip for so many things.
Ingredients For This Recipe
Pine Nuts. Pine nuts will offer a more neutral flavor and color for this pesto. They are pricy, but you only need a small amount to make about 2 cups of pesto.
Olive Oil. Non bitter, light EVOO will work best.
Sun Dried Tomatoes. Be sure to use the ones that come in oil. They provide the best flavor and texture for this pesto.
Roasted Red Bell Peppers. You can use the type in the jar or roast two bell peppers yourself in the oven. Skin and seed the peppers and discard extra liquid.
Basil. Fresh basil works best.
All other ingredients and measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
Pasta. Use any pasta shape of choice, you can also serve this with toasted pita, bread or chips.
Pine Nuts. Walnuts will also work great. They will make the pesto a little darker in color.
Roasted Red Peppers. I recommend jarred roasted red peppers, you can easily roast two bell peppers yourself and discard skin and seeds for a more fresh approach.
Sun Dried Tomatoes. I only recommend the kind that come in oil. The others that are just dehydrated are a bit too dry and don’t blend nicely.
Parmesan. You can also use pecorino or, to make this dairy free, just skip the parmesan. You will need a bit more salt to replace the salt in the Parmesan.
How To Make This Recipe
Step One. If serving with pasta, start the pasta cook according to the package. Add all the pesto ingredients to a food processor.
Step Two. Taste the pesto, ensure that it suits your salt level. Drain pasta (Be sure to reserve 1 cup of pasta water to mix pesto in!).
Step Three. Add about 1 cup of pesto and half of the reserved pasta water to the pasta, mix well. If you want more pesto, add more, otherwise you can keep the leftovers for later.
If you have any leftovers, you can store in an airtight container for up to 4 days or keep in an airtight ziplock back in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Red pepper pesto is a flavorful sauce made from roasted red bell peppers, nuts (usually almonds or pine nuts), grated Parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil, and seasonings. It differs from traditional basil pesto by replacing basil with red peppers or sun-dried tomatoes, resulting in a sweet, smoky, and savory flavor profile.
Adjust the consistency easily! If your pesto is too thick, you can thin it out by gradually adding more olive oil until you achieve your desired consistency. If it’s too thin, you can add more nuts, grated Parmesan cheese, or even breadcrumbs to thicken it.
Yes,make red pepper pesto ahead of time, it is an excellent make-ahead condiment. Prepare it a day or two in advance and refrigerate it in an airtight container until you’re ready to use it.
No problem, use walnuts instead. They are just as delicious in this recipe.
Be sure to control the consistency! Adjust the thickness of your pesto by adding more olive oil if it’s too thick or more nuts if it’s too thin. Remember that the consistency can be adapted to suit your preference or intended use.
Don’t forget to save the pasta water! If you are mixing this into pasta, make sure to use pasta water to help thin it out and spread it around the pasta. It really adds a great consistency.
Store Properly. To prevent your red pepper pesto from darkening or losing flavor, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also top it with a thin layer of olive oil to create a seal and maintain freshness.
Sandwich Spread: Use it as a spread for sandwiches or my Pesto Wraps
Pizza Sauce: Replace traditional pizza sauce with red pepper pesto for a unique and flavorful pizza topping
Grilled Meats and Vegetables: Drizzle it over grilled chicken, my Blackened Steak, or vegetables for a burst of flavor.
Dipping Sauce: Serve it as a dip for Overnight Bread, crackers, or raw vegetables.
Salad Dressing: Thin it out with a bit of olive oil and use it as a salad dressing. Like on my Red Pepper Kale Salad.
Other Pasta Recipes You Might Like
Red Pepper Pesto
- small food processor 3-4 cup processor.
- 6 cups pasta, optional for serving.
- 1 cup pasta water, to thin the sauce and spread it with pasta
Red Pepper Pesto
- 1 15 oz jar roasted red peppers, *see notes
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ cup sun dried tomatoes in oil
- ⅓ cup pine nuts, *see notes
- 1½ cup fresh basil
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup parmesan , *more for garnish
- If serving with pasta, start the pasta cook according to the package. Add all the pesto ingredients to a food processor.
- Taste the pesto, ensure that it suits your salt level. Drain pasta (Be sure to reserve 1 cup of pasta water to mix pesto in!).
- Add about 1 cup of pesto and half of the reserved pasta water to the pasta, mix well. If you want more pesto, add more, otherwise you can keep the leftovers for later.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.