Get a bit of zip, texture, gorgeous color and a ton of flavor in this versatile roasted red pepper sauce. It takes just 5 minutes, a few ingredients and a food processor or blender to make the magic happen. How can you use this delicious sauce? Check it out!
I served this roasted red pepper sauce as a dip at my sister’s cottage on the weekend. We all scoffed it down with homemade naan in about 5 minutes flat. Which didn’t bother me since it only takes me 5 minutes to make.
I throw roasted red peppers, roasted almonds, lemon zest, a green onion, olive oil, garlic and fresh basil into my food processor. And blend it until fairly smooth. That’s it.
The end result? A flavorful red pepper sauce that is gluten free, vegan, freezable and can be served with everything you can think.
Great ways to use this roasted red pepper sauce
- over grilled veggies or steamed green beans
- tossed with pasta or tofu
- with a tofu or noodle bowl
- as a condiment for salmon stuffed with herbs,
- as a topping for homemade veggie burgers,
- drizzled over grilled cauliflower, or crispy oven roasted potatoes
- with a breakfast egg bake
Roasted red peppers – jar vs homemade
The red pepper sauce in this recipe uses roasted red peppers in a jar. I’m sure you clued into this when I mentioned the entire recipe takes 5 minutes 🙂
Of course, using fresh roasted red peppers would be great too, but that would take an extra hour or more to make the recipe. If you have the time, here’s how to make roasted red peppers – 4 ways – by Tori Avey.
Back to the jar kind. Which brands are best? The taste can actually differ quite a bit – from smokey-charred to vinegary-pickled. If you prefer the less acidic kind (like me), look for vinegar toward the end of the ingredient list on the jar.
Neither of those brands are available at my local store. I just use a brand that looks decent ingredient-wise (I’m sure you never heard of it) and the recipe turns out great regardless. Tip: My only suggestion would be to taste the peppers first and adjust the amount of lemon zest you use based on how vinegary the peppers are.
Tailor To Your Taste
This sauce/dip is very forgiving and totally adaptable to your liking. Here are a few variations and substitutions to consider.
- Try some different seasonings such as smoked paprika, za’atar or chili powder.
- Add spicy heat with red chili flakes or sriracha. Start with 1/4 tsp and add more to taste.
- Instead of almonds, try pecans or skinned hazelnuts
- Substitute the basil with fresh parsley or cilantro
- Leave out the almonds for a smooth creamy texture. The sauce will be thinner without nuts.
- If the sauce is too thick for your liking, thin it out with tablespoon or two of water.
- The roasted red pepper sauce can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to a week or frozen for 2-3 months.
Ways to use leftover roasted red peppers
So many options. Here are a few…
- make a romesco sauce with roasted tomatoes and peppers
- make an easy soup with peppers and tomatoes
- blend a roasted pepper into a gazpacho
- use as a topping for burgers, sandwiches or wraps
- add to a risotto
- fold into scrambled eggs or an omelet
- use as a pizza topping
- add to a quinoa, pasta or green salad.
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
- food processor or blender
- 12 ounces roasted red peppers from a jar, drained Note 1 about 1 1/2 peppers
- 1/2 cup roasted almonds
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tsp chopped garlic (about 2 cloves)
- 1 green onion
- 5-7 fresh basil leaves
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp kosher salt (or less if using salted almonds)
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- MAKE RED PEPPER SAUCE: Place all ingredients in food processor or blender. Process until almost smooth. Or as smooth as you like. It will be quite thick. Add more almonds if you want it thicker. Or add a tablespoon or two or water if you like it thinner. Taste and adjust seasonings e.g. lemon juice, salt, more basil, etc. Serve as a dip, filling, topping, sauce for pasta, etc.
- How many peppers in a jar? In a 16 oz jar, there are two peppers. In a 12 oz jar, about 1 1/2 peppers (approximately 1 1/2 cups).
- To Store:
- Red peppers: Leftover roasted red peppers in the jar will last 1-2 months in the fridge once opened. Fresh roasted red peppers can be stored in oil in a sealed container or ziploc for 2 weeks.
- Roasted Red Pepper Sauce: can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to a week or frozen for 2-3 months.