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Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

by Heather

Roasted red pepper pesto is not your traditional pesto – it makes roasted red peppers the star of the show! This vegan pesto comes together quickly with roasted red peppers, cashews, lemon, garlic, nutritional years, and of course, basil!

Roasted red pepper pesto

Roasted red pepper pesto

If you love green pesto, this red pepper version is one you’ll want to add to the rotation! It’s fantastic as a pasta sauce with loads of fresh flavors.

It makes a great dip and is the perfect addition to any mezze board or cheese platter.

Top your grain bowls with it, add it over eggs at breakfast time, or simply serve it along meatballs or burgers to bring that touch of special to your healthy meal.

Roasted red pepper pesto ingredients

Red pepper pesto ingredients

how to make red pesto

How to make this red pepper pesto recipe

Scroll down to view the recipe card below for the full ingredients list, nutrition facts, and step-by-step instructions.

  1. At least 1 hour in advance, soak the cashews to soften them. Drain the cashews before use.
  2. Drain the jar of bell pepper and add it to the base of the food processor (or high-speed blender). Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
  3. Scrape down the sides if needed. If you want a slightly thinner sauce, you can drizzle a little olive oil in while blending.

Watch me make this easy recipe

The full how to video can be watched below, or on my YouTube channel!

How to roast bell peppers

To roast bell peppers from scratch instead of purchasing store-bought roasted red bell peppers in a jar, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the peppers in half, and remove the stems, seeds, and membrane.

Lay the peppers on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet with the cut side facing the sheet.

Roast for 18-23 minutes, or until the skin of the peppers is blackened and the peppers are sunken and have lost their shape. Remove the peppers from the oven, and place them in a bowl. Cover with a plate or plastic wrap to allow the peppers to steam.

Once they are cooled enough to touch, peel the skins off of the peppers, and voila, you’ve roasted your own bell peppers!

For this recipe, you’ll want to roast 2-3 bell peppers.

roasted red bell pepper pesto

How to store and freeze

This recipe makes a big batch of sauce, making it perfect for meal prep and having homemade pesto on hand to add extra flavor to quick weeknight dinners.

Store your pre-made sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

I like to use a glass jar or even freeze it for future use!

Pesto recipes freeze really well in an ice cube tray. Once the sauce is frozen you can transfer the frozen pesto cubes into a freezer bag. Label and date the bag, and then store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.

The frozen pesto cubes will defrost quickly on the counter at room temperature.

roasted red pepper sauce

Substitutions

Below you’ll find a list of substitutions that will work well in this simple recipe. 

If you try something different out, please leave a comment below letting us all know how it turned out!

Roasted red bell peppers – If you aren’t able to find roasted peppers, or simply have extra fresh bell peppers on hand, you can roast them on your own with the instructions above.

Cashews – Pine nuts make a great alternative to cashews. If you use pine nuts, there is no need to soak the nuts in advance.

Lemon – Apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar are good substitutes for lemon juice.

Fresh garlic – If fresh garlic is not your favorite, you can use roasted garlic in its place. Alternatively, try granulated garlic for a more mild garlic flavor too.

Basil – Try fresh parsley or cilantro for a fun new flavor profile!

red pepper pesto recipe

More healthy recipes you’ll love to enjoy this red pesto recipe with

Roasted red pepper pesto
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5 from 1 vote

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

Roasted red pepper pesto is not your traditional pesto – it makes roasted red peppers the star of the show! This vegan pesto comes together quickly with roasted red peppers, cashews, lemon, garlic, nutritional years, and of course, basil!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Soaking Time1 hr
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: pesto, roasted red peppers
Servings: 8
Calories: 107kcal
Author: Heather

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews soak for at least 1 hour in water, then drain liquid
  • 12 ounce roasted red bell peppers drained
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1.8 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves

Instructions

  • At least 1 hour in advance, soak the cashews to soften them. Drain the cashews before use.
  • Drain the jar of bell pepper and add it to the base of the food processor (or high-speed blender). Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
  • Scrape down the sides if needed. If you want a slightly thinner sauce, you can drizzle a little olive oil in while blending.
Did you make this recipe?Be sure to tag me @fitmamarealfood or tag #fitmamarealfood!

Nutrition

Calories: 107kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 657mg | Potassium: 222mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 385IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 2mg

If you try this amazing recipe, I’d love it if you left a star rating and comment below letting me know how it turned out!

XO

Heather

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