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4 January 2015

A pesto sauce recipe variation made with roasted red Italian sweet peppers.

Pesto! The uber-Italian sauce that is one of life’s perfect treats. We’re both major suckers for a good pesto. Traditional is awesome, of course, but you can add in some variations to bring in new flavors.

Like chili peppers. Or how about roasted chili peppers?


For this pesto variation, I used Carmen Italian Sweet Peppers, which are so delicious and sweet. They are thicker walled pepper that stand up perfectly to roasting and stuffing.

I chose to include them into this pesto for a touch of sweetness but also smokiness from the flame roasting process. To roast them, just set them over an open flame on your stove top, allowing the skins to char and blacken, flipping them often.

Let them cool slightly in a plastic bag or wrapped in a paper towel, and the skins will mostly steam off, making them easy to remove. You can also oven roast them at a high temperature for about 15-20 minutes or so, then cool as above and peel.

Many sweet peppers will work for this recipe, though look for something sweet and something nice and red.

This recipe is also great with homemade Peperonata.

If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Pesto with Roasted Italian Red Peppers - Recipe

A pesto sauce recipe variation made with roasted red Italian sweet peppers.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: pasta
Servings: 2
Calories: 350kcal


  • 2 large sweet peppers roasted and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Combine the roasted peppers, basil, garlic, pine nuts, salt, and pepper in a food processor.
  • Process until coarsely chopped.
  • Drizzle in olive oil and process until smooth.


The recipe show is simple. I just tossed the pesto with some cooked noodles, topped with quick-grilled seasoned shrimp, and topped it all with a bit of shredded Parmesan cheese. It's nice to keep some extra pesto on hand for quick meals. Enjoy!


Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 346mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 4360IU | Vitamin C: 155.1mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1.6mg


  1. Can this pepper pesto be frozen?

    REPLY: Leslie, yes, you can freeze this pesto. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

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