Piperade is a tomato-pepper sauce spiced with piment d'Espelette from the Basque region, comforting, versatile, and easy to make.
We're heading to the Basque region situated between France and Spain today, my friends, for a recipe you're going to love.
Basque cuisine is known for its wonderful flavors, influenced by both French and Spanish cooking, and for their use of Espelette peppers, which are hugely popular in the region.
Basque peppers are pungent red peppers roughly as hot as an average jalapeno pepper. They are typically dried then ground into a powder, or piment d'Espelette, and used to season a myriad of dishes.
This particular recipe we're making today is famous from the area, called Piperade, made extra delicious with piment d'Espelette.
What is Piperade?
Piperade is a flavorful sauce of tomatoes, peppers, onions and spices, particularly piment d'Esplette. It is a versatile sauce from the Basque region between France and Spain, served in many different ways.
Learn more about Espelette Peppers.
Let's talk about how to make piperade, shall we?
- Olive Oil. Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil if you can.
- Bell Peppers. Use both a red and a green bell pepper, but you can realistically make this recipe with any bell peppers of your choosing. Consider adding an Espelette pepper or 2 if you have them.
- Tomatoes. Use fresh or canned. You can peel the tomatoes if you'd like, though I usually do not.
- Piment d'Espelette. Piment d'Espelette is a chili powder made from Espelette peppers from the Basque region. You can use paprika as a substitute.
- Other Seasonings. Sugar, salt, black pepper, dried thyme, bay leaf.
How to Make Piperade - the Recipe Method
Cook the Onions and Peppers. Heat the oil in a large pan to medium heat. Add the peppers and onion with a bit of salt to taste. Cook for 5 minutes to soften, stirring a bit.
Add the Garlic. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, or until the garlic becomes fragrant.
Tomatoes and Spices. Add the tomatoes, piment d’Espelette (or paprika), sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer the Sauce. Stir, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the peppers soften up to your preference.
Simmer longer for a “saucier” sauce.
Boom! Done! Your piperade is ready to serve. It smells wonderful, doesn't it? So saucy and delicious. You're definitely going to love this recipe.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Consider adding fresh chopped herbs, such as thyme, basil, or oregano, to adjust the flavors of your piperade.
- Try finishing your piperade sauce with a splash of either white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar for a pop of acidity before serving.
- You can serve your piperade as a chunky sauce or spread, or you can chop or blend it for a more sauce-like consistency.
Serving Ideas for Piperade
Piperade is a versatile sauce that can be served in many different ways. It is known for dishes like "Eggs Piperade", which is a shakshuka style egg dish, or "Poulet Basquaise" (Basque-style chicken).
You can serve it with ribbons of pasta, or use it to either braise meats or spoon over grilled meats.
Serve it as-is for spreading over toasted crusty bread.
I greatly enjoy this dish by adding thick sausages and simmering them until done, for a Basque-style Sausage and Peppers dish.
Piperade will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator in a sealed container. You can easily reheat it gently in a pan for serving later.
You can also freeze it for 2-3 months, though freezing may affect the consistency a bit.
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy this aloo gobi recipe. Let me know if you make it. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you, and if you decided to spice it up!
Buy Piment d'Espelette
- Buy Piment d'Espelette (affiliate link, my friends!)
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. 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.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper sliced into strips
- 1 green bell pepper sliced into strips
- 1 medium yellow onion sliced
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 3 medium tomatoes chopped (peeled, if desired – for canned, use 15 ounce canned diced)
- 1 tablespoon piment d’Espelette use paprika as a substitute
- 1 teaspoon sugar optional
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large pan to medium heat. Add the peppers and onion with a bit of salt to taste. Cook for 5 minutes to soften, stirring a bit.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, or until the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes, piment d’Espelette (or paprika), sugar, dried thyme, bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the peppers soften up to your preference. Simmer longer for a “saucier” sauce.
Try a splash of white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar before serving for an acidic flavor pop.
Serve the sauce as-is, or chop or blend it for a more sauce-like consistency, if desired.
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 10/20/23 to include new information, photos, and video. It was originally published on 9/21/22.