Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

Red Pepper Pesto Recipe

Invariably simple to produce and devastatingly delicious, pesto is almost certainly the last word in quick, easy and frugal meals. Of course, it has applications outside the world of fusilli (basil pesto is, for instance, a rather delicious addition to soup), but that’s where its heart shall forever rest. For example, take this roasted red pepper pesto – in order for one’s pasta to obtain a satisfactory demise, all one need do is roast some fruit along with a little garlic, blitz it up with a few added extras and yell “Bob’s my uncle” at the top of one’s lungs. You’ll be glad to hear that the last step is not, and hopefully never will be, obligatory.

The number of different types of pesto one could dream up could, quite possibly, stretch on into eternity. However, this recipe has become a stand-out favourite since, unlike this rocket pesto, it deviates firmly from the norm. Indeed, most pesto is decidedly green, though it can be made from pretty much every herb under the sun.

Red Pepper Pesto Recipe

As you might imagine, the flavour attained by this recipe also differs from the norm somewhat – rather than being on the fragrant side, it is rich and almost caramel. Roasted garlic is, no doubt, responsible for the presence of that particular culinary facet – and a most welcome one it is too! Enjoy!

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto {recipe}

Serves 3-4


• Two red peppers

• Two cloves of garlic

• 1 red chilli

• A few walnut halves

• Juice of half a lemon

• A small handful of parmesan cheese

• 3 tbsp olive oil

• Salt


1. Pop the peppers, garlic and chilli on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven at 150C for 30-40 minutes until slightly charred. Remove the skin and seeds from the peppers

Red Pepper Pesto Recipe

2. Throw everything in a food processor and whiz until it has become a paste – you may need to add another tbsp of olive oil, just to loosen it up a bit.

Red Pepper Pesto Recipe

Cost: If one is committed to being frugal it is possible to find peppers at an extremely reasonable price – two for 70p isn’t that much of a stretch. As such, this very flavourful pesto can be made for around £1.30 – a most tempting price!

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100 comments on “Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

  1. ctoby
    January 6, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    can’t wait to try this! 🙂

  2. Susan
    January 6, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Great roasted pepper pic. And it seems pretty healthy to me!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 6, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      Thanks so much – only thing is it contains plenty of fat 😀

  3. Korena in the Kitchen
    January 6, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    How badly do I want a big bowl of that pasta RIGHT NOW. I’m definitely making this!!

  4. Food and Forage Hebrides
    January 6, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Great way to add interest, particularly for to mid-week suppers when time for cooking can be limited for me. Thanks, Tracey

  5. Green Door Hospitality
    January 6, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    This sounds really wonderful!

  6. narf77
    January 6, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    A great recipe for how to use up some of our prospective capsicum harvest this year. I discovered another use…adjika and ajvar, both heavy on the capsicums and both heady mixtures of thick tasty looking vegetably goodness to be spread with gusto on thick (THICK) home made bread or dolloped with abandon into just about everything when winter is trying to invade the small spaces of your home. I went hunting for recipes for these wonderful baltic type spreads because as a card carrying frugalite I always want to know how to make them myself…frugal AND they taste better. I had a great time hunting down recipes for the Russian adjika (methinks their alternative to ajvar…) and then falling off my seat laughing at the Google Translations of the predominately Russian blog sites that I found the recipes on. You never know when life is going to hand you a good laugh but you can pretty much bet on it if you go hunting for recipes in a language foreign to your own and you utilise Google Translate…I would recommend it to anyone with a bit of spare time on their hands. I couldn’t get off the floor when I found one particular French cooking blog because their translations were better than any sitcom ;). Cheers for this wonderfully unctuous looking creation that would be just as good stirred through a pan full of veggies as pasta. Another degustatory delight in the name of frugality 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      January 6, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      Indeed! I’ll check them out! Thank God for Google translate sometimes though, huh? Indeed, it could be used for some many things!

  7. gringopicante
    January 6, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    As always your food/recipes look amazing! Cheers.

  8. yachna
    January 6, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    When you say red peppers, do you mean bell peppers, capsicum?

    • frugalfeeding
      January 11, 2013 at 10:07 pm

      It doesn’t matter really, those work well though. Not chillies, mind you.

  9. chitchatandallofthat
    January 6, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    This looks so amazing and your pics are wonderful….mouth watering!

  10. fattyhatty
    January 6, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Looks incredible! I will definitely be making this asap

    • frugalfeeding
      January 11, 2013 at 10:07 pm

      Let me know how it goes down!

      • fattyhatty
        January 13, 2013 at 3:43 pm

        So, so well. I used plenty of chilli for extra heat and it was really delicious. Thank you!

  11. elskenewman
    January 6, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Sounds yummy!

  12. professionalfoodie
    January 6, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    This just went on my to do list. Thanks for the post!

  13. Marianne
    January 6, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    OH yes – this sounds amazing! Your photos are making my mouth water 🙂

  14. Lauren
    January 6, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    This looks delicious! And nice photos.

  15. regressada
    January 6, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Oh dear. I am going to have to make this. I adore roasted red pepper…but for some reason I never thought of making it myself. And pesto of any kind is perfection. Thanks for this!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 11, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      Oh you must try it – it’s very simple.

      • regressada
        January 14, 2013 at 3:44 am

        I did! It changed my life. Seriously. I’m on a pesto kick now…
        Also, do you know if the red pepper pesto will freeze tolerably well? Thanks again for the recipe. Amazing!

        • frugalfeeding
          January 14, 2013 at 5:31 pm

          Haha! Fantastic. I have no idea, but it’ll probably last well in the fridge.

  16. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    January 6, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    That looks great. I never add walnuts to pesto or pine nuts. So there’s even more combos there. Anyway, I haven’t tried this one. So that’ll go on the list.

  17. 14by14 (@14by14blog)
    January 7, 2013 at 12:14 am

    So simple, but yummy. Love the recipe. I’ll be giving this a go.

  18. Made By Paris
    January 7, 2013 at 12:22 am

    This looks and sounds delicious! I will most certainly be giving this a try myself!

  19. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen
    January 7, 2013 at 1:09 am

    This is much prettier than the standard green:)

    • frugalfeeding
      January 11, 2013 at 9:53 pm

      Definitely – but more difficult to photograph.

  20. petit4chocolatier
    January 7, 2013 at 1:18 am

    Elegance on a plate! Love the reds; looks delicious!

  21. Brie
    January 7, 2013 at 2:14 am

    I think I could eat fifty bowls of that pasta. Oh boy…this could be bad!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 11, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      Haha – do try not to 😀

      • Brie
        January 12, 2013 at 1:28 pm

        Okay, but it’ll take some serious self-restraint. Thanks so much for sharing that recipe – I can’t wait to give it a try!

        Your site is beautiful, by the way – big fan 🙂

        • frugalfeeding
          January 14, 2013 at 5:36 pm

          Haha – I’m sure! No problem, glad you enjoy my stuff.

  22. Economies of Kale
    January 7, 2013 at 2:20 am

    I just stumbled across your blog and like the look of your recipes 🙂 I love making pesto with a variety of different greens and nuts, but never thought to use different veggies. Thanks for the inspiration, now I’m off to have a read through your archives 🙂

  23. Liz
    January 7, 2013 at 3:41 am

    Yumm! This is on my list to make. Delicious!

  24. emmycooks
    January 7, 2013 at 3:51 am

    This sounds so good! I have to admit that when I made a red pepper sauce last weekend I just bought a jar already roasted. Less sweet and less frugal, but much faster! 🙂

  25. poorvida
    January 7, 2013 at 4:17 am

    What if you don’t have a food processor?

  26. The Healthy Flavor
    January 7, 2013 at 5:07 am

    Yum! I just made a chipotle roasted pepper sauce this past week! I’m a sucker for gorgeous red bell peppers! I also mixed it with pasta…sooo good! I love roasted garlic…that’s a great addition to the flavors! I will try that next time, thank you! 🙂

  27. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe
    January 7, 2013 at 5:51 am

    Ridiculously easy and looks so delicious!

  28. Anne
    January 7, 2013 at 5:54 am

    Beautiful photos you have here. Beautiful and vibrant. Love the idea of having a red chili pepper in there to give it some heat to this pesto. Lovely post.

  29. Sophia
    January 7, 2013 at 7:51 am

    So I was gonna try and eat less pasta, figuring all that white flour wasnt doing me any good. Now, living in Italy at the moment this is difficult enough as there is delicious pasta all around me. But now you also post amazing looking pesto dishes and it will become even more difficult! By the way, I love that you used walnuts as well – definitely more frugal than pinenuts (which they sell here with a security seal similar for alcohol bottles due to the price I reckon) and I am sure give this a lovely earthy taste (which is why I prefer using walnuts to pinenuts when making beetroot pesto). Stunning pictures as well!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 11, 2013 at 9:51 pm

      Naaaah, pasta’s fine :D. Walnuts are nicer than pine nuts too! Thanks!

  30. tschuppibaking
    January 7, 2013 at 10:43 am

    looks delicious!! would love to have it for lunch today 🙂

  31. Corina
    January 7, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I love different pestos. This sounds lovely.

  32. stephala
    January 7, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Looks delicious! And what a great idea. I’m sure the pesto could be added to simple tomato soup for a delicious roast-y flavor as well. Versatile and frugal, a great combination. Great job!

  33. Our Growing Paynes
    January 7, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    This looks wonderful. Also, I’ve nominated you for the Blogger of the Year 2012 Award. Here is the link for the info.

  34. Shira
    January 7, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    This looks just heavenly Nick – yummy! I adore anything with roasted red peppers….anything 🙂 That bowl of pasta looks like soul food at its best…

  35. borderlinefab
    January 7, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Beautiful and delicious! Trying this recipe tonight!

  36. annesturetucker
    January 7, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    So delicious Nick – I could eat a big bowl of that right now 🙂 I love anything with roast peppers it is such a fantastic taste!
    A must try recipe!

  37. Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy
    January 7, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    What a wonderful idea…love it!

  38. threeblondesandatomas
    January 7, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    this looks fabulous, i can’t wait to try it!!

  39. baconbiscuit212
    January 8, 2013 at 2:50 am

    Looks fantastic, Nick! The color is the best, isn’t it?

    • frugalfeeding
      January 11, 2013 at 9:49 pm

      yes, but damn hard to photograph.

      • baconbiscuit212
        January 12, 2013 at 7:59 pm

        True. There are some things that are really hard to capture properly. But you always do a fine job!

  40. ohlidia
    January 8, 2013 at 3:17 am

    Oh, that looks fab! Wish I could have a bowl right now as I sit here catching up on e-mails!

  41. cityhippyfarmgirl
    January 8, 2013 at 3:33 am

    roasted garlic and peppers are always delicious aren’t they. Looks delicious.

  42. Natalie Ward
    January 8, 2013 at 10:05 am

    I am a bit of a pesto addict myself! This one sounds so delicious, I loooove roasted garlic in anything so I am thinking this is definitely dinner tonight, thanks for the inspiration Frug!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 11, 2013 at 9:47 pm

      Thanks, Natalie! IT really makes a divine dish!

  43. Crista
    January 8, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    i like the looks of this…..

  44. cecilia
    January 8, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    perfect and a glorious colour too. c

  45. spree
    January 8, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    SImply perfect is all.

  46. Piece of Pie and a Dash of DIY
    January 8, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    I will be making this ASAP!

  47. asliceabovetherest
    January 8, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Beautiful picture!

  48. lambyknits01
    January 8, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Yum! It looks and sounds delicious 🙂 I’m pinning this one – thanks for sharing!

  49. Amy
    January 9, 2013 at 2:07 am

    This looks really really yummy!!! I have to say that I’m not a fan of roasting peppers, but I’ll do it just for this recipe. It looks so creamy!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 11, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      you should. I’m surprised though, roasted peppers are to-die-for!

  50. egg me on
    January 9, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Those pictures are gorgeous. Really. You always take such great photos that make me want to eat the computer screen.

  51. hollykaann
    January 9, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    You really have great recipes and great photos! I love them and this I will try, we have lots of peppers in the summer and fall around here and I am always looking for great ways to prepare them. When you grow your own, it is really frugal!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 11, 2013 at 9:41 pm

      thank you so much – growing your own is definitely the best way.

  52. Seven Second Rhapsody
    January 9, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    An absolutely wonderful idea! I love making pesto since it can be the base for just about anything you cook, so it’s nice to have a good repertoire of different ingredients for pesto! I love rocket too but boy this sounds exciting.

  53. Eric
    January 10, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Trying this this weekend. Yum.

  54. notjustdinnerandamovie
    January 12, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    This looks AMAZING!!!

  55. Tiffany
    January 18, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Looks great! 🙂

  56. Somer
    January 22, 2013 at 4:59 am

    I’ve got an obsession with roasted red peppers at the moment and have been making vegan cheez with them. I imagine it would be easy to veganize this with a bit of nutritional yeast subbing for the cheese. Fantastic Nick!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 22, 2013 at 9:45 am

      Interesting… I have no input to give when it comes to adding nutritional yeast to anything… :D. Thanks, Somer!

  57. Catherine
    September 17, 2013 at 9:00 am

    This looks great! Going to try it this afternoon! A little question: how long do you think it can keep in the fridge? I have a LOT of red peppers to use! Thank you for the recipe!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 12, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      I’d be happy keeping it for 3 days – but it will freeze.

  58. modernindianmom
    April 10, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Just saw a few recipes here & I m already loving this blog 🙂

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