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Red Pepper Pesto Sauce

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No basil, no problem! This Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Sauce is just as easy to make and is a delicious addition to steaks, pasta and pizza. I saw an ad for some ready made meal service on Facebook and I knew that I had to try it! It was just an image of a steak with the sauce, no recipe or even any details. Challenge accepted!!

A steak sitting on top of a bed of cauliflower and broccoli rice topped with red pepper peasto sauce.

I decided to keep things simple and use the same basic ingredients that you would find in a traditional pesto, and the results were amazing!

Ingredients needed to make this recipe:

  • Red Bell Peppers
  • Walnuts
  • Garlic
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper

Looking down on a roasted Red Pepper Pesto Sauce topped steak on a bed of cauliflower and broccoli rice sitting on a blue plate.

Roasted red bell peppers tend to be on the sweet side, so I added a bit of cayenne to offset the flavor and it worked perfectly. The sauce is smooth, tangy and packed with flavor!

How to make Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Sauce

Turn on oven and set to the BROIL setting. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the bell peppers on top.

Two red bell peppers on a foil lined baking sheet.

Place under the broiler until the skin starts to blacken and bubble. Turn the peppers 1/4 turn each time until the pepper are completely charred. Remove from oven and place in a large bowl.

Two charred red bell peppers in a glass bowl.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to allow peppers to sweat and cool down enough to handle.

Remove the skins and seeds from the peppers

Two skinned red bell peppers in a large glass bowl.

and discard. I used the plastic wrap that had been used to cover the bowl.

Seeds and charred skin from roasted bell peppers on plastic wrap.

Place the peppers, toasted walnuts, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt, cayenne and black pepper into the bowl of a food processor.

Red bell peppers, walnuts, Parmesan, olive oil, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor.

Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.

Red Pepper Pesto Sauce pureed in a food processor.

Adjust seasonings as needed and serve.

A glass jar filled with roasted Red Pepper Pesto Sauce sitting on a blue and white patterned napkin with a sauce covered steak on a blue plate in the background.

This sauce would also be delicious on fries or served as a dip.

Recipe Notes:

  • To toast walnuts in the oven: Place in a 375 degree oven spread out on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until they just start to brown and become fragrant.
  • To toast walnuts on the stove: Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Place a single layer of walnuts in the hot, dry pan and cook stirring frequently until they start to brown and become fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  • Substitute pine nuts for the walnuts if desired.
  • Store unused sauce in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • This recipe makes about 1 cup of sauce, 16 Tablespoons. 

More delicious sauce recipes:

Recipes to use red pepper pesto sauce in:

Enjoy!!

A steak sitting on top of a bed of cauliflower and broccoli rice topped with red pepper peasto sauce.

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Sauce

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Sauce is perfect on steak, mixed with pasta or a pizza topping.
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: roasted red pepper, sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Sweat Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 121kcal
Author: Lisa Johnson

Equipment

  • Food Processor

Ingredients

  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • ½ cup walnuts lightly toasted
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese I used Parmisano-Reggiano
  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper use more or less based on your family's tastes

Instructions

  • Turn on oven and set to the BROIL setting. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the bell peppers on top.
  • Place under the broiler until the skin starts to blacken and bubble. Turn the peppers a 1/4 turn with tongs on each side until the peppers are completely charred. Remove from oven and place in a large bowl.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to allow peppers to sweat and cool down enough to handle.
  • Remove the skins and seeds from the peppers and discard. I used the plastic wrap that had been used to cover the bowl.
  • Place the peppers, toasted walnuts, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt, cayenne and black pepper into the bowl of a food processor.
  • Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
  • Adjust seasonings as needed and serve.

Notes

  • To toast walnuts in the oven: Place in a 375 degree oven spread out on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until they just start to brown and become fragrant.
  • To toast walnuts on the stove: Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Place a single layer of walnuts in the hot, dry pan and cook stirring frequently until they start to brown and become fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  • Substitute pine nuts for the walnuts if desired.
  • Store unused sauce in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • This recipe makes about 1 cup of sauce, 16 Tablespoons. 

Nutrition

Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 195mg | Potassium: 119mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1337IU | Vitamin C: 52mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg

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Steak drizzled with roasted red pepper pesto sauce on a bed of cauliflower and broccoli rice sitting on a blue plate.

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