Whoever said nothing worth having comes easy… never made Roasted Red Peppers! It’s a magnificent moment when you discover that a task so blissfully rewarding is also so effortless.
This is literally a one-ingredient recipe. Red bell peppers. That’s it!
One simple ingredient that, when roasted, enhances your meal with abundant vibrancy and a complexity that will make you wonder what other depths our vegetables have been hiding from you all along.
Since roasted red peppers keep well in the fridge, you can roast a large batch of them in your oven to have on hand for sprucing up an array of recipes – from pizzas and pastas, to sandwiches, salads, and scrambles. (See below for even more ideas.)
Roasting vegetables is an underutilized method for converting vegetable skeptics in many families. If you doubt me, I guarantee Roasted Zucchini (with Parmesan!) or even Roasted Frozen Broccoli (easiest prep ever!) will prove otherwise.
The heat from oven roasting caramelizes the natural sugars in many vegetables, as anyone who has tried these traditional Roasted Brussel Sprouts (with just olive oil, salt, and pepper) or these elevated Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Garlic can attest.
It’s nearly impossible for vegetables to feel obligatory with that caramelization and a hint of smokiness from the light charring.
Most of the time, we utilize roasted vegetables as a separate side dish. Roasted red peppers, however, are versatile enough to be used for toppings or to amplify a main dish.
Even as a side, these are easy enough to include in simple one-pan recipes. In particular, chicken recipes with roasted red peppers are a perfect use, like this Sheet Pan Chicken with Rainbow Vegetables and these Italian Stuffed Peppers.
While you can buy roasted red peppers canned from a grocery store, their flavor pales in comparison to fresh red bell peppers in the summer and early fall.
And roasted red peppers (which are bell peppers that are roasted) are rich in many vitamins and minerals, which you can read more about here.
How to Roast Peppers
There are two common ways to roast a red bell pepper: in the oven or over an open flame, either on a gas cooktop or an outdoor grill. Here are a few pros of each method:
Oven Method for Roasted Red Peppers
- The most hands-off method is to roast the red pepper in your oven at a high temperature (450 degrees F) near the top of the oven so that the skins blister and char. This is the method I use the majority of the time.
- The oven allows for a more precise, even temperature. I also love that I can just pop the pan into the oven, then forget about the peppers until they are done roasting.
Stovetop or Grill Method for Roasted Red Peppers
- A second, though more attentive, method involves holding a whole (unsliced) red pepper over a gas stove burner with tongs, then allowing the flame to char the outsides.
- This method is quick if you want just one (or maybe two) roasted peppers since you won’t have to preheat your oven.
If you are seeking more than one or two peppers (and I usually am), I recommend the oven because the temperature is more precise and it’s hands-free.
How to Roast Red Peppers in the Oven
If you go the oven route (my preferred method), there’s just one ingredient: RED BELL PEPPERS. You can save them in olive oil if you like (more in “Storage Tips” below), but most of the time we snack on them right out of the fridge.
- Cut the peppers into halves, removing the stem, membrane, and seeds.
- Lay them cut-sides down on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Roast the peppers at 450 degrees F for about 25 minutes.
- Place the roasted peppers in a mixing bowl.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the peppers cool completely.
- Remove the skins. They will slip right off.
- Cut the peppers into strips (or any size or shape you like).
- Use immediately, or store them in the refrigerator. ENJOY!
How to Roast Red Peppers on the Grill or Stovetop
While more hands-on, this method is great for a smaller batch or those who love to cook over an open flame.
- Char whole peppers over a gas flame, on a grill pan on the stovetop, or on an outdoor grill.
- Place the charred peppers in a mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Once the peppers have cooled completely, take off the skins, cut off the stems, and remove the seeds and membranes.
- Cut and use as desired or store in the refrigerator. ENJOY!
What To Do With Roasted Red Peppers
Once you have your roasted peppers, you can keep them in halves, slice them into strips, or dice them into squares. It just will depend on your preference for the food with which you are serving the peppers. Most of the time, I slice mine to make oven roasted bell pepper strips.
Roasted red peppers are my favorite when they’re added as a sweetening ingredient to enhance the flavor of a main dish. Consider all these possibilities!
- Snacking. Place an oven roasted bell pepper strip on a cracker, sprinkle with salt and a dash of olive oil for a delightful midday snack.
- Salads. Add them to tossed salads or pasta salads, like this Antipasto Salad.
- Sandwiches. They’re a great addition to paninis, open-face toasted sandwiches, and even cold sandwiches with sliced meat and cheese.
- Pizza. As oven roasted bell pepper strips, they bring sweetness to a pizza topping. My favorite is pairing them with goat cheese on a pizza.
- Pesto or Hummus. Make a roasted red pepper pesto with the typical pesto ingredients (e.g. basil, garlic, Parmesan, etc.). Or add them to (or puree them with chickpeas for) your next bowl of hummus.
- Tacos. Scrambles. Frittatas. Hashes. Casseroles. The lists go on!
- To Store. Roasted red peppers will last for about 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
- To make them last longer, turn them into marinated peppers: Slice the roasted red peppers into strips, then place them in a jar. Add enough olive oil to cover the peppers (and, if you want, a little salt for seasoning). Roasted red peppers jarred will last about 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
Other Staple Roasted Vegetable Recipes
- Roasted Broccoli and Carrots with Parmesan
- Whole30 Vegetarian Power Bowls
- Roasted Potatoes and Carrots
- Tahini Roasted Carrots
- Roasted Asparagus with Caramelized Onions and Pine Nuts
Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe
- Jars. Perfect for storing your roasted red peppers.
- Mixing Bowls. These are stackable, dishwasher-safe, and microwave-safe.
- Baking Sheet. Ideal for making any roasted vegetables.
Roasted Red Peppers
- 4 red bell peppers around 2 pounds—or as few or as many as you like
- Kosher salt or sea salt optional
- Olive oil optional
- TO ROAST IN THE OVEN: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of your oven. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the bell peppers in half from stem down through the end. Remove the stem, membrane and seeds.
- Arrange the peppers, cut-sides down on the baking sheet, making sure to leave a little space around each one so that the peppers are not crowded. If they are, divide them between two baking sheets.
- Roast the peppers on the upper rack (or upper and lower racks if you have two sheets) until the tops are black and the peppers are very tender, about 25 minutes. Halfway through, rotate the pans 180 degrees (if using two pans, switch their positions on the upper and lower racks halfway through as well).
- Remove the pan from the oven. With tongs or a large spatula, carefully transfer the peppers to a large mixing bowl.
- TO COOK OVER A GAS STOVE TOP OR GRILL: Leave the peppers whole. Char them on all sides either directly over the gas flame, on a grill pan placed on the stove, or on an outdoor grill, until they are black all over. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap to allow the peppers to steam.
- Let the peppers cool completely in the bowl. They’ll become slippery and even more tender.
- With your fingers, slip off and discard the skins. If you charred whole peppers, slice off the stems and remove the seeds/membranes.
- Slice the peppers into strips. If desired, sprinkle with a little salt, to taste.
- Use the peppers right away, or transfer to a jar or similar airtight container. Store in the refrigerator as-is for up to 5 days or cover with olive oil, seal and store in oil for 2 to 3 weeks.
- TO STORE: Roasted red peppers will last for about 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
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