Roast red pepper pesto

  • Preparation Time 15 Minutes
  • Cooking Time 25 Minutes
  • Serves 6

Dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian

As much as I love the classic basil based pesto there is always room to change it up and incorporate some different flavours. This roasted red pepper pesto does just that. This pesto has a gorgeous smokey sweet flavour that comes from roasting the red peppers with some garlic in the oven so bringing out their natural sugars before blitzing and adding a hint of thyme. Although I love this on its own with pasta and some oven-roasted tomatoes there are many more ways that I use it. Spread thinly on a pizza base or ciabatta roll (GF if needed) with some vegan cheese and vegetables for me is a softer less acidic sauce to use than tomato-based one. I also like to use this as a dip like hummus and is a great base for a vegan pasta bake which I will feature later.


  • 2 large roasted red peppers
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tbsp pine nuts roasted of sunflower seeds if dairy-free
  • 1/2 cup of loosely packed basil leaves
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, you may need slightly more or less.
  • A small sprig of fresh thyme
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (or vegan parmesan)
  • Salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius
  2. Slice the red peppers in half removing the seeds and any membranes. Rub with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Place on a baking tray skin side down with 1 of the cloves of garlic roughly chopped. Cook for 20-25 minutes until the peppers are soft.
  3. Whilst they are in the oven toast the nuts or seeds in a dry pan with the thyme for a few minutes on medium heat.
  4. Place the peppers, garlic clove, nuts, nutritional yeast, thyme, 1 tbsp olive oil and the basil into the food processor blitzing it until it reaches a nice thick consistency, then add a little seasoning
  5. Add the other tablespoon of olive oil and blitz again. If you still would like it slightly thinner you could add a little water. Also, adjust seasoning.

Keep in an airtight jar for up to 2 weeks or freeze in portion sizes. This is where ice cube moulds come in real handy.

As with all recipes, everybody has different tastes so if you want more garlic then add more, it will at least then keep any wandering vampires at bay. Also if you do not have 2 red peppers in the fridge but one orange and one red then use that. I would advise you to use at least 1 red pepper.

Other related recipes

Classic vegan pesto

Slow-roasted tomato pesto

Pesto and tomato mac n cheeze

Pesto mashed potato

If you make this, don’t forget to tag me on twitter as @veganalchemist1 or my Facebook page I love seeing your versions of the recipes. I would also love to hear.

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