A spoon scoops red pepper sauce from a small glass jar.

This roasted red pepper sauce is a creamy alternative to tomato-based marinara. It pairs well with almost anything, and you can whip it up in under five minutes. Anytime I have a dish that’s tasting a little bland, I just pull out my roasted red pepper sauce to give my meal a much-needed dash of fresh flavor.  It’s both gluten- and dairy-free, so this recipe appeals to just about everyone.

What is red pepper sauce made of?

This recipe has a very simple ingredient list. All you’ll need are:

  • Some roasted red peppers—canned or fresh
  • Salt
  • Italian seasoning
  • Fresh basil
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Garlic cloves
  • Red onion
  • Red wine vinegar

Close view of a spoonful of roasted red pepper sauce above a jar of sauce.

How do I make my own roasted peppers for this sauce?

Don’t feel intimidated if you want to try your hand at roasting your own red bell peppers. It’s super simple and you don’t need any special equipment or culinary skills. To roast your own peppers:

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • While the oven’s preheating, cut your bell peppers into slices, removing all the seeds and pith.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil, then spray it with oil.
  • Set the bell pepper slices skin side up on the tray and roast for 30 minutes.
  • Allow the pepper slices to cool, then remove the skins—they should slip right off.

Can I use canned roasted red peppers instead of fresh?

Absolutely! If you don’t have an abundance of red peppers—or you don’t have the time to roast them—by all means grab a can of roasted red peppers from your local store. You’ll need a 16-ounce jar of roasted peppers to make this roasted red pepper sauce. If you use canned peppers, be sure to drain them well. The liquid in the cans can cause the sauce to become runny if it’s not drained thoroughly.

Wholefully Protip

If you were using fresh peppers, you’d use three large, four medium, or five or six small peppers to make the sauce.

Two hands hold a piece of roasted bell pepper, easily peeling away the skin. Overhead of ingredients in a food processor before being turned into sauce.

How do you make roasted red pepper sauce?

This is one of the simplest recipes you’re ever going to make, but you wouldn’t guess that from the taste! All you do is toss your ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. That’s it! The food processor does all the work for you and you’re left with a thick, smooth, creamy sauce that pairs well with just about everything.

Wholefully Protip

You can make this sauce as thick and chunky or smooth and creamy as you want. If you prefer a chunkier sauce, puree the ingredients gently until they’re mixed but still have the texture of the peppers.

How should I use roasted red pepper sauce?

The better question is, what can’t you use this roasted red pepper sauce for? It’s so fresh and tasty that it adds flavor to pretty much any dish. One of my favorite ways to use it is over noodles as a red pepper pasta sauce. You can also use it as a dip for veggies or as a condiment to put on top of your burgers, sandwiches, or wraps.  It tastes delicious poured over potatoes and you can even use it as a condiment for your eggs in the morning!

If you’re cooking a fish dinner, you can use this as a dip on the side or you can smooth it over the fish prior to baking so the sauce crisp  s up in the oven under the broiler. Roasted red pepper sauce pairs well with chicken too. For a quick and easy meal, cook up some instant pot chicken breast and serve it alongside your fresh roasted red pepper sauce. Yum! You can even try adding this sauce to your steak or pork dinner. It really does pair perfectly with just about anything.

A spoon rests in a small glass jar of homemade red pepper sauce, a sprig of fresh basil beside it.

How long is this sauce good for?

You should store your roasted red pepper sauce in an airtight container in the fridge. When stored properly, the sauce will last three to four days. If you don’t see yourself using it up before this time, it might be better to freeze your sauce so you can enjoy it later.

Can you freeze roasted red pepper sauce?

Yes! Roasted red pepper sauce freezes well. Put it in a freezer-safe glass or plastic container—mason jars work well if you have a lot of sauce (but be sure to only use wide mouth jars with no “shoulders” for freezing). Your sauce will stay fresh for two or three months in the freezer. When it comes time to use the sauce, allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge.

Overhead of blended sauce ingredients in a food processor.

What else can I do with an abundance of red peppers?

If you had a bumper crop of red peppers this year or just got a great deal at the market, there are so many ways to put them to good use so they don’t go to waste. This roasted red pepper sauce is a personal favorite—it really lets the flavor of the peppers shine. You can also use them to make:

Close view of a spoonful of roasted red pepper sauce above a jar of sauce.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce Recipe

Yield: 16 ounces of sauce (about 2 cups)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Roasted red pepper sauce is a tasty condiment that goes well with pasta, chicken, and fish.


  • 16 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained well
  • 1/4 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 6 basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. To roast fresh bell peppers: preheat oven to 450°F. Cut bell peppers, removing pith and seeds. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray, and place the peppers skin side up on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then peel the skins off of each piece of bell peppers.
  2. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until at desired consistency.


  • To get the equivalent of a 16 oz jar of roasted red peppers, you'll need 3 large bell peppers, 4 medium or 5-6 small bell peppers. Use any color!
  • Grilled bell peppers can be substituted for the roasted red peppers. The skins may be trickier to remove, but if you don't mind that, this is a great short-cut.
  • This recipe can be made a little chunky or really smooth, it’s up to you!
  • If using a jar of roasted red peppers, make sure to drain it well. Otherwise, your sauce will come out a little runny and not as thick.
  • Store in the fridge for up to 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 81Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 148mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 1g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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