Roast Capsicum Pesto is an easy recipe that you can whip up in your food processor! Stir it through pasta, serve with chicken or fish or toast some pita chips and make it a dip!
A Grazing Platter Board is not complete without fancy cheeses and sophisticated dips!
Try the Air Fryer Roasted Red Peppers as an alternative to oven baked or store bought peppers essential for the recipe.
Make this recipe in your food processor for a quick fuss free appetizer!
Use the Homemade Pita Chips recipe to whip up some crackers and our Rocket and Cashew Pesto or Basil and Cashew Pesto as alternate dips to this roasted capsicum pesto.
Learn everything you need to know about pesto in my How to Make Pesto Guide (full of tips and tricks!)
Why you will love this recipe
Red Capsicums (also known as peppers) have great flavour which tastes even better when they have been roasted.
To make this red pepper pesto we oven bake our capsicums, let cool slightly, pull the skins off and combine with other ingredients for the easiest pesto dip around town!
Easy Crostini are another great way to serve this recipe as guests can use it as a spread and munch away!
How to use roasted capsicum pesto
This recipe is so versatile, it lends it self to being served in many ways, try these ideas to find your favourite:
- pasta sauce
- flatbread topping
- dip with chips
- paired with chicken and fish
- pizza sauce
- on a grazing platter
Once you have made the pesto, you can store it in the fridge for up to a week and it will stay fresh and ready to use!
You can use this pesto as an alternative to the cream pasta sauce in the Smoked Salmon Spaghetti. Or for a green sauce, the Parsley Walnut Pesto.
Ingredients for the recipe
We use simple, easy to find ingredients for this recipe. The photo below shows you what you need:
As you can see, we have:
- red capsicums (peppers)
- parmesan cheese
- olive oil
- lemon juice
The lemon juice is used at the very end of blitzing the ingredients to balance the flavours to your liking!
To make this recipe vegan, you can switch out the Parmesan cheese for a vegan alternative.
Step by step instructions
The photos below are step by step showing you how to make this pesto in the food processor:
- Cut the capsicums in half and remove their seeds (Photo 1)
- Place face down on a baking tray (Photo 2)
- Roast for 15 mins in the oven (Photo 3)
- Let cool for a couple of minutes, then peel the skins off (Photo 4)
The skins will slide off very easily, start at one corner and tug gently
- Add capsicums to food processor (Photo 5)
- Followed by cashew nuts (Photo 6)
- Then the garlic (Photo 7)
- Followed by the parmesan cheese (Photo 8)
For an even greater depth of flavour, you can toast the cashew nuts till lightly golden in colour!
- Add capsicums to food processor (Photo 9)
- And finally the olive oil (Photo 10)
You guys know how much I enjoy sharing before and after photos with you when I am using my food processor for recipes. As you can see it takes less than 10 seconds for the ingredients on the left, to become our pesto on the right!
Red pepper pesto recipe quick info
About the recipe
- we only need 7 ingredients to make the pesto!
- bottled lemon juice is perfectly fine to use!
- you can toast the cashews or leave them as it (faster)
- I use unsalted roasted cashew nuts
FAQs about pesto using roast capsicum
- this is a vegetarian recipe
- blitz the ingredients for less than 10 seconds
- the texture is chunky not too smooth
- you can make the pesto ahead of time
- the pesto will last for 1 week in the fridge
- the recipe makes about 1 cup of pesto
Your quick questions answered
- This is a quick and easy recipe
- Store in the fridge in a sealed jar
- This is a FREEZER FRIENDLY recipe
- This is an EASY recipe
These tips are to help you master this recipe from the 1st time you make it:
- use either baking paper or tin foil with a squirt of olive oil so the capsicum doesn't stick
- use a pre heated oven
- keep the blitz time short, it will take 5 - 10 seconds to combine the ingredients
- once the ingredients are blitzed, taste the pesto, then add lemon and combine to get the flavour spot on and not bitter!
- freeze this recipe ahead of time and defrost, simply stir through before using (drain any excess liquid)
Use the pesto as a pizza sauce or serve it with homemade pita chips for an easy snack idea!
More Easy Dip and Spreads Recipes
For fuss free entertaining, try these ideas:
- Chicken Liver Pate
- Easy Green Olive Tapenade
- Grazing Platter (to feed a crowd)
- Basil and Cashew Pesto
- Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade
- Olive Tapenade
For an easy party idea, use the pesto as adip on the Grazing Platter Board, with the Labneh Dip and Homemade Pita Chips.
Let me know if you have any questions, I would love to hear your feedback in the comments below.
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Roasted Capsicum (Roast Pepper) Pesto
- Food processor
- 2 red capsicum Note 1
- ⅓ cup cashew nuts Note 2
- ⅓ cup parmesan cheese Note 3
- 3 garlic cloves Note 4
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ⅓ parsley
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice to taste
- Preheat your oven to 180°C / 350-375°F / Gas Mark 4-5
- Line a baking tray with either baking paper or alfoil (with a touch of cooking oil)
- Cut the capsicums in half, remove the seeds and place cut side down onto baking tray
- Roast the capsicums for 15 mins, until their skin starts to blacken, use a mit to remove oven tray and place on cooling rack for 5 mins to cool slightly
- Once roasted capsicums are cooled, start at one corner and pull the skins off (discard as you go)
- Place cooled skinless roasted capsicums into food processor bowl. Add cashew nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese, parsley and olive oil.
- Blitz the pesto ingredients for less than 10 seconds to combine Note 6
- Remove lid and blade from food processor and transfer pesto to serving bowl
- Serve with pita chips or store in fridge for up to one week
- Note 1 Cut the capsicums in half and remove the seeds before placing face down on the baking paper.
- Note 2 You can toast the cashews for a couple of mins in the microwave or on the stove top. This will give them an even more complex depth of flavour. It is not essential, but if you have the time, it is a worthwhile step.
- Note 3 I like to use a bold, sharp, parmesan cheese, one that has a real 'bite' to it. I use a fresh shredded version.
- Note 4 All you need to do to prep the garlic is peel the skin off and cut the ends off.
- Note 5 I use bottled lemon juice, as I always have it in the fridge, you can use fresh if you like but it is not essential.
- Note 6 We want the texture of the pesto to stay nice and chunky (not smooth). If you over blitz it, the ingredients will be too smooth. So start with 5 seconds and increase for another 5 till just combined.
This looks so good and tasty! My family is going to love this recipe! I can't wait to give this a try!