Roast Capsicum Pesto is a quick and easy versatile recipe with amazing taste and textures. Combining simple ingredients in the food processor allows us to create this homemade pesto that works with anything and everything! Roasted capsicum pesto can be served with pita chips, crackers, stirred through pasta or as a pizza sauce.
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the recipe in the points below:
- Simple ingredients: you will be able to get everything you need to make the roasted capsicum pesto recipe from your local grocery store. They will be easy to get your hands on.
- Budget friendly: this is a cost effective pesto recipe that won't break the bank. Whilst you can purchase store bought pesto dips, making your own is 10 times better 😉👍!
- Fast recipe: if you need a pesto recipe up your sleeve so that you can use it for this that and everything else, this is that recipe!
- Versatile: this roast pepper pesto is versatile and lends itself to being served with a variety of pairings as well as at a number of events. Try it with pita chips, crackers, potato chips or spread on crostini.
- Serving suggestions: use this roasted capsicum pesto for parties, combined with pasta, on a pizza base, grazing platter or cheese board.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Lemon juice: bright and fresh this gives a little lift to the pesto! Store bought bottled lemon juice is fine.
- Parsley: is our herb of choice to use in the pesto. It is fresh and fragrant.
- Garlic: we use 2-3 fresh garlic cloves. The only prep work they need is to be peeled.
- Cashews: a great nut to use in pesto recipes offering texture and delicious flavor.
- Olive oil: this oil is the glue which holds the pesto together.
- Capsicum (also known as bell peppers): this bright red vegetable roasts extremely well and is delicious in pesto or homemade vegetable dip.
Tasty Tip: I like to offer you a number of substitutions and variations giving you an array of options when making the recipe. If in doubt of any of the above ingredients, or wanting alternatives, read this section before diving into the instructions on how to make the recipe below.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by roasting the capsicums.
- Cut capsicums in half (Photo 1)
- Remove the stems and seeds (Photo 2)
- Roast for 15 minutes (Photo 3)
- Remove the skins (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Roast Capsicum Pesto
We start to make the recipe by roasting the capsicum in the oven. You can see the steps to do this in the photos above.
- Place roasted peppers into food processor (Photo 5)
- Add the cashew nuts (Photo 6)
- Then add the garlic (Photo 7)
- Next add the parmesan cheese (Photo 8)
Once the capsium is roasted, we let it cool, then peel the skin off.
Next place the roasted capsicum pieces into the bowl of the food processor and then add the cashew nuts, garlic and parmesan cheese.
- Add parsley (Photo 9)
- Then pour in the olive oil (Photo 10)
Next add both the parsley and the olive oil. Once done you can put the lid on the food processor, blitz to combine then remove the lid and use a spatula to scrape the pesto back down into the bowl.
Give it another blitz, then taste it and next add the lemon juice.
Once you have added the lemon juice, give it another quick blitz to combine then use a spatula to transfer the combined pesto to a small bowl.
Below is a photo of the process you will go through with a before and after shot so that you will know are are on the right track 😉👍
🍽 Serving Suggestions
Anything and everything is what you can do with this pesto!
Stir it through pasta, spread it on toasted baguette pieces, use it for a pizza sauce or add it to a grazing platter board.
Chips, gluten free crackers, bread chips or crudites will all work well being dipped or dunked in the chunky textured paste.
The pita chips are made from pita bread and are so simple to make! They crisp up to perfection in both the oven or the air fryer and then both give you a non chip but chip like dip option.
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store leftover roasted capsicum pesto in an airtight container in the fridge. Leftovers can be kept for 1 week.
How to Reheat
The pesto is best served at room temperature, there won't be any need to heat it.
How to Freeze
To freeze the pesto, use a spatula to transfer it to zip lock plastic bags, push to remove the air and then seal. These can then be laid flat in the freezer. Frozen pesto can be kept for up to 3 months. It is then best fully thawed before using.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- You can use basil in the pesto in place of the parsley if you wish too.
- Pine nuts, pistachios or walnuts are all alternative nuts to use in place of the cashews.
- The nuts I am using are unsalted, roasted cashew nuts.
- If you want to use store bought jarred roast capsicums you can. You need 1 x regular size jar and drain then pat the peppers dry. Don't rinse them. Then follow the rest of the steps as is.
- For the cheese you can use either parmesan cheese or pecorino romano cheese (equivalent amount).
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- A food processor is the best way to make pesto as it is quick and easy.
- A spatula will come in handy to scrape down the insides of the food processor bowl and then to transfer the pesto out of the food processor.
- The recipe will make about 1 cup of homemade pesto.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
Can you over blend pesto?
Yes, unfortunately it is possible to over blend pesto. The resulting pesto looks like it lacks texture and is more of a thick liquid consistency than a thick paste consistency. Blitz to briefly chop the nuts then pulse to combine and stop there.
How do you offset bitterness in pesto?
Lemon juice is the saviour of bitter pesto. Use a teaspoon to taste the pesto once combined then add half of the lemon juice, blitz then taste again. Add more lemon juice as needed to lift the sweetness and reduce the bitterness of the pesto.
How long does homemade pesto last?
You can store this homemade pesto in a sealed airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
😍 More Easy Dip Recipes
Get ready to dip, dollop, dunk and spread with easy recipes that offer great combinations of flavors.
- Chive and Onion Cream Cheese
- Baked Brie with Honey
- Corn Dip with Cream Cheese
- Labneh Dip
- Spinach Cob Loaf
- Chili Cream Cheese Dip
- Honey Walnut Cream Cheese
- Honey Pecan Cream Cheese
- Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade
- Olive Tapenade
Roasted Capsicum (Roast Pepper) Pesto
- 1 Food processor
- 1 Spatula
- 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 cup parsley
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice Note 5
- Preheat your oven: to 180°C / 350-375°F / Gas Mark 4-5
- Baking tray: line a baking tray with either baking paper or alfoil (and grease with cooking spray).
- Capsicums: cut the capsicums in half, remove the seeds and place cut side down onto the 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).
- Combine: 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. Remove lid and use a spatula to push to pesto back into the bowl then blitz again. Next remove the lid and blade from the food processor and use the spatula to transfer the pesto to a serving bowl. Note 6
- Serve: with pita chips or crackers. Pesto can be kept in the fridge in a sealed airtight container for up to one week.
- Note 1 Capsicums: cut the capsicums in half and remove the seeds before placing face down on the baking paper.
- Note 2 Cashew nuts: 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 Parmesan cheese: I like to use a bold, sharp, parmesan cheese, one that has a real 'bite' to it. I use a fresh shredded version or you can grate your own using a microplane zester.
- Note 4 Garlic: all you need to do to prep the garlic is peel the skin off and cut the ends off.
- Note 5 Lemon juice: 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 Pesto: 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. Over blitzed and it will be pulp!
Recipe published July 2020, updated September 2023 with more tasty tips and easier to read post format 😉👍.