Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | April 22nd, 2020 | Recipes, Spreads & Sauces

Who says pesto has to be green? Give this roasted red pepper pesto a try; it may be your new favorite topping for pasta, crostini, and more.

Pesto made with roasted red pepper, parsley, walnuts, and parmesan

Pesto made with roasted red pepper, parsley, walnuts, and parmesan

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

Michele Pesula Kuegler

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Course Main Course

Servings 4



  • 1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers
  • 2 handfuls fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons walnuts
  • 4 tablespoons parmesan



  • Drain red peppers and place in blender or food processor.
  • Remove stems from parsley and add to peppers.
  • Add garlic, walnuts, and parmesan.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed.

Keyword pesto

Many times when I write about a recipe from the archives I’m struck by two things. The first is why I like the recipe and how I like to serve it. The second is the personal memory tied to the recipe. For this recipe, I think about my friend of over 40 years and how dear her friendship is. Although I’m enjoying this year on the road, I miss our Sunday morning walks, Friday afternoon cocktails, and time together. However, thankfully we have multiple ways to communicate, so we chat often. Here’s to good food and the friends who inspire it!

To learn more about this recipe, originally published in July 2016, keep reading.

A couple months ago, my best friend from childhood and I played hooky on a weekday afternoon. Besides the obvious goal of spending time together, we also wanted to order bespoke dress shirts from a tailor in Boston. With a destination out of town, we had many hours to spend together. And of course, if we were going to be gone for a while, we definitely needed to make it last as long as possible with a glass of wine and some food.

Thus, we ended up at Trade. It was a wonderful evening with no pressure from our server to order quickly or rush through our meal. We weren’t all that focused on eating or drinking, just a glass of wine and after an hour or so, salads. The salad was delicious and had a new-to-me dressing- muhammara. Being unfamiliar with it, I did a little searching to learn more about it. I won’t go into details, as I want to get to my recipe, but it’s easily searchable.

The main ingredient in muhammara is roasted red peppers, which is what I used as the basis for my pesto. The red pepper is about where the similarity ends. I wanted a dip or sauce that emphasized the red peppers and was a pinch lighter than the muhammara. Just like at Trade, I served this as the dressing for the salad. However, I also used some of it as a dip for pita bread, which was quite yummy.

With the heat of the summer here, I think this pesto will make a lovely appetizer option. Cold and flavorful, it will be a great starter for dinner or a Tapas Monday dish.

For another variation of pesto, give this Pea & Cilantro Pesto a try.

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