Versatile and delicious, and oh so easy to make, this Roasted Red Bell Pepper Paste will quickly become a staple in everyday cooking. With only one ingredient, you can’t get anything fresher or more tasty at the store, and you can easily use it in place of regular tomato paste for a flavorful variation to any recipe! Follow the tips below to get the best flavor, with easy cleanup, and get ready to make your own batch of red pepper paste to use in your tacos, soups, or vegan gyros!
The Tour of a Lifetime
I honestly wasn’t sure what I would share first after leaving Israel. There was so much wonderful food consumed and loved with the Vibe Israel group that the ideas rolling around in my head were seemingly endless.
Everything we ate while touring Israel was so fresh, it was almost unbelievable. It’s hard to find such great produce here in Minnesota, much as we all try. And while I have several recipes to bring your way, I wanted to start a little more simply, with one vegetable in particular: the red bell pepper.
I tasted this red pepper paste at the home of a chef, who had prepared it himself and explained the process to me so I could share it with you.
As an intro into another delicious dish coming soon, we’ll start here, because you can’t complete the noms to come without this, nor would you want to, once you give this a try!
How To Make Roasted Bell Peppers?
How is there only one ingredient in this red bell pepper paste?!
Well, if we’re going to get super technical, there are two ingredients, but the second ingredient is only for jarring purposes. So I’m not counting it, really, ha.
Roasted bell peppers have a sweetness superior to tomatoes, without being overpowering.
For this particular recipe, since we’re going to blend and reduce everything, I turn the broiler on to high and place the rack within the top-third of the oven.
Brush a sheet pan with olive oil and then lay out the peppers in rows and roast for about 5-7 minutes per side, turning them as they blacken. The entire roasting process takes about 20-30 minutes, and requires the most monitoring.
The result is peppers with deep flavor and a meatier flesh. Delicious. Carefully pop the peppers into a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let cool completely. This loosens the roasted skin so you can peel it off!
How To Make This Red Bell Pepper Paste?
This particular recipe takes a lot of time, but it’s not particularly labor-intensive. There is a lot of inactive time as you let roasted peppers cool, and cook down the liquid to a paste.
Preparing the paste for reduction takes the most effort.
- Peel the peppers over the bowl they cooled in, and place the seeded flesh in a second large bowl
- Place skins, seeds, and liquid from the cooling bowl into a sieve or chinois and press out excess liquid into the bowl with the pepper flesh
- Put flesh and liquid into a high-powered blender and puree until smooth
- Add puree to a large, dry pot and cook on the lowest temp until reduced by half
- You’re done!
What Is The Second Ingredient You Mentioned?
The olive oil is simply for jarring the paste when you’re done using a sterile canning process. Olive oil is a natural preservative and helps block air from reaching the paste to keep it better, longer.
Since this recipe makes about 2.5 cups, it’ll last a good while, so I definitely recommend doing a sterile canning process so you only have to make paste every few months! I utilize 8oz canning jars so I am only opening small amounts at a time.
Roasted Red Bell Pepper Paste Recipe
Whether you add a dollop to some labneh or stir it into your soup as a replacement for tomato paste, this roasted red bell pepper paste delivers an unparalleled level of fresh flavor to any dish you introduce it to. Whip up a batch this weekend and get ready to indulge in the best flavors brought to you straight from Israel!
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Roasted Red Bell Pepper Paste Recipe
- 8 large red bell peppers
- olive oil, for jarring
- Preheat oven to broil and place rack within the top-third of the oven.
- Brush a large sheet pan with a thin layer of oil then lay the red bell peppers on their side on the pan. Broil for 5-7 minutes per side, or until nicely blackened all around. Remove from oven and place in a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to cool completely, around 1 hour.
- Peel the skin and remove the seeds from each pepper, keeping them inside the bowl they cooled in. Place peeled flesh in a second, large bowl until all peppers have been peeled. Place a sieve or chinois over the second bowl and slowly add the peeled skins, seeds, and any water from the bottom of the first bowl and strain the liquids into the bowl with the flesh until none remains. Discard remaining solids from the sieve.
- Place bell pepper flesh and liquids into a high-powered blender and puree until smooth, then add to a large, dry pot and cook over low heat, stirring every 20-30 minutes, until reduced by half, about 2 hours.
- Add roasted red bell pepper paste to jars and top with 1/4-inch of olive oil for preserving and canning. Store sterile-sealed jars in the pantry for up to 1 year, and opened jars in the fridge for up to 10-14 days.