How To: Roast Red Peppers

I had a request for this tutorial, and I’ve been wanting to do it for a while now, but it kept getting put off. So today is the day! I’ve explained this so many times to people, but it’s one of those things that’s much easier to do if you have a visual example.

It’s no secret that I love roasted red peppers. I put them on panini, pasta, pizza, dips, eggs and omelets, salads and more. Most people buy them jarred in the store, but it’s super easy to make them at home, and the superior taste is worth the little effort it takes to do it.

You can use this same method with red, yellow, and orange peppers and I also use it for roasting anaheims before putting them in salsas and soups. And you know when you’ve had a pepper for just a little too long and it starts looking wrinkly on the outside but is still firm enough to eat? I roast those too- perfect solution!

Roasting Red Peppers

You’ll need:
Red Peppers
Foil-lined cookie sheet
large zip-lock bag, bowl with plastic wrap, or brown paper lunch sack.

I’m going to show you a few different ways to char them, starting with the method I use most often.

1. Pre-heat your broiler.

2. Cut the tops off of the peppers. You want the segments to lay flat on the cookie sheet, so cut off the rounded tops. (Eat ’em don’t toss ’em!) Okay, if you really want to use every last inch of the pepper, then you can cut off all of the red flesh from the top as well. I guess I’m just lazy, lol.

3. Remove the seeds and membranes and then slice the pepper into segments length-wise and lay skin side up on a foil-lined cookie sheet.

4. Place oven rack on the highest position in oven and place peppers directly under the broiler. (You may want to open a window or a door in case you have a sensitive fire alarm!) Keep the oven door cracked and keep an eye on the peppers. You want them to be charred and blackened. It’s okay if there’s still some red spots, but you want even charring over all of the pieces. Move the pan around if you need to. They should look about like this when done:

5. Take the peppers out of the oven and use tongs to immediately place in a zip-lock bag and seal it (or in a bowl with plastic wrap securely on top, or in a brown paper bag folded over to keep the steam in) Set them aside and don’t open them for any reason!

6. After about 20 minutes or so they should be cooled off enough to handle. Remove the peppers and use your fingers to remove the charred skins. It should slide right off without a problem. Toss those skins and you’re left with beautiful smoky-sweet roasted peppers.

I mentioned that there were other methods. One is to place them on the bbq grill. (Hmm…think it’s about time I clean mine?) You can just place the whole pepper on there, but you need to keep turning it so it blackens all the way around. And if you happen to get side-tracked and forget about your little peppers like I did, it will turn to mush. So don’t do that. After it’s charred, just follow the same instructions as above.

If you have a gas stove, then you can do it right on your stove-top. I would take pictures of that, but I don’t have a gas burning stove and I really didn’t want to start knocking on my neighbors doors holding a pair of tongs and some peppers. But just hold a whole pepper with a set of tongs and place directly in the flame on the stove-top. Keep turning until evenly charred and then follow the steaming instructions above.

As I said before you can use roasted red peppers for so many things. I was browsing cook books at Costco the other day (why buy when you can just go hang out there for an afternoon? With all of the samples you get a free lunch and you then you can go read all the books you want!) and I saw marinated roasted peppers in a Martha Stewart book. She took sliced roasted peppers and mixed them with a little olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, salt and pepper, and fresh basil. I did that and they were awesome.

I kept them in my fridge and ate them all week on sandwiches, crackers, with cheese, etc. In fact almost every day I had a turkey wrap for lunch, using a nice big piece of turkey for the wrap instead of a tortilla. I filled it with lettuce, spinach, cheese (yes, that is string cheese and I defend my love for it), and the peppers. The marinated peppers gave it so much flavor- I loved it.

The good news? These flavor-packed veggies have minimal calories. Here’s the skinny (literally)

Nutritional Information:
– Calories: 46 for one whole pepper, 3 g fiber, 1 g protein
– 1 WW point
– South Beach Diet Phase 1 food

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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. I don’t know why it never occured to me to slice them up instead of roasting whole – they were so much easier to peel! Thanks for the great tip.

  2. For longer storage just toss roasted & peeled peppers w/Olive oil (need not be EVOO) & package in zip lock bags squeezing as much air out as possible. This may clog vacuum sealers so just pressing out bubbles will suffice. Lay bags flat & freeze. Most recipes call for 7oz jars which = 1/2 C., so package accordingly. Once thawed they are good for about a week in the fridge.

    1. Thanks for posting a freezer method! I thought you should be able to do it, but wasn’t sure how. And since I had a ton of peppers go ripe all at once, and am working on my second pan of roasted peppers now, I no longer feel pressured to work roasted peppers into every meal this week, lol!

  3. Found this when searching for how to roast red peppers. Great tutorial, very easy and loved the extra suggestion for marinating. I would love to know how to can or keep them for a longer period of time, any suggestions?

    1. You would have to use a recipe specifically written for canning, I don’t have one- sorry!

  4. Thanks for the recipe and photos, I have always wanted to know how to roast perfect peppers….so glad I came across your recipe.

  5. I have never had these before. They sound and look delicious!! I am going to try them this week with turkey wraps. OMG… my mouth is watering.

    Your pictures are beautiful and instructions so clear Thank you from someone who does not cook… just learning.

  6. Susan, yup just keep them in the fridge. I suppose they would last a little longer if they were in oil, yes.

  7. So how do you store these once they are roasted? In the fridge? How long will they keep? If they are in Olive Oil will they keep longer?

  8. i did this today in my toaster oven. i can’t wait to taste it. they are sitting in in the “steam” phase. and they smell SO good!

  9. ok I just want to add one more thing…

    My grandma taught me to make roasted peppers. All we do is layer the peppers with olive oil, minced garlic and chopped parsley (with a little salt and pepper). Think of it as a pepper lasagna of sorts. We put them in a mason or ball jar and stick them in the fridge. We also use red and green peppers.. they are the most fantastic addition to sammiches ever! I just had to add that!

  10. I make these every single solitary summer (it’s a family event now)! I am so glad you posted a tutorial. More folks should give this a try!

  11. You know what you guys should do? Make a “Super Bowl” treats week!

    lol…cuz you know I can totally tell you what to do on your blog.

    p.s. Not that I actually WATCH the superbowl, I just like to eat the snacks!

  12. I love how you used the turkey as the wrap instead of tortillas because lettuce can be a little flimsy. And I’m with you on the string cheese!

  13. Love roasted peppers, but never made them myself. I’m excited to try it now! I appreciate how clear and easy you make your recipes. Thanks gals!

  14. I am glad I requested the instructions! I have seen explanations before, but as usual, yours is the most clear, the prettiest, and the easiest to follow–bravo! 🙂

    Now, I get to just roast those peppers.

    (By the way, I love your boiled egg instructions. Until I memorized them this past Wednesday, I looked it up every time I made deviled eggs (which I am totally craving this pregnancy, along with all other forms of eggs!)

  15. Your so right they’re are so many things you can do with roasted peppers! I’m going to book mark this for future use. Thanks!

  16. Whoops! Not new GOD recipes.. I am totally happy with the one I’ve got!!

    New GOOD recipes!

  17. I think it is about time I comment.. I love your site, thanks for all you do!!!!

    I came here months ago through ‘Your home based Mom’ I think it was..

    I am always looking for new god recipes, and your pictures and explanations are just INSPIRING!!!

    Thanks for everything!

  18. OH MY GOODNESS. I finished roasting the peppers a while ago and mixed them with the garlic, vinegar, oil, etc. They were wonderful alone, but I decided to make a wrap.
    I spread equal parts mango chutney and light mayo on a couple of slices of turkey then topped with the pepper mixture. On top of that I put a slice of white cheddar with roasted garlic in it and broiled it until bubbly. I added some lettuce and rolled it all up. THEY WERE SO STINKIN GOOD!!!

  19. Oh Sara I love you! This sounds so good, especially the way Martha did it! Your pictures are beutiful and your tutorial excellent. I love the idea of rolling the turkey for the wrap.

  20. Yay for phase one!!!! I have peppers in my fridge right now that need something done with them. I think I am going to do turkey wraps for lunch. Thanks for the awesome post 🙂

  21. Amy S. –

    Hmmm…interesting! I’ve never re-roasted, and anything I’ve ever read on “roasting red peppers” explains it exactly like my post. All of the tv chefs I’ve seen do it this way too, so I would think that at least in the culinary community this would be considered a roasted red pepper. That’s really interesting though and now I’m intrigued- next time I do it I’ll try browning them again and see what happens. Thanks for the thought!

  22. I love, love, love roasted red peppers. Roasted red pepper cream sauce is a fave at our house. I also love to make sandwiches out of toasted day old focaccia and stuff the bread with roasted red peppers, grilled chicken and swiss cheese. Mmmm…craving.

  23. Okay, I have a question. I remember learning in a college cooking class that to officially be “roasted” red peppers, you then actually roast them in the broiler again after peeling them, just until a little brown. I was taught that if you only blacken and peel, they are “peeled” red peppers. Am I remembering wrong? I have tried it both ways over the years, and roasting them again does add a little more flavor. What do you think? (not that it’s life-altering one way or the other, it’s just something that seems to be a weird cooking mystery, and I’m curious on your thoughts).

  24. Great post! If we could only get more people to make stuff like this, and it would add an extra touch to their cooking that make you feel like a super cook! 🙂