Sweet Red Pepper Sauce Recipe


This recipe for sweet red pepper sauce recipe (or Ragu as it is known in Italy) is simply divine. Sweet red peppers and a fresh basil flavour work so beautifully together. I’m always torn when it comes to hot sauces. They’re either too hot and burn my mouth or not hot enough at all! I discovered this recipe for sweet red pepper sauce when I was on a mission to create a sauce that is just spicy enough without burning a hole in my mouth.

Sweet Red-Pepper Sauce

Sweet Red-Pepper Sauce


Ingredient Checklist

  • 1 large leek, white and light-green parts only
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock, skimmed of fat


Instructions Checklist

  • Step 1Cut leeks in half lengthwise, then into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place in small bowl, and cover with cold water. Let stand for 5 minutes to rid leeks of dirt and sand. Lift out of the water, and drain.
  • Step 2Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks, peppers, salt, and pepper; saute for 3 minutes. Add stock; cover. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes.
  • Step 3Transfer vegetables to food processor; puree. Pass puree through fine strainer back to saucepan. To serve, warm over low heat.

Cook’s Notes

An orange or yellow bell pepper can be used in place of the red.

Sweet Roasted Red Pepper Sauce Recipe

One of my favorite sauces is this one. It’s easy to do and you can either freeze extra to use later or make large batches to use all week. It uses garlic and tart tomatoes to counterbalance the sweetness of roasted peppers. On roasted meats, jacket potatoes, steamed vegetables, eggs, pizzas, and even as a marinade for grilling, I like to add it.

Sweet Sauce with Roasted Red Peppers


  1. 2 red peppers
  2. 2 medium ripe red tomatoes
  3. 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  4. 3 cloves garlic
  5. salt
  6. pepper
  7. olive oil
  8. dried chilli flakes to taste (optional)


  1. The shallots, olive oil, and red peppers should all be cut into thick, rough strips before being placed on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 180 degrees, or until the fruit is luscious, tender, and just starting to brown.
  2. In a blender, combine your tomatoes, garlic, and peppers (and a few chilli flakes if you want some heat). Half a cup of boiling water should be added. Until smooth, blend.
  3. Add the ingredients to a pot and heat over medium-high heat until part of the water has evaporated and the mixture has slightly thickened. about ten minutes. To taste, add salt and pepper to the food.
  4. Now, process once more until smooth, then serve (or store in the fridge – stays good for about a week)

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

A quick and easy roasted red pepper sauce recipe that is both savory and sweet, made with roasted red bell pepper, tomato, honey, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar and seasonings. It’s an all-purpose sauce that can go on practically anything.

It’s great sauce. It’s really rather straightforward, sort of a synthesis of various sauces I’ve prepared in the past, the outcome of some trial and error as I looked to determine what proportion of sweet and savory I might favor in a roasted red pepper sauce.

This is what happened.

But first, let’s discuss generally about roasted red pepper sauces. In my opinion, many dishes can easily use an excellent roasted red pepper sauce in place of tomato sauce. sauce for pizza? Absolutely

Yes! In certain sauce preparations, the powerful red bell pepper can easily replace tomatoes and perform just as well. Because I love chili peppers so much, I usually choose a roasted red pepper base sauce over a tomato one.

Do you realize this?

Sweet Roasted Red Pepper Sauce – Recipe

Simply told, red bell peppers are AMAZING. Despite the fact that they lack heat, they are perfectly plump, meaty, and gratifying.

A single pepper will complete a thick sauce that is ready to attach to the main dish. The sauce can be seasoned in a variety of ways, ranging from delectably sweet to intensely salty.

The richness in this specific sauce comes from both honey and brown sugar. I’ve been experimenting with honey and brown sugar, which are frequently used to sweeten foods, particularly barbecue sauces.

With only a roasted red pepper foundation and a few other components, I wondered how the ingredients would combine when working on one specific barbecue sauce recipe. I’m delighted to report that it works beautifully.

The end dish has flavors that are certainly leaning toward savory and are sweet, but not TOO sweet.

With the addition of some of my favorite ingredients, in this case cayenne, Mexican oregano, and a little cumin, you’ll get a good balance of taste. Apple cider vinegar also adds, in my opinion, the proper amount of tanginess.

And, of course, salt and pepper.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Roma tomato, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (omit if it’s too spicy for you)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce Recipe Steps

First, add the chopped roasted red bell pepper, tomato, garlic, honey, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, oregano, and cumin to a food processor and process until smooth. Adjust for salt and pepper to your personal taste.

Transfer the sauce to a small pot and heat. Simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.

Cool and serve.

Makes about 1 cup.

Recipe Notes

For this recipe, you may either buy pre-roasted red peppers in a jar or roast your own using a variety of methods, such as the oven, the broiler, the grill, or an open flame.

Normally, I use a stovetop open flame to roast my red peppers. Basically, start the flame, then place the pepper immediately over it on the grate. Use tongs, of course.

The skin of the pepper will ultimately scorch and turn black if you let the flame lick it. Flip the pepper around with tongs to remove the entire peel.

Once the pepper has reached the desired level of charring, allow it to cool somewhat before transferring it to a paper bag or plastic baggie to steam, which will loosen the skin. When the skins are sufficiently loosened, pull them off with your fingertips and continue with the procedure.

Red peppers that have been roasted are very sweet and savory, making them ideal for sauces.

Include the garlic cloves for a garlic blast when adding other flavors. A good addition is red onion.

Making It Creamy

Add 1/2 to 1 cup of heavy cream or whipping cream during the final 5 minutes of cooking to create a creamy version of this sauce.

To create a creamy version, you can also add cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, sour cream, or Mexican crema.

Serving Suggestions For Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Yes, it’s a no-brainer: what precisely can I serve this sauce with. This sauce recipe is quite versatile and goes well with a variety of dishes. This can be used as an appetizer by serving it as a dipping sauce with some crusty bread.

One of my favorite ways to serve this is over savory waffles for brunch. You could also use it to make your favorite pasta dish sweeter. I adore savory waffles, but brunch frequently necessitates a small amount of sweetness.

I tend to like savory breakfast and brunch dishes, however a little sweetness is never a bad thing.

Ajvar (Serbian Roasted Red Pepper Sauce) Recipe

Grilling peppers and an eggplant gives this sweet, tangy sauce a pleasant smokiness.

A small white bowl of ajvar, Serbian roasted red pepper sauce.


  • Grilling red peppers and eggplant over a charcoal fire adds a smoked flavor to the sauce.
  • Simmering the sauce brings out the sweetness and flavor of the peppers.

It would have been a pity to serve cevapi, an uncased grilled Balkan sausage, with a mediocre ajvar, the customary roasted red pepper sauce accompanying after spending so much time finding the perfect recipe. So, since I was already at the grill, I tried a few various methods of making ajvar in an effort to find the one that would be proud to accompany those exquisite sausages on the dish.

All About Ajvar

Ajvar originally hails from Serbia, but after World War II, when the region was united under the name of Yugoslavia, it became popular throughout the Balkans. Ajvar appears to be more uniform, with less variances from one recipe to the next, than cevapi, which has numerous regional variations.

Ajvar is frequently made in the fall using the plentiful red bell pepper harvest. The peppers are burned over a fire, skinned, and blended with roasted eggplant, garlic, oil, and vinegar to create a sauce that may be bottled and consumed all year long. Although it is frequently served with grilled meats, it can also be eaten on its alone or as part of a spread.

I discovered they all had a very consistent list of ingredients and a flavor that was comparable as I looked up recipes and tried a few ajvars. Although it wasn’t too difficult to develop a basic recipe, I chose to look into various preparation variations.

Grilling vs. Stovetop Roasting

Two images: A red pepper being roasted over a gas stovetop burner; red peppers getting charred and smoky on a grill.

The decision to use the grill came first. I frequently receive questions about whether certain of my grilling recipes can also be made on the stove or in the oven. Yes, but you’ll lose that smoky flavor, is usually my response. I questioned why so many recipes failed to even mention using a grill when a little smokiness seemed to be a rather desirable characteristic for ajvar.

I set out to prepare two separate batches of the sauce, one in which the peppers were roasted on my gas burners and the eggplant was cooked in the oven, and the other in which both the peppers and eggplant were roasted over a smoky charcoal fire. It was purely a matter of taste as both methods created sauces with the same textures.

To Simmer, or Not to Simmer

The second problem I ran into was that no recipe called for simmering the ajvar. Traditionally, the sauce is reduced on the stovetop after all the ingredients have been incorporated. I questioned whether or not this step was essential, and whether the extra time and effort required to simmer the sauce in order to produce a better ajvar was worthwhile. I simmered a portion of each of my homemade ajvar recipes to find out.

An Awesome Ajvar

Comparing four different versions of ajvar: stovetop and grill roasted versions, either simmered or not simmered.

I ultimately produced four distinct ajvars using the same basic ingredients. It boiled down to the specifics of each recipe since for each, the proportions of red pepper, eggplant, and garlic were perfect.

The one cooked on the grill, as I had anticipated, had a subtle but distinct smokiness that gave the sauce a distinct dimension. If you weren’t tasting the two side-by-side, the non-grilled ajvar would seem pretty awesome, so I can see how it’s easy to leave the grill out, especially since not everyone has one. Nevertheless, failing to attempt to cook your ajvar over a live wood fire would be a disservice to both you and your food.

A slightly more unexpected outcome came from boiling the sauce. I believed that slightly thickening it during cooking would have a minimal impact on flavor. However, in actual use, the texture of the simmered sauce was rather similar to the uncooked. The ratio of tang to sweetness did change in the end. The simmering versions had a sweeter flavor and a red pepper flavor that was a little bit brighter and more potent. This resulted in a more appealing and well-balanced flavor profile by reducing some of the harshness that the white vinegar had previously produced.

A dollop of ajvar on a plate, flanked by a cevapi sandwich.

I can now safely say that if you want to make your ajvar the quickest and easiest way—on a stove and without boiling—you’ll get something pretty good, but if you want all the smoky, fruity, and tangy flavor of a great ajvar, it’s worth the extra time and effort to prepare it the traditional way, cooked over a live fire and then simmered into submission. This ajvar is appropriate for my cevapi.


Prep:30 mins

Cook:90 mins

Active:60 mins

Total:2 hrs

Serves:24 tablespoons

Makes:1 1/2 cups


Save Recipe

  • 2 pounds red bell peppers (about 5 medium peppers)
  • 1 medium eggplant (about 3/4 pound)
  • 5 teaspoons freshly minced garlic (about 5 medium cloves)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Charcoal from one chimney should be lit. Pour out the coals and put them on one side of the charcoal grate once all of the charcoal has been fired and covered with gray ash. Place the cooking grate on the grill, close it, and let it heat up for five minutes. Grill grate should be washed and oiled. Place peppers on the hot side of the grill and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until completely blackened. Pepper should be transferred to a large bowl, covered with plastic wrap, and allowed to sit for 20 minutes or until it is safe to handle. Peppers should be free of burned skin, seeds, and cores.Red bell pepper being roasted on a grill; its skin charred and blackened.
  2. Pierce the eggplant’s skin all over with a fork as the peppers cool. Place the eggplant on the grill’s cool side. About 30 minutes of cooking time, flipping the eggplant halfway through, should result in uniformly softened peel and wrinkling of the eggplant. After taking the eggplant from the grill, give it a few minutes to cool enough to handle. Cut the eggplant’s top off, then split it lengthwise. Scoop out the eggplant’s flesh with a spoon and throw away the skin.Eggplant being roasted on a grill, its skin shriveling and charred.
  3. Put garlic, eggplant pulp, and roasted red peppers in a food processor with a steel blade. until roughly chopped, pulse. Once the peppers are diced up finely, add the oil, vinegar, and salt and pulse once more to combine.Roasted red pepper, eggplant, and garlic being ground in a food processor.
  4. Put the sauce in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste and turn the heat off. Let cool to room temperature then use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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