Learn how to roast red peppers in the oven with this step-by-step tutorial! I’m also covering how to roast them on the grill, gas stovetop, and under the broiler. Once you realize how much sweeter and smokier the results are from roasting your own peppers (not to mention how easy they are to make), you’ll never want to use jarred red peppers again.
I always enjoy DIY kitchen experiments, but I often don’t think they’re necessarily worth the time and expense. For example, I’ve made homemade tofu and cultured butter, but they weren’t necessarily better than what I could purchase. They were still fun, but I have limited time to experiment in the kitchen, so I probably wouldn’t make them again. One pantry staple that’s absolutely better than the store version and takes almost no effort? Roasted red peppers. This one is 100% worth it. The peppers you buy in a jar have noticeably less flavor.
The darker, more muted color of homemade roasted peppers means that the skins have been well-charred before being peeled off. Why is this important? The charring infuses the flesh of the pepper with sweetness, complexity, and a subtle but noticeable smokiness you won’t get from anything mass produced.
Roasted red peppers puree beautifully for soups, dips and even salad dressings (or you can just use them as a salad topper). Also, homemade roasted red peppers are less expensive than jarred versions, and they take very little hands on time to prepare in the oven.
How To Roast Red Peppers
You want to roast fresh bell peppers for best results. Look for peppers that are firm, with a glossy, bright exterior. Bell peppers with straight sides will be easier to peel.
In a high heat oven (450 to 500 degrees), cook the peppers until their skins are charred and starting to separate from the flesh. After removing them from the oven, cover them tightly with foil or place in a bag or covered bowl to steam for a bit, until they’re cool enough to handle.
Next, peel away and discard the skins. Finally, remove and discard the stems, cores, and seeds. That’s it! Though I typically roast in the oven because it’s the most hands-off method, this can also be done under the boiler, on a gas stovetop, or on a grill. I’ll discuss these methods below.
How to Peel Roasted Red Peppers
After roasting the peppers, the key to easily peeling them is allowing them to steam for awhile to help separate the skin from the flesh. Since they’re already hot, this can be easily accomplished by enclosing them in a plastic bag, container or bowl (or covering the roasting pan in foil). If you’re in a hurry, 15-20 minutes might be enough time, but 25-30 minutes will ensure they’re easy to peel and cool enough to handle.
How to Store Roasted Red Peppers
If you’re not going to immediately use the roasted peppers, I recommend storing them in a small, airtight jar or similar container, submerged in extra virgin olive oil. Completely cover them in oil but leave 1/4 inch of space at the top before closing. For additional flavor, you could also add a couple garlic cloves, salt, vinegar, and some fresh herbs.
These will keep in the refrigerator for about two weeks. If you want to store them for longer, properly canning them will extend their life for up to one year. This post from Simply Recipes includes ingredients for a marinade, as well as how to properly can them.
How to Roast Peppers on a Grill or Gas Stove
To roast on the grill or a gas burner, use heat-resistant kitchen tongs and place the peppers directly over the flames. Use the tongs to periodically turn them for even charring the skin on all sides. It takes about 15 minutes, which is much faster than the oven roasting method but involves more hands-on attention. Follow the same steps for peeling.
The gas stove is my least favorite method because it’s easy to char the skin before the inside is fully cooked. The grill is much better since you can close the lid to help the cooking process along, and you can adjust the heat or move the peppers between areas with higher or lower heat as needed. The grill also adds even more wonderful smoky flavor.
How to Roast Peppers under the Broiler
To broil red peppers, place an oven rack on one of the upper third shelves so the peppers are around 8-9 inches below the heating element. If they’re too close to the broiler, the peppers will char before they’re fully cooked. Roast them for 20-25 minutes, turning every 5-10 minutes, until charred and soft. The times may vary depending on the intensity of your broiler, so keep an eye on them.
How to Use Roasted Red Peppers
Here are a few of my favorite ways to use roasted peppers:
- Add them to hummus
- Puree and add to sauces or salad dressings. You could use them in place of the tomatoes in my roasted tomato vinaigrette (or do a 50/50 combo of tomatoes and peppers).
- Use as a topping on your favorite pizza (either delivery or homemade).
- Use as a salad topping
More Ingredient Tutorials:
Roasted Red Peppers
- 4 large red bell peppers (see notes)
- Optional: extra virgin olive oil for storing
- Set an oven rack on the center shelf and preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Line a large sheet pan with foil and place the red peppers on top, leaving some room between each one.
- Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, turning every 15 minutes, until the skins are charred and wrinkled on all sides.
- Remove the pan from the oven and quickly but carefully transfer the peppers to a resealable plastic bag, closing it to lock in the steam. Alternately, you can cover the sheet pan tightly with another layer of foil. Set aside for 25-30 minutes, or until the peppers are cool enough to handle.
- Peel away the skins, then remove the stem and seeds (discard everything but the red pepper flesh and any oils the produce). Use immediately, or store in an airtight jar along with extra virgin olive oil. Roasted red peppers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. If properly sealed and canned, these will keep for up to one year.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
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