From mild to wild: How to roast red peppers

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Roasting red peppers is a great way to enhance their natural sweetness and create a delicious, smoky flavor that can be used in a variety of dishes. It’s a simple process that can be done in the oven, on the stovetop or even on the grill. In this article, you’ll find the steps to roast red peppers and provide some tips and ideas for how to use them in your cooking.

One of the great things about learning how to roast red peppers is that the same method can be used to roast any kind of peppers. Mild peppers, peppers for chile rellenos, peppers for soup and peppers in salsa benefit from being roasted. Roast any pepper you want to use and level up your recipes, like these peppers in this Instant Pot Sausage and Peppers.

Peppers and a baking sheet on a table.
Bell Peppers. Photo credit: Yayimages.

“I love to keep roasted red peppers on hand to add both sweetness and smokiness to sauces. They are great blended into fresh pesto, hummus or even just a little oil and vinegar for a tasty salad dressing. So much flavor for such a simple ingredient!”                

— Kristen Wood, MOON and spoon and yum

The only peppers that don’t benefit from roasting would be a stuffed pepper. The peppers would be too soft after roasting and then baking, the stuffing would fall right out. Just gently boil those peppers to soften them before stuffing and baking. 

Gather the ingredients and tools

You will need the following: 

  • Red peppers, as many as you need or want to roast at one time
  • A toothpick
  • A rimmed baking sheet
  • Tongs to handle hot peppers
  • Paper bag to steam peppers after roasting them

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How to roast red peppers

Here are the very simple directions. 

  • Preheat the broiler to 425 F
  • Move an oven rack to the middle of the oven.
  • Wash peppers and remove any stickers.
  • Poke each pepper with the toothpick to keep them from exploding in the oven.
  • Lay the clean peppers on the rimmed baking sheet.
  • Put the baking sheet on the middle rack in the oven.
  • Close the door and let the broiler work its magic.
  • The peppers should char on the outside under the broiler for approximately 5 to 8 minutes depending on the heat of your broiler.
  • When the peppers are blistered, use the tongs to turn the peppers over to roast them on the other side. 
  • Turn them again as needed until the peppers are charred on all sides as much as possible.
  • Once charred, remove the pan from the oven and turn off the oven.
  • Place the charred peppers in the brown paper bag and fold the top down.
  • Allow the peppers to steam in the bag until cool enough to handle, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, use your hands to slough off the charred skin gently.
  • Pull the stems out and squeeze out any seeds.
  • Use the roasted peppers any way you see fit, such as on this Antipasto Salad, in a pasta sauce or in this Sausage Frittata.
Roasted peppers peeled and stored in a glass jar.
Roasted Red Peppers. Photo credit: Yayimages.

A note on storing roasted red peppers 

Once cleaned, these peppers can be stored in a jar in the refrigerator. You can slice them or leave them whole that’s up to you. Toss them with a little olive oil, and they can be stored for up to a week in the fridge. 

Do not water bath can these peppers. Roasted red peppers do not contain any acid or sugar to make them suitable for water bath canning. They must be pressure canned, which is a different procedure. 

Red peppers roasting on a grate over a gas flame.
Roasting Red Peppers. Photo credit: Yayimages.

How to roast peppers over an open flame

You can roast single peppers over a gas flame on the stove or gas grill. Wash, dry and poke a small hole in the peppers. Then hold the peppers over the flame with heat-safe tongs and char the sides. 

Steam, clean and store as directed above. The only problem with doing them over an open flame is that they can drip on your burners, so you’ll have to clean them. 

Once roasted, you can use red peppers in a variety of dishes, from salads and sandwiches to pasta and pizza. They add a sweet and smoky flavor to any meal. With these steps, you’ll be roasting red peppers like a pro in no time. Roasting red peppers can give old dishes new life. Are you willing to give it a shot? 

Laura Sampson of Little House Big Alaska is on a mission to teach modern family-oriented home cooks how to make old-fashioned foods new again. She shares her passion for home cooking, backyard gardening, and homesteading on her website and blog,

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