It’s so easy to make this delicious red pepper and tomato sauce. Perfect with pasta as well as many other foods. This sauce makes the best of the beautiful flavour and natural sweetness of the roasted red peppers and fresh tomatoes.
Roasting peppers is such a gorgeous way to prepare them, and it's definitely our favourite one. When the peppers sear and sizzle in the oven and get those slightly dark brown spots on the skin, you know you’re in for a delicious treat!
We really enjoy the amazing flavours and creaminess of this roasted pepper and tomato sauce. But we also love how easy it is to make, both on the ingredient side as well as in the method.
All it takes to make this yummy is a bunch of vegetables and a handful of common cooking ingredients you’ve probably already got in your pantry. And all you need to do is roast everything together, and then blend it into a juicy and creamy sauce.
The sauce doesn’t need any vegan cream or soaked nuts to get it’s creamy texture. The juicy peppers, tomatoes and onions and the olive oil used to roast them give you all the creaminess you’ll need.
With so few other ingredients, the roasted pepper and tomato flavours can really take the center stage. And the ‘set and forget’ style of cooking everything in the oven means you can get busy doing other things without having to keep a constant eye on things.
This roasted red pepper and tomato sauce is gluten-free. To keep the meal gluten-free, serve the sauce with gluten-free pasta or other foods not containing wheat and gluten.
As the vegetables are blended to make the sauce, you’ll need a stick blender or food processor. But that’s probably the most tricky this recipe gets.
Everything ready? Let’s get started!
Here’s all you need to make this delicious tomato and red pepper sauce:
- Red peppers
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Dried oregano
- Salt & pepper
Bell peppers are the best to use in this recipe because they are juicy and a bit sweet and roast beautifully.
For tomatoes we used large ones. Try to get nice and ripe ones! But cherry tomatoes are a good choice too, especially if you have a glut of homegrown tomatoes that you need to use. They are great for sauces as they are full of flavour and naturally sweet. Although many recipes for sauce suggest peeling tomatoes, we personally don't find it worth the time and find the skins get well blended anyway.
Use either yellow or red onions. Yellow onions are what we usually have, but red onions are absolutely delicious as well, and again add a bit of extra sweetness!
We love to use extra virgin olive oil for cooking. Especially (but not only) in Mediterranean dishes like pasta or risotto.
The balsamic vinegar brings a bit of acidity and fruity flavour to the mix. Check the label to make sure it’s vegan, as some wine-based vinegars aren’t!
And finally, we round off the recipe with a few garlic cloves and a simple mediterranean seasoning of dried oregano, salt and pepper.
You can find the full instructions and detailed ingredient list in the recipe card at the end of the post. But here’s a visual step-by-step guide to show you how simple the recipe is!
Step 1 - Prepare the vegetables and garlic and place them on a large baking tray.
Step 2 - Sprinkle on the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper and stir through.
Step 3 - Roast in the oven at 200°C fan for 30 minutes (also see tips on roasting peppers below)
Step 4 - Blend everything into a smooth sauce!
A fan oven is the easiest and best way to roast the vegetables for this recipe. Some fan ovens only go up to 200°C (390°F), but some allow you to go hotter and safe a few minutes.
You can also use the grilling / broiler function of your oven, but check on the vegetables regularly so they don't turn too dark or burn. If necessary, rotate the tray, cover it or turn down the temperature.
Here are our recommendations for different oven settings:
Fan oven - 200°C (390°F), 30 minutes / 220°C (430°F), 25 minutes
Grilling / broiler - 200°C (390°F), 25 minutes
Fan + grilling combo - 200°C (390°F), 25 minutes
Gas - mark 6-7, 25-30 minutes
For easy stirring, you can combine the veggies with all the other ingredients in a large mixing bowl before spreading them out on the baking tray. It’s up to you! We save on washing up and mix everything straight on the oven tray.
If you have too many vegetables to fit in one tray, just divide them up into two or more trays. They might take a few minutes longer to roast. It also can’t hurt to rotate the trays round during cooking.
Place the cut red peppers outside-up on the baking tray. Browned spots on the skin is what you’re looking for, which means a lot of delicious roasted flavour! And as the vegetables cook off water in them, it doesn’t pool inside the peppers, which further helps roasting.
If the peppers turn more black than dark brown in some spots while roasting, remove the black bits of skin before blending the sauce to avoid a bitter taste.
While we love the combination of roasted red peppers and tomatoes, you can also make a brilliant sauce just from peppers or just using tomatoes.
If you like it spicy, add some red pepper flakes (chilli flakes in the UK) or a fresh chilli pepper to the mix.
You can swap out the dried oregano for dried basil, or blend the sauce with some fresh basil!
Try this delicious roasted pepper and tomato sauce with roasted or boiled potatoes, vegan sausages or meatballs, roasted chickpeas or pan-fried smoked tofu.
Or simply have the red pepper sauce with pasta - a classic you can never go wrong with! While the vegetables are roasting, put on a large pan of water and cook the pasta with a bit of salt. It should be done and ready by the time you can blend the sauce.
We use 300g (10.5 oz) of pasta for 4 portions, which for us is just the right amount for 3 peppers, 3 large tomatoes and 2 onions worth of sauce. Use the scalable servings slider or the 1x / 2x / 3x buttons in the recipe card if you want to cook more or less portions!
Top the roasted pepper and tomato pasta with toasted almonds or pine nuts and fresh basil as flavourful garnish.
The tomato and red pepper sauce will keep for three to five days in the fridge. We keep it in a jar for convenience.
You can also freeze the sauce to make it last up to 6 months or longer. Use a sealed container for freezing. You can even freeze the red pepper sauce in a jar if you leave at least two inches (5 cm) of space between the sauce and lid to allow for expansion. To defrost, leave in the fridge overnight.
To reheat the sauce, place it in a saucepan on medium heat. Cook until it is gently bubbling and keep stirring to ensure it is hot all the way through. If the sauce becomes to thick, you can add a splash of water.
Red Pepper And Tomato Sauce
- 3 red bell peppers quartered
- 3 large (300 g) tomatoes halved or thick slices
- 2 onions halved and thick slices
- 5 cloves garlic peeled, whole
- 4 tbsp (¼ cup / 60 ml) olive oil extra virgin
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 300 g (10.5 oz) pasta spaghetti, fusilli, penne...
- Preheat a fan oven to 200-220°C (390 - 430°C). (For other methods, see notes below.)
- Wash and prepare the vegetables as above, also removing the core and seeds of the peppers.
- Place the prepared vegetables and garlic on a large baking tray or sheet. Toss on the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper and stir to combine everything and coat the peppers, tomatoes and onion with oil. Turn the quartered peppers skin-side up.
- Roast in the oven at 200°C for 30 minutes (or at 220°C for 20 - 25 minutes), until the peppers have dark brown spots on their skin and the onions have turned a bit transparent.
- Transfer everything on the tray, including the oil and any collected liquid, into a blender jug or food processor. Blend using a stick blender (or food processor) into a smooth sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To serve the sauce with pasta, cook the pasta while the vegetables are in the oven. Bring a large pan of water to boil, add the pasta and some salt and cook on a rolling boil as per instruction on the pasta, or until al dente. Tip: Leave the lid off the pan to keep it from boiling over.
- Optionally, dry toast some pine nuts or flaked almonds on medium-high heat. Garnish with some fresh basil.