Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Okay, so this recipe is pretty expensive. I’ll admit that up front. BUT I had almost an entire jar of roasted red peppers leftover from my hummus making extravaganza last week, and due to poor planning, I didn’t have another use for the leftover peppers. Yes, I could have frozen them for later use, but I decided to just go ahead and use them up on the spot and not risk losing them to the depths of my freezer. And I think it’s important to show ways you can repurpose leftover ingredients to make sure they don’t go to waste. So, I made this ultra simple, yet totally decadent Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, which can be used several different ways.

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce in a skillet with slices of bread and a wooden spoon

How to Use Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

The most obvious use for this sauce is as a tomato-free alternative to marinara. It’s nice to change things up once in a while and there are a lot of people who can’t eat tomatoes, so this is a great way to go. On that note, you could probably also use it on a pizza as an alternative to traditional pizza sauce (it would be amazing on a mediterranean style pizza).

But I think my favorite way to consume this sauce is just as a dip for some really good bread. Either just break off a chunk of your favorite bread and start sopping up the delicious sauce, or slice it, brush it with olive oil, and toast it up in your oven for a little crunch. Either way, this sauce makes a great appetizer or addition to a party tray (try sprinkling a little crumbled feta on there, too!).

So, if you ever find yourself with a jar of roasted red peppers…

 
Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is a great alternative to tomato based sauces for pasta, pizzas, or just for dipping your favorite crusty bread. BudgetBytes.com
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4.77 from 13 votes

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is a great alternative to tomato based sauces for pasta, pizzas, or just for dipping your favorite crusty bread.
Keyword: No Tomato Pasta Sauce
Total Cost: $6.02
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 25 mins

Ingredients

  • 16 oz jar roasted red peppers ($4.49)
  • 2 Tbsp butter ($0.27)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($0.32)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
  • Freshly cracked pepper ($0.02)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream ($0.87)

Instructions

  • Add the roasted red peppers to a blender along with about 2 Tbsp of the liquid from the jar. Purée the peppers until smooth, adding a tablespoon or two of water if needed to help it blend (avoid adding too much liquid from the jar as it can be very acidic).
  • Mince the garlic and add it to a skillet with the butter. Sauté the garlic in the butter over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic has softened and becomes very fragrant (but not browned). Pour in the puréed peppers, and add the dried basil and some freshly cracked pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Allow the sauce to come up to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low and let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring often, or until the mixture is thick (see photos below).
  • Add the heavy cream to the skillet, stir until the sauce is smooth, and allow to heat through. Taste the sauce ad add salt if needed (I found the liquid from the jar added enough salt for me). Serve warm.
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Close up of a piece of bread being dipped into Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

I can’t lie. I could just eat a baguette dipped in this sauce as a meal. 😅 Maybe with a little goat cheese, too!

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce in a skillet with a wooden spoon

Step by Step Photos

Roasted Red Peppers in a jar

These are the roasted red peppers that I had on hand. They were organic, so you may be able to cut back on the price of the sauce if you can find a better deal (this 16oz. jar was $4.49). You can also use red bell peppers that you’ve roasted at home, but you may need to add salt to the sauce at the end.

Purée Roasted Red Peppers in the blender

Add the roasted red peppers to a blender, along with a couple tablespoons of the liquid from the jar. Purée the peppers until smooth. If you need more liquid to make them blend properly, add water rather than more liquid from the jar because the canning liquid can be quite acidic. You’ll end up with about 1.5 cups of red pepper purée. 

Sautéed Garlic and Butter in the skillet

Mince four cloves of garlic and sauté them in 2 Tbsp butter over medium-low heat for about 1-2 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and fragrant, but not browned.

Pour pureed Roasted Red Peppers into the skillet with garlic and butter

Pour in the Roasted Red Pepper purée.

Add Basil and Pepper to sauce in the skillet

Add 1/2 tsp dried basil and some freshly cracked pepper. Stir to combine and let the sauce come up to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low and let it simmer, stirring frequently, for 10-15 minutes, or until it is thick (see next photo).

Simmered Roasted Red Pepper Sauce in the skillet with a wooden spoon

When the sauce is thick enough to leave a blank trail in the skillet when you stir it, it’s time to add the cream.

Add Heavy Cream to sauce in the skillet

Stir in 1/2 cup heavy cream. Taste the sauce and add salt if needed (I did not add any as the liquid from the jar gave my sauce enough salt). It’s ready to eat! You should have about 1.5 cups of sauce, which is enough for about 8oz. of pasta.

Close up of Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce in the skillet from the side

This Creamy Roasted Red Pepper sauce is totally luscious.

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta in a skillet

I ended up using it on my leftover rigatoni from the other day, with some sautéed spinach and Italian sausage. PERFECT. (But I would have been just as happy with a loaf of good bread. ;) )