Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about

    2 cups

    , depending on the size of the vegetables

Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

Oven-roasting or grilling some vegetables concentrates their flavor and caramelizes their natural sugar. Pureed with some stock and strained, they make lovely savory sauces that are smooth and rich without any butter or cream. It couldn’t be simpler. If you like the effect, you can try it with almost any vegetable.


  • Olive oil
  • 3 large red bell peppers
  • 3 medium Roma or other plum tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon roasted garlic
  • ½ cup or so homemade chicken or vegetable stock or your favorite canned broth
  • Drops of your favorite hot sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened (optional)


Preheat the oven to 450°F. (You can also prepare the vegetables under a broiler or on a gas or charcoal grill.) Lightly oil the peppers, tomatoes, and onion, arrange on a baking sheet, and roast until the skins are blistered (do not blacken the tomatoes). Place the peppers in a bowl, cover with a lid or plastic wrap, and allow to steam for a few minutes. Scrape the skins off the peppers (do not rinse) and discard the skin, stems, and seeds. Peel the onions and chop them along with the peppers and tomatoes, being sure to save all the juices.

Transfer the chopped vegetables to a blender or food processor, add the garlic, and puree until smooth. Add stock to thin the sauce to the desired consistency. Strain through a medium strainer to remove any remaining seeds and skin. Taste and season with hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Serve warm. If using butter, whisk it in just before serving. Can be made up to 3 days ahead; store covered in the refrigerator and reheat before serving.


For a sauce with even smokier notes, substitute ½ teaspoon or so of chopped chipotle in adobo in place of the hot sauce.