How to Make Red Pepper Paste

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In this post, I’ll show you how to make red pepper paste. This red pepper paste recipe is delicious and very easy to put together. You can use it to spread on a slice of bread when you make a sandwich or in pasta sauce or any other way you’ll want. It’s also a great way to preserve peppers because you can easily freeze this paste. You can use this same red pepper paste recipe with other kinds of peppers as well.

I’ve planted a few bell pepper plants in the garden this year but for some reason, they are not doing so great.

They had a hard time after I transplanted them and even months later they still seem to struggle. They are green and they are there but they’re not producing many peppers and aren’t looking so great. 

I had made peace with the fact that we wouldn’t be eating many peppers this season and that I wouldn’t be able to preserve peppers in vinegar and salt like I always do until the day a couple of weeks ago when my neighbor rolled down my driveway with a gigantic box of red bell peppers! 

They were soooo red and ripe (you’ll see in the picture below) that I knew I had to process them right away. 

How to Make Red Pepper Paste…

Let me show you how to make red pepper paste. This is a delicious and very easy recipe and a great way to preserve peppers since you can freeze it for later! #howtomakeredpepperpaste #redpepperpasterecipe #howtopreservepeppers

I decided to make a few different dishes with the thought of preserving the peppers…

First, I made this red pepper paste that I am sharing with you today. Those jars went to the freezer.

It’s an amazing way to preserve a large number of peppers. It’s an easy recipe and you can use it in so many ways. You can spread it on bread, or make a pasta sauce with it, or use it when cooking and add it to different dishes. Kind of like you’d use basil pesto or cilantro pesto

You can make red pepper paste with different kinds of peppers and it can be made spicy or not. It will last a couple of weeks in the fridge or a very long time in the freezer. 

The second dish that I made was roasted red peppers. I canned those and you can find this tutorial in my post How to Can Peppers. I love roasted red peppers!

And the third dish I made was Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers. Oh goodness, these are so good! I meant to freeze them since they make a really great freezer meal but they were so good that I ate so many and shared with anyone who entered the house within a couple of days after I made them. 

I made a huge pot but nothing was left for freezing. Oh well.  

A bowl of red peppers

Of course, I also left us a few to eat fresh… 

For the red pepper paste, I choose the smaller peppers. It would have been hard to peel or stuff the small peppers for the other dishes that I made, but for a paste, the small peppers are perfect!

I started with 2.9 pounds of small red bell peppers…

Red Pepper Paste Recipe…

Removing stem from sweet red pepper

I wash the peppers well and then cut around the stem and pull it out…

Clean red peppers ready for processing

I remove the seeds from the peppers and cut them in half. After de-seeding the peppers I was left with almost 2 pounds (1lb 14oz to be exact) of peppers. 

Clean red peppers and garlic in the food processor

Next, I added all of the peppers and 4 peeled garlic cloves to the bowl of the food processor

Processing red peppers and garlic in the food processor

I processed the peppers and garlic for a couple of minutes. 

Now it’s time to cook this red pepper paste… 

Cooking Pepper Paste…

Heating olive oil

I heat 5 tablespoons of olive oil in a shallow and wide pan

Adding pepper and garlic to the pot

When the oil is hot, I add the pepper/garlic mix and stir. I bring this to a soft boil and hold it there for 5 minutes while stirring before lowering the heat to medium-low. 

Seasoning red pepper paste

After lowering the heat I season with 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and one teaspoon black pepper. If you want the paste to be spicy you can add some cayenne pepper. 

Another way to make this paste hot is to add a couple jalapeno peppers (or other spicy pepper) to the food processor when you process the peppers and the garlic before cooking.

You can get really creative and try this with many kinds of peppers or combinations of peppers. Since I am feeding 4 little kids here and I myself don’t like spicy food, I leave our paste mild. 

Red pepper paste cooking

Ok, after I add the seasoning, I give this a good stir and now it’s just a matter of cooking it (uncovered) to my desired consistency. Kinda like with jam. 

Also like making jam, make sure to stir every few minutes. 

Pepper paste is cooling in the pot

It took about 20 minutes of cooking to get to my desired consistency. We are making a paste here so of course, I want it paste-like. Thick and spreadable. 

Basically, I cook this red pepper paste until all the liquid is gone and then a little longer. Just make sure to stir so you don’t burn the paste especially toward the end when there is not much liquid left.

Once the pepper paste is ready, I turn off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Then I taste it and add seasonings if I feel that I am missing something. 

Storing Red Pepper Paste…

Ready red pepper paste in a jar

I let the paste cool completely before transferring it to jars. The 2 pounds of fresh red peppers I started with ended up making 2 one-half pint jars of red pepper paste that went into the freezer plus another half jar that I left in the fridge for us to enjoy. 

Make sure you use the plastic freezer lids to cover the jars and that you label your jars. Also, make sure that you leave 1/2 inch headspace.   

Using Red Pepper Paste…

Spoon with red pepper paste

Simple, right?

This red pepper paste is really tasty! I feel that it tastes like a spread of roasted red peppers a little bit.

I love using it in sandwiches. I’ll make a sandwich with mayo, rep pepper paste, lunch meat, and tomato or cucumber slices. It’s so good.

Another great way to use it is to make a simple alfredo pasta sauce and add a few spoons of this red pepper paste to it. It gives it a wonderful taste and a fun color. 

I love making zucchini casserole when I have fresh zucchini in the garden. Aside from my low-sugar zucchini bread, a casserole is my favorite way for preserving zucchini.

I make a few of them, divide them into dinner (or lunch) portions, wrap each piece individually and freeze them for an easy meal. 

When I eat my zucchini casserole, I always add some red pepper paste on the side to go with it. They work so well together! Add a fresh salad and you have yourself an amazing and very healthy vegetarian meal right from the garden.  

You can probably think up a million other ways to use this paste but these three are my personal favorites.

I hope you liked this How to Make Red Pepper Paste tutorial! Remember that you can try to make this with different kinds of peppers and different combination of seasonings. Here is a similar recipe for making pepper paste but with hot chili peppers in case you want to try a spicy version. 

If you liked this recipe, make sure to check out my carrot top pesto recipe and my tutorial on how to preserve lemon peel. I think that you’ll love both of those. Also, if you happen to come by many jalapenos peppers, try making cowboy candy (which is a delicious candied jalapenos dish), or try fermenting some of the jalapenos.

Here is the handy printable…

How to Make Red Pepper Paste

How to Make Red Pepper Paste

Yield: Two and a half 1/2 pint jars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

A delicious and easy to make red pepper paste that you can use in many different ways!


  • 2 lb red peppers, stem removed, seeds removed, and cut in half
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 5 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Optional: to make this paste spicy, add a couple of fresh jalapenos or another kind of spicy fresh pepper or add cayenne pepper when seasoning.


  1. To the bowl of the food processor, add the de-seeded peppers and the peeled garlic cloves. Process for a couple of minutes.
  2. In a shallow and wide pot, heat the olive oil.
  3. Add the red pepper/garlic mixture and bring to a boil.
  4. Let boil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, then lower the heat to medium-low.
  5. Add the seasonings and stir them in.
  6. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes or until the paste reaches your desired consistency.
  7. Turn the heat off and let cool for a few minutes.
  8. Taste and correct seasonings if you'd like.
  9. Let the paste cool completely before scooping it into jars. You can freeze it for later or store in the fridge and enjoy.


To freeze this pepper paste, add it to a jar and cover with a freezer lid before freezing. It should last in the freezer for 12-18 months.

Spread it on sandwiches, season other dishes with it, add it to an alfredo pasta sauce, use it in a pasta salad, or eat it with a good casserole. There are many ways to use it.

You can use this same process and recipe with many different kinds of peppers. It doesn't have to be bell peppers. Feel free to add some heat by using a combination of hot and mild peppers or just use mild or just use hot. You can mix it up however you want!

YouTube video
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 25 Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 35Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 86mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 0g

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14 thoughts on “How to Make Red Pepper Paste”

  1. Oh my gosh so yummy!! I was gifted a large bagful of red bell peppers and some of them had some areas that were soft and even going south. By the time I trimmed them, I ended up with nearly 2 pounds. I followed your directions but increased the salt (I use Diamond Kosher) and decreased the pepper. We just tried it warm on a small piece of homemade sourdough bread and it’s so delicious!! I can see using this as a replacement for pizza sauce on homemade pizza, among other things. Thank you for sharing this. I love new and creative ways to use up an abundance of produce.

    1. So glad you liked it! There are so many ways to use it but honestly, I can sit down with a sleeve of crackers, cheddar cheese, and this pepper paste and it’s hard to stop 🙂

    1. You don’t have to if the skin doesn’t bother you. The paste will be creamier if you get rid of the skin but it’s an optional step. Let me know how it turned out!

  2. Hi the recipe. Can I put the pepper paste jars into a water bath to preserve and then store in the pantry instead of the fridge? Do you know of anyone that has done this method? .kind regards.?

    1. I’ve never tried this and I don’t know of anyone that did. Peppers are a low acid vegetable so you’d need to process them in the pressure canner. I have a tutorial for canning roasted red peppers on the blog, I wonder if you can follow the same process… You can definitely freeze pepper paste, but I’m not sure about canning.

  3. Hi–this paste sounds delicious! I’m wondering if you sterilize the jars before you put the paste in, or is that not necessary? I’ve got some red anaheims from a recent farmer’s market pickup, and I thought I might try to make a paste from them. Thanks so much for this great recipe!

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