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Hearty Dinners/ Pasta

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Pasta

August 14, 2019 (Last Updated: May 16, 2023) by Chris Collins

This Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Pasta is bursting with flavour and goes down in just 15mins!

This recipe is quite the tongue-twister isn’t it? Unfortunately, you’re going to have to get used to saying it, because I guarantee it’s about to become a regular for you! Follow me…

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Pasta plated up on white plate

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

Regular pesto is great, but throwing in some roasted red peppers really takes things to new heights. They add heaps of flavour and create the sauciest, most delicious pasta imaginable! For this pesto recipe you’ll actually only need 6 ingredients:

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Ingredients

  • Roasted Red Peppers – Jarred roasted red peppers work perfectly here. You can make your own if you’d prefer (I’ve added a note on that in the recipe card below).
  • Basil – Fresh and lots of it!
  • Pine nuts – You can toast them if you’d like, but it’s not essential.
  • Parmesan – Freshly grated. Avoid the pre-grated/powdered stuff. It’ll throw off the flavour and texture of the pesto.
  • Garlic – 1 clove goes a long way!
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Ensure it’s extra virgin olive oil, not regular olive oil.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yep! It’s super quick to whip up fresh, but you can tightly store in the fridge until needed if you’d prefer.

Process shots: add ingredients to food processor (photo 1), blitz until well combined (photo 2), scrape into large mixing bowl (photo 3).

How to make Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Pasta - 3 step by step photos

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Pasta

When it comes to mixing in the pasta, you do not want to do it overheat. Heating pesto not only burns the basil, but also turns the sauce greasy. To create a pasta sauce, you want to toss the pasta in a bowl, where the leftover heat from the pasta will cook the pesto. From here, you want to add a splash of pasta water. The starch molecules will help emulsify the oil and form a silky, almost quite ‘creamy’ sauce.

Tips for making Red Pepper Pesto Pasta

  1. Work quickly so the sauce/pasta doesn’t cool down too much.
  2. I recommend using a long-cut pasta for this type of pesto, just so it doesn’t clump up in the shorter-cut pastas. Here I use Linguine, but Fettuccine and Spaghetti work great.
  3. Lots of parmesan for serving – obviously!
It’s easiest to use jarred roasted red peppers for this recipe, just squeeze out the brine (don’t rinse). If you want to make your own, use 3-4 fresh red peppers and either grill/broil or place on the flame on the hob. Turn frequently until fully charred, then place in a bowl with cling film over the top. Once cooled, peel the skin and core the centre.

pasta tongs twirling in a bowl of linguine

Serving Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Pasta

Once the sauce has thickened around the pasta you’re good to go!

How can I store and reheat leftovers?

Pop it in an airtight container for 2-3 days. I actually don’t recommend reheating this pasta, but bring it to room temp instead. Reheating pesto often turns it greasy and burns the basil.

Okey dokey, let’s tuck into this roasted red pepper pesto pasta recipe shall we?!

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Pasta served on white plate with extra parmesan

How to make Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Pasta (Full Recipe & Video)

pasta tongs twirling in a bowl of linguine

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Pasta

This Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Pasta is bursting with flavour and goes down in just 15mins!
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Servings (click & slide): 4
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Calories per serving: 389kcal
Cost per serving: £2 / $2.50


  • Large Pot & Pasta Tongs (for pasta)
  • Food Processor (for pesto)
  • Fine Cheese Grater
  • Large Mixing Bowl

Ingredients (check list):

  • 14oz / 400g Linguine, or other long cut pasta
  • 16oz / 460g jar of Roasted Red Peppers, drained (see notes)
  • 1/3 cup / 80ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2cup / 40g freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve
  • 1 small bunch of Fresh Basil (1oz/30g)
  • 4 tbsp Pinenuts, optionally toasted
  • 1 clove of Garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 tsp Salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper, or to taste


  • Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente.
  • Add all of the other ingredients into a food processor and blitz until well combined. Scrape into a large mixing bowl.
  • Use tongs to transfer the cooked pasta straight from the pot into the bowl of pesto, embracing any excess water that comes with it. Toss until the pasta is fully coated and the pesto thickens around it and clings to it. If the pesto dries up you can add in a splash of the starchy pasta water from the pot to thin it out as needed. Just don’t use too much else it’ll turn watery. Also, make sure it’s done in a bowl off the heat, pesto doesn’t cook well.
  • Serve warm with extra parmesan!

Quick 1 min demo!


a) Roasted Red Peppers - Don't rinse the peppers, just squeeze out as much of the vinegary brine as you can. If you want to make your own, I recommend using 3-4 fresh peppers. Place them under the grill or on the flame of the hob and turn regularly until charred all the way around. Place in a bowl with cling film over until the peppers cool, then peel off the skins (leaving some char for flavour). Just remember to remove the core/seeds.
b) Sauce - This will make a fairly 'saucy' pasta if you use all the pesto. You can use less pesto if you like a lighter sauce!
c) Speed - The leftover heat from the pasta will cook the sauce, just work quickly so it doesn't go cold. 
d) Reheat - Store in the fridge with a tight cover. When it comes to reheating, I actually recommend just bringing it to room temp. When you reheat pesto it often goes oily and the basil burns.
e) Calories - based on using 1/3 cup olive oil and no extra parmesan.

Your Private Notes:


Nutrition Facts
Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Pasta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 389 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Fat 26.97g41%
Saturated Fat 5.315g27%
Trans Fat 0.118g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.925g
Monounsaturated Fat 15.904g
Cholesterol 46mg15%
Sodium 764mg32%
Potassium 217mg6%
Carbohydrates 28.82g10%
Fiber 4.2g17%
Sugar 3.28g4%
Protein 10.33g21%
Vitamin A 2641IU53%
Vitamin C 126.1mg153%
Calcium 145mg15%
Iron 2.33mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart
Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'

For another roasted red pepper pasta recipe check out my Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta!

For more similar recipes check out these beauties:

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Recipe Rating


  • Reply
    Andy Clark
    January 26, 2021 at 11:46 pm

    5 stars
    This was super easy, great flavor and ready in 15 min! I added an extra garlic clove to highlight the garlic and it was just right, not too heavy. I will be making this again.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      February 1, 2021 at 6:02 pm

      Andy, thanks so much for the review! Can’t go wrong with extra garlic! Chris.

  • Reply
    X. Culletto
    April 17, 2020 at 11:37 pm

    5 stars
    I love pasta! And your blog is just lovely.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      April 18, 2020 at 10:05 am

      Thanks so much! 🙂

  • Reply
    November 25, 2019 at 12:59 pm

    I just made it. best pasta ever! easy, delicious, peeerrrfeeect!! thanks

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 25, 2019 at 3:50 pm

      That’s lovely to hear, Joy! Thanks for coming back and sharing your feedback 🙂

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Glidewell
    September 30, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    5 stars
    My son can’t have tomatoes and this was the best thing next to spaghetti sauce for him. He absolutely loved this pesto and it was a nice change for him from traditional pesto. We will be making this often!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      October 17, 2019 at 10:42 am

      So happy to hear it went down well, Elizabeth!! 🙂

    • Reply
      March 7, 2021 at 2:43 pm

      Is one of red pesto’s main ingredients not tomatoes ?

  • Reply
    August 15, 2019 at 12:44 am

    5 stars
    Oh wow how good does this look! Plus I love that you have pine nuts in there, the flavour sounds spot on. I could eat that whole plate, YUM!!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      August 15, 2019 at 9:54 am

      I usually do eat the whole plate haha!

  • Reply
    Krissy Allori
    August 15, 2019 at 12:07 am

    5 stars
    This looks like pasta heaven! I can’t wait to try it.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      August 15, 2019 at 9:54 am

      Enjoy! 🙂

  • Reply
    August 14, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    5 stars
    That’s a really handy tip about not letting the basil get too hot. It’s so delicate and really makes a difference when it’s not overcooked.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      August 15, 2019 at 9:53 am

      Thanks Jennifer 🙂

  • Reply
    Shivani Raja
    August 14, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    5 stars
    All my favourite ingredients packed into one easy recipe – yay!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      August 15, 2019 at 9:53 am

      Super easy!!