If you love the sweet, smokey flavors of Roasted Sweet Peppers, this is a recipe you won't want to miss!
Roasted peppers in the oven are so easy to make at home with the natural sweetness and flavor of peppers being intensified and deepened during roasting.
I learnt how to prepare roasted sweet peppers when I was a young child. This recipe has always been a staple in my home especially growing up when we grew all our own vegetables.
While the garden was in full swing, my mother would make roasted sweet peppers regularly and freezing them for later. Roasting sweetens and intensifies the flavor of the sweet peppers. You can use in them on focaccia, pizzas and in pasta dishes.
The Italian way to dress roasted peppers is simply with good olive oil, sliced fresh garlic and a sprinkle of salt. The slice garlic will impart good flavor, you don’t have to eat it! If you like anchovies, reduce the salt and instead add a few anchovies to add seasoning and extra flavor.
Roasted Sweet Peppers pair well with fried meatballs, spiedini and my Italian chicken thighs. Another regular side dish on our family table is Italian style green beans and potatoes.
- Sweet peppers - Use any type of sweet pepper. Make roasted mini peppers, roasted bell peppers or roasted red peppers, they're all part of the sweet pepper family. Be sure to choose firm, unblemished peppers that feel heavy for their size and have smooth skin. You can use other colored sweet peppers, such as green or yellow, however I find the green, in particular, are harder to peel.
- Olive oil - I will show you how to roast peppers in the oven without the need to add any oil. However, once you have roasted sweet peppers, you'll want to marinate Italian style and that where olive oil comes in. Use an olive oil you like the taste of. Extra virgin olive oil can also be use. Keep in mind that olive oil will solidify at cold temperatures so remove the marinated peppers from the fridge some time before serving.
- Garlic - fresh garlic gives the best flavor. Jarred garlic is too strong for this recipe.
- Salt - use your favorite salt or what you have on hand.
- Anchovies - this is an optional ingredient. Traditionally my mother-in-law adds a few fillets of anchovies. The choice is yours.
Before you begin, preheat the oven to 425ºF or 220ºC.
- On a rimmed baking sheet place whole sweet peppers in one layer. No oil or anything else!
- Pop into a preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Turn peppers over and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes. (By now your kitchen is filled with gorgeous aromas!)
- Check peppers. Mostly likely they're soft and blackened. Remove.
- Allow to cool slightly before peeling, de-seeding and cutting into strips.
- Mix together olive oil, sliced garlic and salt. Add the roasted sweet peppers. Toss gently to combine. Allow to marinate 30-60 minutes before serving
Hint: If you make roasted mini sweet peppers, the roasting time will be much less. Keep an eye on them and turn when one side is becoming blackened.
What is the best way to roast peppers?
In my opinion, the best way to roast peppers is in the oven. It's easy and no fuss. Simply pop whole sweet peppers onto a rimmed baking sheet and roast in a hot oven until charred and blackened. The whole peppers steam inside, soften and the skin on the outside lifts easily.
However, there are a few other methods which you may have seen in cookbooks or on various sites.
- You could hold a red pepper over a flame (with tongs, of course!) but this means you can only roast one pepper at a time which is slow and dangerous!
- Alternatively you could slice each pepper in half, scoop out the seeds, lay then cut side down on an oven pan and roast them under the broiler. With this method, I find it hard to get an even roasting on all sides.
- What about an open fire? Sure, throw them in and go for it. Just be careful with this method that you don’t completely burn your peppers. You will have to be very vigilant!
This is why the best way to roast peppers in in the oven.
Tips for Success
Use a rimmed baking sheet to catch the juices that the sweet peppers will release. You can line the baking sheet with aluminum foil to make cleaning up easier. Avoid using parchment paper because it is likely to burn in the high heat of the oven.
The roasting time will vary depending on the size of the sweet peppers. Mini sweet peppers take a lot less roasting than large bell peppers. The time indicated in the recipe is for roasting sweet peppers that are a medium size.
Allow the sweet peppers to cool a little before using a paring knife or your fingers to remove the blackened skin which will be quite loose. If the skin doesn't seem loose, place the peppers in a plastic bag while still warm for 10 minutes. This will help lift the skins.
You can roast all your sweet peppers. It's the ideal use of an abundant crop or if you've managed to get a good deal on a box of sweet peppers from the markets. As well as roasting sweet peppers, you can make Italian fried peppers or peperonata.
Roasted sweet pepper last in the fridge for 5 days. If you've made extra, roasted peppers freeze quite well in sealed containers or in zip lock bags.
If you use sweet red peppers, they won't be spicy. However hot red peppers are spicy. Choose the correct peppers for this recipe.
These Roasted Red Peppers are the perfect accompaniment for chicken cutlets, or butterfly chicken. I love it in a pasta salad or included in a delicious antipasto with Instant Pot Cauliflower and ciabatta garlic bread.
Now that you know how to make roasted sweet peppers, you'll never want the jarred version again!
More Italian recipes you'll love
Cavatelli - easy handmade pasta.
Italian Rice Balls - also known as arancini.
Bagna Cauda - warm anchovy dip.
Cannoli Cake - all the delicious flavors of cannoli in a cake!
Italian Fried Peppers - another great summer dish.
Made this recipe?
Let me know if you liked it by leaving a ★★★★★ star rating and a review below. Please share a photo of your creation by tagging me on Instagram @marcellina.in.cucina!
Roasted Sweet Peppers Recipe
- 6 medium sweet peppers
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil approximately
- 1-2 garlic cloves sliced
- ½ teaspoon salt flakes or to taste
- 6 anchovies optional
- Preheat oven to 425°F/220.
- Place whole red peppers in one layer in the large baking pan. No oil or anything else!
- Pop into the preheated oven for 20 minutes. At this point the skin on the peppers should start bubbling and loosening.
- Using tongs, turn peppers over by about a third so that they cooked evenly.
- Roast for another 10-15 minutes. By now your kitchen is filled with gorgeous aromas and the peppers should be quite charred
- You may need more or less depending on how large your peppers are. When done, the peppers should be at least 50% blackened, the skin should look loose and wrinkled and the peppers should be starting to collapse.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Using your fingers, peel off the blackened skins. Pull at the stalk and remove the stalk and seeds. Most of the seeds should come with the stalk.
- Cut or pull apart the roasted red peppers. This is easy to do using the natural segments in the peppers. Remove any remaining seeds.
- Dress with extra virgin olive oil, chopped garlic and a sprinkle of salt. Anchovies are optional but traditional in my family. Allow to stand 30-60 minutes to marinate before serving.
- Serve warm or cold.
Nutritional Information Per Serving
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.
Glad you like it, Giovanna!
Kelly | Foodtasia
Such great information, Marcellina! Roasting peppers yourself is so much better than store bought and it's so easy to do. And they add wonderful flavor to so many dishes!
I totally agree...love that flavour!
A great tutorial, Marcellina. Funny thing, I don't much care for raw peppers, which you will sometimes find here in salads, but I absolutely adore roasted peppers, especially the way you describe, dressed with garlic, oil,salt and yes anchovies!
I love both but roasted peppers definitely are much sweeter and more flavoursome! Glad you’re an anchovy aficionado too!
Thanks for this, Marcellina! I love roasted red peppers and yours are the most beautiful I’ve seen! I would have to skip the garlic (my annoying allergy) but I think they would still be wonderful!
David, these are definitely still delicious without the garlic! Hope you enjoy.
Ciao Chow Linda
I too, roast peppers in the oven, but my favorite way is on the grill. I have frozen them too. Once defrosted, I add olive oil and they're so much better than the ones you buy at the store.
I like to freeze them too!
Marcellina, I love roasted red peppers, and this is mostly how I do them as well, however I have never tried freezing them when roasted. Must give that a try. Thanks, Pauline
Freezing is great because you can enjoy the goodness when red peppers prices are high.