by: Max M Rasmussen

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce

A sauce of red peppers, served with couscous. - Max M Rasmussen
A powerful and tasty pepper sauce. It has a beautiful rich color and can be used for almost all dishes where you would otherwise use tomato sauce. I have two versions of the same recipe here. The basic sauce is fine in itself and has a stronger pepper flavor. The creamy is more luxurious and delicious.


Basic Sauce

  • 3 whole peppers
  • 2½ dl (1 cup) tomato (1 can) (omitted if you want to make yellow or green sauce.) 
  • 1/2 dl virgin olive oil 
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 small chili (optional)
  • ½ tsp thyme 
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper

Additional ingredients for creamy sauce

  • 2 dl (1 cup, almost) dry white wine
  • 2½ dl chicken stock (or one cube) 
  • 2½ dl cream  


Roast the peppers. You can either do it under the grill in the oven or in a skillet. I think it's easiest to cut them into flat pieces first, instead of trying to roast them whole.

Take them out and put them into a covered bowl or pan. It helps to loosen the skin. When they are cooled you can scrape off the skin.

If you use the long thin peppers, sometimes called "snack pepper" then the skin is so thin that it does not matter much whether it comes off or not.

Roast the garlic in the oil. Crush if necessary with a large knife, and then put them into a frying pan over a relatively low heat. They should not be golden. Garlic easily becomes bitter.

If you do not have a stick blender, use a regular blender or food processor to puree the peppers with, before they go into the pan.

Pour all ingredients (except basil) in a pot and boil it for at least 20 minutes. If you make the creamy version, let it reduce by approximately 1/3 until it is good and creamy.


This sauce can easily become bitter if the peppers are bitter.  So make sure to taste the peppers before making the sauce. The bitter taste will become concentrated along with the sauce, so it will really not taste well!

I often I make 3 different pepper sauces. Red, yellow and green.

  • The yellow I make creamy and mild with no tomatoes. No chili.
  • The red I make medium spicy, using only the basic recipe.
  • The green I make with the basic recipe without any tomato. I do not make very much of it, but I make it strong with plenty of chili in ot.

This way my guests can make their own choice about how spicy they want it. They can even mix and match one or more. The bright colors on the plate is beautiful too.