Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Canning Roasted Red Pepper Spread

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I have a plethora of red bell peppers ripening in my garden, and I was looking for a way to preserve my bounty when I came across a recipe for roasted red pepper spread in my ball book. I was in love. My favorite sandwich at a local restaurant uses roasted red pepper spread, so I was excited to make my own roasted red pepper spread, so I can make the sandwich at home.

The red bell pepper spread is beautiful in the jar with its solid red color and tastes great. This spread would go great on a turkey sandwich or you can use it as dip with some pita chips. The roasted red pepper spread is savory and smoky with a clean taste from the red wine vinegar. Fully ripe red peppers are full of vitamin C and beta carotene, so you don’t have to feel guilty about lathering this spread all over your sandwiches.

Ingredients (makes approximately 5 half pints) from Blue Book Guide to Preserving p 82

6 pounds sweet red peppers (I used red bell peppers)

1 pound Roma tomatoes, peeled and diced (another meaty tomato like Amish Paste would work too)

2 large garlic cloves

¼ cup roasted white onion (roasting instructions below)

2 tbsp basil, minced

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp coarse salt

½ cup red wine vinegar


1. Roast the red bell peppers and a half an onion (skin side up) under a hot broiler. Roast the peppers until the skins start to blister and turn black. Rotate the peppers to roast all sides of the pepper. By this time your onion will also be well roasted.

2. Remove the hot peppers from the oven and place in a paper bag. Seal the bag and let the peppers cool for about 15 minutes. This resting stage will allow the skin to easily peel away from the pepper. Also note that the burnt blisters will not be transferred to your peppers leaving you with bright red pepper pulp. After the peppers have cooled enough to handle them, peel away the skins and remove the seeds from the peppers.

3. Peel away the outer skin on the onion and finely chop the onion. Measure ¼ cup of roasted onion. Do not add more onion because this will increase the pH of the spread thereby making the spread not safe for boiling water canning.

4. In a food processor or blender, puree all the ingredients.

5. Add the ingredients to a sauce pot and bring to boil over medium heat. Stir the spread frequently to prevent the spread from burning on the bottom of the pot.

6. Reduce the temperature to a simmer. Simmer until the spread thickens, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently.

7. Ladle the hot spread into hot sterile jars leaving ¼” headspace.

8. Place the lids on the top of the jars and adjust the two piece caps.

9. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.

Posted on These Chicks Cook, Whatever Goes Wednesday, What's Cooking, Penny Pinching Party


  1. mmm this sounds delish. looks good in the jar, too! :)

    i would love for you to come link up this or any other amazing project at my creativity party going on right now!

    thanks so much for sharing!

  2. I'm glad to hear you liked this! I've been eyeing it up in my Blue Book for a few weeks now but have heard mixed reviews. Can't wait to try it!

  3. Are you sure we only need to waterbath them? I keep reading everywhere that we have to pressure can it because of the low acid levels.

    1. Hi Anonymous, I am not sure the other places that you are referencing. I checked Ball's website for their latest recommendation on this recipe. Their web site also suggests boiling water canning for this recipe. The tomatoes and red wine vinegar add acidity to this recipe, but as always you can pressure can a boiling water canning recipe if it makes you feel more comfortable. I would not proceed with this recipe if you are not comfortable with the amount of acid in the recipe. I always advise people to follow their gut with canning.

  4. Hello,

    I know this post is over a year old. :) I just found it though and have a question. I would love to make this for my beau and my daughter, but I have a potentially fatal allergy to onion. Would omitting the onion 'ruin' this recipe. Not only can I not eat it, if I walk into a room where fresh onion has been chopped I will need medication. :(

    1. Hi Trisa,

      You can safely remove the onions from this recipe.

  5. Hi I was wondering if you could replace the red wine vinegar with anything ?
    Thank you

    1. Bottled lemon juice can be substituted in this recipe. You can also use other vinegar that are at least 5% acidity like white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar. The % of acidity can usually be found on the back of the bottle.

  6. Do you think it would be possible to add garbanzo beans for a slight hummus effect? I have no idea if that would can well or not....

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      Garbanzo beans purred in the spread would taste great. :) However, the garbanzo beans would have to be added after opening the home canned product. Beans are low acid and very dense, so they are not safe for boiling water canning. I will have to experiment with this idea.


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