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This red pepper pesto features roasted peppers, sundried tomatoes, and walnuts, blended together to form a firey red pesto. It’s perfect as a pasta sauce!

Red Pepper Pesto Pasta

Here’s a pasta recipe we dreamed up with a zesty red pepper pesto sauce. The pesto we adapted it from our own Roasted Red Pepper Pita Pizzas recipe — it’s an interesting alternative to a tomato-based sauce. We added some kale for some nice nutrients and a bit of texture. Paired with salty feta and crunchy walnuts, it’s a delicious and fancy-looking entree! Keep reading for the recipe.

How to make red pepper pesto

This red pepper pesto is incredibly easy to make! You’ll need a food processor to whip this one up. The red peppers we’re using here are roasted red peppers, from a jar. You can usually find roasted red peppers in the grocery near the olives and canned artichoke hearts. To bring in a depth of flavor, we’re also using sundried tomatoes. Look for sundried tomatoes packed in oil, versus straight up dried tomatoes. These should be available in a similar place in the grocery store.

This one takes literally 5 minutes to make: just whiz up the roasted red peppers with sundried tomatoes, walnuts, olive oil, and salt. It makes a firey red pesto that’s perfect on pasta or pizza!

How to serve this red pepper pesto

Here we’re using this red pepper pesto as a sauce for linguine, which we accessorized with chopped sauteed kale. It’s sprinkled with feta cheese for a little savory hint. If you’d like, toast some walnuts in a skillet and sprinkle them over the top too. It adds a nice crunch: but it’s also not necessary if you’re in a time crunch!

Video: How to cut kale for this kale salad

Wondering how to stem or chop kale for this red pepper pesto pasta? Alex and I have toyed with various methods over the years, but we’ve finally ended up with one that is slick and simple. Using this method changed the game for us, and we hope it will for you too! Here’s our step by step guide for how to cut kale, including a video of me cutting kale in our kitchen.

Looking for a food processor?

You’ll need a food processor for this pizza dough recipe! Here’s the one we recommend. You’ll need a large sized food processor to accommodate this batch.

Looking for more pesto recipes?

Outside of this red pepper pesto, here are a few more pesto recipes:

Looking for more pasta recipes?

And, here are a few more pasta recipes we love:

This red pepper pesto pasta recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta.

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Red Pepper Pesto Pasta

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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 1x


This red pepper pesto features roasted peppers, sundried tomatoes, and walnuts, blended together to form a firey red pesto. It’s perfect as a pasta sauce!



For the red pepper pesto

  • 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers
  • 12 sundried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

For the linguine

  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound whole wheat linguine
  • ½ cup walnuts (optional)
  • 4 ounces feta crumbles


  1. Make the red pepper pesto: Drain the jar of red peppers. In a food processor or blender, combine the roasted red peppers, sundried tomatoes, olive oil, walnuts, and kosher salt.
  2. Make the linguine: Boil the pasta, according to the package instructions.
  3. Chop the kale. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the red pepper flakes. Add the kale, then saute until just wilted, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in a pinch of kosher salt, then remove from the heat.
  4. Toast the walnuts (optional): In a dry skillet, toast about the walnuts over medium heat, stirring often, until the nuts are fragrant and toasted, about 3 to 4 minutes (be careful that they do not burn).
  5. When the pasta and kale are done, add the kale to the pasta. Mix as much pesto as desired into the pasta (you may have to taste and adjust quantities). Top with toasted walnuts, feta crumbles, and a bit of olive oil.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Aggie says:

    I’ve had this on my Pinterest for an age and decided it would make a great start to my new year to cook something new. SO DELICIOUS! Thannk you!

    Now what else to make from your amazing site?!

    1. Sonja says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Aggie! Let us know if you try out anything else. All the best!

    2. Alex says:

      You’re welcome! Glad you enjoyed it :)

  2. sophie says:

    Yum! Had this for dinner last night, it was beautiful. i roasted the red peppers in the oven and used spinach and zucchini instead of kale.

    1. Sonja says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Sophie! Thanks for writing.

  3. Amber says:

    DELISH!!! Made this with brown rice linguini and served with a grilled chicken breast. My husband and I both loved it!! I love cooking and am always on the hunt for new, healthy recipes. I’m excited to add this to my collection and to try more of your great sounding/looking, healthy recipes. Thank You!!

    1. Sonja says:

      Awesome! You are so welcome. It is our pleasure — and we’re so glad you liked it!

  4. Emily says:

    I just made this tonight exactly as written. It was delicious! I loved the red pepper pesto. Thanks for another great recipe

  5. veronica says:

    YUM. this might be a stupid question, but for the jar of roasted peppers, are you supposed to include the liquid in it?

    1. Alex says:

      Sorry — drain the liquid!

    2. Sonja says:

      I’ve updated the recipe to specify to drain the peppers. Great catch!

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