Red Pepper Pesto Pasta

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

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • 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

Keywords: Red pepper pesto, Linguine, Pesto Pasta, Red pepper recipes, Vegetarian Pasta,

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    Rochelle @
    February 4, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    I’ve really been loving walnuts with pasta lately. This looks great!

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    February 5, 2013 at 6:13 am

    I LOVE the sound of this! Gorgeous pasta and awesome recipe!

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 9:22 am

    This looks so good! And happy belated birthday!

    • Reply
      February 7, 2013 at 8:54 pm

      Thank you, Jeanine!

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Happy belated birthday! This looks delicious!

    “bouncing from one thing to the next, trying to understand where to direct my passion as it spewed everything in its path.”

    This really hit home for me. I’m so glad you were able to direct your talents and passion in a way that did so much good for so many. You should really be proud; what a great way to begin your 30’s. You rock!

    • Reply
      February 7, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      Thank you so much, Meghan! That is so sweet of you to say! I am glad to know there are others who can identify with the struggle in the search for finding your calling/passions. Best of luck to you on your journey too!

  • Reply
    Mara @ Elemental Custard
    February 5, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    That sounds fantastic! I love any type of pesto :)

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Happy belated birthday – what an incredible year you’ve had! Love this pasta, filled with some of my very favourite flavours.

    • Reply
      February 7, 2013 at 8:45 pm

      Thank you, Kathryn!

  • Reply
    Deanna Brzeg
    February 5, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    All I can say is yummy!

  • Reply
    Courtney Jones
    February 5, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Pasta is definitely my weakness. And this looks delicious! Roasted Peppers and Feta are so yummy together. Gorgeous photo! :)

  • Reply
    Rachael {Simply Fresh Cooking}
    February 5, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Love this post and love this beautiful dish!!! Very inspiring! Xo

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    This came at the absolute perfect time! I didn’t menu plan or grocery shop this week because of Courtney’s surprise visit, but I did get two red peppers in my green bin and was trying to decide on a use for them. This sounds amazingly delicious! Trying it ASAP.

    • Reply
      February 7, 2013 at 8:44 pm

      Ooo awesome! I hope it works out! And we just did the lazy way with jarred peppers :)

  • Reply
    February 6, 2013 at 10:01 pm

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

    • Reply
      February 6, 2013 at 10:56 pm

      Sorry — drain the liquid!

    • Reply
      February 12, 2013 at 3:19 pm

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

  • Reply
    February 18, 2013 at 10:30 pm

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

  • Reply
    February 26, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    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!!

    • Reply
      February 26, 2013 at 2:45 pm

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

  • Reply
    April 17, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      April 18, 2013 at 11:03 pm

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

  • Reply
    January 2, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    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?!

    • Reply
      January 2, 2014 at 7:40 pm

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

    • Reply
      January 2, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      You’re welcome! Glad you enjoyed it :)

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