Pep Up Any Party with Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Dip

I recently bought a couple red bell peppers for just a few bucks at the Oak Park Farmers Market – I picked them up only because they were this beautiful shade of deep red.

Vertical image of a bowl of dip with a red vegetable garnish, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

They seemed to be calling my name, all shiny and pretty.

Before I knew what I was doing, I was walking away from the tent with them, thinking I could figure the rest (as in, what to do with them) out later that day.

This, apparently, is my thing, the way yours might be that you’re always on time, or never forget to bake a cake for a birthday. I am the girl who can’t plan ahead, who buys and then thinks, who starts recipes late at night before reading the entire directions.

Vertical image of a bowl with a light red sauce and a vegetable garnish on a plate with crackers and crudite.

A few days went by… still, I didn’t do anything with them. I kept forgetting I bought them, as they were jammed in the very back of the refrigerator behind all of the new groceries I kept bringing home and stuffing in the fridge.

Thankfully, my friends were their saving grace. They were coming over for a small get-together, and I needed to make a few appetizers.

Something had to be done with those beautiful bell peppers.

Vertical close-up image of a bell pepper dipped in a light orange sauce on a plate.

With my fridge full of fresh veggies gathered from the farmers market, cream cheese, and sour cream, I knew I could easily mix together a creamy roasted red pepper dip, served with crudité, briny olives, and chips.

The roasted cooking method add those perfect touches of brightness and sweetness to the cream cheese base, balanced to perfection by garlic, basil, and balsamic vinegar.

Vertical top-down image of a dip with red vegetable garnish on a plate with assorted crudite, crackers, and olives.

I love roasting peppers myself – they fill your kitchen with a wonderful smell that makes your stomach growl. Plus, they wrinkle up like crazy and look like your toes do after being in the bathtub too long.

I don’t know, I think that’s kind of fun.

Vertical close-up image of a white bowl with an orange dip topped with red vegetables.

But perhaps not as much fun as sitting around a table with friends, chatting, giggling, drinking beer, and eating huge, messy scoopfuls of a homemade dip.

Print
Horizontal image of a creamy dip and crudite platter

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Dip


  • Author: Nikki Cervone
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x

Description

Do you love when there’s a creamy dip to munch on during a party? You’ll be very pleased with this homemade roasted red pepper dip.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 roasted large red bell peppers, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 packages (12 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup gently packed basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Reserve 1/4 cup of the chopped red bell pepper in a separate bowl. Place all of the remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender.
  2. Blend together until super smooth and creamy. Season to taste with more salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes.
  3. Transfer the dip to a medium-sized serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate for about thirty minutes before serving.
  4. Garnish with the reserved chopped red peppers and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Serve with bread, crackers, olives, and assorted fresh vegetables.

  • Category: Dip
  • Method: Blender
  • Cuisine: Appetizer

Keywords: cream cheese, roasted red pepper, basil, balsamic vinegar

Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Roast the Peppers

Follow Foodal’s How to Roast Peppers Tutorial to get all the details you need! Here’s a brief overview of the oven-roasted method I used for this recipe:

Horizontal image of two roasted red peppers on a baking sheet lined with foil.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place the cleaned and thoroughly dried whole bell peppers on a baking sheet lined with foil or a silicone mat.

Roast for 20-25 minutes, turning them twice with tongs, until the skin is shriveled and darkened, and the flesh is slightly softened.

Remove from the heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or foil and let steam for 10 minutes to loosen the skin.

Horizontal image of a metal bowl with two peppers covered by plastic wrap.

Remove the papery skin with your fingers. Remove the seeds and stems. Roughly chop the flesh.

Reserve 1/4 cup of the chopped peppers for the final garnish.

Horizontal image of a plate of skinned peppers next to a bowl of their disposed seeds and skins.

If the peppers at your grocery store are a little on the small side, roast three instead of two.

Step 2 – Measure the Remaining Ingredients

Set out the cream cheese to soften, and measure the sour cream, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper (freshly cracked, of course!), olive oil, and red pepper flakes.

Horizontal image of assorted ingredients on plates and bowls next to a white towel.

Roughly chop the basil and garlic.

Step 3 – Blend

Horizontal image of a blender with red vegetables and cream cheese on a wooden surface.

Place all of the remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender.

Horizontal image of a spatula holding a creamy mixture over a blender.

Blend together until super smooth and creamy. You may need to scrape down the sides once and blend again to make sure everything is fully incorporated.

Step 4 – Adjust Seasonings and Chill

Season to taste with more salt or pepper.

Horizontal image if a white bowl with a light orange sauce covered in plastic wrap.

Scoop the dip into a medium-sized serving bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes before serving.

Step 5 – Garnish and Serve

When ready to serve, remove the bowl from the refrigerator. Garnish with the served chopped bell peppers. You can also garnish with little drizzle of olive oil, or extra basil leaves.

Horizontal image of a dish with a light orange dip surrounded by assorted crudite and crackers.

Serve and enjoy with chips, bread, olives, and crudite!

Do I Have to Use Red Bell Peppers?

Nope! Use whatever you want – yellow, green, or orange – they will all yield a similar taste profile when roasted and mixed with the other ingredients in this recipe.

Want even more heat? Roast one or two of your favorite variety of hot peppers. A jalapeno would be great. A serrano would pack even more feisty spice.

Horizontal image of a creamy dip and crudite platter

It all depends on your preferred level of heat. Go hard and crazy, or stay mild and subtly sweet. I’d love to know what you decide to make! Write a note for me in the comment section below.

For more appetizer ideas, check out some of these super creamy, super tasty dips:

Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on October 27, 2008. Last updated: November 11, 2019 at 21:37 pm. With additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.

9 thoughts on “Pep Up Any Party with Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Dip”

  1. Wow, you got quite a bit out of those two peppers…what is really good is a piece of french baguette, topped with goat cheese or creme cheese, topped with roasted pepper. Yum.

  2. Raina: I will have to try that–honestly, I love a bit of French baguette topped with almost anything!

    RobinSue: Honestly, when I wrote this post, my stomach started growling, lol! 🙂

  3. i love the flavor of red pepper and yellow. I actually dont prefer green. I think it is because it is much more savory–less sweet.
    I do LOVE LOVE LOVE the red flavor. i want to try the dip!!!

  4. i love the taste of red peppers, and jab loves the green ones for their slight bitterness. you have such patience to roast. i would’ve just stuffed them with some rice, ground meat and called it a day!

  5. Rachel: I’ve heard a few other people say the same thing about green (but have you had it on pizza? YUM).

    Lan: See, now, you had to say that, right? Guess what I’m hungry for now?

  6. Thanks for the tips on roasting red peppers. I clicked on your link because I’m making roasted red pepper pasta tonight http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/03/pasta-with-roasted-red-pepper-sauce-groan/ (which is delicious, by the way) and I was glad to see that you explained how to roast them in the oven; the recipe I’m using suggests using a grill, which I don’t have. (I have used the toaster oven, which works.)

    But now after reading about your dip, I really wish I had an extra pepper to make that also! Maybe I’ll go get some more soon!

  7. Happy to help! Roasted red peppers are amazing and I really need to make them again. Thanks for the link to the pasta recipe, too! (PS – you have an Etsy! Congrats!)

  8. Thanks! I ended up cooking them a lot longer than planned; probably, next time I’ll make the oven hotter to expedite the process.

    They sure do get expensive; next year, I’m going to plant some in the garden!!

    That pasta recipe turned out fantastic. I think you would like it. Roasting and peeling/seeding the red pepper was the only somewhat labor-intensive part, and that’s not bad.

    Thanks for noticing my Etsy — I only put a couple of things on there so far; it needs a lot of work. But maybe it will turn out to be some fun!

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