Dinner needed to be quick and we were talking about having some kind of pesto pasta.
I knew I wanted to make a vegan pesto and use what I already had in my pantry. Since I was out of walnuts and stocked up on raw almonds, I decided to make an almond pesto with a Mediterranean flair.
I combined almonds, roasted peppers, olives, basil, parsley, and smoked paprika and was instantly smitten with the intense flavor combo – soooo good!
I served this pesto as a sauce for pasta, tossed it with some fresh cut basil leaves and finished with a teaspoon of grated parmesan. Honestly, the cheese wasn’t even necessary. When I put the leftovers away for lunch tomorrow, I left the teaspoon of cheese off!
- Be Aware– smoked paprika is not the same as regular paprika. Even though I am only using 1/8 teaspoon, it adds a huge blast of flavor!
- I used 3 cloves of garlic because my cloves were on the small to medium size, plus I love garlic. If you want it toned down just a bit, only use 2.
- I used Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Red and Yellow Peppers. If you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s or want to roast your own peppers, make sure to buy peppers free of additives and are not soaked in oil.
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Roasted Pepper and Almond Pesto
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 12 ounce jar roasted peppers drained
- 10 kalamata olives pitted
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
- couple turns freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Place garlic in bowl of food processor. Process until finely chopped.
- Add almonds and process until just chopped. Be sure not to over process as you want texture.
- Add roasted peppers, olives, basil, parsley, salt and smoked paprika. Pulse a couple times until combined.
- Slowly add in olive oil while processing.
- Give a couple turns of black pepper and pulse 1x to combine.
- Some serving ideas are as a pasta sauce (see notes for my quick recipe), as a spread on a sandwich or wrap or on slices of baguette with cheese. A goat cheese would pair really well with this flavor combination. Refrigerate unused portion for up to two days. Enjoy!