smoked red pepper sauce

This is one of my favorite go-to sauces. It is delicious served with so many dishes …too many to mention here.  You may just want to have some on hand when you are grilling chicken or fish, definitely when grilling shrimp. And then there are those times when you want a unique dipping sauce for those just out of the oven fries. Oh, and don’t forget about those quesadillas that need some sprucing up. Okay, I’ll stop for now.

smoked red pepper sauce

You’ll be starting off with four red peppers on this one. It makes quite a bit of sauce. The recipe comes from Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill Cookbook. Great source of ideas for dishes with a Southwestern twist, by the way.

So, here’s the deal …Bobby says that this sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one day. But you end up with two and a half cups. That’s alot of sauce. So, I got to thinking. This takes some time to make. Totally worth it since it’s so tasty. But how great would it be to just have it when you need it? So, I got a little crazy and decided to freeze some …small amounts in separate containers. Turned out to be one of my better ideas.

smoked red pepper sauce

So let’s get started. You’ll be roasting garlic as well as the red peppers. Since the oven temp for the garlic is lower, it makes sense to start with them. When I am instructed to roast or heat something wrapped tightly in aluminum foil, I always add a layer of parchment paper to the mix. There are reports out there that warn us of the effects of cooking with aluminum foil. Of course, there are those who claim those reports to be false. My reaction to all this? Why not take some extra precautions when possible? So I add a layer of parchment paper. Call me crazy.

smoked red pepper saucesmoked red pepper sauce

Once the garlic is roasted, raise the oven temperature and get the peppers started.

smoked red pepper saucesmoked red pepper saucesmoked red pepper sauce

In the meantime, work on preparing the chipotle pepper paste. It’s very important to be sure all seeds are removed before mashing up the pepper with the adobo sauce. Unless you are a fan of super hot spicy stuff.

Once all the chopping is done, it all gets thrown in the blender. And the transformation is magical. You now have a delicious sauce …ready to embellish your next creation.

smoked red pepper saucesmoked red pepper sauce

smoked red pepper sauce

Recipe from Bobby Flay's MESA Grill Cookbook

Roasted red peppers and chipotle puree are the foundation of this flavorful sauce.

Servings 2 1/2 cups
Author Rosemary Stelmach


  • 4 garlic cloves, roasted & peeled
  • 4 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded & chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chile puree
  • 1/2 small red onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 ounce)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup canola oil



  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.  Separate 4 cloves from a head of garlic, but do not peel.  Place the cloves on a square of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil. Season generously with salt & pepper.  Close the foil to wrap tightly and place packet on baking tray.

  2. Roast in oven for 45 to 60 minutes, until very soft.  Squeeze the pulp from the skins, discarding the skins.


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Brush the peppers on all sides with olive oil.  Season generously with salt & pepper.  Place in the oven on a rimmed baking sheet.  Rotate until charred on all sides, about 20 minutes.

  2. Remove from the oven.  Immediately place the roasted peppers in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Let sit for 15 minutes to allow the skin to loosen.  Peel, halve, seed and roughly chop peppers.


  1. Empty contents of a can of chipotles in adobo sauce into a food processor and blend until smooth.  Chile puree can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to one month because of the vinegar in the adobo sauce.


  1. Depending on the amount needed, remove one or more peppers from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce.  Carefully open and scrape seeds from pepper.  Check for and remove any residual skin left on the pepper.  Mash the pepper with a fork until pureed.


  1. Combine the roasted garlic, roasted red peppers, chile puree, onion, vinegar and mustard in a blender.  Season with salt & pepper.  Blend until smooth.  With the motor running, slowly add the canola oil and blend until emulsified.  Pour sauce into a bowl.  Cover and refrigerate for up to one day.

  2. NOTE:  Sauce can be stored in freezer until ready to use.

smoked red pepper sauce

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