Instant Pot Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (Whole30, Vegan, Paleo)


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This Instant Pot Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is vegan, paleo, Whole30 approved and so good, you’ll want to put in on EVERYTHING! 

vegan instant pot roasted red pepper sauce in a sauce dish

This easy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is the kind of sauce you’ll want to lick straight out of a bowl. It’s robust, sweet and smoky and spicy but not too spicy. Totally kids-approved!

It’s the star of any dish you use it on. Serve it with pasta, with quinoa, on top of veggie meatballs, or even as a dipping sauce for nachos and it’s so delicious.

Make a big old batch and freeze some because trust me, you’ll want it all the time.

The magic starts with roasted red bell peppers! If that’s something you already have in your pantry – awesome! You’re a step ahead of the game. If not, no biggie!

I’ll tell you how to roast them in the oven! 

How to roast bell peppers in the oven: 

Does anything beat the sweet and smoky flavor of charred freshly roasted red bell peppers? 

While you can use canned roasted bell peppers for this bell pepper sauce recipe, I do like to roast my peppers at home if there’s a good offer on fresh bell peppers.

I just love a good charr and the pickled ones are sometimes not smoky enough for my taste.

red bell peppers on a cutting board

Here’s how to roast bell peppers in the oven: 

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F and place the oven rack on the top position, only about 4 inches under the broiler.

Halve the peppers and remove stems, seeds and membranes.

Lay them on a foil-lined baking sheet with the cut side down.  Parchment paper might scorch,  which is why I use foil.

Roast the red peppers for a good 20 minutes or until the skins are very dark and have collapsed.

If your oven works properly, there’s no need to rotate or turn the peppers at any point.

Simply let the peppers cool for a few minutes until comfortable enough to touch. Now, peel the skins off and discard them. 

Stored in the fridge in an airtight container your bell peppers keep for up to about a week. For longer storage, you can simply freeze them in ziplock bags.

vegan roasted red pepper sauce served in a silver sauce dish

How to make Instant Pot Roasted Red Pepper Sauce: 

Like with any good sauce, this recipe starts with frying some onions and garlic. Then, we add some ground spices along with some more coconut oil.

I opted for coriander, cumin, pepper and a tiny touch of Ceylon Cinnamon. In go maple syrup, canned tomatoes, roasted red bell peppers, apple cider vinegar, sambal oelek, paprika, and chili powder. 

Turn your Instant pot to pressure cooking mode and cook for 10 minutes, then release the steam and puree the sauce in your Vitamix or food processor until smooth. 

Season with more salt and pepper. Or add some more apple cider vinegar if that’s your thing! 

vegan roasted red pepper sauce in a silver sauce dish

Tips for making this roasted red pepper sauce recipe: 

  • Make sure to add some more fat before you add the spices and only fry them for 30 seconds max. Make sure not to add chili and paprika at this point. It will turn bitter.
  • To make this Whole30 approved, simply omit the maple syrup. 
  • While I do like the taste of virgin coconut oil, I opted for neutral-tasting refined coconut oil for this recipe and recommend you do the same. 
  • If you are using homemade roasted red bell peppers, you might need a bit more apple cider vinegar. Canned ones come with quite a bit of acidity from the brine. Taste the sauce before you add more ACV.

What can I use this Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Sauce for? 

  • As a dairy-free pasta sauce.
  • Blend with 1 cup of soaked cashew nuts for a creamy dairy-free pasta sauce.
  • A sauce for vegan meatballs.
  • Add some to your hummus.
  • Serve it instead of salsa as a dip for chips or nachos.
  • Use it as a pizza sauce instead or marinara.
  • Add some to vegan sour cream for a creamy red bell pepper dip.

You see, the sky is the limit!

I developed this recipe as part of my Vegan Meatballs recipe, which will be on the blog next week! 

We loved it so much, I made a new batch the next day and even added a couple of tablespoons to my vegan sour cream and served it with baked potatoes and it was SO.GOOD I wanted to call my mom to tell her. I didn’t, but you know what I mean, right? 

That kind of exciting awesome.

Did you make and love this Instant Pot Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce recipe? Give it your review below! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram!

Instant Pot Roasted Bell Pepper Sauce in a silver dish
5 from 6 votes
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Instant Pot Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (Whole 30, Paleo, Vegan)

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword slowcooker red pepper sauce, vegan red pepper sauce, whole30 red pepper sauce
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Kiki Johnson

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp coconut oil + more for frying the spices
  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ceylon cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup omit for Whole30
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 28 fl oz
  • 3 roasted red bell peppers pickled or freshly roasted, coarsely chopped
  • 1 -2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sambal oelek or chilli garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp paprika powder or 1/4 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ancho chili powder optional
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Set your Instant Pot on saute and melt the coconut oil. Fry onion for about 7 minutes or until translucent, then add the garlic and fry for another minute or so. 

  2. Add some more coconut oil to one corner of the pot and sprinkle the coriander, cumin, black pepper, and Ceylon cinnamon into that corner. Fry for 30 seconds, then add maple syrup. Stir well. 

  3. Add diced tomatoes, chopped bell peppers, vinegar, sambal, paprika, and chili as well as salt. Let come to a boil. Turn off saute mode.

  4. Close the lid, turn pressure knob to ‘Sealing’ position and set the instant pot into pressure cooking mode for 10 minutes.

  5. Quick release steam and fill sauce into a Vitamix or blender. Blend until smooth. 

Recipe Notes

  • Make sure to add some more fat before you add the spices and only fry them for 30 seconds max. Make sure not to add chili and paprika at this point. It will turn bitter.
  • To make this Whole30 approved, simply omit the maple syrup. 
  • While I do like the taste of virgin coconut oil, I opted for neutral-tasting refined coconut oil for this recipe and recommend you do the same. 
Healthy Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Sauce - this easy vegan sauce is made in the Instant Pot and tastes so good with pasta, on veggies or zucchini noodles! paleo, whole30 approved, vegan and dairy-free #glutenfree #whole30
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17 Comments


  1. Red pepper sauce is such a fun alternative to classic marinara. I always love adding a dash of cinnamon to everything that has red peppers because I think it brings the flavor out so well, but I see that you also add a bit of maple syrup too. I usually use honey so I’m going to try it with maple syrup next time.

  2. I never thought to try *literally* roasting red peppers to get the outside nice and charred — I always either put mine on a grill, or hold them over the flame from my gas burner.

  3. I love all your sugyfor how to use this sauce. I’ll definirely be trying it with some soaked cashews for a creamy vegan pasta sauce!


  4. I love roasted red pepper sauces and usually put them on top of grilled fish. I haven’t tried cinnamon in mine so next time around I’ll give it a go.


  5. Made this sans the maple syrup since were knee deep in whole 30, and it was Amazeballs! SO much flavor and it works on just about everything Im eating these days! Eggs, veggies, … and my niece loved it as a dipping sauce for her chicken fingers!

    • Hi Michele! OH, AWESOME – so happy you liked it! It doesn’t really need the maple syrup. Sometimes the sweetness of the peppers and tomatoes is just enough! It’s our favorite sauce as well – thanks so much for leaving such a lovely comment!

  6. While I’m still not sold on the instant pot to cook ‘full everyday dishes’, unless it’s something like a braised pork butt or ribs which normally take 2 to 3 hours, (sorry i just like cooking chicken and steak the old fashioned way!!), i do have an instant pot and LOVE making condiments and side dishes in it. Tomato sauce, apple sauce, purees, wild rice, all turn out perfect.
    I find these types of recipes are really ‘set and forget’ and turn out beautifully!
    I can’t wait to make some of this roasted red pepper sauce with homegrown produce and then can it for winter!

  7. Pingback: Vegane Fleischbällchen aus Kidneybohnen | Cinnamon & Coriander


  8. I love roasting my own red peppers! But I only do it when I need them for a recipe. I love this sauce idea, and I’ll have to try this out. I’m already thinking of different ways I can use the sauce


  9. This sauce looks so delicious! I’d like to freeze some. Can I double the recipe? Thanks!

  10. I LOVE the sound of this sauce and how clean all of the ingredients are. I keep saying I’m going to buy an instant pot soon and this recipe is making me want to buy one right now!

  11. Love a good good roasted red pepper sauce! Def gonna make this one :). Thanks so much for sharing!


  12. This sounds like my kind of sauce. I would use this with so many dishes. Pinning for later.

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