Tortellini with Roasted Pepper and Onion

Tortellini with Roasted Pepper and Onion sauce @MJsKitchen

In the fall when red bell peppers are plentiful and cheap, I buy a lot of them. Most get roasted and peeled, then wrapped individually for the freezer.  All winter I used them on pizza, in sandwiches and pasta dishes, and in salads.  The other night in trying to come up with starter for a small dinner party, I found the last two frozen bell peppers buried in the freezer. That lead to the creation of this roasted bell pepper and onion appetizer.  It was a big hit and I will be making it again!


Tortellini with Roasted Bell Pepper and Onion Recipe

Recipe Author:  MJ of MJ’s Kitchen

Yields: about 3 cups (depends on size of the peppers and onions)
Prep and Cook Time: 50 to 60 minutes (includes roasting the veggies)


2 large red bell peppers
2 medium onions, cut into 6 to 8 pieces lengthwise
1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil (garlic infused if you have it)
¼ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 ½ tsp. white wine vinegar
Salt to taste


2 cups uncooked tortellini
2 Tbsp. good quality olive oil
Black pepper
Garlic powder


  1. Roast the bell peppers under a broiler or on the grill. Peel, remove seeds and veins, and coarsely chop.
  2. To roast the onion preheat oven to 375° F (190° C).
  3. Transfer the onion to an ovenproof dish and toss with 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil and a little salt.
  4. Roast the onion for 15 minutes, stir and roast another 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer onion and bell pepper to a blender or food processor. (I actually used the chopper tool on my immersion blender.) Pulse to chop and almost puree’. Do not fully puree. (Check out the pictures.)
  6. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the tomato paste and vinegar.
  7. Taste. Add more salt if needed.
  8. At this point you can refrigerate until about an hour before serving.  Serve cold or at room temperature.


  1. Cook tortellini in a pot of boiling water until al dente. Be careful not overcooked. Better undercooked than overcooked for this dish.
  2. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Drizzle with good quality olive oil, add a generous amount of black pepper, a little salt and some garlic powder. (How do you like those ambiguous amounts?) Toss.



For an appetizer, arrange the tortellini around a bowl of the dip (is it really a dip?). Provide small forks for your guests to dip the tortellini in the pepper-onion dip or forks and saucers for people to transfer some of the tortellini and dip to the saucer.

Tortellini with Roasted Pepper and Onion @MJsKitchen

From our little dinner party, I had about a cup of the veggie dip leftover which gave me the opportunity to get some pictures so I could post this. (I have the horrible habit of eating the food before taking pictures. Whoops!)  However, I needed more tortellini.  After the pictures, I now had a whole new batch of cooked tortellini and a cup of sauce (or dip). So for supper I tossed it all together in a skillet, heated through, added some chopped parsley and served as a hot pasta dish.  It made a delicious entree’!  More on this in my Kitchen Notes.

Kitchen Notes

Appetizer or entree’? – Serve it any way you want.  As an appetizer, the pepper-onion dip should be cold or at room temperature and the tortellini hot.  As an entree’, both should be hot.  No matter which one you choose, it’s so goooooood!

As a meal  – Toss the heated pasta and sauce with a fresh herb such as parsley, chives, and/or basil.  If you don’t have tortellini another pasta such as linguine and farfalle (bow-tie) should work great.

The vinegar is to add a little bit of acid.  If you don’t have white wine vinegar, use rice vinegar, or pickling vinegar from a jar of capers or olives.

The olive oil – I used garlic infused olive oil on the onion, but I’m sure that comes as no surprise. A good quality olive oil should be used for the tortellini.

The tortellini – I had cheese filled in the pantry and it worked great. Tortellini with any filling would work – spinach, mushroom or even chicken or lobster.


This Tortellini with Roasted Onion and Pepper recipe has been linked to the following blog hops. Be sure to click on the links for more delicious ideas!

Weekend Potluck, Fusion Friday, Midweek Fiesta, Tuesday’s Tasty Tidbits, Hearth and Soul, Weekly Recipe Swap, Full Plate Thursday, Taste this Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Mix It Up Monday, Just Another Meatless Monday, What’s Cooking Wednesday?, Showcase Your Talent Thursday, My Meatless Monday, Weekend Potluck, Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Meatless Monday, Bizzy’s Recipe Box, Katherine Martinelli’s Party Recipes

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56 Responses to “Tortellini with Roasted Pepper and Onion”

  1. Winnie September 12, 2012 at 7:24 am #

    What a great recipe!
    I’ve just eaten, but seeing these photo and I’m starting to be hungry again(!)
    I think my other half (=husband) would looooooooooove this

  2. Jessica September 4, 2012 at 7:48 am #

    Yum, that’s a nice change from using the usual sauces or oil with garlic. Too bad my husband has a thing against bell peppers….maybe I’ll make this for myself and a guest one day. Thanks for linking up !

  3. Su Anne June 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    Loved it! This will be a regular at our house. Covered the grill with peppers; peeled and put the rest in the freezer. I had never thought of freezing them before–thanks for that idea. Anyway we had the pepper relish (?) on ravioli first and with grilled bratwurst the next day. I want to try it as a base for bruchetta and now that I have all those frozen roasted and peeled peppers it will be a snap!

    • mj June 20, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

      You’re going to love having those peppers in the freezer come the winter! Thanks for the wonderful feedback!!!! Hope you’re having a marvelous week!

  4. Alyssa April 9, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    This looks really good. I think that it is a great idea to freeze in season vegetables so you can make sure to always have them on hand. Thanks for sharing at Showcase Your Talent Thursday. I can’t wait to see what you have to share at the link party next week!

  5. lisa February 29, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    This looks amazing! Thanks so much for sharing at Mix it up Monday 🙂

  6. wok with ray February 28, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    Oh, these roasted bell peppers must have this wonderful smoky aroma. I would use it as appetizers with that delicious roasted peppers as a dip. Nice post, my friend! Thanks, MJ!

    ~ ray ~

  7. April @ The 21st Century Housewife February 27, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    What a delicious idea – I like it both as a appetizer and as a main course! I love red peppers and they are so good for you too. I’ve pinned this 🙂

  8. Susan with Permanent Posies February 25, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

    You know…..they are only 77 cents a piece right now in the store. I ought to do the same. I love red bells and I rarely see them that cheap, unless I get to a farmer’s market in the summer. Great idea. Your tortellini looks great.

    • mj February 25, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

      Susan – I haven’t seen peppers at 77 cents a piece since the fall. Buy! 🙂

  9. vianney February 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    congrats on your award! I am guilty of serving, eating and then squirmming to find enough to take a pic. perfect for a dinner party!

  10. Miz Helen February 24, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    We just love Roasted Red Peppers and this would be a great combination for the Tortellini, this is a great recipe! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a great week end and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  11. Soni February 24, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    Great appetizer idea, never thought of serving tortellini like this.The sauce looks delicious too 🙂

  12. Baker Street February 24, 2012 at 5:50 am #

    This makes for a perfect app MJ! Thanks for sharing.

  13. Deeps @ Naughty Curry February 23, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

    i had no idea peppers could be frozen! thankyou so much for that piece of info.. the pasta looks delecious!

  14. mj February 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments! I’m glad to read that you liked the freezing roasting bell pepper. When I have a lot to roast, I’ll roast them on the grill outside; otherwise, under the broiler. Both ways yield wonderful tasting peppers. They freeze very nicely. No change in a texture and the only taste change is if you leave them in the freezer too long – like more than 6 months. They do pick up the freeze taste after that long. Otherwise, it’s like you roasted them that day!

  15. Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb February 23, 2012 at 4:31 am #


    Hadnt had tortellini in ages! Yours looks so yumm, I am drooling and I enjoyed your presentation. thanks a lots for sharing. looking forward to read more from u. =)

  16. Sissi February 23, 2012 at 4:06 am #

    The tortellini and especially the sauce look fabulous! If one day I have a big freezer i will do the same with fresh seasonal peppers. (I love your square plate! It would suit perfectly well Japanese cuisine…)

    • mj February 23, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

      I just have a side by side with a small freezer. The peppers take up so little of the space that I don’t think twice about freezing them. You can shove them just about anywhere there’s a gap. 🙂 Thanks for dropping by and for your wonderful comments!

  17. Giulietta | Alterkitchen February 23, 2012 at 1:10 am #

    Strange and interesting combination between tortellini (I’d love to try and make them from scratch, some day) and bell peppers! 🙂

  18. Reem | Simply Reem February 22, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    What a great recipe!!!
    I love how you serve it with peppers and onions … This must taste divine….

  19. Sanjeeta kk February 22, 2012 at 1:12 am #

    Love red pepper and of late have been seeing too many red pepper recipes..pesto, hummus and now this one is another one to go in my treasure!

  20. easyfoodsmith February 21, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    Oh, I could have this any time of the day! The texture of the dip is perfect and pairs so well with the tortellini.

  21. Cajunville February 21, 2012 at 6:57 am #

    Tortellini is my favorite pasta. Never thought of using it as a dipper. The recipe sounds wonderful and I will definitely try it soon.

  22. Viviane Bauquet Farre February 21, 2012 at 6:35 am #

    MJ, looks great! Good call on the white wine vinegar… As usual, your presentation is beautiful!

  23. Tina (PinayInTexas) February 20, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    What a creative way of serving tortellini, MJ! The roasted pepper and onion sauce/dip sounds fabulously delish!

  24. Katherine Martinelli February 20, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    This looks awesome. And I love the idea of freezing roasted peppers!

  25. kitchenriffs February 20, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    I love those treasures I find buried in the back of my freezer! And I love red peppers – this is an extremely nice way to use them. I’ve been on a balsamic vinegar kick lately, so I might substitute balsamic vinegar for the white – add a bit of sweetness with the acid. Anyway, I can absolutely see serving this either as a starter or main course – very versatile recipe. Thanks.

  26. myfudo February 20, 2012 at 12:16 am #

    Your blog is so informative. I am of course, bookmarking this page, for the recipe and all the other bits and pieces that I know will be helpful for me in the kitchen. Thanks!

  27. Food Jaunts February 19, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    So inspired! I love the idea of doing this for a light but satisfying appetizer. Hmm…I’m thinking maybe grilling the onions and peppers to give it all a wonderful fire roasted flavor. Either way, great post!

    • mj February 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

      Love the grilled idea! In fact the roasted bells were grilled last fall and then frozen. I did roast the onion in the oven, but …great idea to do it on the grill!

  28. fati's recipes February 19, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    Delicious! These look absolutely amazing…. could take a bite out of my screen right now! 😀

  29. Charles February 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    Hi MJ – I’ve never seen pasta as an appetizer before – what a great idea. The dip sounds amazing. Nothing beats the flavour of roasted pepper… all those delicious natural sugars… so delicious!

  30. Sylvia@Peaches and Donuts February 19, 2012 at 8:03 am #

    That dip will be perfect with tortilla chips too! Come to think of it, we could also deep fry the tortellini for a crispy(but not to healthy) treat! 😛

    • mj February 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

      aahh!! I love the idea of deep frying the tortellini! The dip’s healthy so that counts! 🙂

  31. sally February 19, 2012 at 6:58 am #

    Roasting and freezing bell peppers is a great idea! Your tortellini appetizer looks great too!

  32. Treat and Trick February 18, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

    Fantastic combo and looks appetizing!

  33. Reiko February 18, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    This looks and sounds delicious! I’m not a big tortellini fan, but I would love to try this! Freezing roasted red bell pepper is a great idea!

  34. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles February 18, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    This is such a great idea MJ and your service is lovely. I could see this appetizer going over very well at a cocktail party – they’d be devoured in a flash! I bet shrimp and scallop would also be a nice pairing for your delightful dip… Roasted, peeled and wrapped individually in the freezer – got it. This is my plan for the fall.

  35. Magic of Spice February 18, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    I love roasted peppers and this is such a creative idea for an appetizer! Looks delicious!

  36. Purabi Naha February 18, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    Congrats on the award, you really deserve it! I loved this pasta dish. So comforting! You are an amazing cook!! Thinking of you…

    • mj February 23, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

      Thank you Purabi!!!! Same to you! I love your recipes!

  37. Ann February 17, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    This looks fantastic! I never thought about roasting and freezing peppers while they’re plentiful! Thanks for the terrific recipe AND the kitchen tip!

  38. Christine February 17, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    Perfect appetizer, I would eat this as a meal. So good!

  39. Ramona February 17, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    MJ- I need to be better prepared like you. Making your own roasted bell peppers is such a smart idea (especially when they are cheap and plentiful). This is such a beautiful recipe. Have a great weekend! ~ Ramona

  40. Nami | Just One Cookbook February 17, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    I like the tortellini with cheese inside. It’s delicious, and I can imagine these tortellini with the red bell pepper & onion sauce. Never thought of serving as an appetizer like this way. Good idea!

  41. Suzi February 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    This definitely looks yummy MJ. What a prefect appetizer, I would end up eating it as a meal though. I am going to have to remember roasting and freezing the peppers this year, I never think to do that. Have a wonderful day, sweet lady.

  42. Jenny @ Savour the Senses February 17, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    I LOVE tortellini, this dish is calling to me!

  43. Liz February 17, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    This would certainly make a gorgeous appetizer! What a yummy dip!

  44. Rathai February 17, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    This is a great recipe. It looks spicy and delicious, just the way I like it. I do have some tortellini left from a previous cooking session. I bought it to serve with a creme fraiche chicken curry that didn’t turn out so well. So, it has been standing there in the pantry for months now and I was wondering what to do with it. Thank you for this recipe, MJ. 🙂

    • mj February 23, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

      Rathai – This one isn’t spicy because I used sweet red bells, but I’m sure a red chile pepper or two added to the mix would be awesome!

  45. Dee at Deelicous Sweets February 17, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    Don’t you just love finding hidden foods in your freezer!? I try to freezer/pantry dive at least once a month and get those babies cleaned out. It’s always fun coming up with new recipes in order to get it all used up. This recipe looks divine!

  46. Joanne February 17, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    Tortellini is some of my favorite pasta, and I love the pairing with the roasted pepper and onion. Looks great MJ!


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