This is a close variation to the classic Italian marinated roasted red peppers that is safe for home canning. Ripe sweet red peppers are roasted, and preserved in a red wine vinegar olive oil marinade flavored with lemon juice, garlic, and oregano.
Roasting gives these peppers a nice smoky flavor and sweetness by caramelizing the natural sugars in the fruit.
These peppers can be used in so many ways. Layer them on burgers and sandwiches, toss with your favorite pasta, and add to salads. You can also thread them onto toothpicks and include on an antipasto platter.
Tips for Making Roasted Red Bell Peppers
This recipe uses sweet red bell peppers, but you can safely replace the peppers with the same amount of another variety. Feel free to use sweet red, yellow, or green bell peppers.
I grow lots of peppers in the garden, and my favorites for this recipe are sweet bells and Italian frying peppers such as Carmen, Marconi, and Corno di Toro.
Choose fresh, bright colored, and firm peppers with no blemishes, soft spots, or bruises. Plan on about 4 pounds of peppers to fill 8 half-pint jars or 4 pint sized jars.
Use Red Wine Vinegar
Vinegar is required in this marinated pepper recipe because it provides the acidity to make it safe for water bath canning. The original recipe calls for white vinegar, but you can swap the type of vinegar used in canning recipes as long as the acidity is 5%.
We found white vinegar added too much bite to the marinated peppers. Apple cider vinegar was mellower, but was still too tart. Red wine vinegar gives this recipe more of the flavor you expect with marinated roasted peppers.
Red wine vinegar is made from fermented red wine. It’s fruity but with a vibrant bite that pairs well with the roasted bell peppers. Be sure to use a red wine vinegar that is at least 5% acidity.
Use Bottled Lemon Juice
The lemon juice adds flavor and probably also contributes to the acidity of this recipe to make it safe for canning. Use commercially bottled lemon juice. Don’t use freshly squeezed lemon juice because the acidity level varies and there is a chance of contaminating the juice from bacteria on the rind.
Follow the Recipe
When canning pickled peppers, it is important to use a recipe that has been scientifically tested. This recipe is adapted from the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning. Changing the recipe may make the product unsafe. Improper procedures when canning in oil can result in risk of botulism.
We exchanged red wine vinegar for the white vinegar and added a little sugar to soften the vinegar bite. Feel free to swap out the dried herbs as flavorings, but keep the proportions of the ingredients the same to ensure the proper chemistry to can your peppers safely.
How to Can Marinated Red Bell Peppers
If this is your first time canning, or if you haven’t canned in a while, it may be helpful to review these article on Principles of Home Canning and Using Boiling Water Canners at the National Center for Home Food Preservation website.
A more detailed and printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this article, but these are the general steps for making and canning marinated roasted red peppers:
Step 1: Gather Your Canning Equipment
- Water bath canner with canning rack
- 8 half-pint or 4 pint sized canning jars
- Canning lids and bands
- Canning tools: lid lifter, jar lifter, canning ladle, funnel, and bubble popper
- Plus basic kitchen supplies such as large rimmed baking sheet, knife, cutting board, large pot, small pot, and clean kitchen towels.
Step 2: Prepare the Canning Jars and Lids
Wash your canning jars, lids and bands with warm, soapy water and rinse well.
Place the jars on the canning rack in the water bath canner. Fill with water, and boil the jars for 10 minutes to sterilize. Warm your lids in a small pot of water over low heat. Keep everything warm until you are ready to can.
Step 3: Prepare the Peppers
Rinse bell peppers with plain water and place on a kitchen towel to air dry. Cut each pepper in half, and remove the stems, seeds, and ribs.
Char the skins of your peppers by grilling or broiling until the skins are wrinkled and the peppers are charred. Remove the peppers from the heat and place in a covered glass bowl to steam.
When the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove the skins, and tear or cut the peppers into pieces or strips.
Step 4: Make the Marinating Brine
While the peppers are cooling, prepare your marinating brine.
Heat about 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté briefly until fragrant.
Add the remaining olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, dried oregano, and sugar if using. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low, and keep warm until you are ready to use it.
Step 5: Fill the Jars
Remove the warm jars from the canner, drain, and line up on a kitchen towel. Divide the roasted peppers evenly into the jars.
Give your marinating brine a good stir to be sure the oil is evenly distributed. Use your canning funnel and fill the jars about halfway with the brine.
Run your bubble popper through the jars to mix the peppers with the brine. Top off each jar with the remaining brine leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Run the bubble popper through the jars again to remove air bubbles.
Clean the rims of the jars, add the lids, and process in a water bath canner. Let the jars cool, test the seals, label and date the jars, and store the marinated red bell peppers in a cool, dark location for up to a year.
For best flavor, let the jars sit for at least 4 weeks before opening to allow the flavors to develop. Refrigerate after opening and use up within 2 weeks. Yields 8 half-pint or 4 pints.
Wash the canning jars and lids in warm, soapy water and rinse well.
Place the jar rack into the water bath canner, set the clean jars in the canner, add water, and boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize.
Warm your lids in a small pot over low heat. Keep jars and lids warm until they are ready to use.
Rinse peppers well under clean, running water. Cut each pepper in half, and remove the stems, seeds, and ribs.
Blister the skins of your peppers by grilling or broiling until the skins crack and separate from the flesh.
Remove the peppers from the heat and place in a covered glass bowl to steam.
Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove the skins, and tear or cut into pieces or strips.
Heat about 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté briefly until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add the remaining olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, dried oregano, and sugar if using. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Keep warm until you are ready to use.
Spread a kitchen towel on the counter. Use your jar lifter to remove the warm jars from the canner, drain, and line up on a kitchen towel.
Divide the peeled roasted peppers evenly into the jars.
Give the marinating brine a good stir to be sure the oil is evenly distributed. Use your canning funnel and ladle to fill the jars about halfway with the brine.
Run your bubble popper through the jars to mix the peppers with the brine.
Top off each jar with the remaining brine leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Run the bubble popper through the jars again to remove air bubbles.
Clean the rims of the jars, use your magnetic lid lifter to lift lids out of the warm water, center lid on the jar, and screw on band until it is fingertip tight.
Using the jar lifter, place the jars in the water bath canner on the jar rack and leave space in between them. Once jars are all in canner, adjust the water level so it is 2-inches over the tops of the jars. If adding water, use the hot water from your small pot and pour around the jars, rather than on them.
Cover the canner and bring the water to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Once the water is boiling, process both half-pints and pints for 15 minutes at altitudes of less than 1,000 ft. (adjust processing time for your altitude if necessary).
When processing time is complete, turn off heat and allow the canner to cool down for 5-minutes.
Spread a kitchen towel on the counter. Use a jar lifter to lift jars carefully from canner and place on the towel. You should hear the satisfactory "ping" of the jar lids sealing as they cool. Allow the jars to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24-hours.
After 12 to 24-hours, check to be sure jar lids have sealed by pushing on the center of the lid. The lid should not pop up. If the lid flexes up and down, it did not seal. Refrigerate jar and use up within 2 weeks.
Remove the screw on bands and wash the jars. Label, date, and store the jars of marinated red bell peppers in a cool, dark location for up to a year.
For best flavor, let the jars sit for at least 4 weeks before opening to allow the flavors to develop. Refrigerate after opening and use up within 2 weeks.
Yields about 8 half-pint or 4 pints.
- This recipe is adapted from the "Marinated Peppers" in the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning. Changing the recipe can make the product unsafe. Improper procedures when canning in oil can result in risk of botulism.
- All times are at altitudes of less than 1,000 ft. Adjustments must be made for altitudes greater than 1,000 ft.
You May Also Like:
- How to Dry Peppers for Food Storage
- Pressure Canning Diced Green Chile Peppers
- How to Freeze Peppers
- 10 Tips for Growing Peppers in Cold Climates
- Other Ways to Preserve the Harvest
Good planning is key to a successful vegetable garden
Whether you are new to growing your own food or have been growing a vegetable garden for years, you will benefit from some planning each year. You will find everything you need to organize and plan your vegetable garden in my PDF eBook, Grow a Good Life Guide to Planning Your Vegetable Garden.