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The $7 Jar That Adds Instant Flavor to Pizza, Salad, Salsa, and Even Toast

published Apr 18, 2023
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close up of pasta salad
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

Jarred roasted red peppers are a highly compelling convenience product. Sure, sometimes we want to roast our own peppers, but more often than not we want those lush strips of peppers ASAP. Far and away, the best jarred roasted red peppers I’ve found are Divina’s — even a glimpse of the peppers through the glass will show why!

Credit: Katie Workman

What’s So Great About Divina Roasted Red Peppers?

A lot of roasted red peppers fall short: they might be pale, they might be either mushy or unpleasantly hard in places, they might taste bland or worse, like the solution they were packaged in. Divina Roasted Red Peppers are none of those things. 

Credit: Katie Workman

They are plump and meaty, have a strikingly rich red color, and don’t fall apart the minute you start working with them. Plus, you can actually taste the smoky roasted red pepper, not just the brine. In fact, the brine is a mixture of water, red wine vinegar, sea salt, and grape must, and doesn’t have any overpowering flavor of its own, just a delicate acidity. And the peppers themselves are in large whole pieces, not the chopped-up bits and bobs you often find in jars.

Credit: Cheyenne Cohen

What’s the Best Way to Use Divina Roasted Red Peppers?

You can use these peppers in so many clever ways, and I find myself reaching for a jar as the weather warms up even more. For starters (literally!), they are a must-have on an antipasti platter, and add wonderful color to grazing boards. I love them on crostini and bruschetta, perhaps just all by themselves on a piece of toasted olive oil-slicked bread, or draped over a smear of good soft cheese or tapenade or pesto. Try topping the red pepper crostini with some basil oil for a beautiful summery appetizer.

Credit: Katie Workman

While I like to use these peppers in big pieces, I also love them chopped and mixed into other dishes, like this peach and roasted red pepper salsa. I add them sliced into strips to salads, like a Nicoise salad, or sandwiches, like this classic sausage, onion, and pepper grinder, or an Italian hoagie, or a roasted vegetable sub. These peppers are great diced and tossed with pasta and grain salads. They can be used as a pizza topping or added to casseroles for a bit of texture, flavor, and color. In big strips, they add heft to a vegetarian lasagna.

Credit: Katie Workman

They can also be puréed as part of a dip or a sauce, like romesco, or blended into hummus.  The firmness of the peppers’ texture means they won’t dissolve into a watery mess when you blend them up in the food processor.

These peppers are available at many supermarkets and gourmet and specialty stores, and also online. A jar usually retails for about $7, but often you can find them on sale (and then stock up, baby!). They last for more than a year in the pantry. Divina also makes Organic Roasted Red Peppers (about $8), Roasted Yellow Peppers, and a combo of red and yellow with garlic in one jar.  

What jarred staples are you stocking up on for the warm weather ahead? Sound off in the comments.