Make your own home canned roasted red peppers in a wine-flavored brine using boiling water bath to safely keep roasted peppers on your pantry shelf. Use for salads, pizza toppings, appetizers, and more.
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I love using roasted red peppers in pasta dishes, as a topping for my cheap and easy homemade pizza dough, and even whirred into homemade hummus for a different flavor. A few years ago I started looking for a recipe to safely can roasted sweet peppers that would allow me to preserve our garden sweet peppers.
I was looking for a recipe that would keep it easy for me – which means water-bath canning – and the recipes that are safe to can this way are usually just pickled, which I found a bit strong, vinegar-wise.
I eventually found a recipe in The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving that I adapted for flavor and to be more in line with USDA tested recipes (see note below recipe for more details). This recipe added a bit of dry wine which seemed to offset the flavor of the vinegar that’s needed for safety when canning low-acid ingredients like peppers. Well, I think it’s the wine- I’m not sure if that’s the reason or not, but I do know these are SO good and have become a must-make for me each year!
Brian? Not so much, since he thinks roasted peppers are “slimy.” Whatever – the more for me. I love these on pizza, sandwiches, in salads, and on my favorite easy bread and cracker spread.
Before we get to the tutorial, I want to give you this how-to video for water-bath canning for any who aren’t sure what it is or need a refresher. I promise, it’s easy! (You can also read my canning tutorial here.)
Canned Roasted Red Peppers in Wine Tutorial
1. Start with 2 pounds ripe, sweet peppers. Even though the title says red you can also use yellow and orange peppers, too.
FYI – don’t use green peppers, though – they aren’t sweet because they aren’t ripe and so have a bitter flavor! Did you know that ALL green peppers will eventually ripen to a color? They will – and when they do, they become truly sweet and not bitter like green peppers.
Wash, cut in half or quarters if they are very large, and seed the peppers. Lay them on a broiler pan, skin side up in a single layer (note: the recipe makes 4 1/2-pint jars, there are more peppers pictured because I was making a double batch).
2. Broil until the skins start to bubble and blacken. Broil 5-10 minutes, checking often to see even blackening and moving some of the peppers as needed to be under the broiler. You only need to broil the skin side.
This is one of the few times in cooking we want to burn the food, ha!
3. Immediately transfer the peppers to a ziplock baggie or tight-lidded container. Close the container and let them sit for at least 15 minutes for the skins to soften and be easier to peel.
4. In the meantime, prep the other ingredients and equipment. Finely dice the onion and mince the garlic. Set aside. Prepare your canner, jars, and lids.
5. Remove the peppers from the baggie and peel off the skins. Slice the peppers into strips for easier packing into the jars. Fill a bowl with the peeled, sliced peppers. Here you see my favorite Rada paring knife which makes quick work of this.
Note: You can split this recipe over two days if you are short on time. If you need to roast one day and can the next, at this stage you can put the peeled & sliced peppers in a covered storage container in the fridge. The next day let the peppers warm to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe.
6. Add the remaining ingredients for the brine in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes. TIP: I only use all-metal utensils and pans when canning because of the high-heat involved. See my all my canning equipment recommendations here.
7. Pack the peppers into jars. Add them to one clean, warm jar at a time, filling to 1-inch to 3/4-inches from the top. Do not pack tightly (see note below recipe). Metal tongs make easy work of adding the strips to the jars.
8. Pour the boiling brine solution into the jar leaving 1/2″ headspace. Make sure to include some of the onion, garlic, and basil.
9. Remove air bubbles with a non-metallic spatula. Run the spatula (or a wooden chopstick) all around the edge, without pressing down on the peppers, and check headspace again. Add more solution if necessary to keep the 1/2-inch headspace – or take some out, whatever is needed after settling the peppers in the solution. (The spatula pictured is my favorite though it’s hard to find – this narrow silicone spatula would work similarly.)
10. Wipe the rim with a clean cloth and attach lids. Dampen a clean rag or paper towel in a bit of warm water to remove any solution or debris from the rim. Attach lid and ring, tightening the ring just until fingertip tight (not too tight) and transfer to the canner rack.
11. Repeat with the remaining jars, filling one jar at a time.
12. Can the jars. Lower the canning rack into the warming water, turn heat to high, and when the water comes to a roiling boil start timing 15 minutes. You will need to adjust the heat to keep the water at a good boil, but not too hard. I always continue to check throughout the timing to make sure it is still boiling well. (A stainless steel canner with a glass lid makes this super easy – I was so glad when I discovered this canner!)
Remove the jars to a towel-lined surface. Let cool on the towel for 24 hours, then remove the rings for storage, and check the lids for a good seal before labeling and storing (do this by trying to gently pull the lid off with your fingers to check for the seal- refrigerate any that don’t seal).
One thing I always get asked about is how long canned goods can be stored and used. The USDA suggests using canned foods within a year and I always try to do that by menu planning to work through our pantry.
However, occasionally we will eat home canned foods up to 1-1/2 years old, especially high-acid things like pickles, chutney, and jams. I like to balance being safe with not being wasteful. Anything over 2 years old does get tossed. One more reason to make sure you’re planning your menus to use up what you’ve got!