Weeknight Cooking

Roasted Red Pepper & Cauliflower Dip

October 27, 2018
16 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 6 to 10 as a dip, or 1 when used in various ways for a week
Author Notes

I became well-acquainted with this roasted red pepper and cauliflower dip during a foray into the world of Whole30. It's equal parts creamy and perky, with a welcome tang from lemon and a little kick in the pants from cayenne. I love it just as much as the centerpiece of a crudités platter as I do spread beneath a crispy roasted chicken thigh, or dolloped over a salad. Of note, it's a big hit amongst the non-Whole30 crowd as well—it pairs nicely with pretzel crisps, pita chips, and griddled, buttered bread. Garnishing this dip is half the fun. My current favorites are finely chopped chives, toasted pepitas, olive oil, and flaky salt, but it's tough to go wrong with any herbs, nuts, or seeds. —Ella Quittner

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: A Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Dip That Was There For Me When I Needed It Most. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 6 cups chopped cauliflower (in roughly large bite-sized florets), stalks included (about 1 small head of cauliflower, minus the green core part)
  • 2 red bell peppers, with seeds and stems removed, quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed and for drizzling to serve
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus a big pinch, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, plus more to taste (you can substitute black or rainbow if you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 1/3 cup tahini, well stirred
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons water, room temp
  • 1 handful finely chopped herbs, toasted seeds, and/or crushed nuts to serve (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Toss cauliflower, peppers, and garlic together with olive oil, salt, and pepper on a sheet-pan, and spread out into an even layer. Roast in oven for about 30 minutes, stirring once midway through, until the cauliflower is tender enough that you can squash a floret easily with the tines of a fork. Let cool for a few minutes.
  2. In a food processor, combine roasted cauliflower, peppers, and garlic (scrape in any browned bits from the bottom of the pan!) with lemon juice, tahini, cayenne, and a big pinch of salt. Blend to combine until it’s fully homogeneous, scraping down sides with a spatula midway through, about 3 minutes. Add the water, and blend for another couple of minutes, until it’s smooth and light. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt, pepper, and lemon juice as needed.
  3. To serve, transfer to a bowl and make a dramatic swooshy pattern on top. Drizzle with your favorite toppings. (Store for up to a week, covered, in the refrigerator.)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Adam Caniparoli
    Adam Caniparoli
  • So sett
    So sett
  • Solveig Malvik
    Solveig Malvik
  • Erin Elliott
    Erin Elliott
  • Kimberly Hanrahan-Havern
    Kimberly Hanrahan-Havern

19 Reviews

Adam C. September 22, 2021
Very excellent and fast. You'd swear there was cream cheese or sour cream in it, but it's just the loveliness of the tahini. It makes a ton.
Adam C. September 22, 2021
And I didn't use any olive oil besides a tiny bit when roasting the veggies, and it still tasted great.
So S. January 6, 2021
CT December 24, 2020
Can you use packaged cauliflower rice?
CT January 3, 2020
This dip is awesome!!!! It tastes like healthier pimento cheese!!
judy October 4, 2019
I am now in a very small kitchen, with only a stove and toaster oven. That being said, this recipe went together very well. I Halved the cauliflower and roasted red pepper due to kitchen space. But left all of the rest of the ingredients as is. Needed only about 3 Tbsp olive oil to round the whole tank out. VERY tasty and a delight for our veggie sticks. Thanks for a delightful healthy light dinner idea.
Jared K. September 24, 2019
Delicious, very easy to make, and quite healthy!! Might add some more garlic next time!
Ella Q. September 24, 2019
Hi Jared,

So happy to hear you enjoyed it!

Solveig M. March 25, 2019
This is just soooo good! Do you think this freezes well? I see no reasons why not?
Ella Q. March 25, 2019
I'm so glad you like it. I haven't tried freezing it, but I suspect it could work—let me know if you try it!
Erin E. January 25, 2019
yum. A wonderful combo of flavors. Packs a great fiber punch! Other things to do with tahini other than make hummus. Thanks Ella (from fellow Mill Valley-ite)
Ella Q. January 26, 2019
Hi fellow Mill Valley-ite Erin! 👋

So glad you enjoyed!
Parmela January 24, 2019
Ella, this was delicious, thanks for sharing!
We have been gradually reducing olive oil quantities in our recipes over the past six years and did so with this recipe. By using only one tablespoon, we reduced the overall calories by 390, the roasted veggie flavors still came through beautifully thanks to your suggestion of scraping browned bits from the pan. I did line my pan with tin foil since oil quantities were reduced but next time I'll try roasting without. Thanks again Ella!
Ella Q. January 24, 2019
Thanks so much for letting me know! So glad you enjoyed the recipe. :)
Kimberly H. January 20, 2019
This dip is absolutely delicious. The recipe is not only versatile, it is so nutritious! I am so happy to have tried this. I will definitely make this again and again.
Ella Q. January 20, 2019
Hi Kimberly, I'm so pleased to hear it! Thanks for the note.
DIANA January 18, 2019
To Paula: cucumbers, watermelon radishes, radicchio, fennel, orange and purple carrots.
To E
DIANA January 18, 2019
To Ella: thank you for sharing. This recipe is perfect for our family!
Ella Q. January 20, 2019
So happy to hear you enjoyed it, Diana! :)