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Paleo Food Swaps: Pepper Pesto Dip

A high-quality and healthy substitute for those empty calorie dips you’ll find lining the shelves at the grocery store.

I’ve become quite obsessed with this simple paleo pepper pesto dip recipe over the last couple of months. It’s very rich and savory, and takes only a couple of minutes to make. There’s a 99% chance you will find a jar of this in my fridge at all times! It’s filling, easy to make, and it feels like a professional chef made it.

This dip is a great substitute for those empty calorie dips you’ll find at the grocery store. (Many of them are made with bad quality oils and dairy, and contain fillers that aren’t needed.) There are some great nutrients in this pepper-packed pesto; peppers are a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants, which can help to fight inflammation and boost your immune system. And, depending on which nuts you use (I used almonds and cashews, but like to use pecans with this recipe too!), you’ll be getting some goodness from those as well; nuts are a great source of protein and good fats. (You can read more about specific ingredients’ nutrition and health benefits here.)



  • 16 ounce sliced peppers (I like to buy frozen, pre-sliced, tri-color peppers; it’s cost efficient and easy to whip up, this way!)
  • 2/3 cup raw nuts of choice (I use pecans sometimes, other times I use a mix of almonds and cashews)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (can use a close of fresh garlic in place of this)
  • Optional additions include: paprika, chili powder, cayenne, chili flakes, grass-fed cheese


1. Heat up some oil until very hot in a large skillet. I love to use my cast iron skillet for this.

2. Toss in the frozen or fresh-sliced pepper, and sauté until cooked through and beginning to brown. Add a teaspoon of a good salt (I love mineral rich Real Salt or Pink Himalayan) and 1/2 a teaspoon of garlic powder. (In place of garlic powder, you can use minced fresh garlic in this recipe.)

3. When peppers are finished cooking add to a small food processor along with 2/3 cup of raw nuts. Blend and process until mostly combined, leaving some chunks of nuts, if desired. Taste and add additional salt if needed, or toss in a little cayenne, paprika or chili peppers for a little smoky heat. If you tolerate dairy, you can even shave in a little bit of a good cheese to blend into this dip. I think a gouda or parmesan would work well.

4. Serve with fresh sliced veggies, like carrots and celery, or with your favorite paleo crackers. I love this stuff atop a lettuce-wrapped burger, or even as a sauce on zucchini noodles. After serving, store leftover pesto in an airtight container or jar in the fridge and try to use within a week for best flavor.



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