Peperonata sauce, or peperonata agrodolce, is a rustic Italian sauce made with stewed tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic and vinegar.
It’s a delicious sauce, side dish, spread, or appetizer that never gets old! Spread it over toast as bruschetta, mix it with pasta, or serve alongside sausage Soak it up all season long!
What is peperonata agrodolce?
Peperonata sauce, or peperonata agrodolce, is a rustic Italian sauce made with stewed tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic and vinegar. Embrace the rustic sauce by using large or varying sized knife cuts for great texture.
Agrodolce is a sweet and sour Italian condiment. The stewed tomatoes and peppers, along with the vinegar create a delicious peperonata agrodolce that’s tasty on so many dishes like pasta, eggs, toast, with chicken or sausages, or smeared on a sandwich or wrap.
You can use this take on an Italian peperonata to inspire
What’s to love about this peperonata sauce recipe:
- It’s so simple! Just add everything to a pot. Let it do its magic for 20-30 minutes, stir in the vinegar and use it on everything!
- It nutrient dense! Good vegetable based sauces are a favorite way to boost the nutrition of any meal.
- It adds delicious flavor to so many different dishes. Use it as a sauce on pasta or a sandwich, or enjoy it on the side of grilled chicken or sausage.
- It’s a great way to use up abundant late summer produce. When you have too many tomatoes and peppers to make sense of, make pepperonata!
- It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, whole-30 compliant and vegan. It’s made of pure, nourishing, whole food ingredients!
- It’s great to add to your meal prep. This sauce will last for a week in the refrigerator and can spice up any basic meal prep staples. See my meals made simple meal prep guide to see how you can use pepperonata for delicious easy meals all week!
Is peperonata sauce healthy?
Absolutely! One of my favorite ways to boost nutrient density is to add a sauce that’s made of vegetables or herbs.
This peperonata recipe is no exception and adds a lot of nutrients to any meal.
It’s made of pure, nourishing, whole food ingredients!
Tomatoes and peppers
Tomatoes and peppers, alongside white potatoes and eggplant are part of a species of vegetables in the nightshade family.
Nightshades can be irritating to some people especially those with joint or autoimmune conditions. The sensitivity can vary from person to person, and doesn’t apply to everyone with those conditions, but if you don’t tolerate nightshades well then this recipe may not be for you.
However, if you’re not sensitive to nightshades vegetables then you can enjoy all the nutritious properties they carry like vitamins A, C, and B, antioxidants like lycopene that reduce inflammation and fiber. Sweet bell peppers have twice the amount of vitamin C of an orange.
In fact, if you struggle with a lot of bloating, IBS or SIBO then tomatoes and peppers can help decrease those symptoms as they’re considered to be low fodmap – a category of foods with low fermentable fibers which can contribute to gas and bloating.
Alliums for gut health
Onion, leek and garlic are part of the allium family of vegetables.
These vegetables are know for their sulfur, prebiotic and antiviral properties, which are incredibly beneficial for gut health and detoxification.
BUT if you experience a lot of gas ad bloating, these fibers may be adding to those symptoms. Avoiding these foods isn’t a solution because it’s not addressing the root cause, but if you feel relief by temporarily avoiding these foods, schedule a 30-minute nutrition strategy session to discover the root cause.
Different variations of peperonata sauce:
- Use any tomatoes you have accessible to you. You can even used jarred tomatoes like Jovial if you’d like.
- Use any vinegar you have, although I recommend red wine vinegar
- Use any peppers! Use sweet peppers for the majority like a red bell peppers, green bell peppers, some gypsy peppers, anaheim, banana, cherry, or heirloom peppers, or a mix of a few different kinds. Jimmy nardello peppers are my favorite if you can find them! But you really can’t go wrong with whatever you have.
- Add spicy peppers and more red pepper flakes if you like a kick! Try a jalapeno, serrano, fresno, habanero.
- If alliums (onions and garlic) make you feel bloated, as mentioned above, feel free to leave them out. The agrodolce will be just as delicious especially with the vinegar. OR you can try using leeks and garlic olive oil which are lower in the fodmap’s that can be difficult for some people with IBS to tolerate.
- Add other vegetables to the sauce like eggplant or zucchini for a heartier stew.
- In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add a handful of fresh herbs like basil, parsley or oregano for some herby freshness.
How to make peperonata sauce:
Honestly it couldn’t be easier to make this peperonata agrodolce.
- Saute your garlic in olive oil for 1 minute.
- Add all the other ingredients except for the vinegar and let it stew for 20-30 minutes, occasionally stirring, until it’s jammy.
- Remove from heat, stir in the vinegar and enjoy!
Yes – it’s that easy!
What to serve with peperonata sauce?
This sweet and sour peperonata agridolce is a delicious condiment with an array of meals.
- Serve it with chicken, fish, sausages, or a piece of steak.
- Serve it with eggplant and/or zucchini for a more robust stew.
- Use it as a sauce with pasta, on top of polenta or eggs.
- Use it as a spread on a slice of crusty bread, on toast as a bruschetta, on a sandwich, wrap or on a charcuterie board.
Storing your peperonata sauce:
Allow your peperonata to cool to a room temperature and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Enjoy the sauce cold or warm it up in a small sauce pan.
You can freeze the peperonata sauce for up to 2 months. Defrost and enjoy!
Other sauces you’ll love:
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- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic sliced
- 2 cups tomatoes cherry or any other variety, diced
- 1 cup chopped peppers 1 large bell pepper, any sweet variety will work
- 1 small onion or leek sliced
- ½ - 1 teaspoon chili flakes optional
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon red wine or balsamic vinegar
- Add olive oil to a small pot over medium heat. Add the garlic to the warm oil and cook for 1 minute, making sure not to burn it.
- Add the tomatoes, peppers, onion, salt, chili flakes (if using), and thyme to the pot and stir to combine. Let the contents stew on medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes, occasionally stirring to prevent burning or sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Once the tomatoes have burst and the sauce is jammy, turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar.
- Enjoy the sauce as part of your meal!