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Roasted Red Pepper Relish {Ajvar}

Roasted Red Pepper Relish (Ajvar) – Recipe for homemade sweet and roasted red pepper relish. A jam-like condiment that tastes delicious on everything, from bread to meats!

If there was ever a food that I could not be without, it would have to be this – Ajvar (Eye-vahr).

Growing up in Macedonia you knew it was September just by the smell of the neighborhood – Ajvar, or Roasted Red Pepper Relish, and other Zimnica, was cookin’!


Zimnica (Zeem-knee-tsa) comes from the word Zima which means Winter, and Zimnica translates to “winter food”. Winter-Food includes, Ajvar, all jams and jellies, compotes, pickled peppers, pickled tomatoes, pickled etc… Basically, anything that can be stuffed in a jar is a Zimnica. 🙂

roasted red pepper relish ajvar

But, if you were to do a poll, I bet my whisks and spoons that Ajvar would win as the best Zimnica food, ever! Though everyone has their own recipe for Ajvar, one ingredient is for certain – roasted red peppers. In other parts of the Balkans some include eggplants, garlic, green peppers, and so on, but I like the Macedonian recipe the best (I’m a bit biased :)) – just red peppers, salt, black pepper, and olive oil.

roasted red pepper relish ajvar

If you have a minute, please give this a try. You’ll love me for it. I promise!


Roasted Red Pepper Relish {Ajvar}

Katerina | Diethood
Recipe for homemade sweet and roasted red pepper relish. A jam-like condiment that tastes delicious on everything, from bread to meats!
Servings : 32 servings
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 2 hrs 10 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 10 mins


  • 8 red bell peppers
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)


  • Preheat oven to 450.
  • Wash and dry the peppers.
  • Prick bell peppers in several places with fork.
  • Place on baking sheet and roast the peppers for 40 minutes or until skin is blackened, turning occasionally.
  • Transfer peppers to a plastic bag and close the bag. Let stand 10 minutes.
  • Remove peppers from bag; peel off and discard skin.
  • Cut the peppers open and discard the seeds.
  • Cut the peppers in one inch pieces and place them inside a food processor and pulse/puree to a consistency of a chutney.
  • Put the pepper puree in a pot, add in salt, black pepper, and olive oil, and cook over medium heat for 2 hours, stirring frequently.
  • Taste for salt and pepper.
  • While the Ajvar is cooking, prepare your jars:
  • Preheat oven to 170.
  • Wash the jars, then put them in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Sterilize the lids by placing them in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them. Wipe the rims of the jars clean before applying the lids.
  • When the Ajvar is done, remove from the stove and let cool for a few minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of EVOO on the stove top.
  • Pour the Ajvar into the jars and place them on a baking sheet.
  • Put the jars in the oven for a few minutes, or until a thin crust forms on top of the Ajvar.
  • Once you see the crust, pour the heated EVOO over each jar, just enough to cover.
  • Remove from the oven and seal. Or do what I did – dig in with warm, homemade crusty bread and a side of feta cheese. YUM! Our Ajvar never made it to the Zimnica pile – we always ate it/eat it way before the first snow even appears.


  • Ajvar is also a great accompaniment to grilled meats, especially lamb, chicken, and sausages.
  • Store in a dry and dark place. Refrigerate after opening.
WW Freestyle SmartPoints: 1


Serving: 2 tablespoons | Calories: 46 kcal | Carbohydrates: 1 g | Protein: 0 g | Fat: 4 g | Saturated Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 1 mg | Potassium: 62 mg | Fiber: 0 g | Sugar: 1 g | Vitamin A: 930 IU | Vitamin C: 38 mg | Calcium: 2 mg | Iron: 0.1 mg | Net Carbs: 1 g

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Macedonia
Keyword: ajvar recipe, relish recipes, roasted peppers
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roasted red peppers


roasted red pepper relish ajvar


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57 comments on “Roasted Red Pepper Relish {Ajvar}”

  1. Will the finish product need refrigeration? I do a lot of canning but I haven’t ever seen the oven approach.

  2. Avatar photo
    Averie @Averie Cooks

    I taught myself to can not so I could make strawberry jelly or peach jam …no. So I could make Hot Pepper Jelly with red peppers. I love them SO MUCH! This would be instantly devoured by me. I love dips and spreads of all kinds!

  3. Avatar photo
    Lana @ Never Enough Thyme

    This is something I’ve never heard of, but oh my goodness it looks totally amazing!

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