Sunday, March 24, 2013

Red Pepper Spread (Trader Joe's Knock-off)

I used to love Trader Joe's Red Pepper Spread, but I had to stop eating it once I went Paleo because it is made with sugar. After walking through Trader Joe's one Saturday and once again walking past the jars of Red Pepper Spread, I finally decided it was time to make my own version. To my surprise, it tasted JUST LIKE THE ORIGINAL!

This is an incredibly versatile spread - perfect for smearing on Paleo crackers, using as a marinade for chicken, mixing into sauces, dressing burgers - so many uses!

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded
  • 3 garlic cloves, still in their skins
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Dice the eggplant and red peppers into 1 inch pieces.
  3. Spread eggplant and peppers onto a nonstick sided baking sheet or roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Place the garlic cloves in the pan and place the pan in the oven. Roast for 40 minutes, or until the the vegetables are browned and soft. You may have to toss them once or twice when they are roasting to promote even heat distribution.
  4. Place the roasted eggplant and peppers in a food processor. Push the garlic out of the skin and add to the food processor (discard the skins). Add the honey and process until smooth.
  5. Mix in salt and pepper to taste. You can eat this warm, or serve chilled.


  1. I can't wait to make this! Do you leave the skin on the eggplant or is it best to remove it?

    1. Hi there! I leave the skin on; never troubled me before.

    2. Yaaay, thank you! One less step. Btw, I mix equal parts of the original TJ spread, TJ hummus, and Fage fat-free Greek yogurt. OMG, mouth-gasm!

    3. Mmmmm... sounds delish. Well, let me know if you think the recipe comes close to the original!

    4. Just made this. Had to use jarred red peppers, but it was still delicious! I added an extra roast garlic clove and a tsp of cider vinegar to give it a little tang. The honey was a great addition. Thanks for the recipe!

    5. Hi, it's me again. Yes, it was VERY close to the original. I checked the ingredients on the jar and it included acetic acid, that's why I added the tsp of cider vinegar. Between the tang of vinegar and the jarred peppers, there was plenty of salt as is. It'll be great to try it tomorrow after it's had a chance for the flavors to blend.

    6. FOR THE WIN!

      Thanks for letting me know and I'm so glad it came out as expected. You know, I share these recipes and sometimes never know if people are making them (or liking them) so thanks a lot for the feedback.

      I'll have to try that dash of cider vinegar next time I make it. :)