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Ajvar Dip (Roasted Red Pepper Sauce)

5 stars, average of 2 ratings

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Ajvar Dip (Roasted Red Pepper Sauce)Pin itFollow us 148.4k

Ajvar Dip is a beloved favorite in Balkan cuisine, known for its rich history and simple preparation. This tasty spread comes from the Balkan Peninsula and uses just a few key ingredients and a straightforward technique.

Made primarily with roasted red peppers and eggplant, it has a smoky, flavorful taste that's super versatile and easy to whip up. With its minimal ingredients and no-fuss process, traditional Ajvar Dip really lets the natural flavors shine, making it a hit for both everyday meals and special gatherings.

What Makes This Ajvar Dip the Best

First of all, this recipe has been trialed and tested for years! I've made it frequently for barbecues, and it's always a hit with friends.

Charring the peppers and eggplant under the broiler is key because it gives the dip that deep, smoky flavor that’s essential for authentic Ajvar. Plus, removing the skins from both the peppers and eggplant ensures a smooth, creamy texture and eliminates any bitterness or toughness. These steps might seem small, but they make a huge difference in achieving the perfect Ajvar Dip.

Recipe Tips and Swaps

This dip is naturally low in carbs, keto, dairy-free, nut-free, vegetarian, and vegan. Plus, it's made with heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil and is Whole 30 and Mediterranean-keto approved!

Here are easy swaps and tips for your Ajvar Dip:

  • Vinegar Swap: Instead of white wine vinegar, you can use apple cider vinegar (same amount), or fresh lemon juice (double the amount) for a slightly different but equally delicious tang.
  • Roasting Technique: For the best flavor, make sure to char the peppers and eggplant until they have a nice, blistered skin. This adds a deep, smoky taste that’s characteristic of traditional Ajvar.
  • Peeling the Vegetables: Cover the roasted vegetables with a damp cloth or place them in a sealed container to steam for a few minutes. This makes peeling the skins much easier.
  • Blending: Process the ingredients until smooth and creamy for the best texture. If you prefer a chunkier dip, pulse the blender a few times instead of blending continuously.
  • Storage: Ajvar can be stored in the fridge for up to a week or frozen in ice cube trays for longer storage. When ready, let it defrost in the fridge overnight. This way, you can enjoy it whenever you like!

How Do You Eat Ajvar Dip?

Ajvar is incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways:

Ajvar Dip (Roasted Red Pepper Sauce)Pin itFollow us 148.4k

Hands-on Overall

Serving size 1/4 cup, 60 ml

Allergy information for Ajvar Dip (Roasted Red Pepper Sauce)

✔  Gluten free
✔  Dairy free
✔  Egg free
✔  Nut free
✔  Pork free
✔  Coconut free
✔  Fish free
✔  Shellfish free
✔  Beef free
Pescatarian
Vegetarian
Vegan

Nutritional values (per 1/4 cup, 60 ml)

Net carbs3.3 grams
Protein0.9 grams
Fat9.2 grams
Calories105 kcal
Calories from carbs 13%, protein 3%, fat 84%
Total carbs5.2 gramsFiber1.9 gramsSugars3.2 gramsSaturated fat1.3 gramsSodium197 mg(9% RDA)Magnesium11 mg(3% RDA)Potassium179 mg(9% EMR)

Ingredients (makes about 3 cups/ 700 ml)

  • 6 medium red bell peppers (720 g/ 1.6 lb)
  • 1 medium eggplant (250 g/ 8.5 oz)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided (120 ml/ 4 fl oz)
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar (15 ml) or 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Optional: red chile pepper flakes, or fresh chile pepper for heat
  • 1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 220 °C/ 430 °F (fan assisted), or 240 °C/ 465 °F (conventional). Place whole bell peppers and eggplant in a tray. Bake for 15 minutes. Ajvar Dip (Roasted Red Pepper Sauce)
  2. Reduce the oven temperature to 200 °C/ 400 °F (fan assisted), or 220 °C/ 425 °F (conventional). Continue baking for another 20 minutes, or until the peppers have charred blisters and the eggplant is soft.
  3. Remove the tray from the oven and set the vegetables aside to cool. Cover them with a damp cloth or another tray to make peeling easier. Ajvar Dip (Roasted Red Pepper Sauce)
  4. While the vegetables are cooling, peel and finely chop the garlic. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  5. Once cooled, peel the skins off the peppers and remove the seeds and stems. Transfer the peeled peppers to a blender. For the eggplant, make a large slit and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Add the eggplant flesh to the blender. Discard the peels, stems and any excess juices. Ajvar Dip (Roasted Red Pepper Sauce)
  6. To the blender, add the sautéed garlic, vinegar (or lemon juice), the remaining olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper. Ajvar Dip (Roasted Red Pepper Sauce)
  7. Process until smooth and creamy. Pour the blended dip into a storage container. Once it has cooled to room temperature, seal the container and refrigerate for up to a week. For longer storage, pour the dip into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, pop the cubes out and store them in a freezer bag. Ajvar Dip (Roasted Red Pepper Sauce)
  8. Serve as a dip with a slice of toasted quick keto bread, or crackers, with meat skewers, or in lettuce wraps. Ajvar Dip (Roasted Red Pepper Sauce)

Ajvar Dip - Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

5 stars, average of 2 ratings
Ajvar Dip - Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Traditional Ajvar Dip recipe made with roasted red peppers and eggplant. This smoky, creamy Balkan spread is perfect as a dip, sauce, or spread. Easy and delicious!
Hands on15m
Overall45m

Ingredients (makes about 3 cups/ 700 ml)

  • 6 medium red bell peppers (720 g/ 1.6 lb)
  • 1 medium eggplant (250 g/ 8.5 oz)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided (120 ml/ 4 fl oz)
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar (15 ml) or 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Optional: red chile pepper flakes, or fresh chile pepper for heat
  • 1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 220 °C/ 430 °F (fan assisted), or 240 °C/ 465 °F (conventional). Place whole bell peppers and eggplant in a tray. Bake for 15 minutes.
  2. Reduce the oven temperature to 200 °C/ 400 °F (fan assisted), or 220 °C/ 425 °F (conventional). Continue baking for another 20 minutes, or until the peppers have charred blisters and the eggplant is soft.
  3. Remove the tray from the oven and set the vegetables aside to cool. Cover them with a damp cloth or another tray to make peeling easier.
  4. While the vegetables are cooling, peel and finely chop the garlic. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  5. Once cooled, peel the skins off the peppers and remove the seeds and stems. Transfer the peeled peppers to a blender. For the eggplant, make a large slit and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Add the eggplant flesh to the blender. Discard the peels, stems and any excess juices.
  6. To the blender, add the sautéed garlic, vinegar (or lemon juice), the remaining olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper.
  7. Process until smooth and creamy. Pour the blended dip into a storage container. Once it has cooled to room temperature, seal the container and refrigerate for up to a week. For longer storage, pour the dip into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, pop the cubes out and store them in a freezer bag.
  8. Serve as a dip with a slice of toasted quick keto bread, or crackers, with meat skewers, or in lettuce wraps.

Nutrition (per 1/4 cup, 60 ml)

Calories105kcal
Net Carbs3.3g
Carbohydrates5.2g
Protein0.9g
Fat9.2g
Saturated Fat1.3g
Fiber1.9g
Sugar3.2g
Sodium197mg
Magnesium11mg
Potassium179mg

Detailed nutritional breakdown (per 1/4 cup, 60 ml)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Total per 1/4 cup, 60 ml
3.3 g0.9 g9.2 g105 kcal
Peppers, red bell, fresh
2.3 g0.6 g0.2 g18 kcal
Eggplant (aubergine), fresh
0.6 g0.2 g0 g5 kcal
Garlic, fresh
0.3 g0.1 g0 g1 kcal
Olive oil, extra virgin
0 g0 g9 g80 kcal
Wine vinegar
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Salt, sea salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Pepper, black, spices
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal

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Martina Slajerova
Creator of KetoDietApp.com

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

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Comments (2)

I want to thank you for sharing keto versions of your traditional foods. Like this Balkan sauce. For too long I have had a lack of variety in my meals. The additions of Czech, Mediterranean, and other countries foods has really improved my taste buds!
Thank you so much!

Thank you so much Carol, I'm glad you like these recipes! 😊