Vegan roasted red pepper pasta is creamy, savory, spicy, and so comforting! This easy weeknight dinner recipe is made in 30 minutes or less. The roasted red pepper sauce is loaded with healthy ingredients, like cashews, garlic, and nutritional yeast. It's dairy-free, gluten-free, and easily customizable!
Say hello to this life-changing, soon-to-be-favorite vegan roasted red pepper pasta! This creamy, spicy, savory pasta is being enjoyed on repeat in my household lately. Not only is it quick and easy to make on busy evenings, but it is also incredibly satisfying and comforting.
Pasta has always been my go-to choice when I'm craving comfort food but trying to maintain a healthy diet. I know, it sounds counterintuitive, doesn't it? Most people do not equate a plate of pasta with high nutritional value. However, I'm here to bust this myth entirely! Pasta can instantly become a high protein and high fiber meal when you use chickpea pasta instead of flour pasta. Additionally, homemade pasta sauce offers a unique opportunity to sneak in veggies and extra nutrients.
This vegan roasted red pepper sauce is made with wholesome ingredients, like raw cashews, vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, garlic, onion, and herbs. It's full of flavor and made quickly in a blender. You can also customize the meal to your own liking. Lighten it by tossing in assorted vegetables, or indulge alongside homemade garlic bread!
This roasted red pepper pasta recipe is:
- Vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, and gluten-free
- Creamy, rich, savory, and flavorful
- Convenient for busy weeknights
- Easily customizable
- A healthy comfort food recipe
- Non-vegan approved
- Suitable for meal prep
- An easy 30 minute meal
What is roasted red pepper sauce made of?
- Pasta: Choose your favorite type of pasta. I personally think this recipe is pest with penne, but you can use any kind. I always use chickpea pasta (instead of flour pasta) in order to make it gluten-free, high protein, and high fiber.
- Roasted red peppers: I recommend using roasted red peppers in a jar to save time. Don't forget to drain the liquid before chopping and sautéing them.
- Cashews: Raw cashews help make the sauce thicker and creamier. It's a vegan and dairy-free alternative to milk or cream. Scroll down and read my tips below for a nut-free option.
- Olive oil: A high-quality extra virgin olive oil will create the best flavor. If you don't have any olive oil, you can try it with coconut oil.
- Vegetable broth: Classic vegetable broth will provide the most flavor, but you can use a low-sodium variety if desired.
- Nutritional yeast: This ingredient provides a nutty, "cheesy" flavor. Additionally, it is loaded with B vitamins and contains protein.
- Tomato paste: Tomato paste enhances the sauce's umami flavor and deepens the color. Don't skip it.
- Garlic and onion: Savory dishes are not complete without garlic and onion. If you are a garlic lover, feel free to increase the amount.
- Spices: Boost the flavor with Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Red pepper flakes, also known as crushed red pepper, are spicy. If you don't want a little heat in your sauce, you can reduce or omit them completely.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch helps to thicken the sauce. While the sauce and pasta are warmed together, this ingredient will cause the sauce to reduce.
How to make creamy vegan roasted red pepper pasta
For the full ingredient measurements and step-by-step instructions, scroll down to view the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
Cook pasta of your choice
First, cook your favorite pasta according to package instructions. I suggest slightly undercooking it (about 1 minute less than the recommended time) because it will cook further once combined with the sauce later on. Drain the water and rinse the pasta. Set aside.
Prepare vegan roasted red pepper sauce
Next, warm a pan over medium-low heat. Add extra virgin olive oil, diced onion, minced garlic, and chopped roasted red peppers. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
Combine the sautéed onion/garlic/peppers, vegetable broth, cashews, nutritional yeast, tomato paste, cornstarch, Italian seasoning, salt, and red pepper flakes in a blender. Blend ingredients until smooth and creamy.
Toss the pasta and sauce together
Lastly, transfer the cooked pasta back into the pot or skillet. Pour the sauce on top. Toss together over medium heat until warm. The sauce will start to thicken as it cooks. Serve pasta and garnish. Enjoy!
Ways to serve this creamy vegan pasta
Add vegetables. The healthy pasta sauce already contains roasted red peppers, but you can bulk up the dish by adding your favorite veggies. When it's time to combine the sauce and pasta, toss in steamed or roasted vegetables. It pairs particularly well with zucchini, broccoli or broccolini, asparagus, and cauliflower.
Freshen with a side salad. Lighten up the meal by including your favorite salad.
Enjoy with garlic bread. Enjoy the ultimate comfort food meal by serving this pasta alongside homemade Vegan Garlic Bread.
Can I meal prep the roasted red pepper sauce?
Yes! For super busy weeknights, feel free to prep the sauce ahead of time. Store it inside a sealed jar in the refrigerator. The sauce will naturally thicken while chilling, so you will want to thin it with water or vegetable broth while you warm it.
Tips and recipe variations
Cook the pasta al dente. Since the pasta will cook further once it is combined with the red pepper sauce, I highly recommend undercooking it at least 1 minute when boiling.
Salt the pasta water. The best pasta is always boiled in salted water. Add a generous amount as most of it is drained anyway. Two teaspoons is a good amount for 8 oz pasta.
Don't forget to garnish it. In my opinion, it is essential to serve the dish with vegan parmesan, fresh parsley, and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes! Other options include dairy-free mozzarella, fresh basil, and toasted pine nuts.
How to make the red pepper sauce nut-free: The sauce contains cashews in order to make it creamy. If you absolutely need to omit them, I recommend using lite coconut milk instead of vegetable broth. This will alter the flavor a bit, making it slightly sweeter.
How to make this pasta gluten-free: Simply use any type of gluten-free pasta. There are countless options to choose from, including chickpea, lentil, brown rice, or corn pasta.
For a low carb option: You can use zucchini noodles if you are following a low carb diet. It's also great with spaghetti squash, if that's your thing!
How to store leftovers
Store leftover red pepper pasta in a sealed container for up to 3 days. Pasta naturally absorbs sauce over time, so leftover pasta will always be a bit drier than the original creation. The best way to counteract this is by reheating it with a splash of water or vegetable broth.
If you try this Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Pasta, please let me know your thoughts by leaving a rating and comment below! Ready for more? Subscribe to my newsletter or follow along on Instagram and YouTube!Print
Vegan roasted red pepper pasta is creamy, spicy, and easy to make! This healthy pasta recipe is great for busy weeknights since it's made in 30 minutes or less. It's dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free. The roasted red pepper sauce is made with cashews, garlic, vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, and herbs. The whole family will love this healthy comfort food for dinner! #vegandinner #pasta #pastafoodrecipes #pastarecipe #pastadishes #30minutemeals #pastasauce
- 8 oz pasta of choice (such as penne)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped (12-15 oz jar)
- 1 ¼ cup vegetable broth
- ⅓ cup raw cashews
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 ½ tsp Italian seasoning
- ¾ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (or more to make it spicy)
- Fresh parsley, for serving
- Vegan parmesan, for serving
- Red pepper flakes, for serving
- Cook pasta: Cook the pasta according to package instructions. I suggest slightly undercooking it (about 1 minute less than the recommended time) because it will cook further once combined with the sauce later on. Drain the water and rinse the pasta. Set aside.
- Cook onions, garlic, and peppers: Warm a pan over medium-low heat. Add extra virgin olive oil, diced onion, minced garlic, and chopped roasted red peppers. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
- Create sauce: Combine the sautéed onion/garlic/peppers, vegetable broth, cashews, nutritional yeast, tomato paste, cornstarch, Italian seasoning, salt, and red pepper flakes in a blender. Blend ingredients until smooth and creamy.
- Combine pasta and sauce: Transfer the cooked pasta back into the pot or skillet. Pour the sauce on top. Toss together over medium heat until warm. The sauce will begin to thicken as it cooks. Serve and garnish with vegan parmesan, fresh parsley, and red pepper flakes. Enjoy!
- Cook the pasta al dente. Since the pasta will cook further once it is combined with the red pepper sauce, I highly recommend undercooking it at least 1 minute when boiling.
- Salt the pasta water. The best pasta is always boiled in salted water. Add a generous amount as most of it is drained anyway. Two teaspoons is a good amount for 8 oz pasta.
- Don't forget to garnish it. In my opinion, it is essential to serve the dish with vegan parmesan, fresh parsley, and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes! Other options include dairy-free mozzarella, fresh basil, and toasted pine nuts. I love the Follow Your Heart brand for dairy-free parmesan.
- Nutrition: Nutrition information below includes regular flour pasta since it is the most common. I suggest using chickpea pasta for a high protein and high fiber option.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 363
- Sugar: 4g
- Fat: 12g
- Carbohydrates: 51g
- Fiber: 3.5g
- Protein: 10g
Keywords: vegan roasted red pepper sauce, roasted red pepper pasta
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