Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

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This roasted red pepper pasta is made using an incredible range of simple ingredients that are perfect for a weeknight bite. It’s packed with antioxidants, tastes ridiculously creamy, and makes a wonderful leftover lunch for the office. Basically, it’s a total winner for pasta lovers!

Love this? Try this Broccoli Pesto Pasta or this Hummus Pasta!

As someone who hails from Italy, fresh herbs, cloves of garlic, and delicious pasta sauces practically run through my veins.

Figuratively, of course!

I’m always down for delicious pesto pasta with plenty of veggies and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese (one of my favorite things!). 

But this roasted red pepper pasta is quickly becoming one of my go-to recipes on pasta night.

Mixing unsalted cashews, fragrant garlic cloves, and sweet red bell peppers, this vegan and dairy-free recipe will rival any cream-based sauce you’ve ever tried.

It’s soon going to become one of your go-to recipes for dinner!

Mark my words, this roasted red pepper sauce is about to become a serious staple in your recipe binder when you’re not feeling classic soups or risotto.

And not only will this dish be love at first bite, but it’s so easy to make and requires minimal clean-up!

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Pasta: Spaghetti or penne are always solid options, but virtually any pasta works well.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: We’ll use extra virgin olive oil to add a distinctive richness to the dish without overwhelming the rest of the recipe’s flavors. It also adds a serious boost of heart-healthy antioxidants and vitamins to your roasted red pepper pasta.
  • Garlic cloves: Minced garlic cloves add an aromatic oomph to the base ingredients.
roasted red pepper pasta ingredients pasta, onion, garlic, olive oil, unsalted cashew nuts, shallots, almond milk, fresh basil leaves,roasted red peppers, and salt
  • Shallots: Shallots are slightly sweeter than yellow or white onions, offering your pasta a delicate flavor that blends beautifully with the garlic and olive oil in this recipe.
  • Roasted red peppers: Packed with vitamin C, vitamin A, and a hefty dose of beta-carotene, this ingredient contributes to a truly delicious sauce. You can use peppers from a jar or roast them yourself if you have the time (and patience!).
  • Raw unsalted cashews: Used to create a rich, nutty, and creamy flavor without any dairy.
  • Almond milk: You can use any non-dairy alternative, but almond milk is subtly earthy and milder than alternatives like cashew or coconut milk.
  • Fresh basil leaves: For a touch of herby freshness and summery flavor.
  • Red pepper flakes: Adds a hint of spice that complements the creamy pasta sauce.
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Parmesan (optional): You can easily leave this out if you don’t enjoy its slightly sharp taste or don’t eat cheese. You can always substitute with nutritional yeast if you’re vegan.

How To Make Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

This great recipe is super easy to make and requires just a few pieces of equipment.

So, grab a trusty pot, a large skillet, and a high-powered blender (or food processor!), and let’s get to it!

  1. Heat the base ingredients: Start by turning on the cooker and heating the olive oil in a pan. Then, add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the mix. Leave the ingredients to roast for a few minutes until golden.
Top view of skillet with onions
  1. Prepare the pasta: Place the pasta of your choice into a large pot of water that’s come to a boil. Cook the pasta on medium heat until al dente before draining and setting aside. Just be careful not to overcook it and to reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.
Cooking pasta in a large pot
  1. Get blending: Transfer the roasted shallots and garlic to a high-powered blender or food processor and blitz. You can then add the drained roasted red peppers, red pepper flakes, cashews, and almond milk. Blend until smooth before seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to test the mixture with a spoon until you’re satisfied with the depth of flavor!
Blending roasted red pepper, shallot, cashew, garlic in the blender
  1. Combine the ingredients: Add the blended sauce to the same pan used to roast the onion and garlic. Heat the sauce before stirring in the cooked pasta and chopped basil until combined. Add a bit of pasta water, and keep stirring until the sauce becomes rich and silky. Serve with a few additional basil leaves, and enjoy the fruits of your labor!
Top view of the creamy roasted red pepper pasta in a pan

How To Store

This roasted red pepper pasta is incredibly easy to store, and you can reheat this delicious recipe throughout the week. Did somebody say stress-free work lunches?

Fridge: Let your pasta cool, and then portion the leftovers into airtight containers. The recipe should last for up to 4 days if stored correctly.

creamy roasted red Pepper Pasta in a container

Freezer: I don’t usually recommend freezing pasta as it doesn’t defrost or reheat overly well. But you can totally freeze the sauce. To do this, place the sauce in freezer-safe containers (or bags) once cooled and freeze immediately. You can then thaw each portion in the fridge the day before you’d like to eat it!

Reheating: Once you’ve defrosted the sauce, reheat it in the microwave in one-minute increments until it’s completely warmed through. This will usually take around 2 minutes. You can then pour it over your freshly cooked pasta of choice!

Tips To Make Bell Pepper Pasta

Salt the water: You can’t make excellent pasta without salting the water first. This allows the pasta to absorb the salt while it cooks and disperses the flavor evenly. I recommend adding the salt just as the water comes to a boil.

Drain the jar of roasted red peppers: You’ll want to drain your red peppers as they often come in jars filled with brine for preservation. You don’t need to rinse them, but you’ll want to remove as much liquid as possible before blending. Try to opt for jarred red peppers with minimal ingredients and with no chemical preservatives or no added sugar! Honestly, I can’t believe the stuff they put in our food. These are good.

Roast the peppers from scratch: It’s not necessary to make roasted peppers from scratch, but you can do it if you can’t find jarred peppers without any nasty ingredients. You can roast your peppers directly on the stove skin for a slightly smoky flavor. But I suggest putting them on a prepared baking sheet in the oven and roasting them at 475F (250C) until the skin of the peppers blisters (usually 40 minutes). Then remove the skin and seeds, and follow the recipe.

Three quarter view of plate filled with roasted red pepper pasta

Why I love this Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

  • Perfectly creamy but doesn’t require any dairy (ideal for lactose-free folks!).
  •  Full of antioxidants.
  • Quick, easy, and packs a flavorful punch.
  • You can easily customize it with various proteins for a hearty mid-week meal.
  • A great alternative to traditional marinara or heavy cream-based sauces.
Top view of roasted red pepper mixed ingredients

More healthy and delicious pasta recipes you’ll love

If you try this Roasted Red Pepper Pasta recipe, please leave a comment and a rating and let me know how much you liked it!

Close up of a fork digging into roasted red pepper pasta in a bowl
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Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

This roasted red pepper pasta is made using an incredible range of simple ingredients that are perfect for a weeknight bite. It’s packed with antioxidants, tastes ridiculously creamy, and makes a wonderful leftover lunch for the office. Basically, it’s a total winner for pasta lovers!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 463kcal
Author: Sara Trezzi

Ingredients

  • 12 oz pasta
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves - minced
  • 2 shallots - roughly chopped
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers - 15 oz, drained (note 1)
  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews - notes 2 and 3
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • Fresh basil leaves - roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes - adjust to taste
  • salt & black pepper - to taste
  • Parmesan - optional

Instructions

  • Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a skillet or pan, add the onion, garlic, a pinch of salt, and pepper, and let them roast for a few minutes until golden.
  • In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Drain, and set aside.
  • Transfer the roasted onions and garlic to a high-powered blender, then add the drained roasted red peppers, red pepper flakes, cashews (see note 2 and 3), and almond milk. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste the sauce, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the sauce to the same pan you used to roast the onion and garlic, warm up, add the cooked pasta, add the chopped basil and toss until combined. Serve hot with some extra basil leaves on top, and enjoy!

Notes

Note 1: Look for jarred red peppers with minimal ingredients and with no chemical preservatives or no added sugar! These are good. If you can’t find jarred peppers without any nasty ingredients, you can roast your own.
Roast them directly on the stove skin for a slightly smoky flavor. But I suggest putting them on a prepared baking sheet in the oven and roasting them at 475F (250C) until the skin of the peppers blisters (usually 40 minutes). Then remove the skin and seeds, and follow the recipe.
Note 2: If you don’t have a powerful high-speed blender, soak the cashews in hot boiling water for 5-10 minutes before blending. Drain them and add them to your blender.
Note 3: If you don’t have cashews handy, you can omit them and simply use milk and add a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to give your sauce a bit more body.
How to store: Let your pasta cool, and then portion the leftovers into airtight containers for up to 4 days.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate per serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 463kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 13g | Sugar: 7g

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