Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

posted by Melissa Huggins August 25, 2017 18 Comments
A cast iron skillet filled with roasted red pepper pasta topped with fresh basil.

This Roasted Red Pepper Pasta is a total flavor-packed comfort meal. It’s super creamy, garlicky, spicy and smoky-sweet.

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta in a cast iron skillet
It’s bold! it’s rich! This Roasted Red Pepper Pasta is creamy carb heaven and it has that oomph that our taste buds crave!

I LOVE smoky roasted peppers and I’m a HUGE pasta lover. So, when my eyes came across this recipe by The Pioneer Woman, I just had to veganize it! It has quickly become a family favorite. I serve it with my Vegan Mozzarella Cheese or these Fried Olives Stuffed with Roasted Garlic.

Two roasted red peppers on a white dish

Roasted perfection

I really love the sweet & refreshing taste of raw bell peppers, but roasting them creates a bold, smoky-sweet flavor that is out-of-this-world delicious.

Roasting them softens the flesh and enhances the sweetness of the peppers, while the charring infuses them with a deep smoky flavor. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. They are far superior to jarred roasted peppers and well worth the extra effort.

It’s really simple to roast peppers. Just place them under the broiler because it’s quicker, and the peppers really get charred up. I prefer to roast them whole and deseed them after, to keep them from drying out.

Plus, I can fit more on the baking sheet this way. I always make extra to have on hand for my favorite recipes like this Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich and this Roasted Red Pepper Pasta.

You won’t need anything fancy to get roasting, just some kitchen basics such as aluminum foil, baking sheet, oven mitt, tongs, large bowl and of course, the yummy PEPPERS!

Close up photo of Roasted Red Pepper PastaSimple ingredients

The ingredient list is not a short one, but it sure is a simple one. You might even have most of the ingredients in your kitchen now. Each ingredient pulls this dish together for a cheesy, creamy, spicy, zesty, garlicky and fire-roasted flavor.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Red bell peppers
Penne rigate pasta
Olive oil
Vegan butter
Soy milk
Vegetable broth
Raw cashews
Salt & pepper
Nutritional yeast
Lemon juice
Dried oregano & parsley
Crushed red pepper
Tomato paste
Fresh basil

* I highly recommend using fresh roasted peppers, but if you’re in a pinch, you can definitely use the jarred variety too. It’s still perfectly delicious!


Vertical photo of roasted red pepper pasta in a cast iron skillet.
Easy to put together

Once you’ve roasted the peppers, the rest is a breeze and takes about 15 minutes to make. If you roast the peppers ahead of time it will be even easier, and you can enjoy a gourmet meal on busy weeknights. They store well in the fridge for about a week.

This is what you’ll need to do:

– Boil pasta until al dente.
– Sauté onions, garlic, and spices. Add tomato paste.
– Blend the sauteéd onions and garlic, broth, soy milk, roasted peppers, cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt.
– Pour blended cream sauce back into the pan and let it thicken up a bit.
– Add drained pasta to the pan. Gently toss to coat. Toss with fresh basil and top with fresh-cracked pepper, and vegan parmesan

 *Watch how easy it is* 

So, what do you think? Shall we get started? Let’s do this!


* Click photo to Pin *

A long pin of roasted red pepper pasta in a skillet and on a white plate.


I’d love to hear from you

If you make this Roasted Red Pepper Pasta, I’d love to hear what you think in the comment section below. It would really make my day. You can also follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me. Just tag me @veganhuggs and hashtag #veganhuggs so I don’t miss it.



5 from 5 votes
Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr

This Roasted Red Pepper Pasta is a total flavor-packed comfort meal. It's super creamy, garlicky, spicy and smoky-sweet.

Course: Entree
Recipe Type: Gluten-Free Option, Vegan
Servings: 6
Calories: 441 kcal
Author: Melissa Huggins
  • 3 large red bell peppers
  • 1 pound penne rigate pasta (gluten-free if preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 1 small onion , diced
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1/2 cup soy milk , unsweetened (or any plant-based milk)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth , low sodium
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews , soaked in water 2-4 hours (*see note)
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt , more to taste (I used 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice , fresh squeezed (I used 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper , optional (more if preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Fresh cracked pepper , to taste
  • 1 cup fresh basil , chopped
Roasted Peppers
  1. Place oven rack in the highest position and turn on the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place whole peppers on the sheet 2 inches apart. Broil until the skin starts to blister & blacken. Using tongs, rotate peppers a quarter turn until all sides are charred, about 5 minutes each side. The peppers should be slightly collapsed & soft. The whole process takes 15-20 minutes.

  2. Remove from oven and place peppers on a cutting board. Cover peppers with a large bowl or pot to steam them, about 10-15 minutes.

  3. When peppers are cool enough to handle, slice them vertically, and spread them open to make a long strip. Remove the stem and seeds. Flip the pepper over and remove charred skin. It should peel off easily. Set aside.

Pasta & Sauce
  1. Place pasta in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water. Cook until al dente (usually 10-12 minutes). Drain and set aside. 

  2. Heat up oil and butter in large pan over medium heat. Lightly sprinkle with a pinch of salt. When melted, add onion and sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, crushed red pepper, oregano, and parsley and sauté for 2- 3 minutes until lightly brown. Stir often to prevent burning. Now stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat. 

  3. Drain & rinse cashews and discard water. In a blender, place the sauteéd onions & garlic, broth, soy milk, roasted peppers, cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt. Blend until cashews & peppers have completely broken down & sauce is smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Set aside.

  4. Pour cream sauce back into the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes on medium heat, until sauce slightly thickens up. Stir often to prevent burning (turn heat lower if necessary). Taste for seasoning, and add more if needed.

  5. Now add cooked & drained pasta to the pan. Gently toss to coat. Warm pasta in sauce for a few minutes *only if needed. Otherwise, remove from heat, toss with fresh basil and serve immediately. Top with fresh-cracked pepper, and vegan parmesan. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

* To soften cashew faster: In a small pot, boil water and remove from heat. Add cashews and cover for 10-15 minutes, until softened. * You can do this while the peppers are roasting. 

* Timing: I like to start the sauce around the same time as the pasta. This way the pasta isn't sitting too long, and it will be hot & fresh when it goes into the sauce. * If pasta is taking longer than expected and your sauce is done, turn the heat on low or remove and cover for a few minutes. This will prevent the sauce from burning. 

* Vegetable Broth:
I like to use low sodium broth, so I can control the salt taste. Some broths are too salty and can ruin a good recipe. If you would like to use a regular broth, make sure to cut down the added salt in the recipe. Taste as you go along. Another option is to blend low sodium and regular broth together.

* Jarred Peppers: If you don't have time to roast the peppers, you can definitely use jarred roasted peppers. I highly recommend using fresh roasted peppers, but jarred is the next best thing and it will still be delicious! Replace the fresh with two 12 oz jars. Drain well.  

* Tip - I roast the peppers ahead of time and leave them in the fridge. I always make extra too. They will last for about a week. It makes life really easy and I use them for so many recipes like soups, sandwiches, sauces, dips appetizers and more. 

* Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 441 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Sodium 462mg 19%
Potassium 631mg 18%
Total Carbohydrates 65g 22%
Dietary Fiber 6g 24%
Sugars 7g
Protein 16g 32%
Vitamin A 59.7%
Vitamin C 131.3%
Calcium 7.3%
Iron 16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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Anna September 2, 2017 at 4:17 pm

This recipe looks wonderful! I’m going to try roasting my red peppers on parchment paper to avoid aluminum exposure. Your “print” button doesn’t seem to be working, btw.

Melissa Huggins September 2, 2017 at 6:27 pm

Hi Anna, thank you for stopping by. I’m glad you’ll give this recipe a try. Parchment paper will work, just keep an eye on it because sometimes it catches fire so close to the broiler. The flame goes out right away though so don’t worry too much (you may already know this).
Thanks for letting me know about the print button. I hope I can get it fixed soon. Have a great weekend! 🙂

Claude Lynn Leger September 3, 2017 at 3:17 pm

I made this tonight, and it was amazing! I didn’t add any parm because it was already dreamy without it. I added a tiny amount of roasted red pepper at the end of blending. That left us with little bits of red in there. I’ll make this again ans again.

Melissa Huggins September 3, 2017 at 4:08 pm

Hi Claude, Yay! This is so awesome to hear! I’m so happy you liked it. That’s such a great idea to leave some texture in the sauce. I’m going to try that next time I make it. Thank you for making it and sharing your feedback. Enjoy your Sunday 🙂

Michelle September 20, 2017 at 5:59 am

I’ve already made this three times! It’s now my favorite pasta recipe. I think it’s sauteeing the onions, spices, and tomato paste together that make it so good. My shortcut is using jarred red peppers but it’s still yummy.

Melissa Huggins September 20, 2017 at 10:18 am

Hi Michelle, thank you so much! This is so nice to hear. I’m glad the jarred peppers are working out for you. It really makes things easier. Have a great week! 🙂

Tamara October 23, 2017 at 2:12 pm

This looks wonderful and plan to make it tonight! If I don’t have raw cashews on hand, am I able to substitute with roasted cashews?

Melissa Huggins October 23, 2017 at 10:45 pm

Hi Tamara, I haven’t tried this recipe with roasted cashews. I think it could work but it might leave a stronger flavor. I’m not sure if the sauce will mask it. Sorry that I couldn’t be more help. I’d love to hear how it turns out for you. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Jenn January 28, 2018 at 5:21 pm

Hey, Melissa! I made this tonight and we all loved it! I’m not going to lie – I cheated and used jarred peppers. I always have them in the pantry, so it was super easy to just pop them open. I threw some frozen peas into the sauce during the last few minutes of cooking too. Everyone cleaned their bowls! So yummy!

Melissa Huggins January 28, 2018 at 6:18 pm

Thank you, Jenn!!! I’m so happy you made it! I love it with jarred peppers too. It’s just easier! So glad everyone loved it 🙂

Nicole February 12, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Made this tonight very surprised how it turned out! Delicious! Thank you so much for the recipe!!

Melissa Huggins February 13, 2018 at 10:03 am

Hi Nicole, You’re so welcome! Thank you for making it! So happy you liked it. 🙂

Melissa February 24, 2018 at 1:28 pm

Hi Melissa!
Can I make this without nutritional yeast? It gives me an instant migraine!

Melissa Huggins February 24, 2018 at 2:00 pm

Sure, you can omit it. It will be slightly less cheesy tasting, but you can try 1/2-1 teaspoon of light miso instead. The nutritional yeast help thicken slightly, so you might want to add 1/4 less broth too. Or you can add 2 tablespoons of all-purpose or tapioca flour. If you use the flour, the sauce needs to be heated for 2-3 minutes to thicken. I hope this helps. I’d love to hear how it turns out for you. 🙂

Sonya April 28, 2018 at 10:37 am

Is nutritional yeast , normal yeast or different

Melissa Huggins April 28, 2018 at 1:17 pm

Hi Sonya, they are different. The nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast and will give this recipe cheesy flavor. It helps thicken a bit too. Most grocery stores carry it now. Sometimes near the spices or in the health section. Are you in the US?

Stephanie Green May 23, 2018 at 7:11 pm

Hi Melissa!

Thank you so much for this recipe!

I’ve made it every couple of weeks for the last six months! My partner loves it!

I was just wondering if you can freeze a batch of sauce after it’s been blended? I find it is far too much sauce for just the two of us and would love to have some on hand for a quick meal through the week!

Thank you in anticipation!

Cheers … Stephanie

Melissa Huggins May 23, 2018 at 11:03 pm

Hi Stephanie, You’re so welcome! I’m so happy you both like it!

I haven’t frozen this particular sauce yet, but I have frozen similar ones and it worked fine. You may need to add a little vegetable broth on the reheat though.

Thank you for stopping by! Have a great week! ~ Melissa 🙂


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