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This Roasted Red Pepper Pasta is a total flavor-packed comfort meal. It's super creamy, garlicky, spicy, and smoky-sweet.
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.
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
- Onion & garlic
- 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!
How to roast peppers
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!
How to make Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
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 the 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.
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.
Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
- 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
- ½ cup soy milk , unsweetened (or any plant-based milk)
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth , low sodium
- ½ cup raw cashews , soaked in water 2-4 hours (*see note)
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt , more to taste (I used 1 ½ teaspoons)
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice , fresh squeezed (I used 2 tablespoons)
- 1 ½ teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper , optional (more if preferred)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Fresh cracked pepper , to taste
- 1 cup fresh basil , chopped
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Place pasta in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water. Cook until al dente (usually 10-12 minutes). Drain and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
* 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.