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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
- 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion , diced
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- ½ cup soy milk , unsweetened (or any plant-based milk)
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth , reduced-sodium
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt , more to taste
- 2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2-4 teaspoons lemon juice , fresh squeezed
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 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 3-5 minutes each side. The peppers should be slightly collapsed and soft.
- Remove from oven and place peppers on a cutting board. Cover peppers with a large bowl or pot to steam them, about 5-10 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 and Sauce
- If you don't have a high-powered blender (like a Vitamix), you will need to soften the cashews first. To soften, boil water in a small pot and remove from heat. Add cashews and cover for 20 minutes. Now drain, rinse and discard soaking water. Set aside for later.
- Place pasta in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water. Cook until al dente (usually 8-10 minutes). Drain, drizzle with oil and set aside.
- Heat up oil in large pan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, crushed red pepper, oregano, and parsley and sauté for 30-60 seconds until fragrant. Now stir in the tomato paste and cook for 30-60 seconds. Remove from heat.
- Drain and rinse cashews (discard soaking water). In a blender, add the cooked onions and garlic, then add the broth, soy milk, roasted peppers, cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt. Blend until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
- Pour 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 the pasta into the pan and gently toss to coat. Warm pasta in sauce for a few 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat, toss with fresh basil and serve. Top with fresh-cracked pepper, and vegan parmesan. Enjoy!
I made this last week and WOW it is so easy and sooooo delicious. It is also amazing on veggies.. I thickened a batch and had it as a dip and my non vegan friends loved it. Definitely be cooking this again and again and again. Yummy x
Support @ Vegan Huggs
Hi Ruth! We are so happy to hear that you loved the pasta! Thank you so much for giving it a try 🙂
This looks delicious. I was wondering how many degrees fahrenheit do you set your oven to when you broil the peppers?
Made for my family today. Everyone loved it - even my pickiest kiddo!
Thank you for giving it a try! I'm so glad everyone loved it! 🙂
What are the measurements for the ingredients? I'm not that good at spotting or improvising and tend to put too much of things in unless I have a recipe
Hi Wendy, The recipe card is at the bottom of the blog post. Sorry for the confusion. Let me know if you still have trouble. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
I made this last night & my boyfriend loved it! We have plenty of leftovers. If I cut the ingredients in half will that work for less sauce?
Hi Diana, I'm sorry for the late reply 🙁 Yes, you can cut everything in half for less sauce. Thank you for making it 🙂
What tomato paste did you use?
I use an organic one by Bionature. It's in a glass jar. I love it! 🙂
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
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 🙂
Is nutritional yeast , normal yeast or different
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?
Can I make this without nutritional yeast? It gives me an instant migraine!
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. 🙂
Made this tonight very surprised how it turned out! Delicious! Thank you so much for the recipe!!
Hi Nicole, You're so welcome! Thank you for making it! So happy you liked it. 🙂
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!
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 🙂
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?
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 🙂
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.
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! 🙂
Claude Lynn Leger
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.
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 🙂
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.
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! 🙂