This creamy Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Pasta only takes 20 minutes to make! It’s creamy, silky smooth, and made with a handful of pantry-staple ingredients. Perfect for weeknight meatless meals!
My Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Pasta is a quick and easy meatless dinner that never lacks in flavor. Featuring a homemade blended red pepper sauce, you’ll have this one ready and on the table in just 20 minutes!
The silky smooth vegan red pepper pasta sauce is as easy as blending jarred roasted red peppers, cashews, oat milk, and herbs and spices together. Each spoonful has pops of smoky, roasted flavors and a subtle sweetness, making it perfect for pasta and endless other recipes. Use the sauce as a topping on a Mediterranean grain bowl, vegan pizza, scrambled eggs (if you aren’t vegan), and so much more.
- The sauce is easy to make in just 5 minutes thanks to the secret ingredient: jarred roasted red peppers!
- Super creamy and luscious - you would never guess that it’s vegan.
- Serve the sauce on more than just pasta. Drizzle it over grain bowls, roasted potatoes, veggie burgers, sandwiches, and so much more.
The full ingredient list is below in the recipe card. Here, I'm simply providing further clarification on a few of the ingredients, along with substitutions.
Roasted red peppers - Making roasted red pepper pasta sauce with jarred peppers is not only convenient but speeds up the process. If you’re up for the challenge of roasting the peppers yourself, head to the FAQs section to learn how.
Cashews - Raw cashews are soaked in water overnight before being blended with the rest of the sauce ingredients. Soaking the nuts makes them much softer, meaning they’re easier to liquify in the blender. If you’re running low on time, soak the cashews in boiling water for 10 to 20 minutes instead.
Milk - Oat milk or another dairy free milk works well. Make sure it’s unsweetened so your sauce doesn’t come out tasting unbalanced.
Pasta - Use any long or short pasta noodles you love. Gluten free pasta works well, too!
Red pepper flakes - Their heat brings a welcome pop of flavor to every bite of sauce. If you don’t like spicy food, you can leave these out.
Step 1: Cook the pasta. Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling water according to the package instructions. Once it’s al dente, drain the water and set the pasta aside.
Step 2: Make the red pepper sauce. Sauté the garlic and shallot in an oiled skillet until soft. Transfer them to a blender along with the remaining oil, roasted red peppers, cashews, milk, nutritional yeast, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.
Step 3: Toss and serve. Pour the blended sauce over the cooked pasta in the saucepan and toss to coat. Garnish with fresh basil and enjoy!
Tips and FAQs
- Add up to ¼ cup of full fat coconut milk to give the sauce an even richer texture. Or, if you’re not vegan, use heavy cream.
- Top each bowl of red pepper pasta with vegan parmesan, more red pepper flakes, fresh basil leaves, or fresh parsley.
- You can make this sauce with fire-roasted tomatoes or canned crushed tomatoes if you aren’t a fan of roasted red peppers.
- Bulk up the meal with more add-ins, like spinach, kale, parsley, mushrooms, zucchini, or grape tomatoes.
Can the sauce be made without cashews?
I haven’t tested the sauce without cashews, but blanched almonds should produce similar results. If you’re nut free, try using ⅓ cup of tahini or soft tofu as a replacement. Reduce the amount of oat milk to ensure the sauce isn’t too thin.
How do you roast red peppers?
You have two options: (1) roast the whole peppers or (2) slice them ahead of roasting. Here’s how both methods are done:
- To roast whole red peppers, wash them well and lay them on a lined baking sheet. Roast in a 475ºF oven for 40 minutes or until they’re soft, slightly puffy, and charred.
- To roast sliced red peppers, cut each one in half lengthwise and discard the stems and seeds. Lay them cut side down on a lined baking sheet and roast in a 475ºF oven for 40 minutes or until they’re soft and charred.
Once the red peppers are roasted, place them in a covered bowl or saucepan to steam for about 30 minutes. Afterward, the charred skin can be peeled off and discarded.
Either use them right away in the pasta sauce or store them in a sealed jar with a drizzle of oil. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
For more tips on roasting your own red peppers, use this guide from The Simple Veganista.
How else can you use roasted red pepper sauce?
Vegan roasted red pepper sauce can be used for so much more than pasta! Drizzle it over this Mediterranean hummus bowl or cauliflower steaks, use it as a dip for crusty bread or vegan grilled cheese sandwiches, layer it in a vegetable wrap, or serve it with roasted potatoes and brussels sprouts for dipping.
I recommend storing the sauce and pasta separately. The longer the sauce-covered pasta sits, the more liquid it will soak up and the soggier it will become.
Refrigerator: You can store the red pepper sauce in an airtight container or jar in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
Freezer: It also freezes well for about 2 to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge before reheating it in a saucepan on the stove with freshly cooked pasta.
More vegan pasta recipes
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Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
- 1 lb. pasta
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 1 small shallot
- ¼ cup olive oil divided
- 16 oz. roasted red peppers peppers only, 1 jar
- ⅓ cup raw cashews soaked
- ½ cup oat milk or milk of choice
- 1 ½ tablespoon nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoon fresh basil chopped
- ¼ cup heavy cream if not vegan
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions; drain and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce: heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, then add the garlic and shallot and sauté for 2-3 minutes; transfer to a blender.
- Add the remaining olive oil, along with the roasted red peppers, cashews, milk, nutritional yeast, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to the blender and blend for 1 minute or until the sauce is smooth.
- Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta, then garnish with fresh basil. Enjoy!
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in June 2019. It was updated with new text and photos in November 2022.