This vegan red pepper pasta is super simple to make yet so delicious! It makes the perfect comforting weeknight dinner: Rich, creamy and a great alternative to a traditional tomato-based pasta sauce.
You know those days when you’re running low on time and just need to get food on the table to feed a hungry crowd? Well, this pasta dish will undoubtedly hit the spot!
It’s become a staple in our household, and I hope it does in yours too.
Super easy weeknight pasta dish
I was on a mission with this recipe. Make a dish that takes only 20 minutes to put together, has lots of flavour, and is really easy to make. Tick, tick and tick!
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All you need to do is pan fry the onion and garlic in a bit of oil, adding it to your blender once it releases aromas and colours, and the rest of the sauce ingredients. Cook the pasta of choice, and cook the sauce for a couple of minutes for the flavours to deepen. Top the pasta with the sauce and it’s done! THAT easy!
For a quick meal that has comfort written all over it, this will make even the pickiest of eaters happy.
Adjust the seasoning and amount of nutritional yeast, pepper flakes and lemon to your taste, and you’ve got yourself a sauce that can do so much more than just coat pasta.
Other ways to use this sauce
Here are a few suggestions for using this red pepper pasta sauce.
- On pizza instead of a tomato base
- With veggie noodles like zoodles
- On the side of mash with vegan meatballs or meat-free Italian sausages
- Tossed through gnocchi
- Instead of tomato sauce in a lasagna
- Thinned out and made into a soup (I would use freshly roasted red peppers for this)
- Leave out the liquid and have it as a roast pepper dip
A few tips to make this no fuss roasted red pepper pasta dish
- Always salt your pasta water generously. It will help to season the pasta and give it an extra flavour kick when the sauce is added.
- You can add your favourite veggies to the sauce to bulk it up a little. Just saute them first to soften them and give them flavour before adding to the pasta. Alternatively bake them.
- For a nut-free sauce, use white beans instead of cashews to thicken it. Just reduce the amount of liquid added as beans create a thinner sauce.
- The sauce reheats well, just add a splash of water or stock to loosen it again before adding to pasta.
- The sauce will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- The sauce freezes well. Thaw out in the fridge overnight and then warm up. You may need to add a dash of water to loosen the sauce.
- If you have cashew butter on hand, you can use it in place of cashew pieces. Use around 3-4 tablespoons. This is also helpful if you’re struggling to blend them to a smooth consistency in your blender.
- If you don’t have a high powered blender, cook cashews for minimum 15 minutes first if you know your blender won’t handle blending the cashews smooth.
- To up the protein in this dish and make it gluten-free, serve it with a legume based pasta like lentil, black bean, chickpea, or edemame.
Jarred vs fresh peppers
I opted to use jarred fire-roasted red bell peppers for this recipe in place of roasting them myself.
Sometimes when you want a healthy yet easy meal, you want a shortcut to getting maximum flavour for as little effort as possible. This is why I chose this path.
You can, of course, roast your own if you happen to have some in the fridge and have the time to let them sit in the oven for 30 or so minutes.
Here’s the method.
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celcius (430 degrees Fahrenheit).
Add 3 washed and dried red peppers to a tray and bake for around 30-40 minutes or until they start to have dark charred patches.
Remove them from the oven and fold aluminium foil around the baking tray to trap the heat for 10-15 minutes.
Peel the skins off the peppers, also deseeding and removing the stems. Add the flesh of the peppers to your blender and follow the rest of the recipe as written below.
I hope you love this dish as much as we do and that it makes it to your weekly meal rotation.
It’s a versatile base for so many delicious things! I’d love to know how you make it your own.
Other delicious recipes you’ll love:
- Smokey Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese
- Creamy Vegan Leek and Mushroom Pasta
- Easy Vegan Baked Ziti
- Wholesome Vegan Lentil Lasagna
- Vegan Stuffed Peppers (Posne Punjene Paprike)
- Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Broad Bean Pasta (Pasta e Fave)