Roasted red pepper pasta is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner when you want a bowl of comfort food! The sauce is thick, creamy and smooth, yet entirely dairy-free and perfect for serving with any pasta of your choice. Easy to make from start to finish using simple, accessible ingredients!
There's boring, 'meh' dinners that don't leave much of an impression. Then there's dinners that involve pasta, a delicious sauce and an enormous amount of flavour. This roasted red pepper pasta definitely falls into the latter category. Seriously, I can't stop making and eating this multiple times a week!
Whether you're a pro at homemade pasta sauces or a complete beginner, you will love this one. Despite the incredible flavour profile and impressive appearance, this is a fuss-free meal that requires minimal time and effort spent in the kitchen. And I suggest making extra, because chances are you will be going back for seconds!
About roasted red pepper pasta
Roasted vegetables make an amazing addition to pasta sauces. A few weeks ago I shared butternut squash pasta which involved roasted butternut squash - another one of my all-time favourites. Roasting vegetables adds a lot of complexity and depth to the flavour profile of a pasta sauce, which you can switch up according to your preference.
Here, red bell pepper is roasted with olive oil, dried oregano and dried thyme. The roasted bell pepper adds a great subtle sweetness to the sauce, while the herbs will make your kitchen smell amazing, bringing in a hint of earthiness. And of course, olive oil is an amazing ingredient that takes roasted vegetables to the next level!
After that, all you have to do is blend the roasted pepper with the other sauce ingredients, before adding to pasta of your choice. As you can see, I also added green peas for a little bit of extra texture. Leafy greens, such as spinach or kale, also make an amazing last-minute addition if you feel like switching it up! Overall, I can guarantee that you won't be disappointed.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Olive oil. This will be used for roasting the bell pepper, and for cooking the onion and garlic at the end.
- Red bell pepper. I would not recommend using any other bell pepper variety, because the red one will ensure the most flavour.
- Dried oregano and dried thyme. These herbs work very well in this recipe
- Pasta of your choice. Use gluten-free pasta if you are avoiding gluten, or spaghetti squash/spiralized zucchini.
- Plant based milk. Use any non-dairy milk of your choice for this recipe.
- Tamari. You can also use soy sauce, or coconut aminos.
- Apple cider vinegar. This is great for adding a hint of tanginess. You can also use lemon juice.
- Turmeric and cumin. This are great for adding flavour and colour to the sauce.
- Nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is an amazing ingredient for adding a hint of cheesiness to vegan recipes.
- Soaked cashews. Soaking and blending cashews is an essential cooking trick for vegans, because it's one of the best ways to make a creamy, smooth sauce. Soaking them sufficiently really makes a huge difference to the texture!
- Garlic and onion. These will be sautéd and added to the sauce.
- Tomato paste.
- Green peas. I love adding these right at the end. You can use either tinned green peas, or frozen.
How to make a red pepper pasta sauce
Firstly, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 F). Add the red bell pepper to a rectangular baking dish, drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle dried oregano and thyme on top. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, until the bell pepper is fully softened.
When the bell pepper is almost done roasting, start cooking the pasta you're using according to packaging instructions. This usually takes around 10-12 minutes.
Transfer the roasted bell pepper to a blender or food processor together with plant based milk, tamari, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, cumin, nutritional yeast, and soaked cashews. Blend on a high speed until a very smooth texture is achieved.
Next, heat olive oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and tomato paste, cooking for 5 minutes until the onion softens. Add the sauce, cooked pasta, and green peas. Stir together for around 3 minutes, seasoning to taste with extra salt and pepper if necessary before serving.
Tips for success
- Make sure to season the pepper with fresh herbs generously in order to ensure the best flavour.
- Soak the cashews for enough time. I would recommend either soaking them in a bowl for 4-8 hours, or simmering in a saucepan for 15 minutes before using them in this recipe.
- If you want to, you can sauté other vegetables of your choice together with the onion if you want. This type of meal is great for cleaning out the fridge and using up any leftover veggies!
- If you have any leftover sauce, you can use it for other recipes, or even as a dip for foods like crispy potatoes or zucchini fritters!
What pasta should I serve this sauce with?
The great thing about a red pepper pasta sauce is that it's super versatile - you can serve it with any pasta shape of your choice. Opt for gluten-free pasta if you want to easily make this recipe gluten-free. You can also use spiralized vegetables (such as zucchini or sweet potato), or spaghetti squash. Try out lots of different options and see which one is your personal preference!
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
This pasta sauce is best when eaten straight away. However, you can keep it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, simply cook some pasta, mix together and enjoy! It's delicious whether eaten hot or cold.
Other pasta sauce recipes you'll love
- My vegan cauliflower Alfredo sauce is easy to make and packed full of flavour.
- Try out tahini garlic pasta for an easy, comforting dinner or lunch.
- My vegan Carbonara with mushroom 'bacon' is ready in just 15 minutes!
- Avocado pasta is great for a fuss-free weeknight meal!
Let me know in the comments: have you tried roasted veggies in a pasta sauce yet? If you give this roasted bell pepper pasta a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@ohmyveggies) so I can see your creations, and leave your feedback in the comments below together with a star rating!
- Conventional oven
- Rectangular baking dish
- Blender or food processor
- Frying pan
- 2 large red bell peppers de-seeded and chopped
- 2 ½ tbsp olive oil
- ½ tbsp dried oregano
- ½ tbsp dried thyme
- 10 oz pasta
- 1 cup plant based milk
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp cumin
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 ½ cups cashews soaked
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup green peas
- Firstly, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 F).
- Add the red bell pepper to a rectangular baking dish, drizzle it with 1 ½ tbsp olive oil and sprinkle dried oregano and thyme on top. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, until the bell pepper is fully softened.
- When the bell pepper is almost done roasting, start cooking the pasta you're using according to packaging instructions. This usually takes around 10-12 minutes.
- Transfer the roasted bell pepper to a blender or food processor together with plant based milk, tamari, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, cumin, nutritional yeast, and soaked cashews. Blend on a high speed until a very smooth texture is achieved.
- Heat the rest of the olive oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and tomato paste, cooking for 5 minutes until the onion softens.
- Add the sauce, cooked pasta, and green peas. Stir together for around 3 minutes, seasoning to taste with extra salt and pepper if necessary before serving.
- To soak the cashews, either leave them in water for 4-8 hours, or simmer them for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse well when done.
- This sauce is best served straight away, but you can leave it in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days.