Made with simple and wholesome ingredients, this Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Pasta is comforting, delicious, and makes the perfect weeknight dinner. It’s dairy free, vegan and incredibly easy to make!
Pasta, I love you. Pesto pasta, mac and cheese, and this roasted red pepper pasta, you name it, I love it. It’s my go to comfort food and was always my favorite food to bring on long road trips as a kid.
This roasted red pepper pasta is one of my favorite pasta recipes. It’s rich and creamy without a touch of dairy and is perfect for an easy weeknight dinner. Sprinkle on top some cashew parmesan, fresh basil and red pepper flakes for some spice!
It takes around 30 minutes to make and is loved by kids, adults and people in all dietary camps.
The key to a creamy sauce
If you’ve recently cut dairy out of your diet, I understand the struggle of not knowing what to use in cooking to make things creamy. Fortunately, there lots of amazing replacements these days to satisfy your creamy pasta cravings. There are a few key ingredients we will be using that will yield a super creamy red pepper sauce.
Cashews: Raw and soaked cashews are my go to ingredient to make any pasta sauce cream. I do have a slight intolerance to cashews, but I deal with pain after eating this pasta because it’s just so good.
Olive oil: A good quality olive oil is going to give this sauce depth of flavor and will help round out the creamy texture. You can omit this if you are oil-free, but it won’t be quite the same.
Almond milk: You can use any non-dairy milk in place of almond milk if needed. Just make sure it is both unflavored and unsweetened, we don’t want any hits of vanilla in this pasta!
How to make this recipe
First, add the cashews to a bowl of boiling hot water and soak them while you prep everything else. Next, you’ll want to chop the onion, peppers and peel the garlic.
Add them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. While those are roasting, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. When it’s done, don’t rinse it, but drizzle with a bit if olive oil and toss around.
When the veggies are done, add them to a blender with the drained cashews and all remaining ingredients.
Process until smooth. Combine with the cooked pasta, top with fresh basil and enjoy!
Does it keep?
Yes! Once prepared, this vegan roasted red pepper pasta will store in the fridge for about 3-5 days. To reheat, add the pasta to a pan with a splash of almond milk, oil or water to bring out the creaminess and reheat over low heat until warm.
You can also just pop it into a microwave safe bowl, add a drizzle of oil, then microwave for about 1 minute or until nice and hot.
Tips & tricks
You don’t want to skimp on the onion or the garlic in this recipe. I recommend using 4 large, like really large, cloves of garlic or 6 smaller ones.
To keep this dish gluten free I used brown rice pasta, but any pasta will do! For extra protein you can use chickpea pasta or a legume based pasta.
I have not tried this recipe with something in place of the cashews. You can try using tahini in place of cashews (about ¼ cup tahini), but you will need to decrease the amount of milk to about ½ cup. I have not tried this myself, but I think it would work well! The flavor will be a bit different and more nutty, but still delicious!
Always salt your pasta water! Generously! It will infuse a ton of flavor into the pasta while it cooks AND it even helps the sauce “stick” to the pasta better. Especially important if you’re using gluten free pasta!
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Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
- 16 ounces pasta of choice
- 2 large red bell peppers
- 1 large red onion
- 4 large cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ¾-1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder (tapioca or cornstarch also work)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup fresh basil
- Black pepper to taste
- Add the cashews to a bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside while you prep the remaining ingredients. If you have had trouble with cashew based sauces in the past, you can boil them in a pot for about 20 minutes while you prep all other ingredients which helps to soften them further.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Peel the garlic, and chop the onion and bell peppers into large chunks.
- Place on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and roast for 30 minutes.
- While the veggies are roasting, cook your pasta of choice.
- When the veggies are done, add to a high speed blender with the drained cashews and all remaining ingredients and process until completely smooth. Start with ¾ cup of milk and add more as needed to thin it out.
- Stir the sauce into the cooked pasta, and top with fresh basil if desired!