20-Minute Pasta With Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

By Alexandra Caspero on June 13, 2022
Need a quick, vegan pantry meal? Try this simple pasta with penne and a creamy, cheesy roasted red pepper sauce.
Makes 4 Servings

This hearty dish with roasted red pepper pasta sauce is the perfect vegan comfort food! Not only do you get to enjoy a big bowl of pasta, but it is covered in an amazing, flavorful sauce. Dinner in 20 minutes? YES, please! 

Coming in with something super easy for you today: a 20-minute pasta recipe with a homemade roasted red pepper sauce.

This is the recipe you’ll want to save for nights when you are craving pasta, but don’t want to put in much effort.This roasted red pepper sauce is rich and savory and the perfect alternative to tomato-based pasta. It is so good that no one would ever suspect that it was vegan-friendly!

The sauce comes together with a few pantry ingredients, then tossed with whole-wheat penne. When I said this was easy, I meant it. You can throw this pasta sauce together while the noodles themselves are cooking, which makes for a fast and delicious homemade meal.Not only does it make for a delicious and quick dinner, but this pasta also makes great leftovers! In fact, it might be even more flavorful the next day.

vegan red pepper sauce

Ingredients for Red Pepper Pasta Sauce

Here’s what you’ll need to make this creamy red pepper pasta sauce:

  • 1 (12 ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast 
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
  • 12 ounces penne, regular or whole-wheat 

Instructions for how to make this vegan red pepper pasta recipe

This sauce is ready in just minutes, all you need is a blender or food processor.

  1. Blend the sauce.

    Place the drained roasted red bell peppers, soy milk, olive oil, salt, garlic, tahini, red pepper flakes and nutritional yeast in a blender and puree until creamy. Season to taste as needed with salt/pepper and add to a large skillet.

  2. Simmer the sauce.

    Simmer the sauce over medium low heat while you make the pasta.

  3. Cook the pasta.

    Place the pasta in boiling, salted water and cook until under al-dente, about 1-2 minutes before the recommended time on the package. The pasta should be still pretty toothy, but not hard. 

  4. Toss the pasta with the sauce.

    Drain the pasta and reserve 1 cup pasta water. Add the pasta to the sauce on the stove and cook, adding a splash of pasta water at a time to loosen the sauce as needed as you toss the sauce with the pasta to finish cooking.

  5. Time to eat!

    Divide into bowls and eat.

Variations and Substitutions

  • For a splash of green, like seen here in these photos. Add in either fresh basil leaves (or other fresh herbs, like parsley) or torn spinach as you toss the pasta with the sauce. The heat from the pasta water will wilt the greens.
  • For extra texture, sauté 1/2 cup finely diced onion with olive oil until very tender, then add the sauce.
  • Red pepper flakes add great heat, I usually add a pinch when I’m pureeing the sauce, then 1/4 teaspoon after serving.
  • Parmesan cheese, either regular or dairy-free, is great on this red pepper pasta sauce as well.
  • Any pasta will work, though I prefer a shorter tube pasta like elbows, shells or penne to soak up all the yummy sauce. A gluten-free pasta can also work.
  • For a heartier meal, add in some cooked vegan Italian sausage to the pan. I prefer Field Roast or Beyond brands, but any will work.
roasted red pepper pasta sauce

What To Serve With Pasta In Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

I LOVE me a big bowl of pasta, especially as a dinner after a long day of work. This roasted red pepper sauce pasta is full of flavor and goes great on its own, but why not step it up a little?You could take this saucy pasta dish to the next level by serving it alongside a side of crusty rosemary bread. For extra veggies, you could also serve it with a nice Italian chopped salad for freshness. Don’t forget the tangy Italian dressing

overhead bowl of pasta with pepper sauce

Storage and Reheating Tips


Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat, warm the pasta in the microwave or a saucepan. This sauce will thicken considerably as it cools. To thin the red pepper sauce, add in a splash of water or non-dairy milk as you heat the pasta.

More Vegan Pasta Recipes:

I hope you enjoy this roasted red pepper sauce as much as we do. If you try it, make sure to come back, leave a comment and rate it. Your feedback helps others and seeing you make my recipes makes my day! 

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Vegan Red Pepper Pasta Sauce in a Bowl

Vegan 20-Minute Pasta With Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

  • Author: Alexandra Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: dinner, pasta, healthy, Italian
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Italian, American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Need a quick, vegan pantry meal? Try this simple pasta with penne and a creamy, cheesy roasted red pepper sauce. Must try! Ready in just 20 minutes from start to finish.


  • Author: Alexandra Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: dinner, pasta, healthy, Italian
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Italian, American
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alexandra Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: dinner, pasta, healthy, Italian
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Italian, American
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 (12 ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 12 ounces penne, regular or whole-wheat

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium heat. 
  2. Place the drained roasted red peppers, soy milk, olive oil, salt, garlic, tahini, red pepper flakes and nutritional yeast in a blender and puree until creamy. Season to taste as needed with salt/pepper and add to a large skillet. Simmer over medium heat while you make the pasta. 
  3. Place the pasta in the water and cook until under al-dente, about 1-2 minutes before the recommended time on the package. The pasta should be still pretty toothy, but not hard. 
  4. Drain the pasta and reserve 1 cup pasta water. Add the pasta to the sauce on the stove and cook, adding a splash of pasta water at a time to loosen the sauce as needed as you toss the sauce with the pasta to finish cooking.
  5. Divide into 4 bowls and eat. 
  6.  

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4th recipe
  • Calories: 410
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Sodium: 475mg
  • Fat: 10g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 10g
  • Carbohydrates: 72g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Protein: 8g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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    1. Ashley
      August 22, 2022 AT 6:32 pm

      Easy and delicious!

    2. Vanessa
      April 30, 2022 AT 5:51 pm

      I saw this recipe on Instagram, and I decided to make it as I had everything on hand. It turned out great! I cut back on the red pepper flakes and it was still spicy! I also threw in some baby spinach. It’s nice to have a quick, pantry meal recipe at the ready! Thank you!

    3. Missy
      December 6, 2021 AT 3:01 pm

      Yum! This came together in a flash. I made it on a whim because my other dinner plans had fallen through and I’m glad they did!

      This literally took 20 minutes and was super easy to make. I found it surprisingly spicy by the end of my serving which may have been the particular peppers I got or perhaps the red pepper flakes, though mine are pretty old. It was delicious all the same.

      I will be making it again!

    4. barbara
      August 23, 2021 AT 12:51 pm

      can you freeze the sauce and use it in future?

      1. Alex
        August 27, 2021 AT 11:27 am

        Hi Barbara, I’m not sure– I’ve done this with other sauces and it works well but not sure with the red pepper sauce.

    5. Paula Thomas
      July 27, 2021 AT 4:08 am

      This recipe was, as are all f your recipes, incredible. My husband and I have been exploring plant based diet and recipes. Your recipes have all been fabulous, including this. My husband was skeptical about our meatless Mondays but has found himself enjoying these vegan meals and not missing the meat at all!

      1. Alex
        July 27, 2021 AT 4:22 am

        So glad you liked it! Thanks, Paula!

    6. Lori Neptune
      November 14, 2019 AT 1:19 pm

      Going to try this so excited! Do you think cashew or almond milk would work the same as soy milk?

      1. Alex
        November 14, 2019 AT 2:31 pm

        Yes, I think that cashew would be best followed by almond. As long as it’s unsweetened, it should work! I like the soy because it gives more body than almond but all should work OK!

    7. Dominique
      November 4, 2019 AT 12:41 pm

      Easy and delicious! Will make again!

      1. Alex
        November 4, 2019 AT 1:33 pm

        So glad you liked it! Thanks!

    8. Jessie
      May 22, 2019 AT 7:21 pm

      Sorry to be a negative comment, but I didn’t at all enjoy this recipe! I’m not sure why, everything sounded so good together. Maybe the tahini with the nutritional yeast is too funky? Maybe the garlic should be roasted before it’s blended in the sauce? It had this kind of metallic weird after-bite that was not at all pleasant. My 1 year old loved it haha so points for that! But my husband and I couldn’t eat it. Any ideas what I did wrong?

      1. Alex
        July 27, 2021 AT 4:22 am

        Hi Jessie– with the metallic after taste I wonder if it’s the tahini? I find that when I use different tahinis it makes a big difference in overall taste. My favorites are Soom and Krinos. Do you notice a metallic after taste when you try the tahini on it’s own?

    9. Hayley
      February 13, 2019 AT 11:36 am

      What does the tahini do? What would you think of almond butter instead of tahini?

      1. Alex
        February 14, 2019 AT 6:10 am

        It makes the sauce a little more creamy. I think you could use almond butter in it, but not sure as I haven’t tried it!

    10. Stacey
      January 20, 2019 AT 11:37 pm

      just made this and it is DEEEElicious! I’m always surprised by the variety of recipes that Tahini jumps into, and the ways it compliments a dish.

      Unfortunately I had to whittle down the garlic quantity for my fussy under 5s. But I’m sure they’re gonna love it..
      Or I’ll just enjoy eating theirs ;P