Roasted red pepper pasta is one of the creamiest, easiest, and tastiest pasta dishes, and you can make it with a few simple ingredients.

You can put this recipe together with minimal effort, in 15-20 minutes, for an everyday dinner. It’s a delicious and nourishing recipe for the whole family.

Roasted red pepper pasta with basil

You can make the creamy roasted red pepper pasta sauce while the pasta cooks, which is convenient because you can put this together as a last-minute dinner.

All you need to do is blend the ingredients until smooth, then cook them on a pan for 10 minutes and toss in the pasta.

You will love this dish because of its simplicity, creaminess, and luscious yet balanced flavor.

The smokey sweetness of roasted bell peppers blended with nutty almonds, sweet and tangy tomatoes, aromatic garlic, and fruity olive oil make the red pepper sauce irresistible.

I promise you’ll find yourself scooping out the sauce from the pan while no one’s looking. It’s that good!

Tip: to make this recipe even more delicious, add roasted or air-fried veggies like cauliflower, eggplant, or zucchini.

Red Pepper Pasta with roasted eggplant

Ingredients & Substitutions

Red pepper pasta ingredients

Roasted Red Peppers

You can use jarred roasted red peppers if you are short on time.

Alternatively, roast two red bell peppers in the oven (45 minutes) or the air-fryer (20 minutes). Instructions are in the tips chapter below.

Canned Tomatoes

You can use any canned tomatoes, such as whole peeled tomatoes, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes, San Marzano tomatoes, and pureed tomatoes.

Almonds

Almonds are a key ingredient to make the creamiest red pepper pasta sauce.

They add a nutty flavor and healthy fats. Most importantly, when blended, almonds provide a rich and creamy texture that helps the sauce perfectly coat the pasta.

If you are allergic to almonds, you can replace them with grated parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast.

Garlic

Fresh garlic is another essential ingredient in this roasted red pepper pasta recipe. You can substitute garlic powder for fresh garlic.

If you don’t like garlic, you can replace it with half an onion.

Red pepper flakes

We add a small amount of red pepper flakes to make the sauce a little spicy.

You can substitute cayenne, chili powder, dried chili, and even a bit of chipotle powder (that would also add some smokiness to the sauce) or smoked paprika for red pepper flakes.

Olive oil

Olive oil is optional. I like to add a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to the sauce to add a velvety mouthfeel, but this dish is also delicious without the oil.

You can substitute some unsweetened soy milk or vegetable broth for olive oil to make this oil-free.

Salt

We use sea salt or kosher salt for the sauce and the pasta water.

Pasta

Rigatoni is our pasta of choice for this recipe because it gets filled with red pepper sauce.

However, you can use any other short or long pasta shape, such as penne, fusilli, rotini, conchiglie, spaghetti, linguine, and more.

We recommend cooking the pasta per package directions, minus a couple of minutes, so you can finish cooking it in the pot with the sauce.

Fresh herbs

Use fresh flat-leaf parsley or fresh basil.

Add them at the end when you mix the pasta with the sauce.

The parsley should be finely chopped; the basil leaves can be torn apart with your hands.

Optional Add-Ins

Roasted cauliflower florets: roast them in the oven or the air fryer. They add a wonderful tender-crisp texture, flavor, and nutrition.

Roasted eggplant: cut into dice, then roasted in the oven or air-fryer.

roasted cauliflower florets in the red pepper pasta

How to make roasted red pepper pasta

To a blender or food processor, add roasted bell peppers (jarred or home-roasted), canned tomatoes, almonds, garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and salt.

Blend for a few minutes until you reach your desired consistency.

Note: a food processor produces a coarser sauce. If you prefer a smooth and velvety red pepper sauce, use a high-speed blender instead.

blended red pepper and almond sauce

Transfer the red pepper sauce to a large skillet and simmer on medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Add half a cup of water if the sauce gets too thick.

Red Pepper Pasta in a white skillet

While the sauce simmers, boil the pasta in a large pot of salted water.

Cook it very al dente, then reserve one cup of pasta water, drain the pasta, and add it to the pan with the sauce.

Toss the pasta with the sauce on medium heat until fully coated. Stir in some of the reserved pasta water if necessary.

red pepper sauce and rigatoni

Add your fresh herb of choice – fresh parsley or basil – then serve the pasta immediately while still hot.

Red Pepper Pasta is a bowl with basil

Variations

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower

red pepper pasta with roasted cauliflower

To make this, all you have to do is stir roasted cauliflower florets or air-fried cauliflower florets into the pasta.

Oven-roasted cauliflower

roasted cauliflower florets on a baking tray

Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C. Cut the cauliflower florets with a paring knife, transfer them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and toss them with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Bake for 20 minutes, turn them around with a spatula, and bake for another 10 until tender-crisp and slightly charred.

Air-fried cauliflower

air fried cauliflower florets

Cut off small florets with a paring knife and toss with extra virgin olive oil and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Transfer them into the air fryer basket (they can overlap) and air fry them for 15 minutes at 400°F or 200°C. Shake the basket every 4 minutes to ensure even cooking.

roasted red pepper pasta with roasted cauliflower

Red Pepper Pasta with Roasted Eggplant

Red Pepper Pasta pasta with roasted eggplant

Oven-roasted eggplant or air-fried eggplant is another veggie you can add to this delicious pasta recipe. Roasted and air-fried zucchini works too!

Oven-roasted eggplant

roasted eggplant cubes

Preheat the oven to 430°F or 220°C. Dice eggplant into ¾ inch (2cm) cubes.

Transfer onto a baking tray, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and arrange on a single layer without overlapping.

Roast for 20 minutes, flip with a spatula and roast for 5 to 10 more minutes.

Air-fried eggplant

air-fried eggplants in air fryer basket

Dice the eggplant into ¾-inch (2cm) dice.

Transfer the diced eggplant to a large mixing bowl, and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Transfer to air fryer basket (it can overlap) and air fry at 400°F or 200°C for 12 to 15 minutes, shaking the basket every 4 minutes to ensure even cooking.

Red pepper pasta with eggplant

Serving Suggestions

Serve this recipe as a main dish – you won’t need much else on the side – except maybe a simple side salad.

If you make the variation with added roasted vegetables, you have a complete lunch or dinner.

You can also serve a smaller portion of this roasted red pepper pasta and precede it with a small starter or salad.

Anything Mediterranean or Middle-Eastern-inspired will be a good match with this dish. For example, you can try our:

Tips

How to roast red peppers in the oven?

Preheat the oven to 480˚F (250˚C) or as hot as it gets. You can use the broiler function if you want a smoky flavor.

Then, put the whole red peppers on a baking tray and bake (or broil) for 30 to 40 minutes, turning them once halfway through, until soft and slightly charred outside.

Transfer roasted peppers into a glass bowl, cover with film, and let cool down for 30 minutes. The steam trapped in the bowl will make it easier to peel the peppers.

You can also roast bell peppers in the air fryer at 400°F or 200°C for 20 minutes, turning them around once halfway through cooking.

roasted bell peppers in a bowl

Now peel off the peppers and remove their stems and seeds. Try not to rinse them with water; they’ll lose some flavor if you do.

peeled roasted bell peppers

Questions

What does red pepper pasta taste like?

Red pepper pasta has a pleasant mild red pepper taste with slightly acidic notes from the jarred peppers. It is not too dissimilar from a rich tomato sauce.

It has a full and round flavor thanks to the combination of roasted peppers, tomatoes, and almonds.

The almonds also give it a mild nutty and cheesy taste, although there’s no dairy in it.

How to make roasted red pepper pasta sauce?

The easiest and quickest way to make roasted red pepper pasta sauce is to use jarred red peppers.

First, blend the jarred roasted bell peppers in a food processor or a blender with canned tomatoes, almonds, red pepper flakes, olive oil, salt, and garlic.

If you use a food processor, your red pepper pasta sauce will be coarser. If you use a high-speed blender, the sauce will turn out smoother.

Then cook the sauce on a skillet for 10 minutes before tossing in the pasta.

red pepper pasta sauce

Is this recipe vegan?

Yes, our roasted bell peppers sauce is vegan as we don’t use heavy cream, butter, chicken, sausage, or chicken broth as other recipes do.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

The sauce is gluten-free and dairy-free. You can substitute gluten-free pasta for regular wheat pasta.

More Pasta Sauces

  • Vegan basil pesto (pine nuts, basil, nutritional yeast, water, garlic, olive oil, etc.)
  • Marinara sauce (canned peeled tomatoes, onion, garlic, fresh basil, oregano, etc.)
  • Mushroom Bolognese (button mushrooms, onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste, etc.)
  • Lentil bolognese (dried lentils, white mushrooms, tomato passata, garlic, etc.)
  • Arrabbiata Sauce (canned tomatoes, red pepper flakes, garlic, parsley, etc.)
  • Zucchini pesto (zucchini, almonds, basil, nutritional yeast, olive oil, etc.)

More Veggie Pasta Ideas

If you liked this red pepper pasta, you might also like these veggie-packed pasta recipes:

For many more pasta ideas, check out our pasta category page.

Storage

Make ahead: you can make the red pepper sauce in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in a mason jar. You can also freeze the sauce for up to 3 months.

Refrigerator: keep red pepper pasta leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 48 hours.

Reheat: in the microwave for just a minute or on a pan with a splash of water.

creamy roasted red pepper pasta

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 20 votes
Roasted red pepper pasta is one of the creamiest, easiest, and tastiest pasta dishes, and you can make it with a few simple ingredients.
You can put this recipe together with minimal effort, in 15-20 minutes, for an everyday dinner. It's a delicious and nourishing recipe for the whole family.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Course: First Course
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean

Equipment

  • Blender or food processor

Ingredients

RED PEPPER SAUCE

  • 12 ounces roasted red bell peppers jarred or home-roasted
  • 1 small can (15 oz) tomatoes diced, crushed, whole, or puree
  • ¾ cup almonds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

FOR THE PASTA

  • 12 ounces rigatoni pasta or any other
  • ¾ gallon water to cook the pasta
  • tablespoons salt for the pasta water
  • 1 handful parsley or basil

OPTIONAL ADD-INS

Instructions 

  • To a blender or food processor, add 12 ounces roasted red bell peppers, 1 small can (15 oz) tomatoes, ¾ cup almonds, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 clove garlic, and ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes.
    Blend until you reach your desired consistency.
    blended red pepper and almond sauce
  • Transfer the red pepper sauce to a large skillet and simmer on medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Add half a cup of water if the sauce gets too thick.
    Red Pepper Pasta in a white skillet
  • While the sauce simmers, boil the pasta in a large pot of salted water.
    Cook it very al dente, then reserve one cup of pasta water, drain the pasta, and add it to the pan with the sauce.
    Toss the pasta with the sauce on medium heat until fully coated. Stir in some of the reserved pasta water if necessary.
    red pepper sauce and rigatoni
  • Add your fresh herb of choice – fresh parsley or basil – then serve the pasta immediately while still hot.
    Red Pepper Pasta with fresh basil leaves
  • Optionally, you can mix in some diced roasted eggplant or roasted cauliflower florets (see variations chapter).
    Red Pepper Pasta pasta with roasted eggplant

Video

Red pepper pasta | make it with simple pantry staples

Notes

Nutrition information is an estimate for 1 generous portion of roasted red pepper pasta out of 4 portions.
STORAGE
Make ahead: you can make the red pepper sauce in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in a mason jar. You can also freeze the sauce for up to 3 months.
Refrigerator: keep red pepper pasta leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 48 hours.
Reheat: in the microwave for just a minute or on a pan with a splash of water.
ALSO ON THIS PAGE
 

Nutrition

Calories: 515kcal, Carbohydrates: 75g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Potassium: 792mg, Dietary Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 3653IU, Vitamin B6: 0.5mg, Vitamin C: 124mg, Vitamin E: 9mg, Vitamin K: 31µg, Calcium: 127mg, Folate: 81µg, Iron: 3mg, Manganese: 2mg, Magnesium: 139mg, Zinc: 2mg
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If you liked this red pepper pasta, you might also enjoy:


Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is on repeat in our house on a bi-weekly basis and we love it! I swapped out the almonds for cashews for a creamier sauce and added some basil and an extra cloce of garlic. Such an amazing recipe that I can’t stop thinking about it! Definitely going to pack leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

    1. Hi Lisa, that’s fantastic. Great idea with cashew nuts, it sounds like a wonderful lunchbox meal!

      Thank you for your kind comment, and for taking the time to leave a rating.

      All the best, Louise

  2. 5 stars
    I added a can of canelli beans when I was blending it for a little more protein and fiber. It was so good!!!

    1. That sounds delicious, Jennifer. Great idea with white beans – we need to try that variation!

      Thank you for your comment, and have a wonderful day ahead.

      Kindest,

      Louise

  3. 5 stars
    This is now a staple for me! I make this sauce at least twice a month, it’s so delicious and easy to make. To me this is better than pesto! Thanks for posting this recipe, our family loves it.

    1. Hi Bea,

      It’s our pleasure, I’m delighted this was a succesful family meal!

      Thanks so much for leaving a comment here.

      Kindest, Louise

  4. 5 stars
    Delicious but not as quick if you roast the peppers yourself. I substituted organic cooked cannelli beans, approx 200g for the almonds. The sauce was at the thickness I wanted. Adding extra leftover vegetables makes it a delicious meal. Thank you.

    1. Hi Aliss,
      Thanks very much for your tips on cannellini beans and adding extra veggies. I’m happy you adjusted the pasta to your liking – roasting your own peppers make the flavor so rich and delightful.
      Thank you very much for your comment. All the best, Louise

        1. Hi Susan,

          That sounds like a creamy and delicious pasta topping! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

          Kindest,
          Louise