This creamy vegan roasted red pepper pasta is rich, filling, flavorful and so delicious! It's made with an easy cashew cream sauce and roasted red pepper and carrots. You can even make the sauce ahead of time for a super quick weeknight dinner!
- 12 oz rotini pasta, reserve 1 cup of pasta water
- 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews, soaked in water for 1 hour
- 2 red bell peppers, quartered*
- 3/4 cup diced carrots
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 shallot, quartered (or 1/2 of a yellow onion, quartered)
- 2 whole cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup reserved pasta water (or warm water from tap)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- For topping: toasted pine nuts, parsley, vegan parmesan, red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 400˚F.
- Soak cashews in room temperature water for 1 hour, then drain and rinse.
- Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Reserve one cup of the pasta water – you'll need it to make the sauce. (If you forget and drain all of the pasta water, you can always sub with tap water.)
- Slice and de-seed the peppers and quarter. Slice the carrots. Toss the carrots and pepper in about 1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and transfer to sheet pan.
- Quarter the shallot and toss in another tsp or so of olive oil and transfer to sheet pan. Drizzle some olive oil and salt over the garlic cloves and wrap in a small square of aluminum foil (this prevents burning) and place on sheet pan.
- Roast the vegetables for about 20 minutes, until peppers are tender. Remove from oven and immediately transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover with aluminum foil (or reusable wrap). This will steam the peppers. After 10 minutes, remove the foil and use your hands to peel the skin off of the pepper. (If you have a super high power blender, you can skip this step.)
- Add roasted peppers, carrots, shallot, garlic, cashews, salt, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, pasta water, turmeric, paprika and pepper to a high speed blender and blend until the cashews break down into a smooth paste. Slowly stream in the olive oil and continue blending until smooth and creamy.
- Pour over cooked pasta and toss well to coat. Add more reserved pasta water if needed to thin out.
- Top with toasted pine nuts, fresh parsley and vegan parmesan. Enjoy!
*Red pepper: If you want to save prep time, you can use store-bought, jarred roasted red peppers instead.
If you forget to soak the cashews for the roasted red pepper sauce, or don't have time, you can soak them in hot water for 15-20 minutes. The sauce may not be quite as creamy, though, and you may have to blend for a bit longer. Taste-wise, it will be the same.
Turmeric is mostly used for color in this recipe. Feel free to omit.
Smoked paprika: the smokiness adds SO much flavor to this sauce! However, if you don't like smoked paprika, you can sub with regular sweet paprika instead.
Pasta: we used gluten free rotini, but really just about any pasta shape works well here!
Make ahead: Follow the instructions to make the roasted red pepper cashew cream sauce, then store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week. When ready to eat, heat in a saucepan and toss with cooked pasta. You may need to add extra water to thin out the sauce after it's been refrigerated for a few days. If you end up adding more than a few tbsp, taste and increase the seasoning as needed.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: vegan roasted red pepper pasta