Need an easy vegan pasta sauce recipe that's different - and dare I say - better than a traditional marinara?? Make this Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce! It's rich, creamy, flavorful, and requires only a few ingredients. And the best part - no need to stand over the stove watching the sauce cook because you simply blend together oven-roasted red peppers with a few ingredients and the sauce is ready to use!
This recipe is a great way to get some extra veggies into your day, since each serving contains a whole bell pepper... it's just blended up to a creamy delicious sauce so you would never know it!
This sauce is amazing with pasta, but is also really good on zucchini noodles and even a spread for sandwiches, or as a dip for crusty bread. Honestly, it's so good I can eat it as a soup, too. I like to make sure my pasta plate is extra saucy, so I can use it as an excuse to sop up the sauce with some bread.
Ready to make it??
Related recipe: Vegan Creamy Spinach Artichoke Pasta
- 4 red bell peppers, cleaned and seeds removed, sliced into 4-6 wedges
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
- 1 small yellow onion, cut into quarters or sliced, and separated
- Drizzle of olive oil
- 8 oz uncooked rotini (or similar pasta, use gluten-free pasta if needed)
- 1 cup coconut milk (canned, unsweetened, light or full fat - or see notes for a lower calorie pasta sauce)
- 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon no chicken base (Better than Bouillon - I LOVE this stuff) or 1 veggie bouillon cube
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano or dried basil
- Salt & pepper, to taste (optional - I find that I don't need to add more salt when using the no chicken base)
- Fresh basil leaves, for serving
Related recipe: Vegan Stroganoff
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the cleaned bell peppers, garlic cloves, and onion slices onto a large baking sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix the veggies on the roasting pan to get them slightly coated in olive oil.
You should actually add your veggies into a larger roasting dish than in the picture below, so that the veggies are not crowded:
Step 2: Roast at 350F for 40-45 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened and the peppers start to blister. Keep an eye on them during the last 5-10 minutes of roasting to make sure they don't burn. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
Step 3: Cook the pasta according to package directions while the vegetables are roasting. Drain (reserve ½ cup of pasta water), rinse with cold water, and drizzle with olive oil.
Step 4: Carefully transfer the roasted vegetables to a blender and add the coconut milk, nutritional yeast, bouillon paste or cube, and dried oregano or basil. Process until smooth. Adjust the flavor with salt and pepper, if needed. If the sauce is too thick for your liking, add a splash of pasta water or coconut milk and process again. Optional: stir in some basil leaves and pulse for a few seconds to infuse fresh basil flavor into your sauce.
Step 5: Combine the sauce with the pasta and serve warm, garnishing with fresh basil leaves.
Related recipe: Vegan Feta Pasta (Baked Feta Pasta)
Ingredient variations and recipe tips
→ Feel free to use any color bell pepper you like, but I think red peppers are the sweetest, tastiest, and make the most stunning pepper sauce color.
→ Substitute shallots for an onion, if you prefer.
→ Use any unsweetened and unflavored plant milk you like, but I prefer coconut milk (lite or full fat) for its richness and flavor.
→ For a low calorie pasta sauce, use a flavorful vegetable broth instead of coconut milk (use 1 teaspoon no-chicken base + about 1.5 cups water instead of the can of coconut milk. No need to make the broth in advance, it will all get blended together anyway).
→ I recommend NOT using jarred roasted red peppers because those usually have a vinegary flavor that doesn't quite work as a creamy pasta sauce.
→ Add some frozen peas to the pasta as it cooks for a pop of color and extra veggies. I think peas go so well with pasta. 🙂
→ Time saving tip: You can chop and/or roast the veggies in advance, or prepare the whole sauce (blending and all) in advance. It keeps well in the fridge for at least a couple of days. Heat the sauce up in the microwave or in a saucepan before serving, if you roast the veggies or prepare the sauce in advance.
Related recipe: Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce
How to serve this roasted red pepper sauce
If your sauce is hot because you just blended freshly roasted vegetables, then simply combine it with pasta and serve. Otherwise, transfer it to a pot (or a microwave) and heat it to your liking.
As I said above, this sauce is AMAZING with pasta - I love curly pasta or tube-shaped pasta with this sauce instead of spaghetti or linguine, simply because I love when I trap extra sauce in between all the pasta folds. It's so good!
If you're gluten-free, serve this gluten-free sauce over your favorite gluten-free pasta. We love Banza gluten-free pasta around here!
You can also toss this roasted red pepper sauce over spiralized zucchini, or combine some spiralized zucchini with pasta to get some extra nutrition in but still enjoy that pasta experience.
Just make sure to get a baguette or loaf of crust bread to sop up all the extra sauce from your plate!!
More vegan pasta recipes to try:
- Vegan pesto
- Vegan pasta salad
- Vegan stuffed shells
- Vegan manicotti
- Tuscan-style pasta with white beans
If you’ve tried this tasty pasta sauce recipe or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I LOVE hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food!!!
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Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce
- 4 red bell peppers, seeds removed and sliced into 4-6 wedges
- 4 cloves garlic, (whole cloves)
- 1 small yellow onion, cut into quarters and separated
- drizzle of olive oil
- Salt & pepper, to taste (optional)
Blend with roasted veggies:
- 8 oz uncooked rotini, or any pasta
- 1 handful Fresh basil leaves, for serving
- Blender or immersion blender
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the cleaned bell peppers, whole garlic cloves, and onion wedges or slices onto a large baking sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix the veggies on the roasting pan to get them slightly coated in olive oil.
- Roast at 350F for 40-45 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened and the peppers start to blister. Keep an eye on them during the last 5-10 minutes of roasting to make sure they don't burn. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions while the vegetables are roasting. Drain (reserve ½ cup of pasta water), rinse with cold water, and drizzle with olive oil.
- Carefully transfer the roasted vegetables to a blender and add the coconut milk, nutritional yeast, bouillon paste or cube, and dried oregano or basil. Process until smooth. Adjust the flavor with salt and pepper, if needed (I find the no chicken base to give the sauce enough salt and flavor without adding more!). If the sauce is too thick for your liking, add a splash of pasta water or coconut milk and process again. Optional: stir in some basil leaves and pulse for a few seconds to infuse fresh basil flavor into your sauce.Serve hot over cooked pasta, garnishing with fresh basil.
- You can also blend the sauce in a pot using an immersion blender.
- The nutrition facts are estimated for the sauce only, and do not include pasta.
- Try adding frozen peas to your pasta as it cooks, for a pop of color and a veggie boost.
- I do not recommend using roasted red peppers from a jar because those typically have a vinegary taste.
- Serve over pasta, gluten-free pasta, or spiralized veggies.