This creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta recipe is perfect for a quick lunch or dinner. It’s easy to make but feels a little luxurious, thanks to the natural sweetness and punch of roasted red peppers, and is easy to customize with additional proteins as you like.

Love these flavors? Try this roasted red pepper chicken skillet next!

Small bowl of creamy roasted red pepper pasta with Parmesan and red pepper flakes.

Pasta is one of the most versatile food ingredients on the planet — and one of the most universally adored! It comes in all shapes and forms and can be used in a variety of recipes; from salads to bakes to having it on its own with a delicious pasta sauce.

This simple pasta coated with a silky blend of creamy roasted red peppers is terrific whenever you need a quick pasta fix, but aren’t satisfied with just an everyday tomato sauce. It’s super easy to put together and uses very common ingredients. While this recipe has no meat, you can easily add shredded chicken, sautéed shrimp, ground beef, or crumbled sausage for an extra protein fix.

Ingredients & Common Substitutions

Prep bowls containing pasta, shallots, cream, jarred roasted red peppers, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, oregano, garlic, butter, salt, pepper, basil, and Parmesan.

Here are a few notes and shopping tips about the ingredients you’ll need to make this roasted red pepper pasta, as well as possible substitutions:

  • Roasted red peppers: Jarred roasted red peppers are typically located near canned tomatoes or condiments in the grocery store, and are a terrific pantry staple for adding major flavor to your food with minimal effort. If you can’t find the jars, however, you can substitute with a homemade version of roasted peppers.
  • Dried pasta: Any shape of pasta will work fine for this recipe. The long, fat ribbons shown here are pappardelle; other good shapes for this recipe include penne, fusilli, farfalle, and linguine.
  • Shallots: Shallots have a subtly sweet, mild flavor; substitute with regular onions if you have no shallots on hand.
  • Garlic: Fresh adds nice flavor but you can easily substitute with pre-minced, store-bought garlic, or a smidge of garlic powder in a pinch. If using powder, add it at the end along with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cream: This thickens the pasta sauce to a light yet creamy consistency. You can substitute half and half; the sauce will just have a slightly thinner consistency.
  • Broth: Vegetable or chicken is fine, as is homemade or store-bought. Obviously, use a broth that is certified to be free of animal products if it’s important to keep this dish vegetarian.
  • Basics: butter (I usually use unsalted; if you use salted butter, you may want to reduce the added salt in the recipe), tomato paste, red pepper flakes, dried oregano, kosher salt, and black pepper.
  • Optional garnish: fresh basil and grated or shaved Parmesan.

How To Make Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

In a large pot, bring well-salted water to boil and cook the pasta just to al dente according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

While the pasta cooks, grab a large skillet, set it over medium heat, and melt the butter. Add the shallots and cook for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for one minute more. Adding the garlic at the end brings out and mellows its flavor while preventing it from burning! You’ll then scrape the onions and garlic out of the pan into a blender, add the roasted peppers, and blend until smooth. You can use a food processor for this step, as well.

After blending the sauce, put the empty skillet back on low heat. Add the tomato paste, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the broth and cook for one minute more. Ensure you scrape the bottom of the pan at this point to release any browned bits. This makes your clean up easier and gets every iota of flavor into your sauce, where it belongs!

Stir in the blended pepper and cream. Bring to a low simmer, taste, and add pepper and salt if needed. You can also add more pepper flakes at this point if you’d like more heat.

Add the pasta to the sauce, stir, and leave to rest in the heat for 1-2 minutes. 

Serve in a pretty pasta bowl with sprinkled basil and Parmesan cheese, and start twirling forks!

Close-up of wide ribbons of pappardelle coated with a creamy roasted red pepper pasta sauce.

Variations

  1. Make it Vegan and/or Dairy-Free: If you would like to make this recipe vegan friendly, you can swap the butter for olive oil (or another neutral oil you like) and the cream for soy milk. Garnish with dairy free cheese or leave out if you’d prefer.
  2. Add More Veggies: Toss in some roasted, steamed, or sautéed zucchini, squash, or peas.
  3. Add Meat: If you are using uncooked chicken, ground beef, or sausage, add it at the same time as the shallots and cook together with those and the garlic. Remove the meat before blending the sauce, then return to the pan along with the pasta in the final step.
  4. With Meat, Faster: Have a rotisserie chicken or some leftovers to use in your fridge? Add 1-2 cups of pre-cooked shredded chicken, turkey, or sautéed shrimp to the pan after finishing the sauce, but before adding the pasta. Let it cook an extra 2-3 minutes at this step to warm the added protein through.

Are roasted red peppers good for you?

Yes! According to WebMD, red bell peppers are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, and beta-carotene, the latter two of which are particularly excellent for vision and eye health. The process of roasting the peppers is said to reduce the vitamin C content by up to 25%, but they are still good a source of nutrients.

Another fun fact: although I nearly always think of bell peppers as a vegetable, they are technically a fruit!

Are roasted red peppers the same as roasted bell peppers?

Yes! You can make your own roasted red peppers simply by taking standard bell peppers from the produce aisle and roasting them either in the oven or over an open flame. The process simply intensifies the peppers’ natural sweetness and softens the texture, which is what makes them ideal for blending into creamy, rich sauces.

Can you eat roasted red peppers straight from the jar?

Absolutely! Roasted red peppers do not need to be further cooked, and are delicious straight from the jar. You can add them to salads, sandwiches, pasta salad, and frittatas for an instant and very simple added dimension of flavor.

How long do roasted red peppers last after opening?

Roasted red peppers that come in cans or jars can last a long time in the fridge after being opened – as long as 1 or 2 months! The secret to ensuring they last that long in the fridge is to seal them very tightly in either a glass or sturdy plastic container, and ensure they are continuously refrigerated, not allowed to come to room temperature and be cooled down again repeatedly.

Can you freeze roasted red peppers?

Yes! Place extra roasted red peppers in sturdy freezer-safe bags or containers, remove as much excess air as possible, and store them for up to 6 months.

Defrost as needed in the fridge, and you’re ready to enjoy this luxurious pasta all over again!

Serving Suggestions

Roasted red pepper pasta goes perfectly with a simple arugula salad or roasted asparagus. The red pepper sauce has a sweetness that sets it apart from standard tomato sauce and is nicely complemented by a side dish with a bit of tang, so peppery arugula or the mild earthy bitterness of asparagus makes for a good pairing.

Feeding a crowd? Don’t forget the breadsticks or garlic bread!

Storage and Reheating Tips

This pasta keeps well for 3-4 days in a tightly-covered container in the refrigerator. Simply reheat as needed in the microwave, or in a sauté pan. If warming on the stovetop, add a splash of water or broth to prevent sticking on the bottom.

Two bowls of pappardelle with a creamy roasted red pepper sauce.

Pasta Is Elegant!

If you try this Roasted Red Pepper Pasta, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing how recipes turn out in your kitchen, and it helps other readers, too.

You can also FOLLOW me on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, and TWITTER for more great recipes and ideas!

Small bowl of creamy roasted red pepper pasta with Parmesan and red pepper flakes.
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Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

This creamy roasted red pepper pasta is a luxurious but easy dinner ready in just 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 shallots peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 16 ounces jarred roasted red peppers drained
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces pasta any type
  • fresh basil and Parmesan to serve

Instructions

  • Boil a large pot of water, add a generous pinch of salt, and cook pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • While pasta cooks, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add shallots and cook for about 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Scrape shallots and garlic out into a blender or food processor, add the drained peppers, and blend until very smooth.
  • Return the empty skillet to medium-low heat, then add to it the tomato paste, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add broth and cook 1 minute more, scraping the bottom of skillet to release any browned bits.
  • Stir the blended red pepper sauce into the skillet, bring to a low simmer, then add the cream. Sample a spoonful and add salt and pepper to taste. (I usually add 8-10 cranks of fresh-ground black pepper and about 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt; my salt-loving husband will add more to his plate.) If you’d like more heat, add an extra sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
  • Add pasta to the sauce, stir well, and let it rest on the heat for 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh basil and Parmesan, serve, and enjoy.

Notes

  • Serving Sizes: This serves 4 generously or 6 as a side or paired with a protein and salad.
  • Pasta Types: The photos in the post show the sauce coating pappardelle, which are thick, wide, beautiful ribbons of pasta. The sauce will go well with any pasta shape that you like! 
  • Make it Vegan and/or Dairy-Free: If you would like to make this recipe vegan friendly, you can swap the butter for oil and the cream for soy milk. Garnish with dairy free cheese or leave out if you’d prefer.
  • Add More Veggies: Toss in some roasted, steamed, or sautéed zucchini, squash, or peas.
  • Add Meat: If you are using uncooked chicken, ground beef, or sausage, add it at the same time as the shallots and cook together with those and the garlic. Remove the meat before blending the sauce, then return to the pan along with the pasta in the final step.
  • With Meat, Faster: Have a rotisserie chicken or some leftovers to use in your fridge? Add 1-2 cups of pre-cooked shredded chicken, turkey, or sautéed shrimp to the pan after finishing the sauce, but before adding the pasta. Let it cook an extra 2-3 minutes at this step to warm the added protein through.

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 341kcal, Carbohydrates: 49g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 37mg, Sodium: 1196mg, Potassium: 364mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 914IU, Vitamin C: 39mg, Calcium: 72mg, Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Leave a review below, then snap a quick picture and tag @nourishandfete on Instagram so I can see it!