Looking for a quick easy meal? Then this 10-minute vegan roasted red pepper sauce is for you – toss with pasta and/or veggies for a meal in minutes!
Not only is it the perfect vegan pasta sauce, but it’s also a pretty amazing salad dressing or dip.
Full disclosure, if you’re looking to spend hours slaving over a hot stove in the kitchen you may want to go elsewhere because this recipe is ALL about shortcuts baby!
If you have more time to cook highly recommend you check out this amazing arrabbiata sauce for pasta as well. Or consider making the best vegan garlic bread (it just takes 15 minutes) to serve on the side for the ultimate satisfying vegan pasta meal!
The sauce is also gluten-free so if you have issues with gluten, drizzle it away to your heart’s content over gluten-free pasta.
To make this quick tasty vegan roasted red pepper sauce you’ll need a handful of ingredients, a food processor or a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix.
You’ll also need to have on hand ten main ingredients:
- Olive oil
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Jarred or canned roasted red peppers
- Nutritional yeast
- Smoked paprika
- Cashew nuts
- Coconut milk
- Vegetable stock
(In addition to some salt and pepper to season your sauce, some optional tabasco sauce to pep it up, and some fresh basil if desired to serve).
The olive oil is purely to add a bit extra to the flavor profile, so if you find your olive oil a bit flavorless or are wondering if you can substitute it with sunflower or canola oil or something similar, just leave it out.
You can, of course, roast your own peppers if you desire. Personally, that would be fine for me if this was a weekend meal, but if I’m making it during the week there is absolutely no way I’m going to take the time to roast and peel the peppers myself.
I have said this about a million times in several recipes on this blog (really I should have called it the fiery paprika) but do NOT substitute the smoked paprika with regular paprika. In a punch, high-quality hot paprika will do, but really smoked paprika is what you need for a truly tasty vegan roasted red pepper sauce.
Regular paprika has a distinctly bitter taste when used in larger quantities and it makes a massive difference to the taste of a dish if you exchange regular for hot or smoked.
I live in Spain and although I totally scoff at some “essential” Mediterranean products, decent paprika is a must. If you can get a hand on some Pimentón de la Vera, the picante would be perfect in this dish (Pimentón de la Vera is always smoked).
It’s usually not very expensive either and you can use it in a ton of other recipes.
For example, my vegan bean chilli with Guinness, chocolate and coffee! Or to make scrumptious spicy peri peri sauce!
Check that the coconut milk is unsweetened. If you’re not a fan of coconut milk you can substitute it with another unsweetened plant-based milk, or replace with more vegetable stock.
However, it really does lend extra creaminess to the sauce so I recommend not substituting it.
How to make the sauce:
This is going to be a pretty short section, to be honest. To make vegan roasted red pepper sauce, you’re basically going to drain the soaked cashews, take all of the ingredients and chuck them in a high-powered blender or food processor and blitz them until smooth.
TIP: The cashew nuts should be soaked overnight if you want a really silky smooth sauce.
However, if you’re like me and always forget to soak cashews you can get away with boiling the cashews for 15 minutes and soaking for ten, although there may still be a little “extra” texture to the sauce.
I like to reserve the coconut milk and vegetable stock, blend everything as smooth as possible, and then drizzle the coconut milk in while still processing, and then the stock. I find this way gives a smoother sauce.
You can see in the picture above the texture of the sauce after blending everything without the coconut milk and stock, and below after.
You then just mix the sauce into hot cooked pasta – MAGIC! I usually reserve a little cooking water as well in case I need to thin the sauce.
This recipe will make enough sauce for around 14-15oz dried pasta.
Do note that if you heat your vegan roasted red pepper sauce over the stove or let the pasta sit in it too long, the sauce will thicken.
To avoid this I usually store the sauce separately but if you have leftovers and the sauce is thicker than you’d like you can just loosen it with a little water or vegetable stock.
Then zap in the microwave in 2-minute bursts, stirring between microwaving times, and add more liquid as needed until the desired consistency has been reached.
This sauce will keep up to five days in the fridge and is actually tastier each day as the flavors intensify and deepen.
Did you make my vegan roasted red pepper sauce? Let me know how much you loved it with a star rating in the recipe box, review, or comment below.
Or take a picture and tag me on Instagram (@the_fiery_vegetarian), I love seeing all your creations!
10-Minute Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Delicious creamy vegan roasted red pepper sauce for pasta, ready in ten minutes with just ten main ingredients!
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1½ Tablespoons onion powder
- 1 jar roasted red peppers (275g or 10oz drained weight)
- 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce(optional)
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups soaked cashew nuts (around 215g/7.5oz unsoaked)
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- Ground black pepper to serve
- 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped, to sprinkle over (optional)
- Add the first ten items to a food processor or powerful blender. Process for approximately 4 minutes until as smooth as possible. Stop halfway through to give the motor a break and scrape down any food that has risen above the processing line.
- Add the coconut milk and process for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock and process 1-2 minutes or until it has reached a smooth consistency.
- Store in the fridge in a plastic or glass container until ready to use. Stir into fresh hot pasta. Ready!
This sauce thickens as it sits, especially when added to pasta so reserve a little cooking water or add extra vegetable stock if you'd like to thin it more.
Store the sauce separately to the pasta and combine when ready to serve.
If you do have pasta leftovers, you can microwave them in two-minute batches, adding a little liquid and mixing well at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
Makes enough sauce for around 14oz (400g) to 15oz (450g) pasta (dry weight).
Serving Size1 cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 304Total Fat 25gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 17gCholesterol 0mgSodium 690mgCarbohydrates 16gFiber 2gSugar 3gProtein 7g
Has anyone tried to freeze this? I thought it was delicious! I can’t have tomatoes so this was a delicious alternative. Would be great to heat up a little when my family has spaghetti with tomato sauce.
Hey Jennifer! That’s a great question – this sauce does freeze beautifully. Hope that helps, and so happy you enjoyed it.
Are you serious about 5 teaspoons of garlic powder?
Barbara it says .5 teaspoon, as in half a teaspoon. But it’s a good point as I’m sure the point might not be that obvious on mobile and will change it to a fraction to make it more visible.
Do you need to add the yeast?
Hi Lexi, apologies for the delay (I’m abroad with two sick kids). While it adds lots of flavour, if you don’t have it or don’t like it you can definitely get away with not adding it.
how many people does this serve?
Hi Rabia, it makes enough sauce for approximately six servings ingredients of pasta.
This sauce looks so quick and easy to make. Going to test it out on the kids tonight!
I am always on the lookout for quick and easy meals for my family of 8. This one is a winner!
This is such a beautiful and creamy pasta dish! Love the idea of roasting the red peppers!
This is so delicious and easy to make. Pasta is one of my family favorite Dinner and I cant wait to check this out.