30-Minute Creamy Red Pepper Penne
30-Minute Creamy Red Pepper Penne- just 8 ingredients for a quick and easy dinner that’s high in protein and super delicious! (vegan + gluten-free)
Maybe it’s the Italian in me, but pasta will forever be one of my go-to quick and easy meals. I love that I can store it in my pantry for months and never have to worry about it going bad. It’s always there when I’m in a pinch, like a best friend giving me a shoulder to lean on.
Okay, so I’m being dramatic but it gets the point across. You can never go wrong with a little bit of pasta and salad on your meal plan.
What’s so awesome about this vibrant pasta is that you can buy virtually everything you need online from Nuts.com, and store it in your pantry until that one night when you’re not feeling up to making something complicated. Let’s be real, that’s pretty much every night in my house.
Side note: if you’re not into cauliflower or don’t feel like turning your oven on, sautéed spinach also works well. Or you can leave it out altogether, if you just want to eat your pasta and not worry about chopping veggies.
The sauce is rich and creamy, all while being entirely dairy-free. I’m telling ya, it’s a pasta you’ll want to make again and again. I hope you enjoy it!
20-Minute Creamy Red Pepper Penne
Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
- 2 cups finely chopped cauliflower florets (about 1 small head cauliflower)
- 2 tablespoons high heat oil
- 16-ounces whole grain pasta
- 1 (25-ounce) jar marinara
- 1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers, strained
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 teaspoon salt & pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
Preheat the oven to 400°F then line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cauliflower florets on the baking sheet and drizzle with high heat oil. Toss to evenly coat then arrange so that each floret is separated with space in between. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until light golden brown. Remove from oven, sprinkle with salt and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta as directed, just until tender. *If using gluten-free pasta, only cook what you plan to eat immediately. It does not hold up well when leftover. Strain the pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water to add to the sauce. Prepare the sauce by combining the tomato sauce, roasted red bell peppers, blanched almonds, salt, pepper and oregano in a high speed blender. Blend on high until smooth. Add the reserved pasta water and blend to combine. Add the cooked pasta back to the pot then pour in sauce to coat. If you’re only cooking half of the pasta, save half of the sauce for later. Add roasted cauliflower to pasta, serve warm and enjoy!
Note: This recipe makes enough for 8 servings. We usually save half of the sauce (in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze it for several months) and only cook 8-ounces of the pasta to cut the recipe in half.
I like to add vegan cashew parmesan on top. To make your own vegan cashew parmesan, combine 1 cup raw cashews with 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder in a food processor (a NutriBullet also works great) and pulse until finely ground.
Adapted from Pinch of Yum
Did you try this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out by leaving a comment below or sharing a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #makingthymeforhealth. I love hearing your feedback!
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Giiiiiiirl! You’re making me crave pasta like crazy! This is insanely sexy and I want it all up in me!
OHH love that vibrant color though! Can’t wait to try quinoa pasta too.
This looks so good!! My BF loves roasted red peppers & pasta, so definitely need to make this for him!
Your BF has great taste! ;)
I love the roasted red peppers and especially the cauliflower. Looks so nice and creamy. Delish!
Thank you so much, Mike!
Yummm! Pasta is my favorite. The sauce looks awesome too!
I love red pepper sauce and Ancient Grains pasta is something I’ve been using a lot lately. This looks so super creamy and delicious Sarah!
Oooo I love that you added cauliflower to this!! And that creamy dreamy sauce! I’ll take this + a salad for dinner any day!
So yummy!! The sauce was creamy and delicious on its own, and the cauliflower really took it to the next level! I would definitely recommend salting to the cauliflower as you bake it, though (an maybe adding bit more salt overall).
Thanks for the feedback and the tip, Elyse! I usually add vegan cashew parmesan on top which has a good deal of salt but I can see how it would need salt without that. I will add it to the notes. Thanks again! :)
The directions mention blanched almonds, but they’re not listed in the ingredients.
Sorry about that! I changed it to cashews since those tend to be easier to find. :)
Do the nuts (blanched almonds or raw cashews) need to be soaked overnight before blending into the sauce? Or can they be blended just as they are (dried)? Thanks! :D