Creamy vegan red pepper pasta bakes are flavourful, satisfying, and cozy. This dish is grain-free with cassava flour pasta & can easily be made nut-free as well.
I love a cozy and creamy baked pasta, but I love it even more in mini form! This vegan red pepper pasta is a bit smoky, so lush in texture, and no one will believe that it’s totally dairy-free. Because this has a bit of a mac and cheese vibe going on, I decided to top the little ramekins with a rosemary cracker mixture for texture. A great choice!
This recipe and post were both created in partnership with one of my favourite Canadian online retailers: Natura Market! They sell so many of my favourite vegan and plant-based products. They have everything from my standby dairy-free coffee creamer to my go-to pantry staples, and also plenty of vegan snacks that I can’t find anywhere else.
If you or someone in your household follows a special diet or has sensitivities, Natura Market has a huge variety of ingredients for vegan, grain-free, nut-free, and paleo cooking or baking. I have been a customer of theirs for years!
I tried some delicious, new-to-me goods from them in this recipe. Jovial’s cassava-based penne pasta and Hu Kitchen’s super crunchy grain-free crackers. A totally grain-free, vegan, super creamy, crispy-crunchy topped pasta bake?! Believe it! The pasta has a really nice texture! I also almost ate the whole box of crackers before grinding them up for this recipe. They are so crisp and perfectly seasoned. Wins all around :)
I could see myself making this vegan red pepper pasta bake for a holiday dinner or just a Friday date night at home. It would be perfect with a little side salad or just some simple sautéed broccoli rabe with a bit of garlic, lemon, and chili. This pasta would be very kid-friendly too! You may want to leave the smoked paprika out for the younger palettes.
Truly hope that you give this one a go!
Creamy Vegan Red Pepper Pasta Bakes
RED PEPPER SAUCE:
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 shallot, chopped (or ½ small onion)
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 cup raw cashews OR sunflower seeds, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained
- 2 roasted red peppers
- 1 tablespoon chopped sun dried tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon light miso
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon gluten-free tamari soy sauce
- ½ cup hot water
- sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 ½ cups small crackers of choice (I used Hu Kitchen’s Grain-Free Sea Salt Crackers)
- 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 8 oz shaped pasta (I used Jovial’s Grain-Free Cassava Penne)
- I’ve made versions of this with both raw cashews and sunflower seeds and both were rich, creamy, and delicious!
- You can use roasted peppers from a jar or homemade ones. If using ones from a jar, drain them a bit before blending into the sauce.
- You can make this sauce up to 5 days ahead of time. Just keep it sealed in the fridge and bring it up to room temperature before stirring into the cooked pasta.
- To make this soy-free, use a chickpea-based miso and swap coconut aminos for the tamari.
- The sauce is naturally well-seasoned with the miso and tamari in there. Also, the crackers I used had a good amount of salt. I barely had to season this dish with additional salt and pepper, which is saying something for me! All of this is to say: just taste as you go.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set up four 1-cup capacity ramekins on a baking sheet and then set that aside.
- Prepare the red pepper sauce. Heat the teaspoon of oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring often, until soft and slightly translucent, about 4 minutes. Then, add the smoked paprika and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
- Transfer the shallots and garlic to an upright blender. To the blender add the cashews, roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, nutritional yeast, miso, lemon juice, Dijon, tamari, water, salt, and pepper. Blend the mixture on high until smooth and creamy, about 3 full minutes. Add more water by the tablespoon if necessary. You should have 2 cups of sauce when all is said and done. Set aside.
- Make the rosemary cracker topping. In a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, combine the crackers, rosemary, and olive oil. Pulse this mixture until the crackers are coarse crumbs. You should have a scant cup of cracker crumb topping total. Set aside.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain. Return the drained pasta to the pot that you cooked it in. Pour the red pepper sauce over top and give it a very thorough stir! You want the sauce to get into all the little corners.
- Divide the pasta among the 4 ramekins, about a heaped cup per ramekin. Then, evenly distribute the rosemary cracker topping amongst the ramekins, sprinkling it on top of the pasta.
- Bake the pasta for 20-25 minutes, or until sufficiently heated through and the topping is slightly browned. Serve warm!
This post was created in a paid partnership with Natura Market. All opinions are my own.