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Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  15 min
  • Calories: 327
bowl of creamy roasted red pepper rigatoni pasta topped with fresh parmesan cheese and basil

With just five ingredients, dinner doesn’t get easier or more delicious than this creamy roasted red pepper rigatoni pasta. If you’ve got ten minutes and can open a jar, you can make this tonight.

This Quick & Easy Pantry Pasta is Your New BFF

There is a particular sort of low-key panic that sets in when everyone’s tummies are rumbling and the clock is ticking ever-closer to bedtime and you realize that you actually don’t have an answer the question that you just know you’re about to hear. As you mentally scan your pantry, someone speaks those three big little words—“what’s for dinner?”

If you’ve got five ingredients, you can make this unbelievably luscious creamy roasted red pepper pasta sauce. In fact, it’s worth just leaving these five ingredients on your grocery list at all times, because this is such a handy meal to be able to make when getting dinner on the table seems like a pipe dream. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Pasta! Pick a pasta with ridges if you can—we especially love rigatoni—to give the roasted red pepper cream sauce something to cling to.
  2. A jar of roasted red peppers. This one is self-explanatory, right?
  3. Stock. You can use vegetable stock to make this roasted red pepper pasta vegetarian, or use chicken stock if you prefer—either will add lots of flavor. You could also use water in a pinch.
  4. Heavy cream! No substitutes, please! With just five ingredients, there’s no room for subs.
  5. Fresh basil. If you don’t have fresh basil on-hand, you can still make a good red pepper cream sauce, but the fresh basil really does add a lot of fresh, bright flavor to this simple pantry pasta.
blender filled with heavy cream, roasted red peppers and fresh basil
blender filled with blended roasted red pepper sauce

How To Make Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Smoky, sweet and slightly tangy, jarred roasted red peppers are a flavor-giving powerhouse. Here, we use this pantry favorite to make a simple homemade rigatoni pasta sauce taste restaurant-worthy. This roasted red pepper sauce is so fast—about ten minutes start-to-finish—and easy to make, it feels like cheating. If you can open a jar and open a carton, you can make this creamy roasted red pepper pasta sauce. Here’s what you do:

  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add your pasta and boil until it is al dente. We usually begin to taste for doneness after six minutes.
  • While the pasta cooks, combine heavy cream, stock, the jar of drained roasted red peppers, basil, salt and red pepper flakes in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Drain the pasta.
  • Pour the red pepper cream sauce into the now-empty pasta pot, and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat.
  • Add the drained rigatoni and parmesan cheese to taste.
  • Stir and serve!
large skillet filled with roasted red pepper sauce, fresh parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes
large skillet filled with roasted red pepper sauce and cooked rigatoni pasta

Make It Perfect:

It’s hard to mess this recipe up—hard, but not impossible. There are a few things to know before you get started:

  1. Drain your jarred, roasted red peppers! Roasted red peppers are a super-versatile pantry staple. These meaty, sweet roasted bell peppers are usually seeded and then packed in water that has been seasoned with salt, sugar and often citric acid (a preservative). In this case, you definitely want to drain that liquid before using the peppers so that your creamy pepper sauce isn’t too watery.
  2. Salt your pasta water. This is such a simple dish, with flavor coming from just a few ingredients, so there’s no need for short cuts or skipped steps.
  3. Once you combine the creamy roasted red pepper sauce with the pasta and parmesan, stir for a few minutes over low heat to allow the flavors to really mingle. You want every last nook and cranny of that rigatoni (or penne, or farfalle) to be coated with your sweet, smoky, tangy cream sauce.
large bowl filled with creamy roasted red pepper rigatoni pasta topped with fresh parmesan and fresh basil

Tools You’ll Need:

white bowl filled with creamy roasted red pepper rigatoni pasta topped with fresh parmesan, fresh basil and red pepper flakes

Pasta To The Rescue!

This pantry superstar saves the day, everytime. Here are three of our very favorite easy weeknight pasta recipes:

close up of creamy roasted red pepper rigatoni

Couldn’t Be Easier, Right?

We really love to see how our recipes work for you guys, and we think this one is especially genius—do you? Snap a photo of your finished bowl or pot of our roasted red pepper pasta, and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  15 min
  • Calories: 327

Ingredients

  • 1 lb rigatoni pasta (or pasta of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 12 oz jar roasted red peppers, liquid drained
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Method

  1. In a high speed blender add heavy cream, stock, roasted red peppers, basil, salt and red pepper flakes. Blend until smooth.
  2. Cook pasta until al dente (about 6 minutes). Remove from heat and drain.
  3. In the same pot the pasta was cooked in, add your creamy roasted red pepper sauce and bring to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Add the parmesan cheese and drained pasta and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and serve hot topped with extra parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Enjoy!

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories327
  • Protein14 g
  • Carbohydrates56 g
  • Total Fat5 g
  • Dietary Fiber2 g
  • Cholesterol12 mg
  • sodium459 mg
  • Total Sugars1 g

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

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  • Kyra

    Can you make the sauce ahead of time and keep in the fridge?

    Sure!

  • Elaine

    Hey! I saw someone else post this, but the cream sauce for me curdled as well. I have a ninja blender and I don’t think it was that. Do you add the heavy cream a little at a time?

    You maybe have cooked it on too high of a heat. Try turning the temp down next time, your stove might run a tad hot.

  • Amanda Haak

    What would a nice side or bread be for this (we have two growing hungry men -12 and 14 :)

    We know what that is like! Any crusty bread would be delicious with it or you could make our Garlic Bread! You could also make some chicken or sausage on the side or our roasted broccoli would be yummy with it as well! Hope your family enjoys it!

  • Amna

    Can I use a jar of diced chipotle peppers instead?

    We wouldn't recommend that it would probably change the taste and spice level quite a bit. Hope you enjoy Amna!

  • Lynn Owczarzak

    My sauce, when blending, turned into a chunky mess. I guess the cream might have curdled? Do you know how to keep that from happening?

    I've never heard of that happening. We recommend using a high powdered blender such as a vitamix. It will make it nice and smooth.

  • Rita

    Wow thank you for such easy recipes. I did not venture with the red pepper flakes, but it might be a recipe-changer. This turned out great anyhow. And funnily enough, I had chicken leftovers from your Instant Pot Chicken Marinara With Polenta that I cooked earlier in the week, and mixed the chicken with this recipe making it more filling as I was a bit too hungry for a vegetarian pasta. Keep up the good work!

    Thanks Rita, so glad you loved it!

  • Meimei

    This is so good! I tried it when cooking for a vegan and used cashew cream (soaked cashews blended with chicken broth) instead of the heavy cream and added some nutritional yeast (1-2 TBL) instead of parmesan. It was delicious and now I always make it that way.

    So happy you love it Meimei, sounds like delicious adjustments you made!

  • Callie

    I loved this recipe!! I couldn’t find fresh basil when I made this so I used a dry version but it was still so good! Definitely will be making it again

    Thanks Callie, so glad you enjoyed it!

  • Amanda Marcantonio

    This recipe is amazing!! Added shrimp to it, but left the rest the same. Staple in our household now

    Thank you Amanda! It's so exciting to hear it's become a staple, we are so glad you and your family love it!

  • Alyssa

    Beautifully simple, but great flavor. I roasted my own peppers and had exactly the sauce I wanted at the end. Dried basil at 1.5 tsp works, too, but fresh is superior. I also served this with a dollop of ricotta and can't wait to try it over tortellini.

    Thanks Alyssa, so happy you loved it!