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Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Calories: 366
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: 366

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
  • Calories 366
  • Protein 14 g
  • Carbohydrates 43 g
  • Total Fat 13 g
  • Dietary Fiber 0 g
  • Cholesterol 96 mg
  • sodium 559 mg
  • Added Sugars 1 g

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

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  • Amy

    This looks SO good!! Any thoughts on how to swap for non-dairy without messing the recipe up?

    You could certainly try a 1:1 swap of full-fat coconut milk in place of the heavy cream, and just leave the Parm out. Let us know how it turns out!

  • Taylor

    This pasta was great! Rigatoni was a great noodle choice for this. I mixed in a bag of cooked spinach and a big scoop of ricotta just to get some more veggies and protein in there. It would have been great without it too!

    I ended up adding more red pepper flakes because I didn’t think it had enough heat. I’ll be making this again regularly!

    YES! So glad you loved it. We're right there with you with the extra red pepper flakes. BRING ON THE HEAT!

  • Brooke B

    Wow! Just...wow. I am not one that can cook. I am in fact terrible. I try not to torture my family by cooking so we normally order out but with the pandemic it has become very expensive. Cooking has always been a challenge for me...I always manage to mess up something when trying to make a new dish. To give you some perspective - I always mess up on chicken - even with my instant pot! (how does that even happen?)

    That's all in the past now that I have found your site. I am amazed that each new recipe I try from The Modern Proper turns out delicious and was so simple and easy to make. This Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta was the first one I tried and it was like I had ordered it from a restaurant. Delicious and beautiful! The recipe was perfect. I am not a basil person but it really brought out so much flavor. My 17 year old daughter asked if I could make it again, less than a week later.

    I have also tried the Salmon en Papillote, Shrimp Scampi, Sesame Garlic Ramen Noodles and tonight I am trying the Broccoli Pesto Pasta. All of them so far have been absolutely amazing!

    Thank you for these amazing recipes! I am now excited to cook and look forward to your new book coming out.

    Aw, thank you so much! So glad it was a hit!

  • Alyssa Mortimer

    Very very good. Even my children liked this! I did think 1/2 tsp of pepper flakes was too much, but I’m fairly sensitive to spicy things. I’ll cut it down to 1/4 next time. But this has definitely made it into the monthly rotation! So easy and fast.

    Yay! Sorry about the spice! : )

  • Alisa

    This recipe was sooooo freaking good. I went back for thirds and I am a pretty picky person. It isn’t too sweet like I feared it would be. I definitely recommend using all the red pepper flakes as it isn’t hot but adds a lot to the flavor. If your on the fence just try it, it’s definitely worth your time.

  • Sarah Swandell

    Definitely an easy recipe! I recommend adding freshly cracked black pepper. The cheese makes a big difference. We used cavatappi and it was a nice pasta choice. Comfort food :-)