Roasted Red Pepper Penne {Vegan}

Day 299.
I’ve been so looking forward to this dish, because, while it’s super snazzy, it’s also a super simple set of flavors that just seems guaranteed to go right. Sometimes, throughout the year, I’ve gotten frustrated with needing to create and eat a different recipe Every. Single. Day. Sometimes I just want a plain bowl of pasta or brown rice with tofu. Nearly 300 days in, this is a welcome oasis of what is sure to be a delightful twist on pasta marinara.To veganize it, I chose chickpeas in lieu of chicken and a cashew and nutritional yeast “parmesan” blend in lieu of parmesan cheese.

Roasted Red Pepper Penne
  • 2 large red bell peppers*
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 4-5 basil leaves, torn
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil


  • 2 cups dry whole wheat penne
  • 1 cup chickpeas, cooked
  • salt and pepper to taste for chickpeas
*Note: While red is suggested, any sweet bell peppers can be used, if using yellow or orange peppers, add a bit of paprika for color, if desired. I used 1 yellow and 1 red with about a teaspoon of paprika. It can also be less expensive, because you can often buy a bag of mixed color bell peppers (which almost always include just one red) for less than you would’ve paid for the individual peppers.
Turn oven on broil. Chop bell peppers and onion. Place on a cookie sheet and mix with a bit of olive oil and salt & pepper. Broil for 10-12 minutes, checking regularly, until skin is blackened.
Meanwhile, boil penne. Season and heat chickpeas.
When peppers are ready, place peppers and onion, garlic, parmesan, and salt & pepper in food processor. Blend, adding olive oil through the shoot and processing until combined, but still a bit chunky.
When pasta is done, drain and mix with chickpeas. If serving immediately, combine sauce with penne and chickpeas. Top with a bit more parmesan and serve. If storing, package noodles and sauce separately.
Another note on my cheapness frugality: I threw some of the just-drained noodles and chickpeas in the food processor bowl and swirled them around in the leftover sauce to get every last bit out of the bowl. It worked great! It became a delicious Chef’s Sample of the dish, but you could also share and toss it back in with the rest of the dish.
The Results
Wow. This is really like a pesto made from bell peppers and I love it. The kids love it, too. The roasted pepper taste is fantastic. My husband’s response was somewhat odd, to me at least. Him: “All I can taste is the red pepper.” Me: “And that’s a problem, because…?” So, if you love roasted bell peppers, this is definitely the dish for you.
Due to spam, I've decided to close comments on posts older than 14 days.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. I'm an affiliate with If you use Amazon and would like to help me earn a little money to enable me to keep providing you excellent content, click this link for my favorite Julienne Peeler. You do not have to buy the item, but I'll receive a very small commission on anything you buy on Amazon within 24 hours. Thank you for your support!