For when you want and you're feeling +

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Salad

This Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Salad Recipe is full of flavor from sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil, and cheesy breadcrumbs. Similar to a Romesco sauce, this dish is delicious hot or cold and great for picnics and cookouts. Vegan and easily gluten-free!

hand holding breadcrumbs sprinkled onto a plate of roasted red pepper pasta salad

What is romesco sauce?

Romesco is a tomato-based sauce typically made from roasted tomatoes, garlic, nuts (such a pine nuts or almonds), olive oil, and red bell peppers. It originates from Catalonia and was originally made by fishermen to pair with their catch. Today it is a common pairing for fish and meat dishes.

This recipe is not traditional! It is a twist on this classic dish, utilizing prepared roasted red peppers, oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, and walnuts. This creates a sauce that is a bit smoky, hearty, and bright – and perfect for pasta salad.

overhead shot of roasted red pepper romesco sauce in a food processor

How to Make Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Salad with Romesco

  1. Toast 1 cup walnuts on a baking sheet until fragrant and browned. Set a large pot of salted water to boil.
  2. In a food processor or high speed blender, combine roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, nutritional yeast, kosher salt, and lemon juice. Add 3/4 of the cooled roasted walnuts. With food processor running, stream in olive oil. Use enough so that a thick and smooth sauce emulsifies in the processor bowl.
  3. Toast breadcrumbs in a skillet with garlic, salt, and nutritional yeast until golden brown.
  4. Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse with water after draining to remove any excess starch. Add pasta to sauce in a large bowl and stir to combine. Sprinkle generously with breadcrumbs and remaining 1/4 cup walnuts.

Other Uses for Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

overhead shot of romesco pasta salad on a white place with basil

Can you store romesco sauce in the freezer?

Yes. To make this recipe ahead of time, blend ingredients as instructed and store sauce in a sealed container in the freezer for up to three months. To serve, thaw at room temperature or in a bowl of warm water.

What is the best shape of pasta for pasta salad?

Short pieces of pasta with curved edges tend to work best for salad applications. They are easy to eat with a singular fork, because no one wants to be twirling spaghetti while standing at a cookout! Shapes with curved or corkscrew-style edges (like fusilli) hold sauce and seasonings well. While shapes like macaroni and orzo can work, pasta salad is easiest to eat when a more traditional short noodle is used.

How long can pasta salad go unrefrigerated?

Bacteria can begin accumulating on cooked pasta dishes after two hours, so it’s best to store your pasta salad in a cooler if you are bringing it to a cookout or potluck party and plan to eat it at room temperature. Keep it as cold as possible until ready to serve. Do not leave a dish to sit out in the hot sun, as this can increase the replication of bacteria on the surface of the food. This post has great food safety tips for events!

side view of roasted red pepper pasta salad on a white plate with a silver spoon

How to Customize Pasta Salad

Vegan cheesy breadcrumbs and toasted walnuts are a fun way to amp up textural contrast in this dish without adding dairy. Here are some other ideas to add your own spin to this dish:

  • Add fresh cherry tomatoes and pieces of red bell pepper to further complement the romesco flavor
  • Include more fresh herbs, such as oregano and parsley
  • Incorporate more vegetables like sweet corn, fennel, or green peas
Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
breadcrumbs sprinkled onto a plate of roasted red pepper pasta salad

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Salad


  • Author: Emily
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 7 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Salad Recipe is full of flavor from sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil, and cheesy breadcrumbs. Similar to a Romesco sauce, this dish is delicious hot or cold and great for picnics and cookouts. Vegan and easily gluten-free!


Ingredients

Scale

For romesco sauce:

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, divided
  • 3 whole roasted red peppers
  • 23 TBS oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 TBS nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 TBS lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon)
  • 1/31/2 cup olive oil

For cheesy breadcrumbs:

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs of choice
  • 1 TBS lemon zest
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 TBS nutritional yeast
  • Pinch salt

For pasta:

  • 1 lb. short pasta of choice
  • Basil, to garnish
  • Sliced cherry tomatoes, optional
  • Shaved fennel, optional

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roast all walnuts on a baking sheet until fragrant and browned. This will happen quickly (5-10 minutes), so keep an eye on them! Alternatively, roast in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until browned. Remove and set aside when done to cool.
  2. Set a large pot of salted water to boil.
  3. In a food processor or high speed blender, combine roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, nutritional yeast, kosher salt, and lemon juice. Add 3/4 of the cooled roasted walnuts. With food processor running, stream in olive oil until a very loose consistency is reached. These olive oil measurements are not exact, just use enough so that a thick and smooth sauce emulsifies in the processor bowl.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare your cheesy breadcrumbs by adding breadcrumbs, lemon zest, garlic, nutritional yeast, and a pinch of salt to a dry skillet over medium heat. Toast, stirring, until golden brown and fragrant. Set aside.
  5. Once pasta water is boiling, cook for desired time and drain. Rinse with water after draining to remove any excess starch. Add pasta to sauce in a large bowl and stir to combine. Sprinkle generously with breadcrumbs to serve, remaining 1/4 cup walnuts, and garnish with basil and any optional toppings. Serve hot or cold!
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Mixing
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: One seventh of recipe
  • Calories: 400 calories
  • Sugar: 2.3 grams
  • Sodium: 476 milligrams
  • Fat: 27.9 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 3.4 grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 24.5 grams
  • Trans Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 32.8 grams
  • Fiber: 5.3 grams
  • Protein: 9.4 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams

Keywords: pasta, side, picnic, roasted red pepper

Pin this recipe:

This Romesco Pasta Salad Recipe is full of flavor from roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil, and cheesy breadcrumbs. It is delicious hot or cold and great for picnics and cookouts. Vegan and easily gluten-free!

Portrait of Emily, founder of Garlic Head

About the Author

Hi, I'm Emily! Garlic Head is a plant-based recipe website for all eaters who want to easily, affordably, and sustainably incorporate more vegetables into their diets. My recipes focus on entertaining-style cuisine, perfect for celebrating all of life's little moments! Meet me here.

Love this post? Share the love!

Similar Recipes

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

Garlic Head Logo

Garlic Head is a plant-based community founded by me, Emily. I focus on providing affordable, simple, & healthy recipes for entertaining.

iPhone X displaying Garlic Head's "3-Ingredients Cocktails" e-Book

Free Resource

Get this e-book for free!

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.
For when you're feeling...
Our recipes look great on Pinterest!