Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Sauce With Fresh Basil

Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Sauce With Fresh Basil

I asked on Facebook for everybody to vote on the next recipe I was between this one and chunky potato soup. There were some votes for the potato soup, but this recipe won hands down. Don't worry though....the chunky potato soup is coming soon and it is probably one of the best potato soups I've ever had....certainly the healthiest.

This sauce is SO ridiculously easy and topping it with fresh basil just makes it perfect and it's a new favorite with my husband. He cannot really have cashews, so instead of making sauces with the typical cashews, I tried pine nuts instead, and it's super delicious.

The pine nuts give this sauce a slightly, sweet flavor and are buttery. I absolutely love them and have more recipes coming up with them!

I absolutely love that you can make dairy-free sauces that taste just as delicious and the butter and cream-filled ones. This vegan creamy red pepper sauce with fresh basil is no exception. It is also oil-free and just 8 ingredients, what a huge bonus!

I'd love to hear if you make this Vegan Roasted Creamy Red Pepper Sauce with Basil! Leave me feedback below in the comments after you make it.

Yields 3-4 servings

Creamy Red Pepper Sauce With Fresh Basil

This is an incredibly easy sauce that is obtained from pine nuts. Pine nuts give wonderful taste and texture and lend a slightly sweet taste that works really well with the roasted red bell peppers. Topping it with fresh chopped basil makes this one easy, delicious and versatile sauce that would work great over many dishes.

5 minPrep Time

25 minCook Time

30 minTotal Time

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5 based on 2 review(s)


  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts or cashews (I actually only make this with cashews now!)
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh garlic (about 3 large cloves)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • Fresh basil 1/4 cup, chopped
  • 12 oz gluten-free brown rice spiral pasta


  1. Preheat an oven to 450 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Place the whole bell peppers on the pan and roast for 20-25 minutes until well browned.
  2. Carefully slice the bell peppers and remove the stem and seeds and add to a blender.
  3. Add all of the remaining ingredients (except the basil) and blend until smooth. Taste and add any additional salt or spices, if desired.
  4. Garnish with fresh chopped basil and pine nuts. Serve over spiral pasta. I much prefer the spiral pasta over spaghetti noodles for this sauce because it gets in between the grooves and has a better texture.


*Gluten-free, oil-free, soy-free, dairy-free

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  1. That looks so creamy and rich! Delicious. Bet it would go well on a number of things. Love the pine nuts - that would really give a nice flavour.
      Thank you Cindy! It really is super versatile :)
  2. Such a nice sauce, it would be really great on anything, versatile and delicious!
      Thank you Suzanne!
  3. This looks delicious Brandi! I love anything with roasted red peppers.
      Thank you Emma! Me too :)
  4. Great choice, readers ;-)! The color is out of site, Brandi!
      Thank you Annie...yes, the color totally reminded me of macaroni 'n' cheese!
  5. This sounds amazing! I love love love roasted peppers and I'm sure they taste fabulous in this sauce. YUM!
  6. This looks very yummy! I am going to have to make this for my family.
  7. I would love to make this sauce and top lots of pasta with it, the fresh basil is especially enticing :D Cheers Choc Chip Uru
  8. Oh yum, this looks absolutely delicious! So creamy and colourful!
  9. Hi Brandi! Wow, this dish is right up my alley!!! I have recently been into blending all sorts of veggies and making pestos. . all different kinds. . this is like a roasted red bell pepper pesto. . LOVE this!
  10. OOOO pine nuts, I've never made a sauce with these nuts before! This looks wonderful!
      Thank you Brittany! Oh, they are SO yummy!
  11. Why the yeast? I've never used yeast in sauce before.
      Hi Gillian! It's not the yeast your probably thinking of, like brewers yeast, it is a deactivated yeast that is very healthy, a source of protein and vitamin B12 and practically fat-free. It has a cheesy, nutty flavor which is very popular to use in vegan dishes since it mimics the taste of parmesan cheese, without the fat. Here is a link on it and a photo. I buy mine at my local grocery store in the health food section, whole foods also carries it, or of course you can order online.
  12. I've actually been looking for a healthy but creamy pasta recipe that's not based around evaporated skim milk or similar. This one looks great Brandi! I actually have most of the ingredients at home so I know what I'm going to be cooking tonight! Yum :)
  13. This looks fantastic! If I wanted to use cashews instead of pine nuts (love the taste of pine nuts but for some reason my body does not agree with them)...would you suggest using the same amount? Thanks...can't wait to try this!
      Hi Becky! Yes, I would try using the same amount and adjust the water a tiny bit if necessary. Pine nuts blend much easier than cashews though, so if you don't have a high powered blender like a Vitamix, then soak the cashews for a couple of hours first in room temperature water, drain and then proceed with recipe. Please leave me feedback how it turns out for you! :)
  14. This looks delicious! I don't have any nutritional yeast though, do you think silken tofu would work for the creaminess? Perhaps not the cheesiness though!
      I'm afraid without the nutritional yeast, it's going to be too bland. It helps to thicken it up as well. I wouldn't add tofu, as that will dilute the flavor even more. It would be best to use nutritional yeast, as I haven't made it without it. But you could try using a tad less water to makeup for the lack of nutritional yeast and maybe add a tiny but of miso or mustard for that extra kick of flavor that nutritional yeast provides. Try to get some of the yeast though for best results, I can't vouch how it tastes otherwise. Let me know! :)
  15. I made this sauce, and absolutely loved it! I am anxiously awaiting the chunky potato soup recipe!
      Thank you so much Lana! I'm so happy you loved it and I really appreciate you letting me know...I love getting feedback. I'll be posting the potato soup soon and I'd love to hear back when you make it too :)
  16. I really enjoyed this. My kitchen wizz isn't powerful enough to get the thick and creamy consistency, but it was delicious none the less. I think it would be great with a pinch of smoked paprika too. I love how easy it is tomake.
      Wonderful Johanna! I'm so glad you enjoyed it and took the time to leave feedback, thank you so much! I love smoked paprika, and that sounds like a great addition!
  17. That sauce looks so creamy and I bet that it's super flavourful, Brandi. I need to go buy a giant bag of pine nuts so that I can make this sauce as well as the Caesar dressing!
      Thank you Nancy!
  18. Al
    Is the thick looking texture of the sauce from the pine nuts or cheese? looks great!
      Thank you! It is from the pine nuts that makes it creamy, as there is no cheese in it! There is nutritional yeast in it that helps to thicken it as well and imparts a mild flavor of cheese. :)
  19. Hi Brandy! What a mouthwatering photos you took! Pine nuts are always great as topping! :)
      Thank you very much Mila! I agree...I'm a bit obsessed with pine nuts lately :)
  20. This sauce is delicious!! Definitely will be making this again!!! And again!!!
      Wonderful Robert! Thank you SO very much for making my recipe and for providing feedback! It is much appreciated :)
  21. [...] a recipe can be with just a few ingredients. I have received a lot of great reviews on my creamy red pepper sauce w/basil from you guys, so I figured I’d share another really easy pasta/sauce dish. I got lots of [...]
  22. I made this a couple of days ago and it was wonderful! My husband and I both loved it and will definitely be making it again! Thanks for the recipe!
      Awesome Sally! Thank you so much for letting me know, I really love getting the feedback, and thank you for making my recipe!
  23. Made this tonight! Delicious!!!!! It turned out amazing. Put it over zucchini noodles instead because my boyfriend and I aren't crazy about carbs but holy moly it tasted so good. We kept going back for more! Amazing recipe. The pine nuts and basil add such a nice touch. Well done I'm bookmarkng your site and will be back for more! Great work
      That is so wonderful to hear Erin! I'm so happy to hear it was such a hit and I really appreciate you leaving feedback, it makes my day! Thank you!
  24. [...] happen to be a huge lover of pasta. If you are too, then you have to try my Creamy Red Pepper Sauce with Fresh Basil. It’s another winning pasta dish that is really popular with [...]
  25. I made your recipe over Christmas (though cut the spice just a bit) and it got RAVE reviews from all! So I'm making it again tonight. So delicious! Thanks for this. xo
      Wonderful Kristen!! I'm so glad to hear that, thank you so much for letting me know!
  26. 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp water, Now thats precise! Loved your dish!!
      Thank you so much Nish! I'm so glad you loved this recipe! Oh and yes, I'm very precise, lol! I can't stand vague recipes without exact isn't very helpful to readers in achieving the right result. Thanks again for the feedback!
  27. I'm going to try this tonight with GF noodles for a GF dinner guest. I'm planning on subbing raw cashews which I've used many times before. Always risky to try a new recipe with dinner guests but I trust you!
  28. I love this recipe and make it often :). It always hits the spot, actually I crave it, and it's a go-to recipe because of how easy it is to make! I am also going to make it for my mother on mothers day. Thanks Brandi!
      I am so happy to hear this Brenda! Your feedback was so kind and made my day. So glad you are loving and craving this sauce! It is a favorite around here too!
  29. made this over the weekend with cashews subbed for the pine nuts and used it on spiralized zucchini noodles - it was fantastic! thanks for the recipe!
      I'm so happy to hear that Gigi, thank you so much!! Thank you for the feedback and that sounds wonderful over zucchini noodles!
  30. so delicious with spiralized zucchini noodles - thanks for the recipe!
  31. I totally did the, "I want to make this RIGHT NOW, even though I don't have the exact right ingredients" thing. I used canned roasted red peppers, and a combination of 1 and 1/2 microwaved Yukon gold potato and 1/4 cup cashews instead of the pine nuts. It tasted delicious right out of the blender and had a nice creamy texture. I'm planning to serve it as a pasta salad at a potluck tomorrow. Thanks!! XOXO, Pebbles
      Oh I love the adaptations and that they worked so well! Thank you so much for sharing! So glad you loved this recipe!
  32. I'm trying to stay away from nuts, so could I substitute maybe cannellini beans instead of the pine nuts? If not, I'm still making this! LOVE roasted red peppers. OH, and the ones using zucchini noodles, do you cook them or eat them raw? Thanks!
      Hi Julie! I haven't tried it, but you can certainly try it. I DO know that another reader subbed 1/4 cup cashews and 1 1/2 small yukon gold potatoes for pinenuts and it worked perfectly, so you can try that and it will be much less fat that way. Or you could always try all potatoes, but I'm just not sure since I haven't tried it myself. I did make my fat-free cheese sauce from all potatoes and zucchini and it's excellent. Here is the link for that one also. Let me know after you try it! :)
  33. Made this tonight for my parents. Super easy and delicious! Will definitely be making this again.
      Awesome Colleen! Thank you so much for the feedback, I'm so glad to hear it was a hit!
  34. […] without the fat and/or nuts. So, obviously I knew what I would do. Funny enough, I already have a creamy red pepper sauce on the blog and it’s super popular, but it contains pine nuts which won’t work for many […]
  35. This was very good.
      Thank you Hannah! I'm so glad you enjoyed it, thank you for the feedback!
  36. Simply Awesome, My Wife was licking the sauce and loving me more :-) I did use cashew instead of pine nuts and the result was fantastic. Just soaked them in hot water and blended them separately that is the trick
      That is so awesome to hear!! So happy your wife loved it so much! Thank you so much for the feedback!
    • OMG! I'm eating this right now and I'm in love! The only thing I added (because I don't like tart sauce) was one table spoon of Coconut Sugar. Thanks for this recipe! It is close to queso and can be eaten with multi grain gluten free tortilla chips! HAPPY GIRL!
  37. […] Recipe by The Vegan 8 with a few changes made by me. I used canned roasted red peppers instead of roasting my own and instead of pine nuts, used a combo of 1/4 cup cashews and 1 and 1/2 small Yukon Gold potatoes. I wanted to lower the fat and also didn’t want to pay $18.99 for pine nuts. I stirred in the basil and now the flavors are melding in preparation for the Air Raid Roller Girls league potluck that I am taking it to tomorrow.…/creamy-red-pepper-sauce-with-fresh…/… […]
  38. This is out of this world!!!!!! Absolutely incredible over the spiral brown rice pasta. I can't stop eating it!!! You're very talented!!!!
      So awesome to hear that Megan, thank you so much for the feedback!
  39. I love red pepper sauce! This looks wonderful and delicious! I have something similar on my blog a chia muhammara dip made from roasted red peppers, incredibly delicious! Love that this red pepper sauce is so versatile over pasta, with veggie sticks or just tortilla chips. I can only image imagine the delicious taste and smell.
      Thank you so much Florian for your kind words! This is probably my favorite sauce on the blog and as you can see, one of my oldest recipes, haha! It is truly delicious on everything, pasta, potatoes, broccoli, etc.!
  40. I love the sauce! The taste, texture, amazing color, all of it. I actually realized after I had popped the peppers in the oven that I didn't have chili powder (I was at work for almost 14 hours, no way was I going out at 1 am for that)! So I used a little onion powder, oregano, smoked paprika, and garlic powder. It turned out great thankfully. I'm no chef, so I was nervous tweaking it at all. I sat down to eat and thought, wow, it's amazing to have such great food ready so fast. I needed something filling after the long day I had, with another one to come tomorrow. Thanks again! PS: Confession: I had never roasted red peppers ?. I was intimated by it. That will no longer be the case. I definitely will have to pay a bit better attention if I'm making something I don't want to blend in the future, but just finally having a concrete reason to do it was so motivation.
  41. What is the best way to use this as left overs? Would it work to just pour it in (I use whole wheat pasta, not gluten free) and heat it up the next day? I'm thinking about taking it for work where I don't have a stove. Would it be better to reheat the sauce separately? Thanks in advance.
  42. My hubby and I love this sauce. Just wondering what sized red bell peppers you used? The sizes do vary greatly!
      Hi Jeanette! I have used just 2 (no matter the size) every time I make this and it always turns out amazing...hard to mess it up really, haha. So glad you both love it! I would say though, the bigger the better!
  43. Bomb!!!!
      Thank you so much!
  44. I made this tonight and it was delicious! So so good. My dad even wants some sauce by itself to use as a dip for nachos. Thank you!!
      I'm so happy to hear it was a hit Jennifer, thank you for the feedback!
  45. Do I have to use pine nuts in the sauce? What else can I use instead of pine nuts?
      Hi Alex, I have listed on the recipe right next to pine nuts that you can also use cashews. They work amazing as well!
  46. I stopped buying pasta sauce because every one I've seen has oil in it. I tried this recipe on my favorite pasta (Tolerant red lentil rotini), and YUM! This is such a great pleasant change to the traditional tomato pasta sauce! Love the flavor!
      Thank you Jessica, so glad you loved it! It's one of my favorites in our home!
  47. Hello! Just wanted to drop a note that I have been making this recipe frequently for MONTHS. My (non-vegan) husband and I really enjoy it (-: Thanks for your creation!
      Yay! That makes me so happy to hear Paige, thank you so much for that wonderful feedback and letting me know!
  48. Hi Brandi, never have done this before so I hope you get it. I will definitely be trying this red pepper sauce!! Many years ago I came across a sweet potato with vitamin c powder for the kick that tomatoes give. Do you know of a recipe like this? It was a very simple recipe. Since I came down with IBS I am keeping my food simple!.I can't tolerate nuts right now, maybe that will change! Thank you
      Hi Maggie! No, I have never ever heard about that. The nuts in this definitely give body and richness to the sauce, so you are welcome to try other things to sub, but I just don't know how well it would turn out. I think if you are avoiding nuts, then this other red pepper sauce on my blog would be just perfect for you! It is delicious and I have provided both a nut and nut-free option (made with potatoes)!
  49. Hello Brandi, this looks delicious. I am traveling to Italy on a culinary tour. If i cannot find yeast what do you recommend for substitution or can i just omit. Grazi Ciao !
      Hi Sharon! You can leave it out, but replace it with maybe a bit more salt (since yeast is kinda salty) and some extra flavor if needed like garlic powder, onion powder and that should work. I actually don't use the yeast anymore myself since my hubby can't tolerate it and I just leave it out now for this and add other spices for flavor.
  50. Mel
    Is it just me or this this blown anyone else's head off with 2 teaspoons of chilli powder!?!?!?!?! I actually can't eat it. :(
      Hi Mel! Oh no, sounds like you used a super hot chili powder, not a typical regular American chili powder. A standard chili powder is not spicy, it is mild and just adds warmth to the sauce, doesn't make it spicy at all. As you can see from all the reviews above, it is a hit. Nobody has ever complained of the spice. I even make it for my 5 year old all the time and she hates spicy and eats this with no problem. I use just a standard McCormick type chili powder. You need a chili powder that is a combo of spices and not just like a solid pepper powder. Those will be insanely spicy like cayenne and are labeled differently usually.
      • Mel
        Hi, thanks for the reply. I'm in the UK and just have standard chilli powder (which is just chilli powder). I did think it seemed a lot but thought maybe the other ingredients would cancel it out a little. We had to chuck it unfortunately! :(
          Ahhh yes, I've heard UK chili powders and Australian chili powders are different than American versions. Sorry about that!
          • Mel
            No worries. Maybe I'll try again another time with just a pinch of chilli powder! :)
  51. this is an awesome sauce!! we even added some tumeric and mmmmm. thanks Brandi!
      So wonderful to hear, thank you so much for the feedback!
  52. I made this tonight and just wow! It was so easy, flavorful and amazing! My husband is a food snob and he raved about its greatness. I am so glad I tried it! I substituted tahini for the nutritional yeast and served over spiralized zucchini. I couldn’t ask for an easier dish that seemed like I slaved in the kitchen lol!
      Oh yay! That is the best review Becky, thank you so much for taking the time to star rate it as well! So happy to hear how much you and your hubby loved this recipe, haha! Thank you!
  53. My husband and I started a plant based whole food diet at the end of January. It has been a struggle. My husband, Guy, still has a bit of meat and the occasional egg or bit of butter but he's getting better. I signed up for the online cooking course offered by Forks over Knives because I was having a hard time cooking without oil and making dressings and sauces. I made your red pepper sauce and it is the best thing I've made since I started this 5 weeks ago. I had cooked a spagetti squash the day before (I had never had that either) and put the sauce on that. Fabulous!!! I ate it for breakfast and will finish up at lunch. If all of your recipes are this good, you website will be up on my screen every day. Thanks so much!
      That is so amazing to hear Barbara, thank you so much for the amazing review!
  54. Could you omit the garlic? I am currently following a low fodmap diet. Thanks !!
      Hi Jessica, I'm so sorry I'm just now seeing this comment. Yes, you can leave it out! It does add a lot of flavor but should still be flavorful without it.
  55. Oh WOW!!! SO GOOD!!!! (Yes I am YELLING!!!) We just got home from a trip and I had a jar of roasted red peppers but not much else in the house so made this — didn’t have any any pine nuts so left them out, used dried basil instead of fresh. Then I heated up a can of chickpeas, some frozen corn and frozen spinach and tossed that in with the pasta. YUM!!!! Can’t wait to make this again! Thank you so much!
      Woohoo, so glad you loved this Lisa, yay!

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