TexMex Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

This Roasted Red Pepper Pasta is smothered in a creamy roasted red pepper sauce that will have you licking the plate!

 This Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta recipe is simple, quick and custotmizable for an easy dinner any night of the week! The dreamy roasted red pepper sauce is mega creamy, spiked with TexMex spices, spinach and black beans.  You also have  the option to add chipotle chicken or whatever protein your heart desires -chorizo, ground beef, sausage, any veggies  – or nothing at all!  Because this pasta my friends, is all about the luscious, multi-dimensional roasted red pepper sauce! 

a fork picking up a bite of Roasted Red Pepper Pasta


 

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

This Roasted Red Pepper Pasta is about to become one of your favorite pastas in the world! 

After I made my Breakfast Taquitos with Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Feta Dip – I couldn’t stop fantasizing of all the different ways I could use roasted red peppers – and this Roasted Red Pepper Pasta was born – and now I can’t stop fantasizing about this pasta!

You’ll love this Roasted Red Pepper Pasta because it’s:

  • flavorful
  • creamy
  • versatile
  • easy
  • savory 
  • satisfying

So with no further ado, I excitedly bring you Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Blackened Chipotle Chicken, Black Beans and Spinach. Because every day is the perfect day for Mexican food – when it tastes as delicioso as this! 

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce Ingredients

For this Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce, you will need:  

  • red bell peppers:  remove the seeds, seeds, membranes and slice in half vertically.
  • white onion:  peel and quarter the onion but you don’t have to chop it any finer because it is going to be chopped in the food processor.
  • garlic cloves:  peel the garlic cloves but you don’t need to mince them because they will also be chopped with the onions.
  • flour:  is used to thicken the sauce.  You can use gluten free flour as well.
  • chicken broth:  use low sodium broth so we can control the salt
  • cream cheese:  you can use full fat or less fat but be aware full fat melts better. 

What kind of pasta should I use?

This Roasted Red Pepper Sauce goes well with either sprialized pasta so the sauce gets caught in the nooks and crannies or long pasta such as spaghetti so the sauce can cocoon the pasta.  

a bowl of creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

How to Make Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

  1. Roast red peppers.  Roasting red peppers is simple, quick and easy, and 100X better than store bought!  You simply broil the peppers for 10-minutes or so, place them in a paper bag and allow them to steam, and then you peel off the skins.  Cinch, right?!
  2. Puree roasted red peppers.  Add bell peppers, onion and garlic to a food processor/blender and pulse until smooth.  You’ll want to blend until it’s as smooth as possible for the ultimate velvety sauce.  
  3. Cook roasted red pepper sauce.  Add red pepper puree to a skillet and saute for 5 minutes over medium heat – this will cook our onions, garlic all while infusing the red peppers with flavor.   
  4. Thicken roasted red pepper sauce.  Stir in 1 tablespoon flour and cook an additional minute to get rid of the raw flour taste and smell. Whisk in chicken broth, seasoning and bring to a simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, 3-5 minutes.
  5. Make it creamy!  stir in cream cheese until smooth. Add black beans and cook until heated through, then stir in spinach.
  6. Add pasta.  Add pasta of choice to the sauce and stir until well combined. If you want a saucier pasta, add less pasta, for less saucy, more pasta. 
  7. EAT!
showing how to make Roasted Red Pepper Pasta by roasting red peppers

How to Season Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Similar to how I added a Mexican flair to my roasted red pepper feta dip, which is a traditionally Greek dip,  I knew I wanted to do the same with this roasted red pepper pasta sauce, which is traditionally more Italian.

So I spiced this Roasted Red Pepper Pasta sauce with chipotle chile powder, smoked paprika and cumin making it one of my all time favorite pasta sauces!  Not only is it super flavorful, it also boasts a fresh, smoky-sweet pepper flavor from the freshly roasted bell peppers AND its crazy creamy! It doesn’t get much better than this.  Possibly any better than this!

What Veggies Can I add to Roasted Red Pepper Pasta?

I added black beans and spinach to the Roasted Red Pepper sauce for extra dimension.  They perfectly compliment the roasted red pepper pasta sauce without compromising the creamy texture.  Black beans and spinach never tasted so good!

If black beans and spinach aren’t your thing, you can leave the Roasted Pepper Pasta plain, or here are a few more veggie ideas:

  • zucchini
  • corn
  • asparagus
  • tomatoes
  • mushrooms
  • peas
  • broccoli
quick and easy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta in a bowl

What Protein Can I add to Roasted Red Pepper Pasta?

To completely knock the socks off this Roasted Red Pepper Pasta recipe, I added blackened chipotle chicken.  It is rubbed in spices and then cooked to juicy, flavorful heaven.  After you make this chicken, you are going to be wondering why you don’t make chicken like this for every dish?!

Instead of chipotle chicken, you can also add:

Tips to make roasted red pepper pasta

  • Can I use jarred roasted red peppers?  Yes!  You will need one 15 ounces jar of roasted red peppers.  Make sure you drain them well before adding to the food processor.   
  • Can I make gluten free roasted red pepper pasta SAUCE?  Absolutely!  You can substitute the flour with gluten free flour or stir in ½ tablespoon cornstarch into the roasted red pepper puree before you add it to the skillet. 
  • Can I make gluten free roasted red pepper PASTA?  Yes!  You can use gluten free past or serve the sauce over zoodles, spaghetti squash or any other serialized veggie noodles.
  • Can I change the flavor of the sauce?  I personally am in love with this TexMex version, but it also lends itself fabulously to an Italian twist. You can add Italian seasoning or hand picked Italian seasonings such as basil, parsley, oregano and red pepper flakes.  If you are going Italian, then Parmesan is also a wonderful addition.
  • Can I make this roasted red pepper pasta dairy free?  Yes!  If you want to make the sauce dairy free then you can skip the cream cheese and add ¼ cup cashews to the food processor with the peppers.
  • Do I have to make it creamy?  Nope!  The ingredients simmer together to create a silky sauce and then the cream cheese makes it luxuriously creamy.  If you would like a less creamy sauce, simply don’t add the cream cheese or add less to taste. 

HOW TO MAKE roasted red pepper pasta AHEAD

TO MAKE AHEAD:

You can make the Roasted Red Pepper Pasta 100% ahead of time and gently warm (see instructions) or prepare elements in advance so it can come together super quickly at dinner time. If you know you are reheating, take extra your pasta is cooked al dente – testing the pasta a couple minutes before the package directions specify.   

TO PREP AHEAD:

  • Pasta: cook the pasta al dente, drain with cool water and toss with a drizzle of oil to prevent it from sticking together.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Bell peppers: can be roasted, peeled and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Sauce:  go one step further and blend the bell peppers and all of the sauce ingredients and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with grilled chicken

HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT

  • Storage: Store the pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 
  • Microwave: Microwave small portions for 1 minute, stir, then continue to heat at 30-second intervals until warmed through.
  • Stove: For larger portions, reheat pasta gently on the stove, stirring occasionally. You may need to add a splash of milk to make it ultra creamy again.

HOW TO FREEZE

This Roasted Red Pepper Pasta is best fresh, but can still be frozen, just take care the pasta is al dente. 

  • Let the pasta cool to room temperature.
  • Transfer to a freezer safe container.
  • Label and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Allow to thaw completely in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat per instructions.

Roasted red pepper pasta Recipe Variations:

In addition to playing around with the chicken and veggies, here are some more recipe variations:

  • Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with ground beef:  Lean ground beef, ground turkey or ground chicken would all be tasty. Brown the beef before you add the sauce to the pan.
  • Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with shrimp: Cilantro lime shrimp, roasted shrimp or butter garlic shrimp would be fabulous.  
  • Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with roasted vegetables:  You can add your favorite roasted veggies directly to the sauce such as roasted broccoli, roasted cauliflowerroasted asparagus, or roasted Brussels sprouts.
  • Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with with sun-dried tomatoes: Purchase sun-dried tomatoes in oil, not water. They are usually located near the olives or pickles at your grocery store. Rinse the tomatoes, pat dry, chop and sauté with the sauce.
  • Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with: Amp up the heat with 1/4-½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or ½ teaspoon chipotle pepper. You can keep the pasta family friendly and spice up individual plates.
  • Gluten Free Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with:  Use your favorite gluten free pasta and swap the flour for gluten free flour or ½ tablespoon cornstarch. .
  • Vegetarian Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with: Substitute the chicken broth for vegetable broth and skip the chicken.

What Can I serve Roasted Red Pepper Sauce with?

If you want to skip the pasta, this Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce is divine on:

  • zucchini noodles
  • spaghetti squash
  • cauliflower rice
  • whole-wheat noodles
  • quinoa
  • rice
  • potatoes
top view of Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with spinach

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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

TexMex Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

This TexMex Roasted Red Pepper Pasta is smothered in a creamy roasted red pepper sauce spiked with fiestalicious spices and bursting with chipotle chicken, spinach and black beans!
Servings: 4 -6
Total Time: 50 minutes
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

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Ingredients

Pasta

  • 8 oz. pasta of choice

Chicken

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce

  • 2 large red bell peppers , seeds and membranes removed, cut in half
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 14.5 oz. low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp EACH salt, chipotle chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp EACH cumin, smoked paprika, pepper
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, cubed and softned
  • 3/4 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup packed fresh spinach, chopped

Garnish

  • cilantro (optional)

Instructions

  • If using chipotle chicken, season with the wet rub and set aside.
  • Roast red peppers by placing the halves, skin side up, on a lined (foil/ parchment paper) baking sheet and press them flat with your hand. Broil on the top oven rack for 10-minutes, or until the skins are mostly black. (You may need to rotate your peppers half way through to char evenly.) Once peppers are blackened, place them in a paper bag or freezer bag, and close tightly, allowing them to steam while you prepare the chicken or for at least 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, begin cooking pasta according to package directions in generously salted water and cook the chicken.
  • Heat large skillet over medium high heat. Once very hot, add chicken and cook, undisturbed for 3-5 minutes, or until nicely blackened on one side. Turn chicken over, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook for approximately 5-8 more minutes (depending on thickness of chicken), or until chicken is cooked through. Remove to a cutting board and let rest 3-5 minutes before slicing.
  • After peppers have been steaming at least 10 minutes, peel the outer charred skin off with your hands – it will slip right off. Add bell peppers, onion and garlic to a food processor/blender and pulse until smooth.
  • Add red pepper puree to the same skillet your chicken was cooked in (there should still be some oil left – if not heat 1 tablespoon olive oil) and saute for 5 minutes over medium heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon flour and cook an additional minute. Whisk in chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Add spices listed under “Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce.” Simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, 3-5 minutes. Stir in cream cheese until smooth. Add black beans and cook until heated through, then stir in spinach.
  • Add pasta to the sauce and stir until well combined. Top individual servings of pasta with chicken and cilantro.

Notes

TO PREP AHEAD:

  • Pasta: Cook the pasta al dente, drain with cool water and toss with a drizzle of oil to prevent it from sticking together.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Bell peppers: Roast, peel and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Sauce: Go one step further and blend the bell peppers and all of the sauce ingredients and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT

  • To store: Store the pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 
  • To freeze:  Let the pasta cool to room temperature then transfer to a freezer safe, airtight container. Label and freeze for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw completely in the refrigerator overnight before reheating per instructions.
  • To reheat in the microwave: Microwave small portions for 1 minute, stir, then continue to heat at 30-second intervals until warmed through.
  • To reheat on the stove: For larger portions, reheat pasta gently on the stove, stirring occasionally. You may need to add a splash of milk to make it ultra creamy again.
 
 

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39 Comments

  1. Paula Parker says

    Such beautiful photos. I could almost smell it!! Love it! Thank for sharing.

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Becky! I think you will love it :)!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Mary Ellen! Enjoy!

  2. Shelby says

    Jen! For a baby blogger, your doing an awesome job! Great photos and awesome recipe 🙂

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Shelby! I have been cooking forever but have learned more about blogging and photography in the last 3 months than I ever have! Its so fun!

    • Jen says

      Congratulations! Isn’t the learning curve crazy! Its a lot of fun, a lot of work and rewarding all at the same time. Keep up the awesome work!

  3. Paula Parker says

    Great recipe! Will forward this to my mom, she’s the better cook. Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Thanks for forwarding to your mom! Hopefully she can share some food with you some time 🙂

  4. Tonya says

    Oh yum! Your pictures are making me incredibly hungry over here. 🙂

    • Jen says

      Thanks Tonya! Hopefully you can remedy that soon 🙂

  5. Brittany says

    Came over from #Bloggers’CommunityonFB… and now I’m hungry. Recipes like this are my achilles’ heel! I LOOOOVE pasta. Yum.

    • Jen says

      Me too, especially creamy pasta! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Jen says

      You are most welcome Starla, enjoy!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Holly! I am excited for you to try it because I know you will love it! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  6. Ann says

    I have made this and it is soooo good! We’re having company over this week and I am making this for them! We love it!

    • Jen says

      YAY! I love it when someone shares my same enthusiasm for a recipe! Thank you for letting me know how much you love it, made my day 🙂

  7. Michelle says

    This looks amazing!! Would you recommend substituting jarred roasted red peppers to save time?

    • Jen says

      Thanks Michelle! You can definitely substitute jarred roasted red peppers. There are enough layers of spices going on that it will taste amazing with that shortcut 🙂

  8. Amanda Hanson says

    Do you think you can freeze the sauce?

    • Jen says

      Hi Amanda, yes I think this sauce would freeze very well. Enjoy!

    • Jen says

      Yay for a winner! Can’t wait to hear what else you are making! i hope they are all winners :)!!!

  9. Monica says

    I ran across this recipe via Pinterest, and I have to say, this is now one of my favorite recipes!

    I used 2.5 pounds of chicken, and after mixing the chicken into the sauce, I realized that it wasn’t enough. I ended up having to triple the “honey” sauce, but still stuck to using 16 oz of Salsa Verde. I marinated the chicken in double the sauce, and used a third round + the Salsa Verde to cover. It made 10 enchiladas, that are amazing!!

    Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Jen says

      I am so happy you loved it so much to be a new “favorite” – yay! and I’m glad you were able to make it come out to your liking by doubling the “honey sauce. I hope you find more recipes to love here! thanks Monica!

  10. Debra says

    I made the Texmex creamy roasted red paper pasta with chicken and it was outstanding. My husband and I loved everything about this dish! Thanks!!

    • Jen says

      YAY! I am so happy you both loved it Debra! It is one of my favs so I love hearing when others love it! THANK YOU!

  11. Janet says

    Jen, I guess this is an old recipe so I hope you get this. Am wondering if I use the jarred red peppers would I use the ones in oil and if so, would I also use the oil? Also, about how much would I need?

    • Jen says

      YAY! I am so excited you are going to make this recipe! It is an oldie but it’s so good! I would use one 12 oz. jar of roasted red peppers. You can use the ones in oil but I would be sure to rinse them very well. I hope that helps!

  12. Katie says

    Made this pasta with the chipotle chicken the other night and it was absolutely delicious. (and the leftovers were just as good). One of my favorite things I’ve ever made! Thanks for always posting such amazing recipes. You’re my favorite food blogger and I always look forward to getting your emails! Xo

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for making my day Katie! I’m so happy you loved this pasta and are loving my recipes!

  13. Ekta says

    Delicious, like all your recipes!!