Healthy Roasted Red Pepper and Spinach Pasta

Roasted Red Pepper and Spinach Pasta
Kaleigh McMordie, MCN, RDN
Total Time 50 min
Prep 25 min, Cook 25 min
Servings 4 (2 cups each)

A simple pasta meal can be lacking in nutrients and very high in sodium if you rely on premade sauces. But pasta can also be a great way to add more healthy vegetables to your diet. This vegetarian roasted red pepper and spinach pasta is a great example of how to do pasta night in a nutritious way.

In this recipe, whole grain pasta is used to provide fiber and keep your blood sugar in control. This pasta also has a creamy, flavorful sauce made from roasted red peppers. When you add spinach and tomatoes, you get a filling meal that tastes indulgent and is full of nutrition.

Ingredients

  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoon half and half (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 8 ounces whole wheat pasta
  • 1 pint (2 cups) cherry tomatoes
  • 1 (8-ounce) bag baby spinach

Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Place red peppers and unpeeled garlic cloves on baking sheet and roast 15 minutes. Remove garlic cloves, turn peppers, and continue roasting until blistered, about 15 more minutes. Remove from oven and wrap in foil for 15 minutes to steam. This will help the skin peel off easily. Cool peppers.
  2. Remove skins and seeds from peppers. Place in a blender or food processor with garlic, broth, half and half (if using) and pepper. Blend until smooth.
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving about 1 cup of cooking liquid.
  2. Add pasta back to pot with red pepper sauce, tomatoes, and spinach. Toss to coat over low heat, adding reserved pasta liquid to thin as necessary. Let cook over low until spinach is wilted.
  3. Divide into bowls and serve.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

To make this recipe vegan, omit the half and half.

You may use jarred roasted red peppers instead of roasted fresh peppers.

For a gluten-free meal, use your favorite gluten-free pasta, such as chickpea pasta or quinoa pasta.

If you would like more protein, add grilled chicken or shrimp.

Cooking and Serving Tips

Top pasta with goat cheese or freshly grated mozzarella.

Serve with a salad for a healthy, vegetable-filled meal.

Don't put hot peppers in the blender. The heat will create too much pressure and the lid will pop off.

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