This silken tofu pasta sauce blends up in just 5 minutes with no chopping and no cooking! Using pantry staples like jarred roasted red peppers and nutritional yeast, it’s a creamy, flavorful, slightly smoky sauce that goes so well with your favourite pasta or gnocchi.

roasted red pepper tofu sauce on shell pasta
This silken tofu pasta sauce lives up to it’s name: so silky, with a rich roasted red pepper flavour and just a hint of smokiness!

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I’m sensing a new theme emerging in my weeknight cooking: vegan pasta sauces made in the blender. It all started with my very craveable cashew alfredo sauce, which has been a family staple for years. 

But then I made my green pasta, and my vegan mac and cheese (also with silken tofu!) and now I realize that this just might be one of the easiest ways to put a nutritious meal on the table with minimal effort. Which is probably why I love it so much, because I’m a very lazy weeknight cook!

You just boil your favourite pasta, whip the sauce up in the blender, and if need be, add an extra side of roasted veggies or double down on the protein by opening a can of some creamy white beans. Et voila! A balanced, comforting vegan dinner without all the fuss.

Silken tofu is an incredible ingredient: ultra smooth and milder in the flavour than typical tofu, it can be used as a substitute for cream in plant-based recipes because it blends like a DREAM.  It lends a creamy richness to any pasta sauce as well as a little boost of protein. Which, as a plant-based dietitian, we should probably talk about as I’m seeing some misleading information on blogs about just how much protein silken tofu has.

FAQ: does silken tofu have a lot of protein? 

Silken tofu is an ultra smooth type of tofu that is higher in water content than typical firm or extra firm tofu, so it’s not as protein-dense. The local brand I use, Sunrise, has about 4g of protein per ⅓ cup (85g). If you have access to firm or extra firm silken tofu at your store, that increases protein a bit, about 6-7 grams. So it’s a nice boost, but not a lot of protein on it’s own.

I see a lot of blogs claiming that silken tofu pasta sauces are “high in protein” which is why you want to be careful with nutrition information on the internet (that is not written by an actual dietitian!). I wouldn’t say that 6-7 grams is high. 20 grams of protein? That’s high!

And yep, when served with pasta, this silken tofu pasta sauce will net you a high protein meal, without adding additional protein to this recipe. The combination of this sauce plus two cups of cooked pasta will net you 21 grams of plant-based protein. I bet you didn’t realize that cooked pasta contains a whopping 8.6 grams of protein per cup! And that’s before you swap in a higher protein pasta like a chickpea-based pasta OR add on a protein like grilled tofu or white beans.

How to make this creamy red pepper silken tofu pasta sauce 

This sauce couldn’t be easier: in just 5 minutes, you’ll blend up silken tofu and some pantry staples for a no cook, no chop sauce that will dress a full pound of pasta! Here’s how to do it:

silken tofu pasta sauce ingredients
This 7 ingredient silken tofu pasta sauce is SO easy and so flavourful!

Step One: gather your ingredients. You’ll need a 12-14 oz package of silken tofu, jarred (or leftover) roasted red peppers, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, thyme, lemon juice, salt, smoked paprika and pepper.

Step Two: throw ALL those ingredients into your blender. You don’t even need a high speed blender for this one! Blend on low until everything is broken down, then slowly increase to medium high and blend until smooth, about 1-2 minutes total. You might need to scrape it down once.

Step Three: taste, adjust salt as needed. Because there is variation in the flavour of jarred red peppers, you can adjust to your taste. Tasting too acidic? Just a ½ teaspoon of sugar will help balance it. Need more umami? Try an extra shake of nutritional yeast. 

Step Four: toss with hot pasta and serve. I find depending on the shape of the pasta, and how saucy you like it, you might have a bit more sauce than you need. Pour it into a jar and save it in the fridge. It’s great for when you reheat leftovers, as the sauce dries up a bit. You can also use it as a dipping sauce.

More vegan recipes using silken tofu:

roasted red pepper tofu sauce on shell pasta

Silken Tofu Pasta Sauce with Roasted Red Peppers

This silken tofu pasta sauce blends up in just 5 minutes with no chopping and no cooking! Using pantry staples like jarred roasted red peppers and nutritional yeast, it’s a creamy, flavorful, slightly smoky sauce that goes so well with your favourite pasta or gnocchi.
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Ingredients

Roasted Red Pepper Silken Tofu Pasta Sauce

  • 12 ounces silken tofu, I've used 12-14 oz packs with equal success
  • 2 cups jarred roasted red peppers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • freshly cracked pepper

For Serving

  • 1 pound package of your favourite pasta, cooked according to package directions, drained

Equipment

  • Blender

Instructions 

  • Place all of the sauce ingredients in a blender. Blend on low until peppers break down, then slowly increase speed to medium high and blend until smooth, about 1-2 minutes total.
  • Taste and adjust salt if needed. Too acidic? Lacking umami? see notes in blog post.
  • Toss with hot pasta and serve.