Try this Lentil Pasta with Roasted Garlic, Broccoli and Creamy Red Pepper Sauce for a tasty gluten-free and vegetarian dinner. Combining protein-packed lentil pasta, "buttery" roasted garlic and tender-crisp broccoli in a creamy roasted red pepper sauce, this hearty dish can also easily be made vegan!Jump to Recipe
Why you'll love this lentil pasta recipe
- Easy vegetarian and gluten free dinner recipe
- Has vegan abilities
- Provides a great source of protein, fiber, and amino acids
- This easy recipe only uses simple ingredients, no scouring the grocery store for hard-to-find ingredients
- It's a simple pasta dish that even traditional regular wheat pasta lovers will go crazy for
- Fantastic filling and healthy dinner on the table in about an hour
Ingredients you'll need
For the roasted garlic
- Olive Oil
- Black Pepper
For the pasta
- Lentil Pasta (I used Modern Table Lentil Penne)
- Steam-in-Bag Frozen Broccoli
- Jarred Roasted Red Peppers
- Half-and-Half or Light Canned Coconut Milk (for the vegan option)
- Butter or Vegan Butter
- Vegetarian-Friendly Parmesan Cheese (use vegan shredded or grated Parmesan cheese for the vegan option, such as Follow Your Heart or Violife)
- Crushed Red Pepper Chili Flakes (for garnish)
How to make this lentil pasta dish - step by step
Start by preheating your oven to 400° F.
Then, add roasted red peppers to the bowl of a food processor.
Process on high until peppers are pureed and no chunks remain (approximately 30-60 seconds).
Pour into a small bowl and set aside.
Next, cut approximately ½ inch of the top of the bulb of garlic to expose the cloves inside.
Peel away any loose papery layers.
Place garlic bulb on a piece of foil and drizzle olive oil onto the exposed cloves followed by salt and pepper.
Pull up sides of foil and seal up the garlic bulb package.
Roast for 35 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow garlic to cool for about 15 minutes before handling.
After the garlic has been roasting for 25-30 minutes, start cooking the pasta according to package directions.
When the pasta is done, drain in a colander, but do not rinse.
While the pasta is cooking, make the broccoli according to package directions.
Once done, let stand in bag until ready to use.
At the same time as the pasta and broccoli are cooking, make the creamy red pepper sauce.
Whisk half-and-half or light coconut milk (for the vegan option) into the roasted red pepper puree.
Pour the roasted red pepper mixture into a small saucepan.
Add butter (use vegan butter for the vegan option) and cook over medium-high heat until butter is melted.
Remove sauce from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese (use vegan Parmesan cheese for the vegan option), as well as salt and pepper to taste.
Add cooked pasta to a large serving bowl.
Mix in broccoli and roasted garlic by carefully squeezing out each clove.
Add creamy red pepper sauce and stir to combine.
Garnish with shredded Parmesan cheese or vegan Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes.
Storing and reheating leftovers
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Reheat in the microwave in a covered microwave-safe container until warmed throughout.
Tips for making the best lentil pasta with roasted garlic
- You can cook your pasta however you like, but I prefer this recipe using al dente pasta.
- Be sure to let your roasted garlic rest for the full 15 minutes or you'll risk burning yourself as you try to handle the garlic.
- One of my family's favorite ways to enjoy this recipe is when I serve this pasta dish with a loaf of gluten free crusty bread and a small bowl of vegan broccoli cheese soup.
Substitutions and variations
- The lentil pasta I chose uses red lentils, but you will be fine if your pasta uses green lentils or yellow lentils as well.
- If you do not need a gluten-free pasta recipe, you can also use regular pasta. Or if you're out of lentil pasta, try chickpea pasta or brown rice pasta.
- Want even more of a creamy, cheesier type sauce? Add in some nutritional yeast. It's a great option to bring some creaminess and cheesy flavoring to vegan and other dairy free dishes.
- Looking to add some tomatoes to this easy lentil pasta recipe? Instead of changing out the sauce to a full on red sauce or tomato sauce, try adding in some cut up cherry tomatoes, or a small amount of crushed tomatoes, You can still keep your creamy sauce but bring a little acidity of the tomatoes to the dish. It's a unique change to the recipe, so I recommend sticking to the regular recipe first and then changing it up the next time you make it if you want to try another variation.
- Always feel free to add in any of your other favorite seasonings, like Italian seasoning, fresh basil, onion powder, oregano, etc. as these are pantry staples that will always be a great addition to just about any recipe.
Can I freeze this lentil pasta recipe?
I tend not to recommend freezing any of our recipes that use gluten-free pastas.
Gluten-free pasta breaks down a lot easier once it's frozen and thawed. It can become mushy very easily and makes reheating a difficult task in order to try to save the integrity of the lentil pasta.
More lentil pasta recipes
- Red Lentil Pasta Baked Ziti
- Easy Vegan Pasta with Dairy-Free Ricotta (#7 in our free lazy vegan recipes printable)
- Southwest Lentil Pasta Salad
- Hummus Pasta Salad
Lentil Pasta with Roasted Garlic, Broccoli and Creamy Red Pepper Sauce
- 1 large bulb of garlic
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch of kosher salt plus additional to taste
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper plus additional to taste
- 8 ounces lentil pasta (you can use any red or yellow lentil pasta)
- 1 (12 oz.) package steam in bag frozen broccoli cuts
- 1 (12 oz.) jar roasted red peppers, drained
- 1 cup half-and-half (use light canned coconut milk for the vegan option)
- 4 tablespoons butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces (use vegan butter for the vegan option)
- 1 cup freshly grated vegetarian-friendly Parmesan cheese (use grated or shredded vegan Parmesan cheese such as Follow Your Heart or Violife for the vegan option)
- Shredded vegetarian Parmesan cheese, for garnish (use vegan Parmesan cheese for the vegan option)
- Crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Cut approximately ½ inch of the top of the bulb of garlic to expose the cloves inside. Peel away any loose papery layers. Place garlic bulb on a piece of foil and drizzle olive oil onto the exposed cloves followed by salt and pepper. Pull up sides of foil to seal up the garlic bulb package. Roast for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow garlic to cool for about 15 minutes before handling. When ready, carefully squeeze out each clove.
- After the garlic has been roasting for 25-30 minutes, start cooking the pasta according to package directions (after the water boils, it takes approximately 9 minutes for the pasta to cook). When the pasta is done, drain in a colander, but do not rinse.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the broccoli according to package directions. (approximately 5 minutes). Once done, let stand in bag until ready to use.
- At the same time as the pasta and broccoli are cooking, make the creamy red pepper sauce. Whisk the half-and-half (or light coconut milk) into the roasted red pepper puree. Pour the roasted red pepper mixture into a sauce pan. Add butter (or vegan butter) and cook over medium-high heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese (or vegan Parmesan cheese). Also stir in salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
- Add pasta to a large mixing or serving bowl. Mix in broccoli and roasted garlic. Add creamy red pepper sauce and stir to combine.
- Garnish with shredded Parmesan cheese (or vegan Parmesan cheese) and crushed red pepper flakes.
(Please refer to the post above for instructional photographs and other helpful information for this recipe)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received free product samples from Modern Table Meals which I used to create this recipe; however, I was not paid for my opinion. All my opinions are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
©Watch Learn Eat. All content and images are copyright protected. Recipes and images are not to be used or republished without prior permission. If you adapt this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, and link back to this post for the original recipe.
Thanks for this lentil pasta. Easy, practical and delicious.
Thanks so much, Kolaylezzet! So happy you enjoyed the pasta! 🙂
Just made this with a few alterations - I didn’t have lentil pasta so I used normal pasta, and I didn’t have half and half or coconut milk so I made a light bechamel instead. It turned out yummy but we found it a little bland and I would add the following suggestions: 1) add more broccoli; 2) the sauce definitely needs salt, so don’t skimp on it; 3) Maybe my head of garlic was too small, but if I make it again I would do it with two heads of garlic and mash each ear up a bit before mixing it in, to spread that yummy flavor around! The red pepper flakes were really nice on top.
Hi Emilie! Glad you were able to make it work for you with the ingredients you had! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience and offering your suggestions. 🙂
Hi, This looks amazing. I’ve never tried lentil pasta. Can I make this ahead, or will the pasta get too mushy? Thx!
Thanks Liz! I love lentil pasta; there are so many delicious kinds available now. I think you could make it ahead and it will be fine. We reheated the leftovers the next day and they were great. I'd just make sure not to overcook the pasta because then it will get mushy and fall apart too. Hope you enjoy! Have a great day! 🙂
I found Lentil penne pasta in the freezer section of the store. I shop at a Kroger store here in Michigan, they carry this product. It's by Birdseye Steamfresh and is called Zucchini Lentil Pasta...it is fabulous. There are other options that have with this pasta and it has marinara sauce mixed with the Zucchini Lentil Pasta. I highly recommend. I discovered it by accident..glad I did. You put in microwave and heat for 2 1/2 minutes...wahlaaa you have a yummy penne pasta.
Going to try this recipe..it sounds amazing.
Watch Learn Eat
That sounds great, Lynn. I'll have to check those out. Hope you like this dish! Have a great day! 🙂
Admittedly I did not use lentil pasta, but we made this tonight and loved it! So decadent, and so easy! I was delightfully surprised by how great this turned out. Thanks for a super easy recipe!
Watch Learn Eat
Thank you so much, Kelly! I am so glad you enjoyed it! The red pepper sauce is so versatile, it pairs well with many different pastas and other veggie combinations. 🙂
Ah-mazing!!!!!! Will definitely make again. 🙂
Watch Learn Eat
Thank you so much, Catalina! I am so glad you enjoyed this dish! 🙂
This was so, so good and easy to make...Even my husband liked it! This one goes in my regular rotation dinner file!
Can't get much better than this for a delicious, gluten-free, meatless dinner!
Watch Learn Eat
Thanks Amy! I'm so glad you both enjoyed it so much and will be making it again! That means so much to us! Hope you have an awesome weekend! 🙂