Vegan sausage pasta with pinto beans and red peppers is a quick and simple midweek meal but deceptively rich, delicious and super wholesome.
Packed full of iron, protein, calcium, vitamin C ,and fibre, sausage pasta is perfect for those new to plant-based and vegan diets, and for tempting meat-eaters over to the plant-side.
This vegan sausage pasta is so good it can be dished up at your next dinner party, pot-luck, or when you need to feed a crowd. It's sure to be an instant winner.
Not keen on meat-free sausages? Simply replace with roasted whole mushrooms or a roasted veggie mix. Or with extra creamy beans for the best veggie bean pasta ever.
Vegan sausage pasta with red pepper and pinto beans (Served with pasta and greens)
This recipe produces the most amazing rich, thick and delicious creamy tomato sauce, packed full of fresh veggies and beans, and enhanced with tasty meat-free sausages.
To begin, the meat-free sausages are cooked according to packet instructions, and then sliced into 2-3 pieces. The sausages are set aside until ready to pop into the sauce.
To prepare the sauce, red peppers, mushrooms, onions, and garlic are cooked in a flavourful tomato sauce enriched with smooth tomato passata and tomato paste/puree. And flavoured with vegan stock, red wine vinegar, a little chilli powder, paprika, dried herbs and oregano.
I like to use a vegan mushroom stock but any veggie stock can be used.
If you can't source tomato passata don't worry as a can of chopped tomatoes can be subbed instead. Passata is simply blended, sieved, uncooked tomatoes and can be sourced in most UK supermarkets. Passata is different from tomato paste/puree which is concentrated blended tomatoes that have been cooked for many hours.
Once the tomato sauce is mostly cooked the sliced vegan sausages are popped in and heated for a few minutes within the bubbling sauce.
To finish the sauce, a scoop or two of vegan soft cream cheese is mixed through, along with fresh basil leaves.
Although, the soft cream cheese is an optional addition it does add a rich creaminess that is absolutely delicious and when combined with the fresh basil elevates the sausage pasta to a dinner party worthy meal.
I use the Asda plant-based vegan plain soft cream cheese which is about 98p a tub. Only a tablespoon or two is needed, so it is worth the extra pennies. However, the cream cheese is not essential.
To serve with this vegan sausage pasta sauce, I prepare a pot full of wholemeal pasta and greens.
I love adding fresh greens to every meal so chucking in a couple handfuls of kale to the dried pasta, and simmering the kale and pasta together is a tasty, nutritious addition. Alternatively fresh spinach can be mixed through the drained, cooked pasta.
I like to retain the cooking liquid and use it for other dishes such as soups, stews or sauces. It usually stays fresh in the fridge for about 5 days.
I generally use vegan meat-free Richmond sausages which are one of the best tasting vegan sausages available, well according to my kids anyway. As a family we don't eat shop-bought vegan sausages that often, perhaps every couple of months, as I prefer to make my own sausages but my kids do love this sausage pasta.
Many meat eaters actually prefer the meat-free Richmond sausages as they are very close to the taste and texture of meat sausages. Serving up these sausages to reluctant family members who are not too keen on vegan or plant-based food may win them over to the plant side. It's always worth a try.
Also kids will likely will not be able to tell the difference between meat sausages and meat-free Richmond sausages.
However, for this recipe any vegan sausage that you like will do perfectly well, as they are many delicious meat-free sausages around these days to experiment with.
Vegan meatballs or even sliced up vegan burgers are a tasty replacement or even simply add another can of beans such as creamy cannellini or borlotti.
Or instead of baking sausages try roasting whole mushrooms until they are soft and juicy, and then pop these into the sauce at the same time as the meat-free sausages are added.
Or roast a selection of veggies such as courgette/zucchini, aubergine/eggplant, tomatoes, red onion, etc, and add these instead of the sausages.
How To Prepare Vegan Sausage Pasta
Recipe Notes And FAQS
Leftover tomato sauce, including pasta, can be stored in the fridge, within a covered container for 3 days. Or frozen for up to 4 months.
Leftover pasta can be quickly reheated by pouring boiling water over and draining.
The tomato sausage sauce can be reheated by adding to a skillet or saucepan and gently bringing to a simmer, reheat for 2-3 minutes until piping hot. Add a few tablespoons of vegan stock or water to loosen the sauce if necessary to prevent sticking to your pan.
If your pasta is already mixed through the tomato sauce either add a little water to loosen up the sauce and reheat in a skillet or saucepan, or place in an oven-proof dish and heat in a hot oven until piping hot. Add a lid or a cover made with foil to prevent the pasta going to crispy if preferred.
Yes, it is easy to prepare this recipe as gluten-free.
Use gluten-free vegan sausages, gluten-free vegan stock, and ensure that any spice or herb blends are free from gluten or wheat ingredients. Also use a gluten-free vegan cream cheese or cream.
Alternatively, if you can't source gluten-free sausages simply replace with an extra can of creamy beans such as cannellini or borlotti, roast whole mushrooms or roast veggies.
Finally choose a gluten-free pasta. I frequently use green lentil pasta which has a nice texture.
Of course. Anything that is vegan or plant-based is also perfect for vegetarians. And everyone and anyone really!
I usually serve pasta and greens with this recipe as my kids love it, but for hungrier appetites here is a few additional accompaniment ideas:
* garlic bread
* vegan French bread
* vegan sun-dried tomato/herb or chilli flavoured bread
* Irish soda bread (100% wholemeal)
* 3 ingredient quick dinner rolls
* bread sticks
* large crispy side salad
* grated/shredded vegan cheese
* nutritional yeast flakes, to sprinkle over the top of each serving
* vegan coleslaw
* baked sweet or white potato
* Sub the vegan sausages for an extra can of beans, roast mushrooms or roast veggies
* Switch out the mushrooms for courgettes. Although the mushrooms do add lots of flavour. I fine dice my mushrooms with a food processer as my son hates the texture of mushrooms and always picks them out of any dish. However when fine diced, the mushrooms disappear into this sauce and he never spots them. And he always wants seconds of this meal!
* use any bean you have to hand if pinto beans are not available
* use any colour of bell pepper, although the red ones do add sweetness to the sauce, and green peppers may add bitterness
* switch the fresh onion and garlic for dried varieties, about 2-3 teaspoons of dried in place of fresh
* not keen on bell peppers? Use the same amount of grated carrot
* sub the kale for another green veggie such as chard, collards, spring greens, Calvo Nero, turnip greens, etc. Cook these greens along with the pasta.
* if replacing the kale with a softer green veggie such as spinach, watercress or wild rocket/arugula don't boil along with the pasta, but just mix through the cooked, drained pasta, or add to the plate as a side.
* precook the meat-free sausages earlier in the day or the day before, store in the fridge until required.
* precook pasta, and store in the fridge. Pour boiling water over the pasta and drain, to reheat and refresh just before serving
* use dried garlic and onion powder
* use frozen peppers and mushrooms. Fresh peppers and mushrooms are easily frozen, simply chop or slice and add to freezer proof containers/reusable bags and freeze for up to 4 months. Add frozen to the sauce as they defrost really quickly.
* replace the passata, tomato paste, and flavourings for a ready-prepared shop bought vegan/plant-based jar or can of pasta sauce. Add the veggies and beans, and simmer until the veggies are cooked. Proceed with the rest of the recipe. The flavourings can also be added if liked to give the sauce a boost.
More easy vegan pasta meal ideas
Vegan Sausage Pasta with Pinto Beans and Sweet Red Peppers
- Saucepan for cooking pasta and greens
- Skillet or similar for cooking tomato sauce
- Baking tray for cooking sausages
- 8 vegan sausages cooked according to packet. Or replace with 1 400g/ 15oz can of borlotti or cannellini beans, drained, or roasted whole mushrooms or roast veggies
To sauté veggies
- 250 ml vegetable stock
- 170 grams red bell pepper 1 large, sliced
- 120 grams mushrooms Sliced or very fine chopped, alternatively replace with courgette/zucchini
- 4 cloves garlic sliced/minced
- 170 g onion 1 medium, chopped
- 1 can pinto beans 400g/15 oz can, drained, or 240g/ 1 ½ cups cooked beans
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree paste
- 500 grams tomato passata alternatively use 1 400g/ 15oz can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 125 ml vegan stock
- ¼ teaspoon chilli powder Use extra, less or omit.
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons mixed dried herbs such as an Italian blend
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano or an extra teaspoon of mixed dried herbs
- 1 teaspoon sugar or maple syrup, etc.
Optional: Mix through cooked tomato sauce:
- 2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese Use shop bought or homemade vegan cream cheese or cream.
- 15 grams fresh basil leaves kept whole
- 350 grams dried pasta or enough for your family
- 100 grams kale chopped and tough stems destalked
Cook the meat-free sausages while you prepare the tomato sauce
- Cook the vegan sausages according to the packet instructions. Once cooked slice each sausage into 2-3 pieces and set aside.
Prepare the tomato sauce
- To a pan pour in 250ml (1 cup) of vegan stock and bring to a simmer. Add the onion, peppers, garlic, and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes with a lid on.
- Add tomato puree, sugar, oregano, mixed herbs, chilli powder, and paprika. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes.
- Pour in the tomato passata, red wine vinegar, and 125ml (½ cup) of vegan stock. Mix through the pinto beans.Bring to a simmer.
- Turn heat to low, add a lid to your pan, and cook for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare the pasta
- While the sauce is gently bubbling cook your pasta according to the packet instructions. If using kale cook the greens in the same pan as the pasta.Once pasta is ready, drain, and pop a lid over to keep warm. (The cooking liquid can be reserved for other dishes such as soups, stews and sauces)
Finish the tomato sausage sauce
- After 20 minutes add the meat-free sausages to the tomato sauce and stir.Gently simmer the sauce for 2-3 minutes to heat the sausages.
- If using vegan cream cheese mix this through the sauce along with the fresh basil. Add salt and pepper to taste if necessary.
- Serve the tomato sausage sauce with the cooked pasta and kale. Or mix everything together.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary. Data is calculated using computerized nutrition apps.
- Leftover vegan sausage pasta can be stored in the fridge, covered, for 3 days. Or frozen for up to 4 months.
- Leftover pasta and kale can be reheated by pouring boiling water over and draining. Or enjoy it chilled straight from the fridge as a snack or as part of a salad.
- Reheat the tomato sausage sauce by gently bringing to a simmer in a pan or skillet, and heat through for 2-3 minutes or until piping hot.
- Or reheat the tomato sauce including the pasta, in a warm oven until heated through. Add a lid over your oven dish if you don't want the pasta to go too crispy.
- The addition of vegan cream cheese or cream is optional but does add a lovely, tasty creaminess. I use the Asda vegan soft cream cheese.
- If preferred replace the meat-free sausages with an additional can of beans such as cannellini or borlotti. Or some whole mushrooms roasted until soft and juicy. Pop in the mushrooms at the same time as the sausages are added.
- Another idea is to roast some mixed veggies such as zucchini/courgette, eggplant/aubergine, cherry tomatoes, red onion, garlic, etc and pop in a a cup or two to the sauce. So tasty.
- The kale can be replaced with spinach, however mix the spinach through the drained pasta as it does not need boiling, and will wilt in the residual heat.
- To save time use onion and garlic powder, and precook your meat-free sausages earlier in the day or even the day before, simply keep in the fridge until required.