Creamy Pumpkin and Capsicum Penne

I’ve been itching to share this pumpkin and capsicum penne with you as I’ve fallen in love with the flavours and the simplicity of it. It’s the super healthy take on the old (junk food) classic macaroni and cheese. I never ate this growing up, but when I was creating this dish, that’s the first comparison that came to mind!

It’s full of rich, wintery and creamy flavours that work well together. There’s not much in it which is very minimalist of me!

Creamy Pumpkin and Capsicum Penne

Using different kinds of capsicums (peppers)

I’ve been buying these shishito capsicums (peppers) at the markets every week and love adding them to different dishes like stir-frys and bakes. I know that they’ll be pretty tricky to find for some people, so I’d just swap them for chillies (medium heat) instead.

Depending on how hot you like your meal, I’d adjust how many chillies you use. With the shishito ones, we were told that every 1 in 10 would be like a chilli, but honestly, it feels like every 1 in 20.

If you choose to use chillies instead, I’d probably opt-out for the hot paprika if you don’t want it too hot. Just use your instincts when it comes to how spicy you want to make it.

Picking the right pasta

The pasta I used was a blend of quinoa and rice. We found one at our local bulk foods store. I like the mixed gluten-free kinds of pasta as they have a better flavour and texture.

Creamy Pumpkin and Capsicum Penne ingredients

I’m not the biggest fan of plain corn pasta as it has a cardboard-like taste to me. Who wants to eat cardboard!?! That’s the same as some pieces of bread, crackers and wraps. Hopefully, if you accidentally stumble across one, it doesn’t put you off eating it for life!

I do believe though that things are improving with technology and more businesses becoming organic, vegan and eco-conscious. There’s certainly the demand for it, and more and more health food stores and supermarkets are offering amazing products.

Creamy Pumpkin and Capsicum Penne

Other recipes you’ll love:

  1. 3-Ingredient Cabbage Pasta
  2. Leek and Mushroom Vegan White Sauce Fettuccine
  3. Vegan Sweet Potato Gnocchi
  4. Smokey Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese
  5. Roasted Curried Cauliflower with Coconut Rice

If you try this recipe, let me know! Would love for you to leave a comment and rating below. If you want to go that extra mile, tag us on Instagram or share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest

Creamy Pumpkin and Capsicum Penne

Creamy Pumpkin and Capsicum Penne

Yield: 4
Total Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This creamy pumpkin and capsicum penne dish will definitely be a crowd-pleaser! It's full of rich, wintery, creamy flavours that work really well together.


  • 500g butternut pumpkin (squash), cut into cubes
  • 4 banana capsicums (peppers), deseeded
  • 100g shishito capsicums (peppers), leave them whole
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp hot paprika powder (optional)
  • 350g gluten free penne
  • Small handful parsley, finely chopped (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C (400F).
  2. Place all pumpkin, capsicums and garlic in a medium-sized baking tray and coat with olive oil and salt. Using your hands, make sure that all the vegetables are coated in oil and salt and place in the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes. Bake until the pumpkin is soft and the capsicums have browned a little. (See image above)
  3. While the vegetables are baking, cook the pasta as per instructions and then strain. Don't strain off all the liquid. Leave a little at the bottom, this will help to keep the sauce nice and think when you add it in later.
  4. Once the vegetables are baked, make sure you remove the tops of the shishito capsicums before pouring everything (including the oil in the tray) into a high-speed blender add the water, nutritional yeast and hot paprika powder. Blend until smooth and pour over the cooked pasta. You can add more salt if needed. Sprinkle with parsley for some colour if you wish.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1237Total Fat: 91gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 82gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 603mgCarbohydrates: 81gFiber: 15gSugar: 18gProtein: 44g

Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically. The accuracy of this information is not guaranteed.

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  1. Thank you for this delicious recipe, Masa! I couldn’t find the recommended peppers so I made it with Anaheim and mini sweet peppers and it turned out wonderfully. I’m new to vegan cuisine and your recipes have made the switch from vegetarian to vegan so easy!

  2. Looks delicious, thanks! I can’t wait to give this a try. I’ve recently fallen in love with pastas made from edamame and legumes – a great way to insert vegan protein into a pasta meal!

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