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Smoky Paprika Pasta

Treat yourself to a quick and easy, insanely flavorful meal, and show those food smoker owners who’s boss, by making this Smoky Paprika Pasta!
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 4
Print Recipe


For the sauce:

  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan, optional
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast, optional, but highly recommended
  • 1 roasted red pepper, from a jar, or homemade if you’re awesome (just use your best estimate if the roasted red pepper is in pieces in your jar!)
  • ½ tsp liquid smoke

Everything else:

  • 1 pound pasta, I like to use fettuccini with this sauce
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, minced, plus more for garnish


Make the pasta

  • Cook the pasta according to package instructions. You can prepare the sauce while the pasta cooks to make this a super, super fast meal!

Make the sauce

  • To the bowl of your food processor, add the pine nuts, garlic cloves, sea salt, paprika, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, Parmesan (if using), and nutritional yeast (if using).
  • Pulse a few times to get things going, then process until everything comes together and becomes small flecks.
  • Now add the roasted red bell pepper and the liquid smoke to the food processor, and process until the pepper breaks down to small flecks. It will release all of its juices and turn the mixture into a sauce!
  • Stop, scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl with your spatula, and process again. You want the sauce to be mostly smooth, but there will still be some texture. And remember, if the sauce tastes a little salty at this point, that is good! This sauce has to flavor a whole pound of pasta, so we want the flavor to be intense now, because it will dilute when spread out over the pasta. Sauce is done!

Bring it all together

  • Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain it, put it back in the pot, and thrown in the frozen peas, 1 tbsp of parsley, and two cups of spinach. Toss—the heat of the pasta will warm the frozen peas through, and begin to wilt the spinach.
  • Now add a third of the sauce to the pasta. At this point, I like to use tongs. After you’ve tossed everything a few times, add another third of the pasta sauce, 1 tbsp parsley, and the rest of the spinach. Toss some more to help that spinach continue to wilt, and get the sauce coating all the pasta.
  • Add the last third of the sauce, and the remaining 1 tbsp parsley, and…toss again! Keep going until this remaining third of the sauce is fully incorporated.


  • Garnish each plate of Smoky Paprika Pasta with more parsley and a little Parmesan, if desired. Serve alone, or with more greens and your favorite meat substitute. Enjoy!


This dish is vegan if you omit the Parmesan!
This dish is gluten free if you use gluten free pasta!
Thanks to the flavor and juices of the roasted red bell pepper, you just don’t need oil in this sauce. Feel a little better about eating a ton of pasta because your sauce is oil free!
Use a cheese plane to get the perfect Parmesan slivers for this recipe!  Here is my favorite cheese plane on Amazon.