Vegan Creamy Pasta Sauce


Last Updated on February 1, 2022

vegan creamy pasta sauce

Creamy vegan pasta sauce is my new favorite comfort meal! This plant-based dish is the perfect weeknight meal, and it comes together in just about 30 minutes. The 4-ingredient cashew cream is such a great replacement for a dairy cream.

The flavors resemble a penne vodka (minus the vodka), but have the perfect kick of spice from the red pepper flakes. You can use any pasta of choice for this dish, but I love to use a lentil or chickpea based one for some added protein.

How to make vegan creamy pasta

Choose your pasta: I love penne or rotini for this recipe. You can use regular, whole-wheat, or a bean-based pasta for added fiber and protein

Make your sauce: for the creamy tomato sauce, you’ll need:

  1. jarred tomato sauce
  2. raw cashews
  3. pasta water
  4. olive oil
  5. non-dairy milk
  6. spices

Cook your onions and garlic: before mixing together your sauce and pasta, you’ll cook chopped onion and garlic in olive oil until they’re fragrant. This adds such a delicious flavor to the sauce!

Mix your sauce with your pasta: Mix your creamy pasta sauce with your cooked pasta, and enjoy it with my favorite sides- a simple salad and big glass of wine!

vegan creamy pasta sauce

I usually pair this dish with a light side salad for additional greens. It would be the perfect side dish to any meal, but also delicious on its own.

You can prep the sauce ahead of time, and mix it into your cooked pasta when you’re ready to eat. When rewarming, I recommend adding a little bit of water, or plant-based milk, to your serving to help smoothen out the sauce.

I can’t wait for you guys to try it! Be sure to tag me on Instagram so I can share your creations!

Some other vegan recipes you might like:

Spicy Peanut Tofu

Vegan Stuffed Shells

Lentil Tacos

Vegan Creamy Pasta Sauce

5 from 8 votes
Course: Main


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



1- You can soak your cashews for 20-30 minutes in hot water prior to blending if you don’t have a strong blender. I have a high speed blender, so I usually skip this step when I’m in a crunch for time!
2- You can swap your favorite marinara sauce for the crushed tomatoes. I suggest adding only 1/2 tsp of salt to start, and adding more if needed


  • 8 oz 8 pasta of choice

  • 2 cloves 2 garlic, minced

  • 1 1 small white onion, diced (or half a large)

  • 1 tbsp 1 olive oil

  • Basil, to top

  • Creamy Pasta Sauce
  • 1/4 cup 1/4 reserved pasta water

  • 1 cup 1 + 2 tbsp crushed tomatoes

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 raw cashews

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 unsweetened non-dairy milk, I used almond

  • 1 tbsp 1 olive oil

  • 1 tsp 1 red pepper flakes

  • 3/4 tsp 3/4 salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 crushed black pepper


  • Cook the pasta as instructed on package, and reserve at least 1/2 cup of pasta water. Drain and set aside. *You’ll need only 1/4 cup for the sauce, but may need more later on to thin the sauce out.
  • Blend all of the pasta sauce ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  • Heat your pot with 1 tbsp of olive oil, and cook the onion for 3-4 minutes on medium/low heat until fragrant. Add in your garlic and cook for additional 2 minutes. Keep stirring so the garlic doesn’t burn.
  • Pour the sauce back into the pot and mix together for 1 minute over a low flame. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Pour your pasta into the pot and stir together. If you want a thinner sauce, you can add 1-2 more tbsp of pasta water.
  • Sprinkle extra red pepper flakes and chopped basil, and serve fresh.


  • This dish is best served fresh, but if rewarming, I recommend adding a little water to the pasta to add creaminess.
  • If your blender isn’t the strongest, I recommend soaking your cashews in warm water for 20-30 minutes prior to blending.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @somethingnutritious on Instagram- I’d love to see your creations!


  1. AePadamn

    how long does it keep in fridge??

    • I would say 4-5 days! You can add a little water when reheating to add to the creaminess.

  2. Hayley

    Delicious! What would you recommend swapping out to make a low-fodmap version of this? 🙂

    • Hey Hayley! You can leave out the garlic and onion, and swap your favorite gluten-free pasta (Jovial makes great ones). You can also try to find a garlic infused olive oil like the one that Fody makes

  3. Dianne

    To say I’m obsessed would be an understatement! This dish was so quick and easy to make, and the sauce was packed with so much flavor. I will definitely be making this again!

  4. Hi! I have missed vodka sauce so much ever since I cut out lactose, so this really hit the spot!! My whole family (who is not lactose intolerant) loved it too! I was wondering what a god substitute would be for the pasta water if I make these with homemade zucchini noodles?

    • Hey Amy, I would just substitute water or more plant-based milk! If the sauce is too watery, just let it simmer for a little longer to thicken up 🙂

  5. Gal, my decision to make this was largely driven by the fact that I happened to have all the ingredients for this on hand. I have to admit I added probably 4x the amount of red pepper flakes because I live for spice, but this really hit the spot! Excellent, delicious, quick, and super easy. 10/10, will make again. I topped it off with some nutritional yeast for good measure.

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