Creamy Vegan One-Pot Pasta (Easy Weeknight Meal!)
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This vegan one-pot pasta is made with roasted red peppers, spinach and a beautiful, creamy cashew rosé sauce. You can have this on the table in about 30 minutes!
Be sure to check out my Instant Pot version of this recipe!
This Creamy Vegan One Pot Pasta seems like such a fancy meal, but it’s incredibly easy to make and you only need about 30 minutes to pull it together! I was inspired to make this dish by a local Italian restaurant that serves an amazing roasted red pepper and spinach pasta, but in a very rich (full of dairy) rosé sauce. I love it, but it can be a bit heavy for an everyday meal. This blended cashew rosé sauce is a lighter, vegan way to enjoy a creamy pasta!
Here’s what you’ll need to make this vegan one-pot pasta. See the recipe card below for exact quantities and full detailed instructions.
For the vegan rosé sauce
- Cashews – ideally soaked to get the best creamy texture
- Vegetable broth
- Tomato paste
For the pasta
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Vegetable broth
- Penne pasta
- Roasted red peppers – thinly sliced. I use jarred to save time.
- Nutritional yeast – adds “cheesiness” and depth of flavour to the sauce and is a source of Vitamin B12, which is important in a vegan diet. You can skip this ingredient and still have a tasty result, but I highly recommend it!
- Seasoning – sea salt, oregano, red pepper flakes
- Baby spinach
- Fresh basil – julienned for garnish, optional
How to make it
First, prep the sauce. I like to have this ready to go before I start the pasta, otherwise I might be scrambling to blend it while I’m simmering and stirring the pasta. Using a high speed blender, blend 1 cup of vegetable broth, the soaked cashews (that have been drained and rinsed), and the tomato paste, until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Next, heat olive oil over medium heat in a dutch oven or large sauce pan. Sauté the diced onion until softened, then add the minced garlic and continue to sauté for about a minute. You want to smell that beautiful garlic aroma!
Next, add 3 cups of broth along with the penne, sliced roasted red peppers, nutritional yeast, sea salt, oregano and red pepper flakes. Give it a stir until all the ingredients are distributed evenly. Cover and bring to a strong simmer (you want to make sure it’s really going so the noodles will cook!), then turn the heat down to medium-low.
Simmer covered for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the noodles from sticking to the pan. You may need to simmer up to 5 more minutes, depending on how al dente you like your pasta.
Once the noodles are just about cooked to your desired texture, uncover and add the cream sauce. Be sure that every noodle gets some delicious creaminess!
Then add the spinach and stir it in. It might be a bit awkward to stir before it wilts, but you’ve got this. Cover to let the spinach wilt, warm the cream sauce and finish cooking the noodles. Stir in a bit more broth if you find the sauce is getting too dry for your liking.
Be sure to taste it before serving and season with additional salt. We only added 1/2 a teaspoon given that some broth varieties are quite salty. You will likely need more salt if you used a low-sodium variety. Serve with julienned fresh basil, if desired.
Tips for Success
- Quick soak the cashews if you’re short on time. Soak in boiled water for 20 minutes, then drain and rinse.
- Don’t forget to stir! It’s important to stir every few minutes during simmering so that the noodles don’t stick to the bottom of the pan (or each other).
- Be sure you have a strong simmer. Or it may take a lot longer to cook your noodles!
- Don’t add the cream sauce earlier. I tested both simmering with the cream sauce and adding it at the end. The result is much better adding it at the end because a lot of the sauce will burn to the bottom of the pan if added earlier.
- Add broth as needed. Add a splash while simmering or after adding the cream sauce, if you find it’s getting too dry. I usually add about 1/2 cup or so with the cream sauce.
Can I make this gluten free?
Yes! Simply use a gluten-free pasta. Note that your cook time may change slightly, so test the texture of the noodles as you go. If you use brown rice pasta, be extra careful of the texture because they can be quite mushy if overcooked.
More vegan dinner recipes
- Pasta with Butternut Squash Sauce
- Thai Pumpkin Curry (One Pot!)
- Slow Cooker Potato & Chickpea Tikka Masala
- Quinoa Chickpea Salad with Lemon Dill Dressing
Creamy Vegan One Pot Pasta
For the sauce
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 3/4 cup cashews, soaked 4 hours or overnight, then drained and rinsed (see note 1)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
For the pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, small dice
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 lb penne (4-5 cups dry measure)
- 1 10-12 oz jar roasted red peppers, drained and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (plus more to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 large handfuls baby spinach
- fresh basil leaves, julienned (optional)
- Prepare the cream sauce. In a high speed blender, blend 1 cup of broth, the soaked cashews and tomato paste, until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
- Warm olive oil in a dutch oven or large sauce pan over medium heat. Sauté the diced onion until starting to soften, then add the minced garlic and continue to sauté another minute until fragrant.
- Add 3 cups of broth, the penne, roasted red peppers, nutritional yeast, sea salt, oregano and red pepper flakes and stir until ingredients are evenly distributed. Cover and bring to a strong simmer, then turn heat down to medium-low. Continue to simmer covered, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes (up to 20 if you like a softer texture). You want the pasta to be mostly cooked before adding the cream sauce.
- Once the pasta has almost cooked to your desired texture, uncover and add the cream sauce. Stir until the noodles are evenly coated, then stir in the spinach. Cover again for a few minutes to let the spinach wilt, warm the cream sauce and finish cooking the noodles. Stir in a splash more broth as needed if the sauce is getting too dry for your liking.
- Season with additional salt, to taste. Serve immediately with fresh basil garnish. Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator and eat within 4 days.
- You can also soak the cashews in boiled water for 20 minutes to save time. If soaking overnight, place in the refrigerator.
- Be sure to stir occasionally while simmering, to prevent noodles from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- If you find it’s getting too try, add more broth during simmering or after you add the cream sauce. I usually end up adding about 1/2 cup or so after warming the cream sauce.
- Adding the cashew cream at the end prevents the sauce from burning to the bottom of the pan.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please leave a review below!
I’d love to hear from you!
Hey, I’m Laura!
Creator of The Recipe Well
If you’re looking for easy meals and Instant Pot recipes, you’re in the right place! I use my nutrition degree to create simple, approachable recipes that will help you find your happy place in the kitchen.
I’m an absolute novice to cooking with cashews. Should I use raw cashews or roasted cashews here, or does it even matter?
Both work if you have a strong high-speed blender. I tend to use raw, but I’ve used roasted with good results! Just don’t skip the soaking step 🙂
SOOO GOOD!! I’ve been making this pasta weekly because it’s so delicious. It’s a hit with all my non-vegan family too & definitely the best pasta dish I’ve tried! I boil the cashews for 20 minutes since I never remember to soak, and then I usually use 4 cups of broth when cooking the pasta.
We aren’t even vegan and this is one of our favorite meals!!! I made this recipe for some friends in need who are vegan and tasted it before taking it to them. Made it again the very next night for my family because it’s seriously so tasty!!! Thank you!
I don’t usually leave comments. Life is busy, but chose to make time to say how AMAZING this recipe is!! Hands down, one of the BEST vegan recipes I have EVER had!!! My WHOLE family LOVED and RAVED over it! I was blown away and elated when even my picky eaters said how GOOD and DELICIOUS it was! Thank you for sharing this! 🙂
Thrilled to hear this, Dana! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!
Made this last night for the first time, followed the recipe exactly and the lot was quickly scarfed down by three very hungry men. I would like to try it using freshly roasted peppers just out of curiosity regarding flavours. This one is a keeper, thank you.
My daughter shared this recipe with me. I made it gluten free and me and my husband enjoyed it.
Ohhhh my ….. YUM! I have made this twice now and it is a hit with my meat eaters as well! My 14
Year old said it was the bomb! It won a spot with the staple meals at our house. The first time I made it as instructed. The second time I didn’t have a jar of roasted peppers so I used 12 oz marinara sauce and instead of oregano, Italian seasoning. Outstanding, heavenly & creamy!
So delicious & creamy! I followed the recipe exactly and used gluten free penne. It’s so flavorful, and I was glad that there is no coconut milk in this recipe. I’m sick of masking coconut milk flavor in vegan recipes.
This is a very delicious and super easy. I added pine nuts. It’s a keeper!!!!
Probably one of my fave recipes. I’ve been making it weekly for dinner throughout the past year and its great for leftovers. So easy and flavorful. I am obsessed!!
Love hearing this, Breanna!
Thank you for this recipe which will become a regular family favourite. Absolutely delicious and tasted a lot more indulgent than it is. I cooked the pasta separately, so did not use the 3 cups of stock, then stirred the cooked pasta into the finished sauce. Fantastic!
My goodness, this is just DIVINE. ABSOLUTELY delicious. The cream sauce was perfect and cooking the pasta in the vegetable broth was a game changer. Will definately be making this again…and again & again. LOL.
Wow so good and easy. I swapped regular pasta for lentil pasta and added a bit more broth. This will be a staple dinner at the house!
Love hearing this! So glad you enjoyed it!
WOW! I followed your directions except, I used gluten free penne. And I am I love! Thank you! This will be made again and again.
LOVE LOVE LOVE. This is an amazing recipe, thank you!!!
I have to be honest, I did not like this recipe. However, this reminds me much of a vodka sauce and I was never one for vodka sauce before I went vegan. I was frustrated trying to get the cashew, broth, and tomato paste proportions right. It came out much like a vodka sauce with a nutty after taste. I think in theory, this could be a very delicious recipe to people who like this kind of flavor profile, it just wasn’t for me. Thanks anyways!
Totally fair – we don’t all have the same taste! 🙂 Thanks for trying the recipe!
I didn’t refrigerate my cashews when I soaked them overnight. Is that ok?
It depends on the conditions! Refrigerating inhibits the growth of any pathogens that could be present. If they’ve been out most of the day/night I would be hesitant to use them for food safety reasons…I can’t say for certain they’d be 100% safe.
RUN-Don’t walk- to your nearest kitchen to make this. Wow. Such an easy yet impressive recipe to whip up. Quick. Would be perfect for entertaining, but I enjoyed it alone on this Tuesday evening paired with a glass of red. Cheers!
This review made my day, Gina. So happy you enjoyed it!
My husband and I love this vegan pasta recipe. Our son actually told us about it. He is a new vegan and loved it. For those who do not eat nuts, I replaced the cashews with cannellini beans. It turned out creamy and delicious.
So glad you both enjoyed it! Great idea to sub cannellini beans!
Made this and oh my. So delicious! Best pasta I’ve ever had. My sister and I are obsessed. (PS: I roasted my own bell peppers and used spaghetti, had to add more broth but it was still heavenly good.)
Thrilled to hear this, Anna! I bet it was amazing with homemade roasted peppers!
Omg… I don’t usually leave comments but this was so worth it. Made mine in a cast-iron skillet, followed the recipe to a “T” (also rare, I usually feel the need to go rogue for flavor) and my husband went back for thirds. This was top-notch, thank you
Awesome to hear, Rachel! So happy you both enjoyed it!
I’ve never rated a recipe before and I cooked tons from Pinterest but this one!! ❤️❤️ My husband does NOT like pasta but he asks for this one! We love it!! We make more sauce than this calls for but just our preference. One of our favorites!
Love hearing this! Thanks so much for leaving a review!
Delicious! My boyfriend said this is possibly the best pasta dish he’s ever tasted – quite a statement – thank you!
What a wonderful compliment! I’m so happy you both enjoyed it!
I’ve never commented on any blog post or recipe before but this one is wonderful, thank you for putting together and sharing this recipe! I make this at least once a month, and vegan and non-vegan friends and family love it all just the same. Thanks so much!
So happy to hear this, Nichole! Thanks for leaving a review!
Delicious. And as a side a grilled potatoes, green beans, and carrots!
Glad you enjoyed it, Sierra! Thanks for leaving a review!
This recipe took me by surprise… it’s soooo good! Thank you so much for a quick and easy and delicious vegan recipe! We will definitely be keeping this in our rotation! I made the recipe as written (only replaced the nutritional yeast with miso) and it’s seriously delicious! Thanks again!
So happy to hear that, Melody! Great idea to use miso! Thanks so much for leaving a review!
Just discovered my girlfriend is allergic to cashews but that’s okay because I ate all 6 servings. Didn’t need her anyway
Thanks for the laugh! 🙂 Thrilled to hear you enjoyed it!
Hi! I’m so excited to make this. I am currently a student on a budget and trying to avoid buying nuts (they can be so expensive, ugh). I noticed in another post you mentioned a silken tofu option, so I’m considering using a package of that for the cream. I also saw a cashew milk/coconut cream half and half and Whole Foods. Have you ever explored a vegan half and half option?
Hi Taylor, I haven’t tried using vegan half and half myself, but that could be an option! It might change the flavour profile a bit with the coconut though. If you try it, let us know how it goes!
Love the recipe! As a new vegan this recipe was easy to follow and tasty! Even my non-vegan family members liked it. Thank you!
So happy to hear that, Christian! Thanks for leaving a review!
This is delicious! Will definitely be adding to the regular line up. Added some almond milk at the end to thin it out some. Served with steamed broccoli and oven roasted eggplant…yum!
So happy you enjoyed it! Great idea to use almond milk!
Love this recipe! Quick & easy to make.My husband is a new vegan and so I am always looking for different recipes to try to keep his meals exciting. First time using Nutritional yeast though. Will definately be making it again. We both enjoyed our vegan pasta dish.
Used roasted tomatoes instead didnt have red peppers. Turned out great!
So happy to hear you both enjoyed it! Great idea to use the roasted tomatoes instead! 🙂
Sooo good and easy! I can be picky and I loved it. My non-vegan bf, looking at my plate: “are you gonna finish that?” Someone ate his serving way too fast! Definitely will be one of my go to meals 😃
Reading this made my day, Jaclyn! Thanks so much for the lovely review!
This is one of my favorite pasta dishes! The flavor is amazing and the texture is perfect. I usually make this once a month and it never disappoints. Thank you for the recipe!
Thrilled to hear this, Autumn! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!
Thisnwas delicious! My husband was extremely terrified when I told him it was vegan, but he loved it too. We have a lot of of leftovers, will this freeze ok?
Hi Abigail, I’m so glad you (and your husband!) enjoyed it! Yes, this pasta freezes well. We never had leftovers to freeze, but another reader mentioned it froze well. You may need to reconstitute the sauce with a bit more broth when you reheat it.
Just made this last night and it was delicious!! We had never used nutritional yeast before so this was the perfect way to experiment. Also surprised by how well the cashews worked out (forgot to soak so had to use the quickie boiled water option which worked out just fine) and added to the flavor. The end result tasted like something you would get at a restaurant. I definitely think we could trick people into thinking we used actual cream. Going full vegan just got a little easier. Plenty leftover and can’t wait to have it for dinner again tonight! Great recipe!
Thrilled to hear it worked out so well for you! Thanks for leaving a review!
Just made this and it is absolutely delicious! Thank you so much! I love finding new pasta dishes! I did end up adding more water but I like my pasta overdone and I will also be sharing with my 1 year old who needs his pasta a little more cooked. Yum!
You’re so welcome, Abigail! Thrilled to hear you enjoyed it!
Made it – added fresh mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes – Otherwise exactly the same ingredients and it tasted great! Will definitely make this again.
Mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes are a great idea! Thanks for your lovely comment, Sharon!
I’d love to make this, but my daughter has a cashew allergy. Any idea what I could use instead?
Hi Angelina, I haven’t tested it myself, but I’ve seen others use silken tofu as a nut-free alternative. You would blend it up in the same way along with the tomato paste and broth. If you give it a try, let us know how it goes!
Fabulous dish! My entire family loved it and even my 7 year old said “it’s the best vegan dish you’ve ever made!”
This made my day! So happy your family loved it. Thanks for leaving a review, Elizabeth!
I never made one-pot pasta before, and it gets 5* because my husband rarely registers strongly on a new dish but he loved this. Like “you’ll make this again won’t you?” It was definitely easy and tasty. My only thing was that 3c of water didn’t cover the pasta totally, so I added a little more, which turned out fine. The proportions were spot on, ie there was just the right amount of sauce in the end, which I find is often not the case with recipes. So, good one, thanks!
Hi Andrea, so happy to hear you and your husband enjoyed it! Thanks for leaving a review!
So delicious! I am delighted to now know how to make a yummy vegan red cream sauce. Thank you!
Made this last night for dinner. It was easy to make and was very good. I’ll be making this again. Loved the cashew sauce.
So happy to hear you liked it!