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Creamy Vegan One-Pot Pasta (Easy Weeknight Meal!)

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!

Creamy vegan one pot pasta with roasted red peppers and spinach in a blue dutch oven

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!

Ingredients

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
  • Garlic
  • 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
Creamy vegan one pot pasta with roasted red peppers and spinach in a blue dutch oven

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.

penne, roasted red pepper, nutritional yeast, spices, onion and broth in a blue dutch oven

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!

cashew cream sauce getting stirred into penne in a blue dutch oven

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.

stirring spinach into penne with creamy cashew sauce in a blue dutch oven

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.

Creamy vegan one pot pasta with roasted red peppers and spinach on a white plate next to a blue linen

More vegan dinner recipes

Creamy vegan one pot pasta with roasted red peppers and spinach in a blue dutch oven

Creamy Vegan One Pot Pasta

Laura Lawless, BASc
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!
5 from 24 votes
Servings 6
Calories 453
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins

Ingredients

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

Garnish

  • fresh basil leaves, julienned (optional)

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

  1. You can also soak the cashews in boiled water for 20 minutes to save time. If soaking overnight, place in the refrigerator.
  2. Be sure to stir occasionally while simmering, to prevent noodles from sticking to the bottom of the pan. 
  3. 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. 
  4. Adding the cashew cream at the end prevents the sauce from burning to the bottom of the pan. 

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Equipment

Dutch Oven
Blender
Chef’s Knife
Measuring Spoons

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 453kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 972mg | Potassium: 718mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1799IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 4mg
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If you enjoyed this recipe, please leave a review below!
I’d love to hear from you!

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Hey, I’m Laura!

Creator of The Recipe Well


I love food and cooking, but hate doing the dishes. I use my nutrition degree to create easy, approachable recipes that will help you find your happy place in the kitchen.

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Recipe Rating




57 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    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.

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      So happy to hear you liked it!

  2. 5 stars
    So delicious! I am delighted to now know how to make a yummy vegan red cream sauce. Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    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!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Hi Andrea, so happy to hear you and your husband enjoyed it! Thanks for leaving a review!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    5 stars
    Fabulous dish! My entire family loved it and even my 7 year old said “it’s the best vegan dish you’ve ever made!”

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      This made my day! So happy your family loved it. Thanks for leaving a review, Elizabeth!

  5. I’d love to make this, but my daughter has a cashew allergy. Any idea what I could use instead?
    Thanks!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      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!

  6. Sharon Hickaway says:

    Made it – added fresh mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes – Otherwise exactly the same ingredients and it tasted great! Will definitely make this again.

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes are a great idea! Thanks for your lovely comment, Sharon!

  7. 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!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      You’re so welcome, Abigail! Thrilled to hear you enjoyed it!

  8. 5 stars
    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!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Thrilled to hear it worked out so well for you! Thanks for leaving a review!

  9. 5 stars
    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?

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      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.

  10. 5 stars
    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!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Thrilled to hear this, Autumn! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!

  11. 5 stars
    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 😃

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Reading this made my day, Jaclyn! Thanks so much for the lovely review!

  12. Claudette says:

    5 stars
    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!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      So happy to hear you both enjoyed it! Great idea to use the roasted tomatoes instead! 🙂

  13. 5 stars
    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!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      So happy you enjoyed it! Great idea to use almond milk!

  14. Christian says:

    5 stars
    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!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      So happy to hear that, Christian! Thanks for leaving a review!

  15. 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?

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      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!

  16. 5 stars
    Just discovered my girlfriend is allergic to cashews but that’s okay because I ate all 6 servings. Didn’t need her anyway

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Thanks for the laugh! 🙂 Thrilled to hear you enjoyed it!

  17. 5 stars
    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!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      So happy to hear that, Melody! Great idea to use miso! Thanks so much for leaving a review!

  18. 5 stars
    Delicious. And as a side a grilled potatoes, green beans, and carrots!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Glad you enjoyed it, Sierra! Thanks for leaving a review!

  19. 5 stars
    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!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      So happy to hear this, Nichole! Thanks for leaving a review!

  20. 5 stars
    Delicious! My boyfriend said this is possibly the best pasta dish he’s ever tasted – quite a statement – thank you!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      What a wonderful compliment! I’m so happy you both enjoyed it!

  21. Brittaney says:

    5 stars
    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!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Love hearing this! Thanks so much for leaving a review!

  22. 5 stars
    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

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Awesome to hear, Rachel! So happy you both enjoyed it!

  23. Anna Malena Kuris says:

    5 stars
    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.)

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Thrilled to hear this, Anna! I bet it was amazing with homemade roasted peppers!

  24. 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.

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      So glad you both enjoyed it! Great idea to sub cannellini beans!

  25. Gina DeSimone says:

    5 stars
    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!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      This review made my day, Gina. So happy you enjoyed it!

  26. I didn’t refrigerate my cashews when I soaked them overnight. Is that ok?

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      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.

  27. 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!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Totally fair – we don’t all have the same taste! 🙂 Thanks for trying the recipe!

  28. 5 stars
    LOVE LOVE LOVE. This is an amazing recipe, thank you!!!

  29. Kristina W says:

    5 stars
    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.

  30. 5 stars
    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!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Love hearing this! So glad you enjoyed it!