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!
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!
Now the one pot magic begins. 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 1/4 cup 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 1/4 cup after warming the cream sauce.
- Adding the cashew cream at the end prevents the sauce from burning to the bottom of the pan.
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