You won't believe this sauce is dairy free! This Instant Pot Vegan Pasta is made with penne, a creamy cashew rosé sauce, roasted red peppers and spinach. A simple yet impressive meal your family will love, whether they're vegan or not!
Course: Main Course
Keyword: Creamy Vegan Pasta, Instant Pot Vegan Pasta
3/4cupcashews, soaked 4 hours or overnight, then drained and rinsedsee note 1
For the pasta
1yellow onion, small dice
5 clovesgarlic, minced
1/2teaspoonsea saltplus more to taste after cooking
1/4teaspoonred pepper flakesor to taste
1lbpenne4-5 cups dry measure
110-12 oz jarroasted red peppers, drained and thinly sliced
3large handfulsbaby spinach
fresh basil leaves, slicedoptional
Turn on the Sauté function on the Instant Pot and heat the olive oil. Add the diced onion and sauté for about 3 minutes or until starting to turn translucent. Add the minced garlic, then turn off the Sauté function. Let the garlic cook about a minute in the residual heat.
Pour in a bit of broth and use a spatula to deglaze the bottom of the insert (scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom to prevent a burn warning). Then, add the remaining broth, nutritional yeast, oregano, sea salt and red pepper flakes.
Add the penne and make sure it's in an even layer (it does not need to be fully submerged in the broth). Layer the roasted red peppers on top of the penne. Do not stir.
Close the lid and sent the vent to sealing. Pressure cook on Manual High pressure for 6 minutes (see note 2). It will take 15-20 minutes to come to pressure.
Meanwhile, 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 until pressure cooking is complete.
At the end of pressure cooking, do a controlled quick release of the pressure. (Controlled quick release means you let out a bit of pressure at a time, rather than opening the vent all the way. This will help to minimize splatter.).
Open the lid, and give the pasta a quick stir to distribute the ingredients evenly. Pour in the cream sauce and stir until the pasta is evenly coated. Add the spinach, stir again, then set the lid askew on the pot to wilt the spinach, about 3-5 minutes.
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.
If you want to use a different type of noodle than penne, here's a rule for the cook time: take the lowest cook time on the package divided by 2. If it's an odd number, round down and divide by 2. For example, 7 minutes would round to to 6, then divide by two for a 3 minute pressure cook time.
Inactive time indicates the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure and release pressure.
This recipe was tested in a 6-quart Instant Pot model.