Pasta night just got a whole lot tastier with this creamy vegan sun dried tomato pasta recipe. Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy weeknight dinner or a comforting meal to share with friends and family, this dish is sure to impress. With its rich and flavorful sauce, tender noodles, and mouth-watering toppings, this sun dried tomato pasta is sure to become a regular in your recipe rotation.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- 20-minute meal, perfect for weeknights
- Flavor-packed pasta
- Creamy, vegan sauce made with cashews, soy milk, and sun-dried tomatoes
- Nutritious and delicious
- Easy for home cooks of all levels
What Are Sun Dried Tomatoes?
Sun dried tomatoes are simply ripe tomatoes that have been dried in the sun or using a dehydrator. They have a rich, intense flavor that is both sweet and slightly tangy. A staple in Italian cuisine, they are often used to add depth and richness to sauces, salads, and pasta dishes. Sun dried tomatoes are also high in antioxidants, especially lycopene, which has been linked to various health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes: These are the star of the show! They have a tangy, sweet flavor and are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. As the base flavour of our pasta sauce, they cannot be substituted. I highly recommend buying the best quality that you can from a delicatessan. These have so much more flavour than sun dried tomatoes in a jar, it will make a world of difference to the final flavor!
- Basil: Fresh basil leaves are added to the sauce for a fresh, herby flavor. You could replace this with oregano if preferred, however it will have a very different flavour. I recommend sticking to basil 🙂
- Raw cashews: Ahhh a vegan’s best friend for making creamy sauces! Soaked cashews are blended to create a creamy, dairy-free sauce base. If you are allergic or would prefer to not use them, cashews can be omitted from the recipe (however you may need to simmer the sauce a little longer to thicken it). Note that the sauce will not be quite as rich, thick and creamy without the cashews. You can also replace the cashews with sunflower seeds to make it nut-free, however these will have a slightly different flavour.
- Soy Milk: Add creaminess to the sauce, but can be replaced with any unsweetened plant based or dairy milk. I do however recommend avoiding some sweeter varieties of oat milk, rice or coconut milk as these will impart their own flavour.
- Pasta: I love rigatoni for this recipe as the sauce coats it very nicely but this would also be great with fusili, however any type of pasta will do!
- Oil: If you have enough, use the oil that the sun dried tomatoes were marinated in for that extra tomato-infused flavour. If not, olive oil or any other mild flavoured vegetable oil will do just fine!
How to Make Vegan Sun Dried Tomato Pasta
- Prep your ingredients. Boil cashews for 10 minutes, then drain and rinse. Roughly chop sun dried tomatoes and mince garlic.
- Cook pasta to packet instructions.
- Saute garlic, basil and chopped sun dried tomatoes.
- Form a roux sauce by combining the remaining ingredients and simmering.
- Transfer the sauce to a high-speed blender and blitz until smooth.
- Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta. Garnish and enjoy!
This vegan sun dried tomato pasta is best enjoyed fresh, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The sauce will thicken once cooled and reheated. To reheat, use your microwave or heat through on the stovetop. If re-heating on the stove, add a tiny splash of water if the sauce becomes too thick. I would not recommend freezing this pasta as the sauce won’t thaw well.
Yes, sun dried tomatoes are considered healthy due to their high concentration of nutrients, particularly lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant that has been linked to a reduced risk of certain cancers, heart disease, and stroke. The oil in sun-dried tomatoes actually helps to activate the lycopene, making it easier for the body to absorb. Sun-dried tomatoes are also a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Sun-dried tomatoes are not considered inflammatory, in fact, quite the opposite! They are believed to decrease the risk of certain cancers, neutralize free radicals and decrease inflammation in the body. However some people with specific medical conditions may need to limit their intake due to their high levels of histamines. However, sun-dried tomatoes are generally well tolerated and considered safe for most people.
No, you do not have to soak sun-dried tomatoes before eating, but soaking them can help to rehydrate the tomatoes and make them easier to chop or blend.
Sun-dried tomatoes are considered to be healthier than regular tomatoes in some ways because once dried, they contain higher levels of nutrients, including lycopene, which is an antioxidant. Regular tomatoes should not be overlooked as they are also nutritious and lower in calories, but sun-dried tomatoes are a more concentrated source of nutrients.
In conclusion, this vegan sun dried tomato pasta is a delicious and easy-to-make meal that’s perfect for those who are looking for a healthy, quick, and delicious dinner option. With its creamy texture and bold flavors, this pasta dish is sure to become a family favorite in no time! If you would like to try more creamy plant-based pastas, be sure to try my Creamy Spinach & Avocado Pasta , Cauliflower Alfredo or Pumpkin Pasta with Basil Pesto.
Creamy Vegan Sun Dried Tomato Pasta (20 minutes!)
- 2 tbsp oil reserved from sun dried tomatoes or olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 bunch fresh basil leaves
- 200 g sun dried tomatoes in oil from a delicatessan (not a jar). Drained, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked in boiling water and drained
- 1 cup soy milk
- 3/4 cup vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 500 g pasta of choice cooked to packet instructions
- cashew parmesan
- fresh basil leaves roughly chopped
- To prepare, boil cashews for 10 minutes, then drain and rinse. Roughly chop sundried tomatoes and mince garlic. Cook pasta to packet instructions.
- Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add minced garlic and sauté for one minute, then stir in fresh basil and about 3/4 of the chopped sun dried tomatoes.
- Add the flour, soaked cashews and tomato paste, stirring until the mixture is well combined.
- Gradually add soy milk and vegetable stock, then simmer for 2 minutes until slightly thickened.
- Transfer sauce to a high-speed blender and blitz until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper to your taste, then blitz again. Add an extra splash of soy milk if the sauce is too thick.
- Pour the sauce over cooked pasta. Garnish with the remaining sundried tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and cashew parmesan.