Creamy Vegan Sun Dried Tomato Pasta
This 30-minute vegan sun-dried tomato pasta recipe is easy to make and packed with flavour!
About the Recipe
Try this sun dried tomato pasta for a creamy, indulgent pasta dish that’s ready in just 30 minutes with simple ingredients.
The silky-smooth sauce is made from cashews and sun-dried tomatoes for a delicious creamy texture and subtly sweet, tangy and robust flavour.
Despite seeming elegant, the recipe is versatile and easy to make, using any pasta shape you have on hand.
In just half an hour, you’ll have a delicious bowl of pasta that’s creamy, satisfying and perfect any day of the week. Big on flavour and low on effort, this recipe is sure to become a few family favorite.
For another creamy pasta recipe, try this vegan carbonara. For super easy vegan pasta, this vegan one pot pasta is always a hit. For a baked pasta recipe, check out this vegan baked ziti with tofu ricotta.
- Cashews: Use plain, raw cashews with no added oil or salt.
- Pasta: The recipe calls for bowtie pasta but you can use any variety of pasta you like, such as penne pasta, fusilli, spaghetti, linguine, rotini, fettuccini, etc.
- Onion: White onion, yellow onion or even shallot is suitable.
- Sun Dried Tomato: Use a jar of sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil. Drain them before use but reserve the oil for cooking the onion and garlic. You can keep the rest of the oil for another use or discard it.
- Lemon: You’ll need a whole lemon for the juice and lemon zest.
- Kale: You can use any variety of kale or substitute spinach. For convenience, packaged baby spinach works great. Just toss in a few handfuls when you add the pasta. Extra kale? Try it in kale and cauliflower soup or this kale chickpea stir fry recipe.
- Fresh Herbs: Optional but fresh parsley or fresh basil are lovely for serving. This vegan parmesan cheese or vegan ricotta is also tasty on top.
Please see the recipe card at the end of the post for the full ingredients list with measurements.
Variations & Additions
- Alfredo Sauce: If you don’t want a rose cream sauce, do not add half the sun dried tomatoes to the blender. Only use the lemon, water and cashews.
- Need a gluten-free recipe? No problem! Just swap the pasta for your choice of gluten-free pasta such as chickpea pasta, brown rice pasta or quinoa pasta.
- Need a nut-free recipe? Substitute 1 cup of canned coconut milk for the cashews and water. I think you could do white beans too for a low-fat nut-free option, like in this roasted red pepper pasta recipe, though I haven’t tried it myself.
- Need an oil-free recipe? Use water instead of oil to cook the onion and garlic and use rehydrated sun dried tomatoes instead of tomatoes packed in oil.
- This vegan parmesan recipe is yummy for serving over top.
- Mushrooms: To add mushroom to this recipe, add up to 2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms with the onion and garlic.
- Other Additions: Other ingredients that work well in this recipe are cherry tomatoes, capers, olives, roasted red peppers or artichokes hearts. These would be added when you add the kale.
- You can substitute 1 tsp Italian seasoning for the dried oregano if needed.
- Nutritional yeast adds a cheesy, nutty flavour to the sauce or you can sprinkle it over top when serving.
- To serve with sausage for added protein, brown your choice of plant-based sausage in the pan before starting the onion and garlic. Once browned, remove from the pan, then add back in when you add the kale.
- You can add 1 tbsp tomato paste to the cream sauce for more depth of flavor.
Step 1: Place the cashews in a heat-proof bowl and cover with 1.5 cups of boiling water. Let them soak for 10 minutes. While you wait, start bringing a large pot of water to a boil on the stovetop and prepare the lemon zest, onion, garlic and kale.
Step 2: Add the cashews and soaking water to a blender with roughly half of the sun-dried tomatoes, the lemon zest, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until very smooth
Step 3: Cook the pasta.
Once the water is boiling, cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions.
Important Step: Before draining the pasta, scoop off 2 cups of the pasta water and set aside.
Step 4: Once the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tbsp of the reserved oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the remaining sun-dried tomatoes, oregano and chili flakes and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Step 5: Add the tomato cream sauce from the blender and stir to combine.
Step 6: Finally, add the pasta and kale, mix well, then slowly start adding the reserved pasta water 1/4 cup at a time while stirring. Cook for another few minutes until you have a thick creamy consistency.
Serve your pasta with fresh basil or parsley and fresh cracked black pepper.
Yes, if you prefer you can use sun dried tomatoes from a bag but you’ll need to rehydrate them before use.
To use them, place them in a bowl, cover with water and soak overnight and then drain before using in the recipe.
Yes, I would definitely recommend it. If you want to save the extra 10 minutes and prep them in advance, then can be soaked for a few hours up to overnight.
It’s ok to store up to 5 days but it thickens up a lot as the pasta absorbs the sauce. Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
The pasta is best fresh when it’s nice and creamy. If you won’t be eating it all in one sitting, consider halving the recipe.
Reheat the pasta in the microwave or add to a pan and stir in a little milk, water or broth to adjust the consistency.
You could use coconut milk in this recipe instead of cashews. Use a can of full-fat coconut milk to replace the cashews and 1.5 cups of water.
- If you forgot to save some sun-dried tomato oil or are using dehydrated sun dried tomatoes, you can use extra virgin olive oil. For an oil-free recipe, you can use water and rehydrated sun dried tomatoes instead of the jar of oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes.
- To save an extra 10 minutes, prepare the cashews in advance and soak for a few hours up to overnight.
- Cook the pasta al dente or even slightly undercooked as they’ll continue cooking when you add them to the sauce.
- Don’t forget to save some of the pasta water when you drain the pasta. The starchy water is perfect for adding creaminess to finish the dish.
More Pasta Recipes
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Creamy sun dried tomato pasta with that’s perfect for special occasions but easy enough for everyday!
- ½ cup raw cashews (75 g)
- 1.5 cups boiling water (375 mL)
- 210 mL jar sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped (1 cup)
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 7.5 cup bowtie pasta (510 g)
- 1 tbsp oil reserved from sun dried tomatoes, or olive oil (15 mL)
- 1 medium white onion, diced (1 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated (15 g)
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp oregano, dried
- 2 cup kale, tough stems removed and roughly chopped or torn (50 g)
- 2 cup pasta water (500 mL)
- ¼ cup parsley or basil, finely chopped, optional for serving
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Soak the Cashews: Place raw cashews in a bowl, and cover with the boiling water. Let the cashews soak for 10 minutes. While you wait, start bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil on the stovetop and chopping up the kale.
- Drain Sun Dried Tomatoes: Drain the sun dried tomatoes well, reserving some of the oil for cooking later.
- Prepare the Cashew Cream: Add the cashews and water to a blender along with the lemon zest, lemon juice and half of the sun dried tomatoes. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Cook Pasta: Cook bowtie pasta al dente according to package instructions. Once cooked, reserve 2 cups of the pasta water before draining the pasta.
- Cook Onion & Garlic: Once the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tbsp of the reserved tomato oil (or olive oil) over medium heat in a large pan. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onions are soft.
- Add Herbs & Remaining Tomatoes: Add sun-dried tomatoes, chilli flakes and oregano. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
- Add Cashew Cream: Add the cashew cream, stir well and cook for another minute.
- Add Pasta and Kale: Stir in the cooked pasta and kale.
- Slowly Add Pasta Water: Slowly start adding the reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at at time until you reach a smooth, thick and creamy consistency over 2-3 minutes. You may or may not use the full 2 cups depending on the consistency you’d like.
- Serve: Divide the pasta evenly between bowls and serve with chopped parsley or basil and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
The pasta is best fresh while it’s the creamiest. After storing it thickens considerably. Consider cutting the recipe in half if you only need 2-4 servings. You can store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. It still takes great after storing, just keep in mind its drier after storing as the pasta absorbs the sauce.
If you want to add additional veggies, such as zucchini, bell pepper, asparagus or broccoli, add them when you cook the onion or steam or roast separately and mix them in at the end.
- Serving Size: 1/6th of recipe
- Calories: 561
- Sodium: 62 mg
- Fat: 12 g
- Carbohydrates: 96 g
- Fiber: 6 g
- Protein: 18 g
Keywords: sun dried tomato pasta, creamy sun dried tomato pasta