This Vegan Creamy Tomato Pasta is a totally dairy-free pasta recipe made with coconut milk. The simple sauce comes together in minutes with pantry ingredients. With a crispy garlic panko topping, each bite is irresistible!
The recipe is completely vegan and you could use your favorite gluten-free pasta to make this totally vegan + gluten-free!
This is another delicious pasta dish (like this vegan pumpkin pasta with sage) that you can prepare for a special date or for the kids.
What ingredients are in vegan creamy pasta ?
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- garlic (or onion or shallots)
- tomato paste
- coconut milk
- sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- fresh parsley or basil
- hot pepper flakes (optional)
What ingredients are in the crispy garlic breadcrumb topping?
The flavorful topping comes together with just 3 ingredients:
- extra-virgin olive oil-the better quality oil you use, the more flavor the topping will have
- garlic-I have a jar of freshly minced garlic in my fridge (always!)
- breadcrumbs-use regular breadcrumbs or panko (I used panko)
How to make easy vegan creamy sauce?
Here are the steps to make this delicious vegan pasta sauce (full recipe below)
First thing is to gather the ingredients together.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the garlic. It will only take a minute or less to get fragrant (longer if you’re using onion or shallot).
As soon as water boils, add in the pasta and time it for 1 minute less than the al dente cooking time (I used penne, use whatever short pasta you like).
Add in the tomato paste and stir to combine with the garlic. Stir until the paste begins to darken. As soon as it’s a dark red, add in the coconut milk and stir to combine. Add some pasta water to loosen it up.
Check the seasoning, and add some salt (the pasta water is salty, so you may not need a lot). Keep stirring and let it simmer on a medium-low heat.
As soon as the pasta is just before al dente (depends on which pasta brand you are using), drain it (reserve 1/2 cup pasta water)and dump the pasta immediately into the saute’ pan with the sauce. Stir to combine and let it simmer 1 minute in the sauce.
Prep the garlic breadcrumb topping. I used panko, but you could use breadcrumbs if you don’t have panko. The crispy panko topping is ready in just a few minutes. Keep stirring it so it gets an even golden-dark brown color on all sides.
You may be wondering…
Can I use panko or regular breadcrumbs?
Yes, you could use either one. You could even make your own breadcrumbs with some leftover bread.
What is panko?
Panko originated in Japan and have long been used in Asian cuisine. Panko is a dry, crustless white bread that is flaked and then dried.
Panko bread crumbs have a drier and flakier texture than ordinary breadcrumbs, so they absorb less oil. Panko produces food that is lighter in texture and crunchier in taste.
What are breadcrumbs?
A number of different breads and crusts may be used to produce normal bread crumbs. They’re prepared in a finer crumb than panko, and can be made at home with a food processor. When fried, they have the consistency of bread rather than panko’s flaky and dry texture.
How to store this vegan pasta?
The leftover vegan creamy tomato pasta may be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. The breadcrumbs will lose some of their crispness in the fridge, but they’ll still be delicious.
Which coconut milk should I use in a vegan sauce?
You may find full or reduced fat coconut milk, and either one is perfect for the recipe. I used full fat and I always shake the can before opening it. You can find the coconut milk in a can in any market (in my markets, it’s typically in the Asian section).
How to store the leftovers?
Once the pasta has cooled down completely, store any leftovers in an airtight container or a zipped lock freezer bag in the refrigerator. The pasta will stay fresh for up to 3 days. I do not recommend freezing this pasta (you could freeze the sauce separately for up to 2 months).
Some other pasta recipes to enjoy:
Just a quick request: if you enjoyed this vegan creamy tomato pasta as much as we did, would you kindly leave me a 5-star rating and a short (or long!)comment–the ratings are what helps get my recipes and hard work discovered, so I can keep leaving you more delish recipes!
Your comments mean the world to me….and I really SMILE when I read them. Thank you so much! XX
This post contains affiliate sales links.
This Vegan Creamy Tomato Pasta
- 1 lb pasta I used penne, but use whatever short pasta you prefer
- 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1 14 oz can coconut milk full fat or reduced fat
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley or basil chopped (optional)
- Hot pepper flakes
- Crispy Garlic Breadcrumbs
- 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs or regular breadcrumbs
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Cook the pasta making sure it's not quite al dente (so about 1 minute less than the cooking time, because you'll be combining in the skillet with the creamy sauce and heating together and it will cook a little more).
- While the pasta is cooking, prep the creamy tomato sauce.
- Heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and let it get fragrant (not even 1 minute).
- Stir in the tomato paste with the garlic and oil and combine. Keep stirring until it becomes a dark red color (2-3 minutes). Add in ½ cup of the pasta water and stir.
- Add in the coconut milk and stir to combine. Add a teaspoon of salt and pepper.
- Let the sauce simmer on medium-low heat while the pasta is cooking (sauce will be simmering for a total 10-12 minutes).
- Drain the pasta when it’s not quite al dente (reserve ½ cup of the water) and add to the skillet with the sauce. Stir to combine and let it simmer together for 1 minute. If pasta and sauce seems too thick, add a little bit of the pasta water to loosen it up.
- Spoon it out onto plate and add on the garlic breadcrumbs and whatever chopped fresh herbs and red pepper flakes (if using). Enjoy!
- Garlic Panko Breadcrumbs
- When the pasta cooks and sauce simmers, you could make the garlic bread crumbs.
- In a separate small skillet, heat the extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the garlic, breadcrumbs, and salt, and stir to combine. The breadcrumbs will become a nice golden brown and toasted. As soon as they are ready transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle on the pasta when ready to serve.