Meet your new favorite pasta recipe. This vegan spaghetti sauce AKA spaghetti pomodoro is a simple tomato sauce that makes the perfect date night dinner. It’s made with just 10 simple ingredients and ready in only 20 minutes.
This may look like any old bowl if spaghetti, but I promise you it’s not!!
It might only take 20 minutes and 10 ingredients to make, but this vegan spaghetti sauce is a flavorful dinner that is perfect for date night and is even kid approved.
I am on a mission to share a recipe for every type of pasta sauce on this blog. What do you think?! I already have alfredo, pesto, vodka sauce, tomato basil cream sauce, and now pomodoro so I think I’m off to a good start.
If you have any suggestions for other recipes that I can simplify and put my own twist on, I am all ears!
This spaghetti pomodoro sauce is made of really simple ingredients, requiring only 10 items you probably already have in your pantry!
- Crushed tomatoes: You can also used diced or chopped tomatoes and give them a quick pulse in a food processor. Or, sub for fire roasted tomatoes for a deeper flavor.
- Yellow onion: Onion is essential for any pasta sauce, and this recipe relies on a large yellow onion for lots of flavor.
- Garlic: Garlic is my favorite!!
- Olive oil: To add some flavor and help saute the onion and garlic.
- Fresh Basil: We’ll be blending some of the basil into the sauce and using some more for garnish.
- Tomato paste: This helps give the sauce a very rich tomato flavor.
- Red pepper flakes: For a little spice!
- Salt & pepper: What is pasta without salt and pepper?
How to make this recipe
The first step is to bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. I suggest adding a generous amount of salt to the water to ensure the pasta itself is very flavorful. If you’re using gluten free pasta, you’ll want to add a touch of oil to make sure it doesn’t all stick together.
While that is cooking, roughly mince the garlic and chop the onion. We will be blending them later on so don’t worry if it’s not perfect! Let that sauté with the olive oil for about 5-10 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
Next, add in the basil, and salt and sauté for a few minutes to let the flavors blend. Finally, add that mixture along with the can of tomatoes and all remaining ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings and desired.
If you prefer a chunky sauce, you can just pulse it a few times to retain some texture, or for a completely smooth sauce, blend until smooth.
Transfer the sauce back to the stove and let simmer for about 10 minutes to allow all of the flavors to blend together.
Combine the sauce with the cooked pasta and stir until well combined. Top with more fresh basil, and sprinkle of cashew parmesan and additional red pepper flakes if desired.
Pomodoro vs. Marinara
If you look just at the ingredients of pomodoro sauce and marinara sauce, they are virtually the same. However, the difference is in the consistency. Marinara sauce is generally chunkier whereas pomodoro sauce is smooth.
The smooth texture of pomodoro sauce is one of the reasons I love it so much. If you prefer a chunkier sauce, you can leave the onion/garlic mixture out of the blender when you process the tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients, or add some fresh chopped tomatoes to the sauce once it is prepared.
I used gluten free pasta for this recipe, which “attaches” to sauce differently than traditional pasta does. Gluten free pasta can become a bit dry over time, but there is plenty of sauce to add in case that happens.
If you’re prepping this recipe ahead of time and using GF pasta, I would suggest saving some of the sauce on the side to add just before you serve it.
If using gluten free pasta be sure to rinse it well after it cooks to rinse off the extra starch. This will help prevent the sauce from drying out.
Recipe tips, tricks and notes
- Once prepared, this pasta will keep in the fridge for 5 days. To reheat the pasta, add it to the stove with a splash of olive oil or vegetable broth and heat until warm.
- This sauce can be frozen! If you are someone who likes to meal prep, you can make a large batch and put it into freezer safe containers and freeze for 3 months. Be sure the sauce has completely cooled before sealing the container.
- White onion can be used in place of yellow onion, though this will change the flavor slightly. I don’t recommend sweet onions (viadlia onions), yellow or white work best!
- Depending on how saucey you like your pasta, you might have leftover sauce because this recipe makes a fairly large batch.
- Spaghetti pomodoro usually uses spaghetti (surprise, surprise!), you can use any pasta shape you like. My favorites are rigatoni and rotini.
Try these next!
- Lemon Asparagus Pasta with Creamy White Bean Sauce
- Creamy Vegan Vodka Sauce
- Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
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Simple 20 Minute Spaghetti Pomodoro (Vegan)
- 16 ounces pasta of choice
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (fire roasted for a deeper flavor*)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 5 large cloves garlic
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
- 1/2 – 1 tsp red pepper flakes (or more to taste*)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Cashew Parmesan for garnish
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions.
- Dice the onion and garlic and add to a pan with the olive oil.
- Saute for 5-10 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
- Add the chopped basil and salt and saute an additional 5 minutes to let the flavors blend together.
- Add the onion mixture to a blender along with the can of tomatoes and all remaining ingredients and process until your desired consistency. Pulse a few times to keep it a bit chunky, process completely until smooth, or skip this step entirely if you want a lot of texture to the sauce.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Transfer the sauce back to the pan and let simmer for about 10 minutes to let the flavors blend together.
- Combine the cooked spaghetti and sauce and top with fresh basil and cashew parmesan if desired.