Made with fresh tomatoes, basil, and deliciously dairy free, this creamy vegan pasta sauce is simple enough for a weeknight, but decadent enough for a weekend date night in! Who doesn’t love tomato basil cream sauce?!
They say you are what you eat, so I’m pretty sure at this point I’m about 90% pasta at this point. I’ve been obsessed with pasta since I was a wee one, but this tomato basil cream sauce really blows all of the other pasta out of the water.
My brother even said this recipe is restaurant material. He can be kind of dramatic, but hey I’ll take it!
It’s somewhat similar to my vegan vodka sauce, but we’ll be roasting fresh tomatoes and onion to bring out tons of delicious flavor. It’s a classic recipe with a dairy free twist.
Ingredients for this creamy vegan pasta sauce
This recipe requires three, yes three, forms of tomato to achieve the best flavor. We’re going to use whole tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste! Seems excessive, I know, but I promise it’s worth it!
These ingredients combine to give the best flavor, and you’d have no idea it’s entirely dairy free! For this recipe you will need:
- Fresh tomatoes: Roasted to perfection for SO much flavor.
- Tomato sauce: Just plain old tomato sauce from a can!
- Tomato paste: This adds a lot of depth of flavor.
- Cashews: The cashews will make the sauce super creamy.
- Basil: For flavor and a little garnish on top!
- Olive oil: Half will be for roasting and half will be to blend the sauce and make it creamy.
- Yellow onion: To roast with the tomatoes for tons of flavor.
- Garlic: Pasta without garlic is never good IMO!
- Salt & pepper: As much or as little as you want!
I used brown rice pasta to keep this dish gluten free, but you can use regular pasta or even a legume or chickpea based pasta for some extra protein!
How to make tomato basil cream sauce
This recipe may seem scary and intimidating because it has a lot of steps, but it’s really easy, I promise!
Essentially, all you need to do is roast the garlic, onions, and tomatoes to bring out lots of flavor and juices. You will need to peel the tomatoes to prevent a grainy texture to the sauce and then put them back in the oven to finish roasting.
Next, you’ll add the roasted veggies, cashews and all remaining ingredients to a blender and process until completely smooth. About 1 full minute will make sure there are no chunks to the sauce.
Feel free to taste and adjust any seasonings as desired before you pour the sauce over your cooked pasta. I like using brown rice pasta to keep this gluten free, but chickpea pasta is great for added protein, or regular pasta.
Recipe tips, tricks, and notes
- Once prepared, this vegan tomato sauce and pasta will store in the fridge for 5 days. To reheat it, I suggest adding to a pan on the stove with a splash of water, broth, or milk to make sure it gets nice and creamy again.
- If you do not have a high speed blender, you will want to soak the cashews for as long as possible to make sure they blend thoroughly. 30 minutes in hot water is ideal for a high speed blender, but overnight is best with a regular blender.
- Yellow onion will yield the best flavor, but white or red onion will also work. Red onion will have a stronger flavor, but will still be delicious!
- This recipe calls for tomato sauce, and you want to make sure you use plain tomato sauce from a can with no additional seasonings.
Looking for more pasta recipes? Try these!
- Roasted Red Pepper Penne
- Mushroom Broccoli Rigatoni with Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce
- Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo
- Dairy Free White Bean Pasta Sauce
Made with fresh tomatoes, basil, and deliciously dairy free, this vegan tomato cream sauce sauce is simple enough for a weeknight, but decadent enough for a weekend date night in!
- 16 ounces pasta of choice
- 1 large yellow onion (about 1 1/4 cups chopped)
- 5 medium tomatoes (about 750 grams)
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce (plain, from a can)
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 heaping cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup basil, divided
- 6 large cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil (divided into 2 x 2 tbsp)
- 1 tsp salt
- Black pepper to taste
- Optional: 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- Optional: 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes for spice
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add the cashews to a bowl and cover with boiling water.
- Peel and chop the onion into large chunks, peel the garlic, and cut the tomatoes in half and then half again and add to a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil and a few cracks of black pepper and toss to make sure everything is well coated.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- During the final 10 minutes, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions.
- Let cool for a few minutes until the tomatoes are easy enough to handle. Carefully remove the skins of the tomatoes. They will be hot, but the skins should peel off very easily. I like to hold the tomatoes right over the blender and pinch the back of the skins so the inside falls right inside.
- Drain and rinse the soaked cashews and add to a blender.
- Add the roasted tomatoes, onion and garlic to a blender and be sure to get all the juices in there.
- Add all remaining ingredients but only 1/4 cup worth of basil to a high speed blender and process until completely smooth.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and stir until well coated.
- Add in the chopped basil and mix through. Garnish with fresh pepper, red pepper flakes and extra basil if desired and enjoy!
For the tomato sauce, you will want to use just plain tomato sauce from a can.
The sauce shouldn’t need any additional liquid because the tomatoes release a lot of juice. If the sauce is too thick, you can add a few tbsp of vegetable broth, water, or even almond milk.
Once prepared, this recipe will store in the fridge for 5 days. To reheat it, I suggest adding to a pan on the stove with a splash of water, broth, or milk to make sure it gets nice and creamy again.
Yellow onion will yield the best flavor, but white or red onion will also work. Red onion will have a stronger flavor, but will still be delicious!
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 403
- Sugar: 4g
- Fat: 22.5g
- Carbohydrates: 47g
- Fiber: 5g
- Protein: 10.2g
Keywords: tomato basil pasta sauce, creamy vegan pasta sauce, vegan cream sauce, vegan pasta recipe