Creamy, spicy, and flavorful, this Vegan Cajun Pasta may just be your new favorite dinner. Enjoy on its own or top it with some seitan chicken.
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Hey Internet, you know me, I LOVE pasta. To me, it’s the ultimate comfort food. ESPECIALLY creamy pasta.
And lately, it’s been freaking freezing here in the Chicago suburbs. One cannot subsist on soup alone, so here we are, back with another pasta dish.
AND it’s another one-pot pasta, so there’s no straining and no draining.
I dunno about you, but I feel like a little spiciness adds to the warming effect of a hot bowl of creamy pasta.
I actually used to hate spicy food, but I’m trying to train myself to like it.
And as far as spicy goes, my friends who like spicy food would try this and laugh at me, telling me it’s mild.
The great thing about this dish is that you can add extra heat if you like, or go heavier on the tomatoes and less on the cajun seasoning if you’re not a spice fan. I’ll even throw in a cajun seasoning recipe so you could make your own not-spicy version if you like (see the What You’ll Need section below).
This pasta is also loaded with veggies.
Now, for protein. If you want to add a protein, you can but it’s not necessary. You could use high protein pasta, as well.
Possible proteins include seitan chicken, vegan sausage (store bought or I have a recipe for some delicious vegan sausages), tofu, soy curls, chickpeas, or a store-bought vegan chicken like Nuggs (my personal fav, if not making my own).
Personally, I went with the seitan chicken for this recipe. I used my own recipe, and part of the way through the cooking process I crusted the chicken in more Cajun seasoning. I placed the sliced seitan on top of my vegan Cajun pasta and it was SO FREAKING GOOD.
If you want to do as I did for your vegan chicken topping, check out my seitan chicken recipe. I have a note in the recipe instructions on when to crust it in the seasoning and what to do after.
But, let’s talk about that pasta, because yum.
What You’ll Need
This creamy vegan Cajun pasta is SO easy to make, and it’s like any of my other 20-30 minute pasta dinners in that it’s simple and tasty.
Starting with the pasta, you can use any you like. If you’re gluten-free, use a good gluten-free pasta you’ve cooked with before. I hear good things about this brown rice pasta.
Bean-based pastas like Banza are also a good choice.
Since this is a one pot pasta, and we’re not going to drain it, I recommend using a short pasta like penne or rotini as opposed to spaghetti.
Next, veggies. Since this is vegan Cajun pasta, I used an onion, some bell peppers, some green onion (different taste to me, so I like using both), and a can of fire-roasted tomatoes.
You could substitute any quick cooking veggies you like, such as mushrooms, broccoli, green beans, asparagus, cauliflower, etc.
Instead of cooking the pasta, I cooked it in broth which is great, because we’re not draining it so all that flavor is going directly into the pasta.
I used vegan chicken broth as opposed to veggie broth here for the flavor. I personally love Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base (and mix it with hot water) as it keeps better and is more economical than carton vegan chicken broth.
You can absolutely use prepared vegan chicken broth or even just vegetable broth though!
To make things creamy at the end, I added a little coconut milk. You could also use cashew cream (soaked cashews blended with water, sunflower cream, or just leave it out. You do you!
And most importantly, Cajun seasoning. Use as much or as little as you like. I personally used about 2 ½ teaspoons which was enough considering I also crusted my vegan chicken in it.
If you can’t find Cajun seasoning, you can also make your own. It might even be better to make your own if you can’t handle spicy food… You can leave the spice out completely.
To make your own Cajun seasoning you can mix smoked paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, nutritional yeast, dried oregano, dried thyme, ground mustard seed, and cayenne pepper (leave out for no spiciness). There are a bunch of recipes online if you need to do this.
Tips for Making Vegan Cajun Pasta
- In a large nonstick pot over medium high heat, start sauteing your onion. I use water for this, but feel free to use oil if you prefer. Saute the onions until they become translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
- Throw in the peppers and cajun seasoning and saute for 2 minutes.
- Then, throw in the white parts of your green onion and the fire roasted tomatoes. Stir well, and cook for 2 minutes.
- Now add the pasta, and all but half a cup of the broth. Keep this on reserve.
- If you are using soy curls or chickpeas, you could add them now, but since I added seitan chicken at the end I didn’t write it into the recipe.
- Give it a thorough stir, turn the heat down to medium, and cover. Cook for 8 - 12 minutes, stirring frequently and ensuring there is enough liquid. Add a little only if all the liquid gets soaked up. Every pasta is different, so it’s good to have a little on reserve. Note if you run out liquid again you can just add a little water until there’s just enough to keep the dish moist.
- Once the pasta is fully cooked, taste it and adjust any seasonings if needed. Pour in the coconut milk / cashew cream / sunflower cream, stir well, and add the green parts of the green onion.
- Serve and top with sliced seitan chicken or other if desired.
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container 3-5 days.
More Quick Vegan Pasta Dinners
I probably love pasta more than anything--sorry Mr. Zardyplants, aka Paul.
Here’s some of my fave pasta dishes right now--if you loved this vegan Cajun pasta I bet you’ll like these:
- Vegan Baked Feta Pasta
- Chickpea Florentine (one pot)
- Vegan Ricotta Pasta with Tomatoes
- Savory Coconut Pasta
- Tahini Pasta with Broccolini
- Vegan Vodka Sauce (with pasta)
- Vegan Goulash (American/Chili Mac Style)
- Vegan Manicotti
- Pasta Puttanesca (one pot)
- Vegan Hamburger Helper
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As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too. He gave me very high praise each time I made it… and that makes me so happy. :)
This vegan Cajun pasta is:
- And perfect for a quick and cozy dinner, but impressive enough to serve guests!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
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