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Vegan Creamy Pasta

  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 10 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Ultra luscious and flavorful, this Vegan Creamy Pasta takes only 20 minutes to make with simple ingredients you to have in your kitchen.


Units Scale

Vegan Creamy Pasta

  • 1 pound (454 grams or 16 ounces) dry uncooked pasta (see note 1) (we used bucatini)
  • 4 tablespoons vegan butter or 2-3 tablespoons vegetable broth (see note 2 for oil-free)
  • 1 large shallot, very finely diced (or 1/2 medium yellow or sweet onion)
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, cloves peeled and minced (less or more to taste, we used 1 medium head)
  • 1 1/2 cups thick, creamy unsweetened non-dairy milk (see note 3 for suggestions)
  • 3/4 cup pasta water (taken from pasta, see step 2)
  • 1/2 cup vegan Parmesan cheese, finely grated (we like Violife) (see note 5 for alternatives)

Optional add-ins for flavor

  • 1 teaspoon agave or organic sugar, optional
  • 3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari for gluten-free), optional (see note 4)
  • Sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and dried oregano to taste (we used 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
  • 1/2 teaspoon or more red pepper flakes, optional, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped, optional


  1. Make pasta: Start by making your pasta according to package directions.
  2. Reserve pasta cooking water: Before you drain the cooked pasta, place a glass measuring cup or a ceramic bowl in the sink underneath your pasta strainer or colander. Save about a cup of the water--I only used ¾ cup but it never hurts to have extra. Alternatively, carefully, scoop out enough pasta water with a measuring cup right before you strain the pasta. This is a little tricky to do without touching the water, so I usually use the aforementioned method.
  3. Timing: When the pasta is about halfway cooked (or you’re welcome to wait till the pasta is done so you don’t have to balance two tasks at once), start your sauce.
  4. Saute aromatics: Melt the vegan butter in a large nonstick skillet or pot over medium high heat. Once melted, add the shallots and saute for 1-2 minutes. Next, add the garlic and saute for another minute until fragrant. If oil-free: saute the shallot and garlic in 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable broth. Add a splash of extra broth if things start to stick. I highly recommend a good quality non-stick skillet.
  5. Simmer: Reduce the heat to medium, add in the thick non-dairy milk, stir, and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down slightly to keep it from boiling--it should just be a strong simmer with small bubbles. Simmer for 3-5 minutes until the sauce has thickened a bit.
  6. Add seasonings and simmer more: Now add ¾ cup of reserved pasta water, salt, pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes, and reduced sodium soy sauce (if using). Stir and let simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
  7. Assemble: Remove from heat and let sit for a minute or two. Then stir in the vegan parmesan till it melts and finally toss with your pasta. Garnish with the finely chopped parsley and enjoy!
  8. Store: Refrigerate leftovers for 3-4 days in an airtight container. Keep in mind that gluten-free pastas might not have the best texture after the first day or two--I’ve had the best luck with brown rice & quinoa blend pasta when I’ve worked with gluten-free stuff.


  • Note 1: It starts with the pasta of your choice. Start cooking that for about 10 minutes before you start the sauce (so we can save some of the pasta water and add it to our sauce). Any kind of pasta will work--even gluten-free or legume-based options. Just cook according to package directions. Size and shape don’t matter too much either. I like this vegan creamy pasta with long, thick noodles, so I used bucatini.
  • Note 2: I like to cook the shallot and garlic in vegan butter for this recipe, but you can also substitute oil or vegetable broth. If oil-free, saute your shallot and garlic in 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable broth. Just add a splash extra if things start to stick. I highly recommend a good quality non-stick skillet.
  • Note 3: You want a thicker, creamier non-dairy milk for this recipe (think similar to the consistency of whole milk). You can use full fat carton milks like oat milk, or an unflavored unsweetened coffee creamer or even canned coconut milk (full fat, not light). You could also use homemade nut milk like we do. See note 6 for our recipe. Can’t find or make a thicker non-dairy milk? whisk 1 tablespoon of cornstarch or arrowroot powder with 2 tablespoons of water. Pour that into the simmering sauce (a few minutes after you add your thinner non-dairy milk) and whisk until it thickens slightly. Continue with the recipe after that.
  • Note 4: This might seem like a strange addition in this Italian-inspired recipe but I love the saltiness and depth of flavor it gives the sauce. Use gluten-free tamari if you can’t have gluten. You can certainly skip it and just salt the sauce to your individual taste.
  • Note 5: Saute, steam, roast, or air fry some veggies to serve in or alongside this dish, such as green beans, broccolini or broccoli, mushrooms, brussels sprouts, etc.
  • Note 6: In this case, we used an almond milk made from soaking 1 cup of raw pasteurized almonds for 8 hours, drained and blended with 4 cups of filtered water. We strain our on-dairy milk through a nut milk bag (or cheesecloth but the bag is more sustainable and filters out more of the pulp (which we save to put in other dishes) after this process. This ratio makes a nice thick, creamy nut milk.
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegan Pasta, Vegan Garlic Sauce, Vegan Garlic Noodles, Vegan Creamy Pasta