Creamy, protein-packed Vegan Puttanesca Pasta is the perfect busy weeknight dinner. A dish that the whole family can enjoy, this delicious vegan pasta dish only takes 30 minutes and one pot to make.
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Hey Internet, you know I love pasta, and I REALLY love making it in one pot with no straining or draining, so I came up with a new one for you today: Vegan Puttanesca Pasta!
The red lentils pack a hearty protein punch and help bulk up the tomato-based sauce while the olives and capers provide a delicious mediterranean zing that add a whole lot of flavor and a dose of healthy fats.
This recipe is gluten-free as long as you use gluten-free pasta. Amp up the protein with a bean or lentil based pasta, or use a brown rice based pasta if you prefer.
What You’ll Need
I mentioned the pasta above briefly, if you’re gluten-free. If not, you can use any pasta you like here. Spaghetti is more traditional in this dish, but I used cellantini because it’s one of my favorite pasta shapes!
You’ll also need some red split lentils (any other lentil will not work as they take much longer to cook), garlic, vegetable broth, diced tomatoes (canned or fresh), and a pinch of oregano and basil.
If you’d like to omit the red lentils listed above, you’ll need to reduce your vegetable broth by 1-2 cups (reduce by 2 cups at first, add a cup if needed).
I didn’t need any salt in this dish because of the olives and capers. I used a mixture of Spanish and Kalamata olives here, but you can use any you like.
If you don’t like olives, don’t worry. This dish will still be good without them, but you may choose to add a little salt if you wish.
Finish off the flavors with a dollop of miso paste (use chickpea miso if soy-free), a little nutritional yeast and some fresh arugula (or substitute spinach) to produce an impressive and flavorful weeknight dish.
How to Make This Pasta in One Pot
So there’s a little trick to making the pasta in one pot and not having to strain any liquid out and I’m going to tell you what it is. Are you ready?
Use the same amount of liquid as you do pasta!
We’re taught to boil our pasta in a lot of water and drain it. This is fine. But you don’t really need to (not very authentic of me, sorry).
When making one pot pasta, use a 1:1 ratio of pasta and liquid and it should work. I say ‘should’ because under no circumstances can I make (or should I be making) guarantees.
I am not in your kitchen, I do not know what pasta you’re using, I have not tried them all. I’ve tried quite a few (including Banza chickpea pasta) this way, but I have not tried them all.
How to Make Vegan Puttanesca Pasta
Like my other one pot pastas, this dish is super easy. Start off by rinsing your lentils and setting them aside, then sauteing your garlic in a large pot over medium heat.
If it starts to stick, add a splash of water (I cook without oil so I do it this way--feel free to do it your own way). Saute for about 2 minutes or until fragrant.
Next, add your rinsed lentils, vegetable broth, pasta, tomatoes, oregano, and basil. Stir well, turn the heat down to medium, and cook, covered if possible, for about 5-8 minutes. I recommend removing the lid every so often and stirring.
When the pasta is just about cooked and the liquid has absorbed, add your olives and thinned miso paste (mix 1 teaspoon miso with 1 tablespoon of water). Stir and let the olives heat through.
Finally, stir in the arugula (or spinach) and nutritional yeast. Add vegan parmesan for extra deliciousness.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Want More Vegan 30 Minute Meals?
I make a lot of 30 minute meals (many of them one-pot) because I too am pressed for time in the evenings. We don’t have kids yet but I do work full time and run a business full-time (I also do freelance writing, oy).
I get it.
So, if you’d like to add a few more quick vegan meals to your arsenal, check out some of the recipes below!
Creamy Mushroom Pasta (one pot)
Chickpea Florentine Pasta (one pot)
Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetable Pasta
Double Chik’n Noodle Soup (one pot)
Hearty Lentil Vegetable Stew (one pot)
As always, I hope you love this pasta--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too.
This Vegan Puttanesca Pasta is:
- And oh so delicious!
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 :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!
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Vegan Puttanesca Pasta
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Diet: Vegan
Creamy, protein-packed Vegan Puttanesca Pasta is the perfect busy weeknight dinner. A dish that the whole family can enjoy, this dish only takes 30 minutes!
- 4 cups pasta of choice (use gluten-free if needed)
- 4 cups vegetable broth (I used low sodium veg broth)
- 1 cup red split lentils, rinsed and drained
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups olives, sliced (I used Kalamata and Spanish olives)
- ¼ cup capers
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp miso paste (use chickpea miso if soy-free), dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ½ cup arugula (or spinach)
- 28 oz diced tomatoes
- Vegan Parmesan for topping, optional
- Saute garlic in a large pot over medium heat. If it starts to stick, add a splash of water. Saute for about 2 minutes or until fragrant.
- Add rinsed lentils, vegetable broth, pasta, tomatoes, oregano, and basil. Stir well, turn the heat down to medium, and cook, covered if possible, for about 5-8 minutes. Remove the lid every so often and stir.
- When the pasta is just about cooked and the liquid has absorbed, add your olives, capers and thinned miso paste (mix 1 teaspoon miso with 1 tablespoon of water). Stir and let the olives heat through.
- Finally, stir in the arugula (or spinach) and nutritional yeast. Add vegan Parmesan for extra deliciousness.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
- Like most pasta dishes, this meal is best on the first night. However, it will keep, so refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Add a tiny splash of water when reheating.
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Pasta
- Method: One Pot
- Cuisine: American, Italian
Keywords: Vegan, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Sugar-Free, can be Soy-Free, Pasta, Puttanesca
Just starting plant based way of life.
4 cups of dry pasta?
This is the new way to make pasta
My husband made this, super easy and super tasty! Said it's the best pasta dish he's ever tasted! He's generally not a fan of pasta! We'll be having this again, thank you for this fab recipe!
Your recipes are all wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing.
This was SO easy, and SO good! Also super fast, and love that it all cooks in one pot. I highly recommend it! I only had 3 Cups veggie broth, so I subbed 1 Cup coconut milk and it worked out well. Thank you, Liz! :)
Such an easy, healthy, DELICIOUS dish!! My whole family loved it (and then loved it again cold for lunch the next day). I will absolutely be making this again. One of my new faves.
when do you put in the capers? Not mentioned in the instructions. I am assuming with the olives?
Yes, right with the olives!
This has been on my list of recipes to make for a while, and finally ended up making it yesterday. There was minimal prep involved, and the cooking time was super quick as well (thank god because it was 100° out when i decided to make this lol). I didn’t buy enough olives for the recipe so I added a bit more capers, and also used kale as my green instead of arugula. Even with the little changes I had to make this came out amazing. Loved the flavor, and the level of salt was perfect with the olives & capers. Def making this again when I need a quick and easy to prep recipe!