Creamy, luscious, and delicious, this Vegan Savory Coconut Pasta is an incredibly easy 20 minute dinner, perfect for busy weeknights or even date night. The coconut milk sauce for pasta (or anything else) feels fancy, but is incredibly easy and tasty.
This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for details.
Hey Internet, I was in the mood for pasta recently and it was right before grocery day, so pickings were slim on what I could put on it. I felt like something a little fancier than just throwing on nooch (nutritional yeast), so I dreamt up this coconut milk sauce for pasta.
I mean, you could put this coconut sauce on ANYTHING and it would be delicious, especially veggies. But pasta? Yes. Just yes.
I’m not making much sense right now, but this pasta makes perfect sense. Just go with it.
So, this coconut sauce is pretty much a coconut alfredo. If you think that sounds delicious, it really REALLY is.
If you’re not into coconut, I’ve got some substitution ideas for ya below, but then, if you aren’t keen on coconut, what brought you to this post?
ANYWAY, this savory sauce is creamy and smooth and lush and amazing. I wish you could taste your screen--I really hope you’ll make this pasta so you can understand the love affair I have with it right now.
I’ve only made it approximately 134252362363 times since I thought of it.
What You’ll Need: Coconut Milk Sauce for Pasta
Ok, so let's talk about this coconut sauce first, then we’ll get into the few other ingredients you need including, well, pasta.
The first ingredient is a can of coconut milk. Notice I said can. The stuff in the carton is watered down and we don’t want that.
Coconut milk OR cream will work fine for this recipe.
You can often find canned coconut milk in the International section of your grocery store, usually near the soy sauce. Sometimes canned coconut CREAM is in the cocktail mixers section. You can also buy it from Asian markets and online.
There are sustainably sourced brands of coconut milk out there, such as Native Forest.
If your coconut milk or cream is a little separated, shake it or stir it a bit--or if it’s kinda gritty, you can blend the contents of the can for a smoother consistency.
You have some options here too. If you want a super rich pasta, I’d go with ALL full fat coconut milk.
Want a lower fat option? Try either light or lite canned coconut milk, or use half the amount of regular coconut milk and the other half a bit of non-dairy milk from a carton (such as soy, almond, or oat milk).
The rest of the sauce ingredients are there for flavor. A bit of nutritional yeast (I used unfortified nutritional yeast to keep the sauce light in color), garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, and the juice of a lemon are all you need to make a delicious coconut milk sauce for pasta.
The rest of the dish
Okay, so it wouldn’t be much of a recipe if I just gave you the sauce and sent you on your way.
For the rest of this awesome 20 minute vegan dinner, you’ll need a pound of the pasta of your choice (any, including gluten-free or bean-based pasta will work), 10 oz mushrooms of choice, and 2 cups of broccoli or broccolini.
Easy and quick to make!
Tips for Making Vegan Savory Coconut Pasta
- So, start your pasta water (preferably salted) boiling before you do anything else. This is key to making this dish as fast as possible. Keep an eye on it, and throw in the pasta when it’s come to a boil. Cook according to package directions and drain (do not rinse) when cooked.
- Give your veggies a quick chop. I include the stems of my broccoli/broccolini. If they’re tough, try peeling the outer layer off and then chopping them small so they get tender. Totally delicious!
- Now, heat a large skillet over medium high heat and saute your mushrooms for about 5 minutes, letting them stick to the pan a bit before you add any liquid. Once they start to stick, you can deglaze either with water or a little low sodium soy sauce for more flavor.
- Add in the chopped broccoli, a few tablespoons of water, and turn down the heat to medium low. Cover and steam for about 5-7 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. If anything has stuck to the pan, you can add a tad more water or low sodium soy sauce to deglaze it.
- Drain the cooked pasta and leave in the colander a moment. Add the coconut milk, spices, and nutritional yeast to the empty pasta pot and whisk to combine. Heat over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes until hot. In a measuring cup or small bowl, add the water and arrowroot powder or cornstarch, and whisk together until the powder dissolves. Then whisk this mixture into the coconut mixture in the pot. Stir in for about a minute, then turn the heat down to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened, about 3 minutes.
- Add the pasta back to the pot and stir to combine the sauce and pasta. You can either add your cooked mushrooms and broccoli/broccolini straight to the pot or just add them to your plate of pasta. Serve immediately and enjoy! Tip: for a cheesy flavor, add a bit more nutritional yeast to your plate or a bit of my easy 2-minute vegan Parmesan topping.
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
More Vegan Pasta Dinners Under 30 Minutes
I probably love pasta more than anything--sorry Mr. Zardyplants, aka Paul.
Here’s some of my fave pasta dishes on the site right now:
- Vegan Vodka Sauce (with pasta)
- Chickpea Florentine (one pot)
- Tahini Pasta with Broccolini
- Garlic Noodles
- Pasta Puttanesca (one pot)
- Vegan Manicotti
- Vegan Ziti Bake
- Creamy Mushroom Pasta (one pot)
- Veggie Lo Mein
- Vegan Goulash (American/Chili Mac Style)
- Vegan Hamburger Helper
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too. We both literally licked our bowls each time we made it. The coconut milk sauce for pasta is that good!
This vegan savory coconut pasta is:
- Savory (I’d hope, with a title like this one)
- 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 :)
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!