This 30-minute vegan sun dried tomato pasta is easy to make and packed with flavour!
This easy pasta recipe features pasta and kale in a creamy but completely dairy-free sun dried tomato sauce.
The recipe calls for a jar of sun dried tomatoes, half of them are blended into the cashew cream to make a delicious, silky smooth sauce and the other half is added to the pasta for tender, tangy bites throughout.
Big on flavour and low on effort, you’ll love having this recipe in your back pocket for nights when you simplicity and comfort. Creamy, rich, high in protein and ready in 30 minutes, yep, this one is a keeper!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- Easy to Make: You’ll love how easy this recipe is to put together. There are a few steps but it can be on the table in 30 minutes or less.
- Simple Ingredients: You’ll need just a few everyday ingredients.
- Amazing Flavour & Texture: Extra creamy and packed with flavour!!
- Dietary Needs: This recipe is vegan (dairy-free) and can be made gluten-free by using your choice of gluten-free pasta.
- Special Occasion or Everyday: This recipe is perfect for special occasions and entertaining but easy enough for a quick meal any night of the week.
- Family-Friendly: This recipe is sure to please the whole family though you can always skip the kale for a picky eater.
- Swap the Pasta: Try gnocchi, orzo, rigatoni, farfalle, penne, fettuccini noodles or any other pasta shape you enjoy!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Complete list of ingredients with amounts and full instructions is located in the recipe card below. This section covers ingredient and substitution considerations.
- Cashews: Use plain, raw cashews with no added oil or salt.
- Pasta: The recipe calls for bowtie pasta but you can use an variety of pasta you like, such as penne, spaghetti, rotini, etc.
- Onion: White or yellow onion is suitable.
- Sun Dried Tomato: Use a jar of sun dried tomatoes packed in oil. Drain them before use but reserve the oil for cooking the onion and garlic. You can keep the rest of the oil for another use or discard it.
- Lemon: You’ll need a whole lemon for the juice and lemon zest.
- Kale: You can use any variety of kale or substitute spinach. For convenience, packaged spinach works great. Just toss in a few handfuls when you add the pasta.
- Fresh Herbs: Optional but fresh parsley or fresh basil are lovely for serving. This vegan parmesan cheese or vegan ricotta is also tasty on top.
Step 1: Soak the cashews.
Place the cashews in a heat-proof bowl and cover with 1.5 cups of boiling water. Let them soak for 10 minutes.
While you wait, start bringing a large pot of water to a boil on the stovetop and prepare the lemon zest, onion, garlic and kale.
Hot Tip: To save the extra 10 minutes, prepare the cashews in advance and soak for a few hours up to overnight.
Step 2: Make the cashew cream.
Add the cashews and soaking water to a blender with roughly half of the sun-dried tomatoes, the lemon zest, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Blend the mixture until completely smooth.
Step 3: Cook the pasta.
Once the water is boiling, cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions.
Important Step: Before draining, scoop off 2 cups of the cooking liquid.
Step 4: Once the pasta is cooking, start heating 1 tbsp of the reserved sun-dried tomato oil in a large pan over medium heat.
Once heated, add the onion and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened.
Add the remaining sun-dried tomates, oregano and chili flakes, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Hot Tip: If you forgot to save some oil or are using bagged sun dried tomatoes, you can use extra virgin olive oil or any other oil you like. For an oil-free recipe, you can use water and rehydrated sun dried tomatoes.
Step 5: Add the cashew cream sauce.
Add the tomato cream sauce from the blender and stir to combine.
Step 6: Add the pasta and kale.
Finally, add the pasta and kale, mix well, then slowly start adding the reserved pasta water 1/4 cup at a time while stirring. Cook for another few minutes until you have a thick creamy consistency.
Serve your pasta with fresh basil or parsley and fresh cracked black pepper. Enjoy!
Yes, if you prefer you can use sun dreid tomatoes from a bag but you’ll need to rehydrate them before use.
To use them, place them in a bowl, cover with water and soak overnight and then drain before using in the recipe.
Yes, I would definitely recommend it. If you want to save the extra 10 minutes and prep them in advance, then can be soaked for a few hours up to overnight.
- Need a gluten-free recipe? No problem! Just swap the pasta for your choice of gluten-free pasta such as chickpea pasta, brown rice pasta or quinoa pasta.
- Need a nut-free recipe? Substitute 1 cup of canned coconut milk for the cashews and water. I think you could do white beans too for a low-fat nut-free option, like in this roasted red pepper pasta recipe, though I haven’t tried it myself.
- Need an oil-free recipe? Use water instead of oil to cook the onion and garlic and use rehydrated sun dried tomatoes instead of tomatoes packed in oil.
- This vegan parmesan recipe is yummy for serving.
- Try it served with this vegan kale caesar salad.
- The pasta is best fresh when it’s nice and creamy.
- If you won’t be eating it all in one sitting, consider halving the recipe. It’s ok to store up to 5 days but it thickens up a lot as the pasta absorbs the sauce.
- Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Reheat the pasta in the microwave or add to a pan and stir in a little milk, water or broth to adjust the consistency.
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- Soak the Cashews: Place raw cashews in a bowl, and cover with the boiling water. Let the cashews soak for 10 minutes. While you wait, start bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil on the stovetop and chopping up the kale.
- Drain Sun Dried Tomatoes: Drain the sun dried tomatoes well, reserving some of the oil for cooking later.
- Prepare the Cashew Cream: Add the cashews and water to a blender along with the lemon zest, lemon juice and half of the sun dried tomatoes. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Cook Pasta: Cook bowtie pasta al dente according to package instructions. Once cooked, reserve 2 cups of the pasta water before draining the pasta.
- Cook Onion & Garlic: Once the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tbsp of the reserved tomato oil (or olive oil) over medium heat in a large pan. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onions are soft.
- Add Herbs & Remaining Tomatoes: Add sun-dried tomatoes, chilli flakes and oregano. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
- Add Cashew Cream: Add the cashew cream, stir well and cook for another minute.
- Add Pasta and Kale: Stir in the cooked pasta and kale.
- Slowly Add Pasta Water: Slowly start adding the reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at at time until you reach a smooth, thick and creamy consistency over 2-3 minutes. You may use the full 2 cups depending on the consistency you’d like.
- Serve: Divide the pasta evenly between bowls and serve with chopped parsley or basil and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
The pasta is best fresh while it’s the creamiest. After storing it thickens considerably. Consider cutting the recipe in half if you only need 2-4 servings. You can store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. It still takes great after storing, just keep in mind its drier after storing as the pasta absorbs the sauce.
If you want to add additional veggies, such as zucchini, bell pepper, asparagus or broccoli, add them when you cook the onion or steam or roast separately and mix them in at the end.
- Serving Size: 1/6th of recipe
- Calories: 561
- Sodium: 62 mg
- Fat: 12 g
- Carbohydrates: 96 g
- Fiber: 6 g
- Protein: 18 g
Keywords: sun dried tomato pasta