If you’re craving comforting recipes – you’ll want to curl up to this creamy vegan pasta – Indian style. Penne pasta is lusciously coated with a thick sauce to create an easy and healthy recipe that’s loved by our family. The sauce is dairy-free and made with a medley of roasted vegetables, cashew nuts, garlic, garam masala and a sprinkle of chilli flakes. 

bowl of creamy vegan pasta Indian style topped with cilantro with flowers in the background

Serve it as is, or use it as a base for your unique add-ins. Try throwing in some crispy tofu as an excellent protein source or enjoy with a side of fermented vegetables. We also love this with a handful of cooked chickpeas or spinach.

All you pasta fans out there looking for a plant-powered vegan creamy pasta recipe – you will LOVE this one!

Indian Style Pasta – A Healthier Creamy Pasta

Okay, I am a little shocked that I haven’t shared this recipe before — it’s been in our arsenal for Sunday meal planning for as long as I can remember. I simply love that it’s comforting, satisfying and adored by young and old alike. And now, with another “stay at home” order, in Ontario, who isn’t on the hunt for cozy, family-friendly recipes — that are also easy and healthy.

No doubt; this creamy vegan pasta will be in the regular lunch rotation.

Not one penne piece is devoid of sauce. None. You only have to peek at the pictures to see that there is plenty of creamy pasta sauce (check out the video!), yet it’s only veggies and cashew nuts — with a desi (South Asian) touch. The sauce is made with: roasted tomatoes, carrot, bell pepper and fennel.

It’s a hassle-free recipe with oodles of flavour and richness. And can you believe how healthy it is with all those vegetables?!

two bowls of creamy vegan pasta Indian style with a side of roasted vegetables and flowers in the foreground

Accompany my Indian style pasta with this 15-minute raw salad. It offers the perfect crunch!

How to make Creamy Vegan Pasta – Step By Step

What You Need:

  • Penne pasta – Feel free to use any type you have on-hand. Remember to follow the packet instructions and avoid over-cooking the pasta. Otherwise, it will be mushy, when combined with the creamy sauce. You could use gluten-free pasta to suit any specific dietary needs.
  • Roasted tomatoes – Because of their simplicity and nostalgia. Not to mention, tomatoes help to create a lovely consistency to the sauce.
  • Fresh fennel – It brings heaps of deliciousness and packs in the flavour.
  • Pepper  It adds a smoky punch to the creamy pasta sauce.
  • Carrot – For a tinge of sweetness while delivering a brilliant burst of colour, a carrot is perfect!
  • Garam masala – Adding garam masala to bring that authentic Indian (South Asian) characteristic to the dish. I keep it simple and only use this – it’s a mix of several different spices.
  • Cashew nuts – The secret to a thick, creamy and rich vegan sauce is cashew nuts. It’s smooth and overall healthy. You don’t have to soak the nuts for this recipe.
  • Garlic – Besides being a nutritional powerhouse, it brings heaps of flavour. 
  • I like to fry thin slices of garlic in olive oil before adding the sauce instead of roasting the garlic in the oven. Having pieces of garlic in the sauce is absolutely delicious.
  • Chilli flakes – Add chilli flakes for the needed hot kick that’s typically associated with Desi recipes 🙂
  • Cilantro – Introduce it right at the end after the heat is turned off – to bring heaps of fresh flavour. 
step by step preparation shots of how to make creamy vegan pasta - Indian style

Vegan creamy pasta sauce:

  1. Start by washing and prepping the vegetables (Image 1). The carrot and fennel are sturdy, so cut them into small pieces. That way, they cook through. Next, slice the pepper into medium chunks and cut the tomatoes in half. 
  2. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper (Image 2). Send to bake (top shelf) at 420 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. I like that lovely char, so I broil the veggies for the last 3 minutes. Keep a close eye so they don’t burn.
  3. While the veggies are roasting, boil the pasta (Image 3).
  4. And once the vegetables are roasted, transfer them to a large blender. Add garam masala, cashews and blitz until lusciously creamy (Images 5-6). 
  5. Next, fry fresh garlic in a dash of olive oil until golden (Image 7).
  6. Pour in the sauce, heat through, and add salt (Image 8)

Creamy vegan tomato pasta:

  1. Once your pasta sauce is ready, throw in the cooked pasta, give it a good stir and finish with cilantro and chilli flakes (optional) – Images 9-10.

Top Tips

  • Don’t forget to cut the sturdy vegetables into small pieces to ensure they cook through.
  • Arrange the vegetables on the baking tray in a single layer to roast beautifully. Overlapping vegetables will make them soggy.
  • Be careful not to burn the garlic; otherwise, you will end up with a butter taste to the creamy pasta sauce.
  • Use fresh cilantro and add it to the finished dish. You don’t want to cook the cilantro because it will lose its flavour.
  • Store leftover pasta in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Have you got fresh veggies lying in the fridge about to go off? Then, this is the perfect recipe to use up those ingredients and reduce food waste. 

bowl of creamy vegan pasta Indian style topped with cilantro with flowers in the background

Nutrition Highlights

One serving* of this Indian style pasta is:

  • An excellent source of fibre
  • Very high in iron
  • A high source of vitamin A
  • An excellent source of vitamin C
  • Very high in potassium

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

bowl of creamy vegan pasta Indian style topped with cilantro with flowers in the background

This Indian style pasta is meant to be a cozy, easy and healthy meal (like my Indian Eggplant Curry With Potatoes or the Desi~licious Daal with Butternut Squash and my Tikka Masala with Chickpeas and Asparagus). What can a say, we need all the comfort right now!! – Be well!

What goes in your pasta sauce? Have you tried my Indian style pasta before? Let me know.

If you try this creamy vegan pasta recipe, I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment, rate it, or share a photo and hashtag with #desiliciousrd on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Can’t wait to see your photos. 

Desi~liciously Yours, Shahzadi

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two bowls of creamy vegan pasta Indian style with a side of roasted vegetables and flowers in the foreground
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Get the Recipe:

Healthy Creamy Vegan Pasta (Indian Style!)

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Yield: 5 servings
If you're craving comforting recipes – you'll want to curl up to this creamy vegan pasta – Indian style. Penne pasta is lusciously coated with a thick sauce to create an easy and healthy recipe that's loved by our family. The sauce is dairy-free and made with a medley of roasted vegetables, cashew nuts, garlic, garam masala and a sprinkle of chilli flakes.

Ingredients
 

  • 1 carrot, large, washed, peeled, trimmed and small diced, Benefits of cooked carrots
  • 4 tomatoes, large, washed, sliced in half
  • ½ fennel, medium, washed, ends trimmed, and small diced
  • 1 red pepper, large, washed, trimmed, deseeded and sliced in medium chunks
  • tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 cups penne pasta, type is optional: wholewheat, legume-based, quinoa-based.
  • 8 cups water, to boil the pasta. Follow packet instructions and adjust accordingly
  • ½ cup cashews, unsalted, plain
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 8 garlic cloves, medium, peeled and thinly sliced
  • tsp salt, sea salt
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes, optional
  • 1 cup cilantro, fresh, washed, finely chopped

Equipment

  • blender

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 420 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place the prepared vegetables on a large baking tray in a single layer. Drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper. Send to roast (top shelf) at 420 degrees Fahrenheit for 17-18 minutes. For perfectly charred vegetables, broil for 2-3 minutes – keeping a close eye to prevent burning.
  • Meanwhile, in a large cooking pot, bring water to boil. Add pasta and cook according to packet instructions.
  • Once the vegetables are roasted, transfer them to a large blender. Add garam masala, cashews and blitz until lusciously creamy. Set aside.
  • In a large cooking pot, heat 1/2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and fry until lightly golden.
  • Add the creamy pasta sauce, add salt, and heat through. 
  • Stir in the drained pasta to coat with the creamy vegan sauce.
  • Finish with cilantro and chilli flakes (optional)

Video

Notes

  • Don’t forget to cut the sturdy vegetables into small pieces to ensure they cook through.
  • Arrange the vegetables on the baking tray in a single layer to roast beautifully. Overlapping vegetables will make them soggy.
  • Be careful not to burn the garlic; otherwise, you will end up with a butter taste to the creamy pasta sauce.
  • Use fresh cilantro and add it to the finished dish. You don’t want to cook the cilantro because it will lose its flavour.
  • Store leftover pasta in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 434kcal (22%)Carbohydrates: 65g (22%)Protein: 13g (26%)Fat: 14g (22%)Saturated Fat: 2g (10%)Sodium: 764mg (32%)Potassium: 712mg (20%)Fiber: 6g (24%)Sugar: 7g (8%)Vitamin A: 4090IU (82%)Vitamin C: 50mg (61%)Calcium: 73mg (7%)Iron: 3mg (17%)

Keep in mind that the nutritional values provided are approximations and suggestions. This nutrition facts table cannot account for your individual needs. Your body — including your hunger and satiety cues — change daily. It’s perfectly fine to eat more or less on different days. Instead of letting food guilt take over, consider mindful eating.

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Cuisine: ethnic, Fusion, Indian
Course: Main
Did you make this recipe?Mention @desiliciousrd on Instagram or tag #desiliciousrd.