This creamy vegan tomato pasta is a simple and easy dinner made with a dairy-free walnut-based sauce and gluten-free breadcrumbs! Add this to your dinner list of easy one pot recipes!
This creamy vegan pasta dish is going to change the way you think about vegan food. Let’s just say that these noodles, which are covered in a delicious sauce that is super creamy from blended walnuts, are going to be your new favorite dinner recipe.
A few weeks ago, I took a trip with California Walnuts to northern California where we learned all about the walnut harvest, and how walnuts make it from farm to fork. During the trip, I tasted walnuts in a variety of dishes. It was so fun learning how to incorporate them into every meal!
After I got back from my trip, I literally could not get walnuts off the brain. We spent so much time learning about the harvesting process, the history of walnuts, and the health benefits of walnuts that all I wanted to do was run home and create some delicious recipes for the blog!
A few more facts about walnuts
Did you know that 99% of walnuts grown in the United States are actually grown in California? Hence the name, California Walnuts!
They are grown largely on farms that have been passed down from generation to generation, making most walnut farming a family business. We got to meet a couple of these family owned orchards and it was awesome to hear the stories about their grandparents and even great grandparents getting started several years ago.
The health benefits of walnuts are probably one of my favorite parts about them. These little nuts pack a nutritious punch! They’re a good-fat food that supply a rich source of the plant-based omega-3 ALA (2.5 grams per 1 ounce serving – that’s more than any other nut!). Walnuts are also naturally sodium and cholesterol free and are certified by the American Heart Association as a heart-healthy food.
So, it’s safe to say that this creamy tomato pasta with walnuts is going to be loaded with tons of nutrients and delicious flavors!
Ingredients in vegan pasta
Simple is key when it comes to making dinner in our house. We like meals that can come together in less than thirty minutes and only require a few ingredients that you already have in your pantry.
Here’s what you need to make this vegan pasta dish:
- walnuts – we like to toast these slightly ahead of time, so they have even more flavor.
- jar of marinara sauce – use your favorite brand! Any jarred sauce will work here.
- basil – fresh basil transforms the sauce and gives a fresh, herby flavor.
- garlic – you can add as much or as little garlic as you would like! We prefer a few cloves.
- pasta – any brand of pasta will work, we used chickpea Gimelli for this one.
- spinach – stirred right in at the end, the spinach adds more nutrients while also soaking up some of the delicious sauce.
- For the breadcrumbs: all you need are walnuts, olive oil, garlic powder, rosemary, salt, and pepper! They are super simple.
How to make creamy vegan pasta
First up, let’s make the breadcrumbs so it’s done and out of the way! You’ll want to grab your food processor and throw in your walnuts, garlic powder, rosemary, salt and pepper. Blend them up until they are a fine crumb.
Then, spread the crumbs out on a baking sheet and toast for a few minutes. You’ll then set them aside until your pasta is ready.
To make the creamy vegan pasta sauce, blend your walnuts, garlic basil and tomato sauce in a food processor until completely smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides as needed.
Once the sauce is made, make your pasta according to the package. Drain it and add it back to the pot, where you will add your spinach in next. Then add the creamy sauce on top and heat over low for five minutes or until heated through.
Serve immediately and add breadcrumbs right on top!
This blog post was sponsored by California Walnuts All opinions are my own. I am so thankful to work with wonderful partners who help to keep this blog afloat!
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment below and let me know how it was! Also tag @erinliveswhole on Instagram and use the hashtag #erinliveswhole so I can see it and feature you!
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
- Thai Noodle Salad with Walnut Butter
- Zoodle Caprese Salad with Walnut Pesto
- Classic Waldorf Salad Wraps
- 1 cup walnuts
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ cup fresh basil
- 3 cups marinara sauce or favorite tomato sauce
- 2 boxes pasta
- 4 cups spinach
- ½ cup walnuts
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp rosemary (I used dried powder, but can use dried or chopped fresh)
- First, make breadcrumbs.
- Preheat oven to 350F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, blend all breadcrumb ingredients until fine crumble.
- Pour onto baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes or until slightly golden.
- For the sauce, blend walnuts, garlic, basil, and tomato sauce in food processor until completely smooth.
- Meanwhile, make pasta according to package. Drain.
- Add the hot pasta back to the pot and add in spinach.
- Pour sauce on top of pasta, stir, and heat on low for 5 minutes.
- Add breadcrumbs on top of pasta and serve immediately.
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