This spicy vegan pasta is made in one pot in less than 30 minutes using cashew cream and vegan sausage! It's perfect for weeknight meals and makes great leftovers.
- Spicy, super creamy, and filled with hearty flavor
- Quick & easy: Made in one pot in just under 30 minutes
- Easy to customize: choose your favorite type of veggie sausage & pasta
This spicy vegan pasta is inspired by a definitely-not-vegan spicy sausage pasta that I grew up eating. It has all of the same flavor and creaminess, just without the meat or dairy!
Last week I shared my recipe for one-pot vegetarian spaghetti, so I figured I'd continue the trend with another one-pot recipe. This is another among many Cozy Peach Kitchen one-pot pasta favorites like vegetarian chili mac and sundried tomato pasta.
- Pasta: I used rigatoni but I've also made this with penne. Any kind of medium pasta should work.
- Vegetable broth: The pasta is cooked in vegetable broth for extra flavor. Water will work in a pinch, but make sure to salt it.
- Veggie sausage: I use Tofurkey brand Italian sausages. Field Roast is another great option. I recommend choosing an Italian-style vegan sausage.
- Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste add depth to the base of the sauce. Worcestershire sauce often contains anchovies, so check for an anchovy-free one. Many store-brand Worcestershire sauces are accidently vegan.
- Rotel tomatoes with green chiles: You can use a different brand but don't substitute this ingredient! The green chiles are important for the spicy flavor.
- Red pepper flakes also contribute spice because they are made from dried red chili peppers. Warning: A small amount provides a big kick!
Step by step instructions
Making the pasta
- Heat a large pot (at least 5 quarts) or deep sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the olive oil. To the hot oil add the diced onion, sliced vegan sausage, and pinch of salt.
- Cook until the onion is golden and the sausage is browned, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and tomato paste. Cook another 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is aromatic.
- Add the Worcestershire sauce to deglaze the pan. Add in the red pepper flakes, rotel tomatoes, and vegetable broth. Bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat.
- Add the pasta. Reduce to a low simmer and cover. Stir after 5 minutes, then replace the lid and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes.
Making the cashew cream
This is made while the spicy vegan pasta is cooking. Learn more about this dairy-free cooking staple in my complete guide to cashew cream.
In a heat-safe bowl, cover cashews with at least one inch of almost boiling water. Depending on the strength of your blender, let soak for 10-15 minutes. Some blenders are strong enough that you can skip this step.
Drain the cashews, making sure to reserve the water. Add cashews, lemon juice, salt, olive oil, and ¾ cup reserved water to the blender. Blender until smooth. Add remaining ¼ cup water as needed to thin to a pourable consistency (see image above for reference consistency).
Add 1 cup of cashew cream to the pasta. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, until desired thickness is reached. Add in vegan Parmesan (optional) and garnish with basil.
Recipe FAQ and expert tips
- Veggies: If you want more veggies, you can saute a bell pepper with the red onions. Add a few handfuls of spinach at the end for a burst of color and plant-based iron.
- Extra protein: You can add a can of white beans or chickpeas for additional protein.
- Serving: Garnish with extra vegan Parmesan, red pepper flakes, and basil.
Leftover pasta is best enjoyed within 3-4 days. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat individual portions in the microwave in about 2 minutes, stirring halfway through. If reheating on the stovetop, I recommend adding a splash of vegetable broth and heating over medium, stirring occasionally until warmed through.
It's decently spicy but the spice level is easy to adjust. I recommend adding 1-2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes. Two teaspoons add a decent level of heat, whereas 1 teaspoon is more tolerable. Do note that the green chiles from the can of tomatoes also contribute spice.
I haven't tested this recipe with anything other than cashew cream. It's possible that an equal amount of coconut cream would work but I can't say for sure. Let us know in the comments if you try this recipe without cashew cream!
I haven't tested the recipe with gluten-free pasta but it should work. Gluten-free pasta is usually more delicate, so it's more likely to break down in one pot pasta which could affect the final result.
Looking for more vegan pasta recipes?
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Creamy Spicy Vegan Pasta (One Pot)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ large yellow onion diced finely
- 6 ounces Italian style meatless sausage sliced into coins; see note #2
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced; adjust to taste
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes plus more for serving
- 10 ounces diced tomatoes and green chiles I use Rotel brand
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 8 ounces rigatoni see note #1
- ½ cup shredded vegan parmesan I use Follow Your Heart brand
- basil for serving
- Before you begin, cover cashews with at least one inch of almost boiling water in a heat-safe bowl. Soak for 10-15 minutes. Make sure to reserve the soaking liquid.
- Heat a large pot (at least 5 quarts) or deep saute pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. To the hot oil add the diced onion, sliced vegan sausage, and ¼ teaspoon salt.
- Cook until the onion is golden and the sausage is browned, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and tomato paste. Cook another 1-2 minutes, stirring occassionally, until the garlic is aromatic.
- Add the Worcestershire sauce to deglaze the pan. Add the red pepper flakes, tomatoes, and vegetable broth. Bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat.
- Add the pasta. It should be mostly covered by the liquid. If not, add in an extra half cup broth or water. Reduce to a low simmer and cover. Stir after 5 minutes, then replace the lid and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes total.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the cashew cream by mixing together the soaked cashews, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and ¾ cup reserved water to a blender. Blend until smooth. Add remaining ¼ cup water as needed to thin to a pourable consistency.
- Add 1 cup of the cashew cream to the cooked pasta. Simmer on low another 2-3 minutes to incorporate. Stir in ½ cup shredded vegan parmesan just before serving. Enjoy!
- Pasta: Any medium-size pasta shape works. Whole wheat pasta can also be used. I haven't tested this recipe with gluten-free or protein pasta shapes.
- Sausage: I use Tofurkey Italian-style sausage but any similar type works.
- For extra veggies, try sauteing diced bell pepper alongside the onion or stir in a few handfuls of fresh spinach at the end.
- Leftovers: Best enjoyed within 3-4 days. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat individual portions in the microwave in ~2 minutes or reheat on the stove over medium heat with a splash of broth to thin the sauce. Stir occasionally until warmed through.
- Thickening the sauce: This is a pretty sauce-y pasta. To thicken the sauce, simply continue simmering uncovered until the sauce reaches your desired consistency.