This creamy vegan sun-dried tomato pasta is made in one pot in just about 30 minutes. It has a rich, velvety oat-milk based sauce that is dappled with sun-dried tomatoes and spinach.
This is the recipe that made me like sun-dried tomatoes, and thank goodness for that because they are filled with rich, umami flavors that easily elevate a simple meal.
This recipe uses sun-dried tomatoes jarred in oil, which means the vegan cream sauce is infused with a whole lot of flavor from bits of oil that make their way into the dish.
Like all good one pot pasta recipes, the bowtie pasta cooks in the sauce instead of being boiled in a separate pot. The result is a lusciously creamy sauce that is even creamier than my vegan alfredo, thanks to starches released from the pasta while cooking.
- Dietary features: vegetarian, vegan, soy-free, nut-free, and gluten-free optional
- Quick & easy: Since this is a one-pot pasta, all you need is a cutting board and one pot or large skillet. The recipe is ready in just about 30 minutes and requires only a few minutes of prep.
- The sauce: The pasta is served in a dairy-free, creamy white sauce dappled with sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. Unlike a lot of vegan cream sauces, this one is nut-free!
- The flavors: Sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, sherry vinegar, and onion contribute a lot of rich flavor to the pasta. Round it out with fresh lemon zest and your favorite vegan Parmesan for a delicious meal.
Similar recipes: This recipe is very similar to my creamy vegan one-pot pasta, which uses cashew cream instead of a roux. This vegan lemon pasta also celebrates sun-dried tomatoes in all of their umami glory.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Pasta: I use bowtie pasta but any small or medium pasta will work. Choose gluten-free pasta to make this recipe gluten-free.
- Vegan butter can be replaced with olive oil for a lighter option. Country Crock plant butter is my go-to vegan butter.
- Oat milk makes the sauce really creamy. Make sure to choose unsweetened, unflavored oat milk.
- Sun-dried tomatoes: Choose julienned (sliced) tomatoes jarred in oil. I prefer these to packages of sun-dried tomatoes because they just have so much more flavor. I use California Sun Dry brand.
- Nutritional yeast adds cheesiness and depth.
- Sherry vinegar: Don't skip this ingredient! It has a similar effect to adding white wine to the sauce.
- Onion and garlic: Sweet yellow onion is my go-to. I always recommend fresh garlic over jarred garlic.
Step by step instructions
Equipment: I like to make one-pot pasta recipes in a tall-sided skillet because it is shallow enough to brown ingredients, whereas deeper pots tend to steam ingredients. That being said, any 4-quart Dutch oven or similarly sized pot works.
This dish uses a roux, like many of my favorite dairy-free recipes (vegan squash casserole, for example.) A roux is just a combination of fat (vegan butter) and flour that thickens the sauce.
Heat butter in the pot over medium heat. Once melted, add the onion. Cook until golden, about 6-8 minutes.
Add in the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. Saute until the garlic is golden and aromatic.
Make the roux: Sprinkle in the flour and rosemary. Stir frequently for 1-2 minutes, or until lightly golden. This cooks the raw flour taste out.
New to cooking vegan sauces and gravies? Check out my complete guide on how to make vegan bechamel sauce to learn more about the roux method used in this recipe.
Make the sauce: Add ½ cup oat milk to form a thick paste with the flour. This is a foolproof way to avoid a lumpy sauce. Slowly pour in the remaining oat milk and all of the water while whisking. Stir in the salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast.
Bring a rapid simmer over medium-high heat. Try to avoid a full rolling boil, as this can cause the oat milk to separate. Once simmering, add the pasta. Reduce to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat.
Cover and simmer until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes, though this varies by brand of pasta. Stir every few minutes to keep the pasta pieces from sticking to each other.
Once pasta is al dente, remove the lid and simmer until the sauce is thickened. Add the sherry vinegar, spinach, and lemon zest. Enjoy!
- Extra veggies: Mushrooms go well in this dish and can be added at the same time as the onion. Broccoli and green beans also go well, but I recommend steaming them separately and adding them at the end.
- Protein: Sauted plant-based sausage is my preferred protein with sun-dried tomato pasta. Chickpeas or white beans are other easy options.
- Gluten-free option: Replace all-purpose flour with a gluten-free all-purpose flour (Bob's Red Mill blend is my go-to). Choose your favorite gluten-free pasta. If unable to find certified gluten-free oat milk, see below for other milk options.
- Other milk options: This recipe also works with unsweetened, unflavored soy milk. I have not tested it with almond milk or other dairy alternatives.
Tips for success
- Wait to add the bowtie pasta to the sun-dried tomato sauce until the sauce is simmering. This keeps the pasta from overcooking.
- Stir every 2-3 minutes while simmering to prevent pasta from sticking to the pot. Make sure the pot is completely covered when not stirring the pasta.
- To thicken the sauce: Thicken the pasta sauce by removing the lid and continuing to simmer over medium-low heat. The sauce will thicken even more as it cools.
- To thin the sauce: Add a splash of oat milk or water to thin the pasta.
- Taste for salt. Pasta cooks best in well-salted water. Taste for seasonings like salt, pepper and nutritional yeast before serving.
- When draining the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes, make sure to keep it! It is a great base for salad dressings.
Leftovers: Best within 3-4 days. Let cool to room temp before transferring to a closed container and refrigerating.
Reheating: Reheat in the microwave or over medium-low heat on the stove. You may need to add a splash of oat milk to loosen the sauce.
Freezing: I have not tried freezing this recipe. Let me know if in the comments if you try it out!
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One Pot Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta
- 8.5 ounces julienne-cut sundried tomatoes in oil
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter or olive oil
- ½ medium sweet yellow onion diced
- 1 teaspoon salt divided
- 4-5 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon dry rosemary
- 2 and ½ cups oat milk unsweetened and unflavored
- 2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 6 ounces bowtie pasta
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 2 heaping cups fresh spinach
- 1 medium lemon zested and sliced into wedges for serving
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- meatless Italian sausages sliced & cooked according to package instructions (optional)
- Using a sieve, drain oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. The oil is not used in this recipe, but I like to keep it to use as a base for salad dressings. Set aside the tomatoes.
- Heat butter in a tall-sided skillet or 4-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Once melted, add the onion. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Cook until golden, about 6-8 minutes.
- Add in the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. Saute until the garlic is golden and aromatic.
- Sprinkle in the flour and rosemary. Stir frequently for 1-2 minutes, or until the flour is lightly golden and toasted.
- Whisk in ½ cup oat milk to form a thick paste. Slowly pour in the remaining oat milk and water while whisking. Stir in the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and nutritional yeast.
- Bring a rapid simmer over medium-high heat. Try to avoid a rolling boil, as this can cause the oat milk to separate. Once simmering, add the pasta. Reduce to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat.
- Cover and simmer until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and stir every 2-3 minutes to encourage even cooking.
- Remove the lid when the pasta is al dente. Stir in the sherry vinegar, spinach, and lemon zest. Continue simmering until the sauce is thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon without sliding off.
- Add freshly ground black pepper to taste. Taste for seasonings and serve with meatless Italian sausage (optional but recommended!).
- Gluten-free options: Replace all-purpose flour with a Gluten free all purpose flour and use your favorite gluten free pasta. If unable to find a certified gluten-free oat milk, see below for other milk options.
- Milk options: Dairy milk may not work as high heat and tomatoes can cause curdling. Unsweet soy milk can be used in place of oat milk as needed.
- Add-ins: Extra veggies like steamed broccoli, green beans or mushrooms work well. Add canned chickpeas or sauteed plant-based sausage for extra protein.
- Leftovers: Refrigerate in a closed container for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or over medium-low heat on the stove. You may need to add a splash of oat milk to loosen the sauce.
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Author's note: This recipe was originally shared August 2020. It was updated March 2023 with an improved recipe and method, though it contains many of the same ingredients as the original recipe.
Truly excellent recipe. Bow-tie pasta holds sauce well. For a traditional look, use bucatini (hollow spaghetti) which also holds sauce well.
Thanks for the review, Roger!
I would suggest using cashew cream instead of water and flour which can be very bland. Soak raw unsalted cashews in hot water for 30 min or overnight. Add to blender with garlic cloves, s&p, lemon juice and nutritional yeast. Add just enough broth/water/plant milk to cover and blend until smooth. I like to add artichokes, black olives, sun-dried tomatoes and tomato paste. Super yum!
Agree that this was too watery and plain. Would recommend subbing veg broth or water and using less. Took way too long for sauce to “thicken,” and even then it was still like soup.
Very bland, tasted like water with garlic. Will try to use a broth next time and maybe more roux it was very thin.
Love sun dried tomatoes and was so excited to give this recipe a try! So easy to throw together for a weeknight meal☺️
I thought this turned out pretty plain. Maybe instead if water I should have used vegetable broth. I ended up adding nutritional yeast to my bowl to add more flavor, could also try more tomatoes if I made it again.
Thanks so much for the review! Nutritional yeast definitely sounds ljke it would be a good addition.