Skip to Content

Vegan Sundried Tomato Pasta

Vegan sundried tomato pasta is so easy to make and ready in just 15 minutes! The creamy, dreamy vegan sundried tomato alfredo sauce is incredibly flavorful and so simple to make! This will quickly become one of your families go to favorite recipes!

Vegan sundried tomato alfredo in a large grey bowl.

Why you will love this recipe

  • Quick and Easy – make the simple vegan sun dried tomato alfredo sauce in the blender while the pasta is cooking. Then just stir everything together and serve hot. So simple and so easy!
  • Simple Ingredients – you can find everything you need to make vegan sun dried tomato pasta in the local grocery store or online. You only need 6 ingredients, and they are all pantry staples. This healthy creamy sundried tomato pasta has a surprise ingredient – white beans – that make the sauce creamy and thick but are lower in fat and calories than most alfredo recipes.
  • Fancy enough for entertaining, easy enough for weeknight meals – this vegan sundried tomato pasta would be perfect for serving to friends or family when entertaining (you can easily double or triple the recipe if you have a large enough pot to cook the pasta in) but so simple you could make it on even the busiest of nights! This dish is gluten free, dairy free, vegan and plant based so great for most diets!
  • Meatless meal everyone will enjoy – if you are trying to practice meatless Mondays or just cut back on your meat intake, this vegan sun dried tomato pasta is going to become one of your favorite recipes! It’s creamy, dreamy and the silky-smooth sauce is so luscious when added to pasta – healthy comfort food for sure!
Ingredients to make vegan sun dried tomato pasta in bowls.
This post contains affiliate links. As an amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Click here to read my policy and more about affiliate links.

Ingredients

Cashews – raw cashews work best for this recipe, they help make a super smooth, creamy sauce without any heavy cream or dairy. Be sure to soak the cashews before blending them (soaking helps ensure the sauce gets super smooth).

White beans – white beans are the secret ingredient to this creamy vegan sun dried tomato alfredo sauce. They get blended up with the cashews to make the creamiest, thickest sauce you can imagine. Use your favorite white bean (cannellini, great northern white beans or navy beans) for this recipe. I don’t recommend using chickpeas.

Spices: Salt, garlic powder – these help to elevate the flavors of the sauce. Garlic powder adds umami and is always on hand. Since you aren’t coking the sauce, I don’t recommend fresh garlic (unless you really love fresh garlic) as it can overpower the rest of the ingredients in the dish.  

Sundried tomatoes in oil – you can find these in just about every grocery store now (I always pick up a jar at Trader Joe’s). The oil these sun dried tomatoes are packed in is full of flavor, so as you are measuring out the sundried tomatoes, don’t be afraid to use some of the oil as well!

Pasta + pasta water – use your favorite gluten free pasta. I love using a fettuccine noodle here but you could also use spaghetti, penne, fusilli, or even elbow shaped pasta. Gluten free orzo or gluten free gnocchi would be great too!

How to make vegan sundried tomato pasta

Start by filling a large pot with water, place over high heat and bring water to a boil.

While waiting on the water to boil, pour boiling water over the cashews (using an electric kettle) or soak the cashews in another way (see below).

Cashews soaking in hot water in a glass measuring cup.

Rinse and drain the white beans and soak them in cold, clean water.

Once the water has come up to a boil, add a large pinch of salt and add the pasta. Cook according to package instructions.

After at least 5 minutes of soaking, drain the cashews and discard the water. Drain the beans as well (discard the water). Add the cashews, beans, salt, garlic powder and sundried tomatoes to a high-speed blender with clean water (1 cup).

Blender filled with sundried tomato alfredo sauce.

Blend until smooth. Likely you will need to blend the sauce on high speed at least 1 minute until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Don’t worry if it looks thick, we will add some pasta water.

Right before draining the pasta, use a ladle or a large measuring cup and reserve about ½ cup of the cooking liquid. Then drain the pasta and add it right back to the pot (turn off the heat).

Pasta water in a measuring cup.

Add in the creamy sun dried tomato pasta sauce and ¼ cup of the pasta water. Stir, stir, stir.

Add up to an additional ¼ cup of the cooking liquid until the sauce reaches a consistency you prefer. If you need more water, just use regular water. Serve hot!

Creamy sundried tomato alfredo poured over pasta in a white pot.
get my 10 greatest recipes ebook by signing up for my newsletterGET 10 OF MY ALL TIME GREATEST RECIPES
IN THIS FREE EBOOK

Top tips

  • Soak the cashews for at least 5 minutes in boiling water before blending to help soften them. Even with a high-speed blender, soaking cashews helps to ensure the sauce gets really smooth and creamy. See all the ways you can soak cashews below.
  • For the best digestion, I recommend you use organic white beans and your drain off the liquid they are packed in, rinse the beans well then soak the beans in fresh water for a minute or two. This really seems to help make the beans easier to digest.
  • Reserve some of the pasta water before draining it to help ensure the sauce has the best consistency since this pasta water is starchy and really helps the sauce stick to the pasta while also thinning out the sauce. If you forget to reserve some of the sauce, you can use regular water, but the sauce may not stick to the pasta quite the same.
  • Want to make this even higher in protein and fiber? Use chickpea pasta or lentil pasta instead of gluten free noodles.
  • No need to drain the oil from the tomatoes, the oil the sundried tomatoes are packed in is full of flavor and can also help with the creamy consistency of the sauce.
  • Use this sauce over gnocchi, rice, quinoa, orzo or over your favorite protein (chicken, shrimp).
Creamy vegan sundried tomato alfredo pasta in a white pot.

What else can you add to this recipe?

Veggies: Add sauteed zucchini, mushrooms, chopped broccoli (that you add to the boiling water during the last minute of cooking), baby spinach or chopped kale (stir into the pasta when hot), roasted red pepper, or artichoke hearts. You can also add fresh basil or fresh Italian parsley after cooking.

Spice: Add crushed red pepper flakes

Protein: Add another can of white beans, chickpeas, shredded chicken, 10 Minute Italian chicken, cooked shrimp or cooked chicken sausage (sun dried tomato or Italian)

Cheesy flavor: Add 1-2 tablespoons nutritional yeast or your favorite vegan parmesan cheese (or regular parmesan if you are not dairy free)

  • To make your own vegan parmesan you can combine 1/2 cup cashews, 2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor. Pulse until it resembles the parmesan cheese you would get in the green tubes in the grocery store.

What to serve with vegan sundried tomato pasta

Salad: Salad greens with creamy Italian Dressing, Greek Salad, Mediterranean Chopped Salad, Italian White Bean Salad or Broccoli Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

Soup: Tuscan White Bean Soup with Kale, Vegan Tomato Gnocchi Soup, Instant Pot White Bean Soup, Pasta e Fagioli or Minestrone Soup

Appetizers: Serve with spinach artichoke stuffed mushrooms, almond flour corn bread, Air Fryer Tomatoes over toast or crackers or Roasted Balsamic Eggplant Steaks

White bowl filled with vegan sundried tomato pasta.

Common Questions

Can you make this recipe nut free?

Yes, instead of cashews, you can use hemp hearts or raw sunflower seeds. Hemp hearts don’t need to be soaked in advance. Raw sunflower seeds need to be soaked just like cashews.

Can you use sundried tomatoes that come in a bag instead of packed in oil?

Yes, however the sun dried tomatoes need to be rehydrated before using them in the sauce. Pour boiling water over the sundried tomatoes or soak them in water overnight. Drain the water before adding them to the blender.

How to soak cashews

Soaking cashews in water helps to ensure the cashews are softened and will help to create the creamiest sauce when blended. With all these methods, discard the soaking water after soaking, do not use that water in the recipe. Here are my top 4 ways to soak cashews:

  • Pour boiling water over top – this is my go-to method, as it’s easy to do with an electric kettle. Once the water has come up to a boil, pour it over the cashews and let them soak at least 5 minutes.
  • Boil on the stove – If you don’t have an electric kettle, you can add the cashews and water to a pot and bring it to a boil. Boil 2-3 minutes then allow to cool at least 5 minutes before using the cashews.
  • Microwave – Add the cashews to a large cup or bowl. Add just enough water to cover the cashews. Microwave for 1:30-2 minutes. Allow the cashews to rest in the microwave at least 5 minutes. Remove carefully with oven mitts (the container can get really hot).
  • Countertop – add water to a bowl or glass with cashews. Leave out on the counter for 8 hours to soften the cashews. If you plan on leaving them out longer to soak, put them in the fridge.

Can you make this creamy sundried tomato pasta in advance?

You can make the sauce up to 3 days in advance. Let the creamy sun dried tomato sauce come up to room temperature as you are cooking the pasta. Stir it into the drained pasta and add the cooking water right before serving. 

If you need to make the entire recipe in advance, cook the pasta 2 minutes less than suggested on the box. Reheat the creamy vegan sundried tomato pasta over low to medium low heat in the same pot you cooked the pasta in and add about ¼-1/2 cup water to help thin out the sauce as it’s cooking.

Vegan sun dried tomato pasta in a shallow bowl.

What are the best white beans to use

The white beans replace some of the cashews in traditional vegan creamy based sauces. They make the sauce extremely thick and creamy and fade into the background. I promise you don’t even taste them! The best white beans to use for this recipe are:

  • Cannellini
  • Great northern white beans
  • Navy beans

You can use canned beans or cook the beans yourself (the Instant pot is great for this). Be sure to remove any of the liquid the beans are packed in or cooked in. This liquid causes most people digestive troubles when eating beans. Rinse the beans well and soak them in fresh, clean water for a few minutes for the best digestion.

Can you make this recipe without beans?

Yes, instead of using white beans, you would want to use 1 cup of cashews. Follow the same directions, just omit the beans and add more cashews.  

What is the best pasta to use?

The sun dried tomato pasta sauce is so thick and creamy and would work well over most shapes of pasta. Use your favorite brand and shape of pasta. Some great options include:

Storing leftovers

Fridge: Store leftover vegan sundried tomato pasta in the fridge for up to 5 days. Note that the sauce will get thicker as it sits, so you will likely have to add a little water (1-2 tablespoons) to the pasta when reheating. Reheat in the microwave (1:30-2 minutes) or on the stove (low to medium low until hot).

Freezer: You can freeze pasta for up to 3 months. The texture can change slightly when defrosting but it’s still delicious. Defrost in the fridge and follow the reheating instructions above.

Vegan sun dried tomato alfredo pasta in a white bowl, fork on the side.

Substitutions

  • Cashews: You can use hemp hearts (no soaking required) or raw sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds in place of the cashews. If you cannot find raw cashews, you can also use roasted cashews.
  • White beans: If you don’t have white beans on hand, omit them and use 1 full cup of cashews. Follow the rest of the instructions as stated.
  • Garlic powder: You could also use roasted garlic if you have it on hand. This is more mellow than fresh garlic and would be great in this recipe.
  • Sundried tomatoes in oil: you can also use the dried sundried tomatoes that come in a bag. Be sure to rehydrate them (pour boiling water over and soak 10-30 minutes or soak overnight in water). You can use the water you soak the tomatoes in in place of the water in the recipe to ensure you are getting the most flavor out of the tomatoes.  
  • Pasta: you can use whatever pasta you love the most! You could also use a gluten free orzo, potatoes, gnocchi, rice or pour the sauce over zoodles, spaghetti squash, heart of palm pasta or your favorite protein.

If you love this recipe, you should try

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Lemon Tahini Pasta Sauce

Creamy Mushroom Zucchini Pasta

Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta

Vegan Creamy Tomato Pasta

Vegan Baked Ziti

Vegan Pesto Mushroom Pasta

Creamy Broccoli Pasta

★ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below!
Creamy vegan sun dried tomato pasta in a dark bowl.

Vegan Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

Vegan sun dried tomato pasta is quick, easy and ready in just 15 minutes with just 6 ingredients. This healthy vegan sundried tomato alfredo pasta is gluten free, dairy free and vegan! Perfect for weeknight meals.
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: vegan sun dried tomato pasta, vegan sundried tomato alfredo, vegan sundried tomato pasta
Prep Time: 4 mins
Cook Time: 11 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • While the pasta is coming to a boil, soak the cashews in boiling water (use a electric kettle) and drain and rinse the white beans.
  • Once the water is boiling, add a large pinch of salt to the water and add the pasta to the pot. Cook pasta according to the box instructions.
  • While the pasta is cooking, make the sundried tomato alfredo sauce in the blender. Put the cashews, white beans, sundried tomatoes, water, salt and garlic powder to a blender. Blend on high at least 1 minute.
  • Before the pasta is done cooking, reserve at least 1/2 cup of pasta water. Drain the rest of the pasta and return the pasta to the pot.
  • Add the sundried tomato alfredo and 1/4 cup of pasta water to the pot with the pasta. Stir well.
  • Add up to an additional 1/4 cup of pasta water until the pasta sauce reaches a consistency you love. Serve hot.

Notes

Top tips
  • Soak the cashews for at least 5 minutes in boiling water before blending to help soften them. 
  • For the best digestion, I recommend you use organic white beans and your drain off the liquid they are packed in, rinse the beans well then soak the beans in fresh water for a minute or two. 
  • Reserve some of the pasta water before draining it to help ensure the sauce has the best consistency since this pasta water is starchy and really helps the sauce stick to the pasta while also thinning out the sauce. If you forget to reserve some of the sauce, you can use regular water, but the sauce may not stick to the pasta quite the same.
  • Want to make this even higher in protein and fiber? Use chickpea pasta or lentil pasta instead of gluten free noodles.
  • No need to drain the oil from the tomatoes, the oil the sundried tomatoes are packed in is full of flavor and can also help with the creamy consistency of the sauce.
  • Use this sauce over gnocchi, rice, quinoa, orzo or over your favorite protein (chicken, shrimp).
Storing leftovers
  • Fridge: Store leftover vegan sundried tomato pasta in the fridge for up to 5 days. Note that the sauce will get thicker as it sits, so you will likely have to add a little water (1-2 tablespoons) to the pasta when reheating. Reheat in the microwave (1:30-2 minutes) or on the stove (low to medium low until hot).
  • Freezer: You can freeze pasta for up to 3 months. The texture can change slightly when defrosting but it’s still delicious. Defrost in the fridge and follow the reheating instructions above.
See how I calculate food cost.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
457
Fat
 
8
g
Carbohydrates
 
83
g
Fiber
 
6
g
Sugar
 
1
g
Protein
 
16
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
DID YOU LOVE THIS RECIPE?Let others know by rating and leaving a comment below!

Recipe Rating