Creamy Tomato Pasta with Vegan Coconut Milk Sauce (Vegan)

This simple coconut milk pasta sauce is affordable, healthy, quick to make, and so delicious with just a handful of ingredients. It sounds too simple, but the full-fat coconut milk and flavor-packed sundried tomatoes make this a surprisingly flavorful and flavorful dish.

I love almost any pasta dish, but I love finding one Alright vegan pasta sauce. Even though I don’t really like the coconut flavor, this vegan coconut milk pasta sauce is SO good. It’s really shocking. If you’re looking for an easy, QUICK pasta dish for busy weeknights that the whole family will love, this is it! Made with simple pantry staples, this pasta recipe is as creamy as it is delicious, and it’s one of my favorite pasta dishes!

The subtle sweetness of sun-dried tomatoes pairs so well with the inherent sweetness of coconut milk. Creamy coconut milk pasta sauce is perfectly balanced by garlic and salty taste!

Serve this creamy pasta with a side of homemade savory breador create it using fresh vegan pasta instead of being in a box!

Why you’ll love this coconut milk pasta

  • So easy – Simply boil some pasta and quickly brown the tomato sauce!
  • 4 ingredient dinner – Nothing more is needed than pasta, coconut milk, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and a little salt!
  • Dairy and gluten-free – Use your favorite GF pasta to make this recipe gluten-free AND dairy-free! Coconut milk replaces heavy cream, making this creamy sauce simply decadent.

What you need for this recipe

Ingredients and Substitutions

pasta ingredients with labels.
  • Pasta – Use the pasta of your choice! To make this 100% gluten-free dish, use GF pasta! I used regular linguine in this recipe, but penne, spaghetti, or any other form of pasta would work.
  • Dried tomatoes – Opt for sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, as some of the oil is used for flavor.
  • Garlic – Minced fresh garlic is best, but one jar will suffice if necessary.
  • Coconut milk – Make sure to use canned full-fat coconut milk. You will most likely find it in the Asian or international section of your grocery store. I don’t recommend light coconut milk, as it won’t thicken the sauce either.

How to make coconut milk pasta

Step 1: prepare the ingredients

Start by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook your pasta according to the instructions on the box. When finished, drain and reserve about ⅓ cup of pasta water.

Remove ⅓ cup of sun-dried tomatoes, drain the oil, but save it for later.

Roughly dice the dried tomatoes.

Chop 2 or more garlic cloves.

Step 2: Prepare the sauce

In a skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the reserved tomato oil, or use olive oil or coconut oil.

To the oil, add the chopped tomatoes and gently fry over medium-low heat.

When the tomatoes start to cook, add the minced garlic and mix. Cook until the garlic is lightly browned, but not burnt or crispy.

tomatoes and garlic cook in a pan.

Add half the can of coconut milk to the sauce and stir.

Bring everything to a very gentle boil, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 3: Finishing Touches

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and mix well.

Stir in reserved pasta water as needed to create a silky smooth sauce.

Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Feel free to add garlic powder, red pepper flakes, onion powder, fresh basil leaves, or any other flavor additions at this point.

Serve hot and garnish with fresh herbs and fresh cracked black pepper.

coconut pasta in the pan.

Expert tips and tricks

  • To make this recipe completely gluten-free, use high-quality gluten-free pasta! I love using Banza or Jovial or Cappellos!
  • Make sure to use canned coconut milk, usually found in the Asian or international section of a grocery store. Using coconut milk that comes in cartons or bottles will not work for coconut sauce.
  • Feel free to add or adjust seasonings as you wish. I think a lot of salt really enhances this dish, but you can also add lots of pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder and more! Some people also like to add more vegetables, such as spinach, peppers, white mushrooms, etc. My best tip for increasing the flavor of any type of pasta recipe is to heavily salt the pasta water. I’m talking at least 2-3 tablespoons, if not MORE. If you looked at how restaurants salt their pasta water, you’d be shocked. It makes a huge difference!

Recipe FAQs

Can I use coconut cream instead?

Coconut cream will work just as well as coconut milk, however, it can make a thicker sauce. Keep an eye on it and add a little pasta water if necessary.

Does this pasta have a strong coconut flavor?

Surprisingly, using coconut milk in savory recipes does not result in a strong coconut flavor! The coconut milk sort of takes a back seat as a creaming agent rather than an added flavor in this coconut pasta sauce. Make sure to season it well! I prefer a less strong coconut flavor, but you can always increase the flavor by adding coconut flesh or flakes.

How do I store my leftovers?

Store this Tomato and Coconut Milk Pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. Always be sure to inspect leftover pasta for any imperfections before eating it.

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📖 Recipe

Creamy Tomato and Coconut Milk Pasta

This easy weekday pasta dish with coconut milk is so creamy and delicious! With just FOUR main ingredients, you can prepare it Less than 30 minutes!

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Course: Starter, Main Course, Side dish

Kitchen: American, Italian

Diet: Gluten free, vegan, vegetarian

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4 People

Calories: 529kilocalories

Instructions

  • Start by bringing salted water to a boil and cook your pasta according to the instructions on the box. When finished, drain and reserve about ⅓ cup of pasta water.

  • Remove ⅓ cup of sun-dried tomatoes, drain the oil, but save it for later.

  • Roughly dice the tomatoes.

  • Chop 2 or more garlic cloves.

  • In a skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the reserved tomato oil or use olive oil.

  • To the oil, add the chopped tomatoes and lightly fry.

  • When the tomatoes start to cook, add the minced garlic and mix. Cook until the garlic is lightly browned, but not burnt or crispy.

  • Add half of the canned coconut milk to the sauce and stir.

  • Bring everything to a very gentle boil, stirring constantly to avoid burning.

  • Season with salt and pepper.

  • Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and mix well.

  • Stir in reserved pasta water as needed to create a silky smooth sauce.

  • Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

  • Serve hot and garnish with fresh herbs!

Remarks

  • To make this recipe completely gluten-free, use high-quality GF pasta! I love using Banza or Jovial pasta!
  • Make sure to use canned coconut milk, usually found in the Asian or international section of a grocery store. Using coconut milk that comes in a carton or bottle will not work.
  • Feel free to add or adjust seasonings as you wish. I think a lot of salt really enhances this dish, but you can also add lots of pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder and more!

Nutrition

Calories: 529kilocalories | Carbohydrates: 88.8g | Protein: 15.3g | Fat: 12.9g | Saturated fat: 5.8g | Polyunsaturated fats: 0.4g | Monounsaturated fat: 2.5g | Sodium: 607.5mg | Potassium: 6.2mg | Fiber: 5.4g | Sugar: 6.3g | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 3.1mg | Iron: 20mg

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