Whip up a healthy, comforting meal in no time with this pantry-friendly One-Pot Creamy Marinara Pasta! It’s vegan and can easily be made gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta. Stir in some frozen peas or spinach for some greens and call it a night!
Our whole family has been obsessed with pasta lately and for good reason. It uses mostly pantry-staples, is quick to cook and is super comforting during this time when we’re stuck inside most of the day. Plus, this creamy marinara pasta recipe requires only one-pot, which makes for easy clean up! All you dish-washers rejoice!
Easy marinara sauce recipe
The bulk of the sauce in this recipe comes from a simple, homemade marinara sauce. Whenever I need a quick and easy sauce for pasta, I whip up this recipe. Simply start by sautéing some chopped onion and garlic in a good glug of olive oil in a pot until the onion is translucent. Rub about 1 tablespoon of dried Italian herbs between your palms to release the flavor and stir them into the onions and garlic. Pour in a 690 gram jar of passata or about 3 cups of tomato sauce and stir until combined. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and allow the sauce to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve over your favorite pasta!
Gluten-free pasta options
This one-pot pasta recipe can easily be made gluten free, simply by using gluten free pasta. Nowadays, there are so many different kinds of gluten-free pastas on the market, so you should have no problem finding a few different brands at your local grocery store. If you can’t find gluten-free pasta next to the regular pasta, check out the organic section of your grocery store. My favorite gluten-free pastas are brown rice pasta, buckwheat pasta, bean-based pastas like Banza and soba noodles.
How to make creamy, dairy free pasta sauce
While I love a light and fresh marinara sauce, sometimes I fancy something creamy and extra comforting. There are a number of ways that you can create a creamy pasta sauce without using heavy cream or cheese. My favorite ways to make a dairy-free cream sauce is to use cashew cream, cashew butter or tahini. To make cashew cream, you simply blend 1/2-3/4 cup of soaked and drained cashews with 1 cup of water until smooth. Use this in place of heavy cream. Another easy way to make a pasta sauce creamy is to stir in some nut or seed butter like cashew butter or tahini. You obviously want to use a more neutral flavored nut or seed butter, because using something like peanut butter would leave you with a weird tasting sauce!
Easy ways to add vegetables to your pasta
Pasta is a great dish to sneak veggies into. I love to add in leafy greens like spinach or kale as they shrink down tremendously when cooked. Grated carrot or cauliflower also make a great addition to pasta sauce and can be easily hidden if you’re serving picky-eaters. This one-pot creamy marinara pasta specifically tastes amazing with some sautéed mushrooms. Roasted or steamed veggies are also wonderful additions to any kind of pasta and taste good hot or cold. Oh, and don’t forget about frozen peas! They are quick-cooking, cheap and full of plant-based protein!
Ingredients for one-pot vegan creamy marinara pasta
You’ll need just a handful of ingredients to make this one-pot creamy marinara pasta, all of which I’ll list below:
- Olive oil or water
- Dried Italian herbs
- Vegetable broth
- Dried pasta
- Salt and pepper
Those are the main ingredients you need, but I highly recommend including some sautéed mushrooms to the sauce and stirring in some frozen spinach and peas at the end!
How to Make One-Pot Creamy Marinara Pasta
Other vegetarian pasta recipes
If you too are obsessed with pasta right now, then be sure to check out these easy vegetarian pasta recipes!
- Quick and Easy Vegan Miso Noodles
- Vegan Pumpkin Seed Pesto Pasta
- Vegan Almond Butter Soba Noodles with Tofu and Veggies
- 4 Ingredient Italian White Bean Pasta Salad
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil or water
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Optional: 200g mushrooms sliced
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 690 gram jar passata (2 3/4 cups) or tomato sauce
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 4 cups dried pasta*
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- Optional: 4 large handfuls of spinach (or frozen spinach cubes), 1-2 cups Frozen peas OR 1-2 cans butter beans, Vegan parmesan
- Heat the olive oil or water in a sauce pan over medium heat
- Add in the chopped onions and minced garlic and sauté until the onion is translucent.
- If using mushrooms, add them to the pot and cook them for about 5 minutes until softened.
- Stir in the dried Italian herbs and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add in the passata, vegetable broth, dried pasta and stir to combine. Increase the heat and allow the mixture to come to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir the pasta often to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan!
- Allow the pasta to cook for 10-20 minutes**, depending on the pasta you used. Whole wheat or gluten free pasta will take longer to cook than white pasta. Continue to stir the pasta often to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Once your pasta is cooked through, stir in the tahini and the spinach or frozen peas if using. Taste and add more salt if desired.
- Serve topped with vegan parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper.
*To make this recipe gluten free, simply use gluten free pasta! I find some gluten free pastas take longer to cook so keep that in mind.
**The pasta will take a little longer than usual to cook as it's having to cook in a thicker sauce.