Whether you’re allergic to tomatoes, don’t like the flavor of tomatoes, or want to reduce your intake of nightshades (the botanical family that includes eggplant, peppers, and white potatoes), this list of 12 vegan pasta sauces without tomatoes is for you!
I love tomatoes: they are loaded with lycopene (even if they are not red!), they are full of antioxidants like vitamin C, and have a host of other vitamins and minerals. But sometimes it’s FUN to mix it up, and as I was making pasta the other night I thought about all the ways I enjoy noodles that do not include traditional pasta sauce or tomato sauce.
1. Romesco Sauce (Roasted Red Pepper Sauce)
Last week I shared my new favorite recipe for Romesco Sauce over on Vibrant Wellness Journal. Romesco sauce is Spanish in origin, and uses just a few simple ingredients for a richly flavored sauce. Roast some red peppers and garlic, toast some almonds, blend it all up, and add to noodles or serve as a veggie dip. This tomato-free pasta sauce recipe was new to me, and I loved it so much I included in my cookbook!
2. Chimichurri Sauce
Bright green, vibrant flavor, and the healing power of healthy parsley – what’s not to love about chimichurri sauce? Usually this South American sauce is used for a topping or a dip, but why not sprinkle a bit onto your pasta salad or noodles?
3. Tempeh Stroganoff
This is perhaps the most involved recipe on the list, but the results are totally worth it. My mom used to make stroganoff when I was a kid and I always thought it was so gross. But with fresh ingredients (fresh mushrooms and onions) and vegan protein (grilled tempeh), this Tempeh Stroganoff becomes a delicious, very classy meal.
4. Tahini Miso
No doubt that tahini miso is my most favorite sauce EVER. I love it on noodles, grains, salads, or as a veggie dip. I keep it super simple with just tahini, miso, and lemon blended with water until it’s smooth and creamy, but you can add all sorts of flavors to make it extra awesome. Try ginger, garlic, turmeric, cilantro, curry, and more!
5. Kale Pesto
An extra green take on a pretty traditional pasta sauce, Kale Pesto is made easily by blending kale with the basil. I like this recipe because it sneaks in some extra vitamins and minerals, but it also can help keep the cost down, since I find that basil is much more expensive than kale.
6. Sweet & Sour Sauce
This yummy sauce is just as easy as ordering Chinese takeout, but decidedly more delicious. Using just a few ingredients like soy sauce (or Bragg’s), fresh orange juice, vinegar, and sugar, this Sweet & Sour Sauce makes for quick and very flavorful noodle dishes.
7. Cilantro Avocado Sauce
True story, I didn’t really understand why people were so excited about avocados until I moved to California and tried some fresh, organic California avocados. Then I GOT it, and I was hooked. This simple Cilantro Avocado Sauce is like guacamole, but thinned out it makes an awesome sauce for noodles or other dishes.
8. Almond Butter Sauce
Along with my Tahini Miso sauce, Almond Butter Sauce is another easy staple for quick noodle dishes. This can also be made with peanut butter, or whatever you have on hand, and of course you can play with the spiciness. You can see another easy version of this sauce from our Editor Becky in a fun Peanut Butter Sauce video!
9. Creamy Kale Pasta Sauce
I’ve been known to put kale onto and into everything, so this Creamy Kale Pasta Sauce is just what I need. It’s a lovely green color, and the beans and cashews make the sauce creamy and decadent, while still being a good way to hide veggies from a picky toddler (or adult!)
10. Cheesy Cashew Carrot Sauce
Every vegan or vegetarian needs a ‘cheesy’ sauce in their back pocket for those sudden mac & cheese cravings, and this Cheesy Cashew Carrot Sauce might be your new go-to sauce. The secret, Becky says, is using cashew butter instead of raw, soaked cashews for a truly creamy sauce. Carrots for color, nooch for flavor, and some vegan bacon and peas too!
11. Coconut Curry Sauce
Second only to my love for vegan cheesy sauce is my love of curry sauce over noodles. This Coconut Curry Sauce from Becky has it all: it’s super easy (made in the blender in five minutes!), made from pantry staples (coconut milk and pre-made curry paste), and works on all the foods! Toss this over some udon or fettuccine noodles and veggies and dinner is done.
12. Butternut Squash Sauce
Super healthy butternut squash and creamy cashews form the base of this yummy Butternut Squash Sauce. Here it’s mixed with peas for a classic Mac & Peas for a delightful and beautiful twist on traditional mac and cheese recipes.