12 Delicious Vegan Pasta Sauces without Tomatoes

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 tomatoesΒ 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)

Romesco Sauce
Romesco 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

TEMPEH Stroganoff-016-1024x768
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

tahini miso sauce
Tahini Miso Sauce… from before I learned to properly use my camera πŸ˜‰

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

kale pesto sauce
Kale pesto with sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, basil, and KALE!

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

sweet and sour sauce
Sweet & Sour Sauce with tempeh and bok choi

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

Ok, yes, this is a picture of tacos and not pasta, but the SAUCE is the important part here!

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

The focus here is the creamy, dreamy almond butter sauce, perfect for udon noodles and more!

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

Carrot Cashew Sauce
Carrot Cashew 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

Coconut Curry Sauce
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

Butternut Squash sauce for mac & peas

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.

Whether you're allergic to tomatoes, don't like them, or want to reduce your intake of nightshades, these vegan pasta sauces without tomatoes are for you!

Written by Andrea Bertoli

Andrea is a marketing and media professional focused on mission-driven businesses. She currently manages sales at CleanTechnica, the world’s largest cleantech news website. She has worked at startups, in small businesses, and as a freelancer, and brings years of marketing, event management, and community outreach skills to our team. She’s also a plant-based chef, author, and educator, and teaches monthly cooking classes, manages a wellness website, and is always in the kitchen making delicious foods – which you can peek on.

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