Cajun pasta is a popular Louisiana dish that can be made vegan by using plant-based ingredients. This recipe is easy to follow, and the results are delicious! Whether you're a long-time vegan or you're just trying out this meatless lifestyle, cajun pasta is definitely worth a try.
The cajun seasoning gives the pasta a smoky flavor that will please even the most discerning palate. So if you're looking for a tasty yet easy vegan meal that creamy pasta dish will impress your friends and family. This is one of the easy recipes to try.
Cajun pasta isn't just for carnivores - this vegan version is every bit as delicious as the original, and it's easy to make. This is a simple pasta dish that is loaded with flavors and veggies as well. With a few simple ingredients, you can have a hearty, satisfying meal that everyone will love. This is one of the best lazy vegan recipes to treat your weeknight dinners. This is one of the easy meals you can make in a couple of minutes for the whole family.
Creamy Vegan Cajun Pasta
To make this extra delicious, you can add meat alternatives as well as veggies to your creamy pasta. And you can adjust the flavors by customizing the spices instead of using the cajun spice mix.
If you love spicy food, you can get a spicy kick by adding some hot sauce to the sauce or making a milder version as per your taste buds enjoy them.
This easy vegan cajun pasta recipe needs only a few easy ingredients and demonstrates an easy cooking process. This is an easy and great family dinner indeed that you can make in less than 30 minutes.
Highlights of Creamy Vegan Cajun Pasta
- vegan/ plant-based
- takes less than 20 minutes
- minimum ingredients
- pantry staples
- full of flavors
- delicious & yummy
- can be gluten-free with GF pasta
Ingredients (+ Substitutes)
Pasta - I have taken penne rigate. Any short pasta is good for the dish.
Cajun seasoning - cajun spice blend. substitute with garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, oregano, red pepper flakes (optional) salt & black pepper. Add hot sauce for extra spicy flavors.
Tomato Paste - Substitute tomato puree
Plant-based milk - unsweetened almond milk, soy milk, or can of coconut milk
Vegetable broth or vegetable stock - substitute with wa
Veggies - I have taken mushrooms and onions. You can consider any of your favorite veggies. Some other great choices are zucchini, broccoli, carrots, red bell peppers, and sweet peppers, etc.
You can also add some greens like spinach or kale too.
Olive oil - or coconut oil, vegan butter
Nutritional Yeast - for a cheesy flavor.
Vegan Meat - vegan chicken strips / vegan sausage/ TVP
Flour - whole wheat flour/ all-purpose flour
How To Make Vegan Creamy Cajun Pasta?
This is an easy pasta recipe that can be cooked on the stovetop or in an instant pot. Making cajun pasta sauce is the main part of the recipe. The pasta you can cook separately or in one pot along with the sauce. Authentically the sauce contains heavy cream. And to substitute I'm using a flour-based sauce for the pasta. You can make a flour-based creamy sauce or cashew cream sauce alternatively.
Step 1 - Make Pasta
In a large pot, heat water with salt. Once it starts to boil, add pasta to the hot water. Simmer till the pasta is cooked al dente. Different types and sizes of pasta will have different cooking times. So cook them as package instructions. Don't overcook the pasta.
Step 2 - Make a creamy sauce
In a large skillet/ large pan, heat oil and saute garlic and diced onions. Once it's translucent, add the diced veggies and cook for a minute. Then add tomato paste and spices or seasonings to the veggies. Toss to mix well. Add a tsp of flour to the pan and saute for a minute. Then add milk and reserved pasta water slowly and gradually mixing to a lump-free smooth sauce. Simmer for a saucy consistency.
Step 3 - Simmer Pasta In The Sauce
Add the boiled pasta (cooked pasta) to the sauce and simmer until you get desired consistency, say for 2 - 3 minutes only. Sprinkle some fresh parsley and some red pepper flakes. Serve hot.
One-Pot Method - Creamy Vegan Cajun Pasta
To make this one-pot, skip boiling the pasta separately. Rather cook the pasta in the prepared sauce for 10 minutes. So the pasta will get cooked in the sauce itself. However, you need to add some more water to the sauce so that the pasta will be cooked in it. Cook the pasta in the sauce till it's cooked al dente and the pasta sauce becomes saucy.
Storage & Reheat
Store the leftover pasta in an airtight container. To reheat, transfer the pasta to a microwavable bowl and heat for 1 minute. Add 1 tsp water and mix in halfway at 30 seconds.
The alternative base of the sauce
Originally the sauce contains lots of heavy cream and cheese that are dairy. To substitute, the heavy cream base of the sauce, there are few alternatives.
1 - Flour + plant-based milk - Heat oil or vegan butter. Add flour and saute for 1 - 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Now add plant-based milk gradually mixing them till lump-free smooth sauce is made.
2 - Cashew cream - this will also thicken the sauce. Soak raw cashews in hot water for 1 hr. Then in a high-speed blender blend it to a fine smooth paste.
3 - Vegan Cream Cheese - Add plant-based milk and vegan cream cheese. Vegan cream cheese can be made with cashews, silken tofu, coconut cream, etc. You can add nutritional yeast, coconut cream, lemon juice to the cashews/ silken tofu while grinding.
Creamy Vegan Cajun Pasta
- 8 oz any short pasta
- 2 cups water to boil pasta
- 1 tsp salt
Creamy Cajun Sauce
- 3 tsp olive oil
- 8 - 10 mushrooms 1/2 cup diced mushrooms
- 1 medium onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup sliced peppers any color
- 2 - 2½ tsp cajun spice mix depending on how spicy you want
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or vegetable broth
- 1 tsp all purpose flour/ refined flour
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes optional
- Heat 2 cups water in a large large bowl. Add salt to the water.
- Bring it to a boil and add the pasta to it.
- Simmer till pasta is cooked al dente( as package instructions).
- Reserve some pasta water for further use if required to dilute the sauce.
- Once cooked remove from heat and pass them through a colander.
- Drizzle a tbsp oil over the pasta and toss so that they won't stick to each other.
- In the mean while prepare the sauce for pasta
Prepare Pasta Sauce
- Heat oil in a large skillet.
- Once the oil is hot add minced garlic, and sliced onions. Saute for a minute.
- Then add diced mushrooms and any other veggies to the pan.
- Mushrooms will release water. Saute them for 2 minutes on high heat or until they are cooked and all liquid soaked up.
- Now in the same pan bring the veggies to one side of the pan making a space in the center. Or simply remove the veggies to another plate.
- Now add 1 tsp oil or vegan butter to the pan followed by all purpose flour.
- Saute flour for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Then to the pan add milk gradually, mixing with the flour continuously to make a lump-free smooth sauce.
- Once the sauce is made smooth, add nutritional yeast, tomato paste, and Cajun seasonings to it. Give a nice stir to mix them well.
- Mix the sauteed veggies into the sauce followed by cooked pasta. Add 1/4 cup reserved pasta water, and stir once to mix all.
- Simmer the sauce for 2 - 3 minutes until you reach the desired consistency.
- Remove from heat once you are happy with the sauce consistency.
- Turn off the heat. Cover with a lid and let it rest for 2 - 3 minutes before serving.
- Serve hot with some extra drizzle of olive oil or freshly chopped parsley or some red pepper flakes.