Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

4 people
20 min

This super Creamy Vegan Pasta with Tomato and Basil is bursting with rich flavor and pleasant textures. Elevate pasta night with this comforting and vibrant sauce served over your favorite noodles!

Oh, how I'm a sucker for pasta! It just wouldn't be a good week without a pasta night thrown in, wouldn't you agree? Enter this Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta made with coconut cream. The pasta sauce in this dish is truly a magic sauce that just happens to drape over your favorite noodles perfectly. You can keep it creamy and comforting or add an optional kick if you're a spicy food lover. One thing's for certain though—it'll become a weeknight staple in no time.

Table Of Contents


  • Super creamy.
  • Quick and easy to make.
  • Makes great leftovers.
  • Packed with flavor.
  • A high comfort food factor.
  • Offers an alternate spicy version.
  • Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, nut-free, and soy-free.

Ingredient Notes

Noodles: Gluten-free spaghetti noodles work perfectly here! If you are not on a gluten-free diet, conventional spaghetti noodles work well, too. Alternatively, you can use any shape noodles you prefer, I'm just partial to spaghetti when paired with this sauce!

Marinara: I love a plain and simple tomato or tomato basil marinara sauce in this recipe, but really, any pasta sauce will do.

Coconut Cream: This is what gives the pasta its super creamy factor and really blends well with the marinara to make a most magic sauce! If you are not vegan or dairy-free, heavy cream can be used instead.

Basil: Fresh basil is essential in this recipe and I do not recommend replacing with dried as that would give a completely different flavor profile.

Red Chili Flakes: This is an optional ingredient. If you are not a fan of spicy, omit. If you are a fan, I think you'll find yourself immensely pleased with the spicy-creamy combo!

For full ingredients list and instructions, refer to the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.

How-to Make

Step 1: Cook pasta according to package directions while completing the steps below.

Step 2: Saute garlic in olive oil.

Step 3: Add remaining ingredients.

Step 4: Simmer.

Step 5: Add noodles and toss to coat.

Step 6: Enjoy!


How do I store and reheat this Vegan Creamy Pasta?

Keep cooled pasta stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, place the pasta in a skillet over medium-low heat and while tossing occasionally, heat until warmed throughout.

Can I use heavy cream in place of coconut cream?

Yes! If you are not on a dairy-free or vegan diet, heavy cream can be used instead.

How spicy is this with the optional red chili flakes?

The red chili flakes add a wonderful spicy undertone that while is spicy, is not overly so, in my opinion. The coconut cream helps mellow the spiciness.

For some inspiration, see 10 Best Italian Pasta Dishes You Must Try!

More Vegan Pasta Recipes You Will Enjoy:

Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
Recipe details
  • 4  people
  • Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 15 Minutes Total time: 20 min
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  • 1 12-ounce box spaghetti noodles cooked according to package directions gluten-free, if necessary
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 25.5-ounce jar marinara sauce any flavor you prefer, though plain or tomato basil work best
  • 1 13.5-ounce can coconut cream or heavy cream if not vegan or dairy-free
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves chopped (plus more to garnish, optionally)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional) add if you want a spicy kick!
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or pink salt

While preparing the sauce, cook pasta according to package directions.
In a large skillet over medium heat add oil and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes or until garlic is turning golden.
Turn the heat to medium-high and to the skillet add marinara sauce, coconut cream, basil, red chili flakes (if using), black pepper and salt. Bring to boil, reduce to a simmer (medium-low heat) and simmer for 10 minutes.
Turn off heat and pour cooked noodles into the skillet. Toss to coat the pasta with the sauce.
Optionally serve with more fresh basil. Enjoy!
  • This is also great served with a dusting of shredded parmesan cheese (conventional or vegan version!).
  • Please note: this pasta only gets thicker and creamier as it cools.
  • You might also like 40 Nourishing 30-Minute Vegetarian Meals (Gluten-Free).
Kristen Wood
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  • Cso51108026 Cso51108026 on Aug 13, 2022

    Hey!!! Such a great idea to do a creamy, vegan sauce - my daughter is dairy-free, so I always appreciate a nod in that direction!!! For me, though, a jarred sauce has too much salt, too much sugar, and too many preservatives (she's on the Autism spectrum so I closely watch all of that!!). I do can, every summer, so I always have quart jars of tomatoes, which I can hit with an immersion blender until my desired texture. Another easy thing to do is get the best tomatoes you can from the grocer or farmer's market, dice them to your preferred dice, add about a T or so of olive oil, and saute them until cooked, mash them up a bit, so that it equals about a quart (I find, maybe 8-10 Romas, or 3-4 beefsteak tomatoes does the trick, nicely! You definitely want the juice, so schlep it all into the pan!!).

    Anyway, follow the recipe the rest of the way, do a T!!!!! Truly - if you're a basil fan, add to your taste! I typically chop an onion coarsely and add, as well as fresh garlic (which would naturally be in a jarred sauce, so replicating, since using tomatoes!). the fresh basil is a MUST - nothing else has that flavor OR that smell!!! The red pepper can be optional, but this small amount adds a HINT of a cook without being hot, I promise!!! While DH and I love spice, my daughter? Not so much!!! So, just that little bit of extra flavor adds depth without burning anyone's taste buds!!! The coconut milk or coconut cream (cream thickens better, but milk is fine if you have time to simmer - don't use Lite, if using milk, you want that milk fat!) adds any sugar you might miss from the jarred sauce; I promise, you won't miss it!!!

    This basic recipe has been a family favorite for marinara, pasta bakes, you name it!!! I use it even for lasagna - with whichever ground meat I have - chicken, pork, Italian sausage, or beef... even shredded meat! My daughter is dairy-free, not vegetarian, due to allergies.). Seriously - give it a try!!! I find our local Walmart charges about a dollar more for full-far coconut milk (which I use for this) in the International aisle as they charge for it in the baking aisle... with the cost of groceries, nowadays, please do yourself the favor of checking both!!!

    As a PS: You can totally make this a Bolognese, since that finishes with cream!!! Add your favorite ground meat [if making Bolognese, you'd start with browning the meat/onion/garlic, then add the tomatoes (and chopped celery and carrots, to stay traditional), and ultimately add the cream!], and simply enjoy!!! Or just go with vegan, with meat crumbles - you won't be disappointed!!! ~Chrissie

  • Carmen Rosa Zuzworsky Carmen Rosa Zuzworsky on Aug 13, 2022

    Can’t wait to try it with my family.

    thank you , I do enjoy pasta dishes , especially with the ingredients you have posted. Thank you.