This Creamy Silken Tofu Pasta Sauce is a velvety, dairy-free alternative to traditional cream-based sauces. With just a handful of simple ingredients and under 30 minutes, this customizable creamy vegan pasta is the perfect weekday dinner!
Using tofu in a pasta sauce might be an odd choice but it works beautifully.
It's creamy, saucy, and very delicious.
Toss with your favorite pasta, and some roasted vegetables, and serve with toasted sourdough and you have yourself a hearty, high-protein dinner.
This Creamy Vegan Pasta Sauce with silken tofu is perfect for an easy, high-protein, and cozy fall meal!
Add a few simple ingredients to a blender, blend, and serve. It's simple yet satisfying and delicious!
Silken Tofu: The base of this creamy vegan pasta sauce is silken tofu. When silken tofu is blended, it becomes silky and smooth and makes the perfect protein-packed pasta sauce.
Onion and Garlic: Diced onion and garlic are sautéed until soft and start to brown. Then, they are blended into the sauce to add depth of flavor.
Lemon Juice: Just a touch of freshly squeezed lemon juice for acidity.
Nutritional Yeast and Miso Paste: Small amount for umami.
Dijon Mustard: Adds tang! You can also use ¼ teaspoon ground mustard. Keep in mind that Dijon mustard isn't always vegan.
Seasoning: Salt, black pepper, and red chili flakes are all that's needed. Garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika can be added for additional flavor.
Fettuccine Noodles: I used gluten-free fettuccine noodles by Jovial. If you're not gluten-free, you can use regular pasta. Any shape will work for this recipe.
The base of this creamy vegan pasta is silken tofu.
Silken tofu is very soft so it can be blended with a few different kitchen tools.
How to Make This Recipe
Add a few simple ingredients to a blender, cook your favorite pasta, and mix together! This smooth and creamy pasta can be ready in under 30 minutes.
The full written recipe can be found in the recipe card below.
Step 1: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Reserve about ½ cup of pasta water.
Step 2: Dice the onion and add to a large pan on medium-high heat with olive oil. Cook for 7-10 minutes or until soft and starting to brown. Add the minced garlic and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
Step 3: Add to a blender along with the drained silken tofu, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, white miso paste, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and water.
Step 4: It should be super creamy! Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
Step 5: Add the silken tofu sauce back to the pan on medium heat and cook until warmed through.
Step 6: Add the cooked pasta and toss to combine. If it thickened too much, add a splash of reserved pasta water until your desired consistency is reached.
Silken Tofu: Soft tofu and silken tofu can't always be substituted but in this recipe, both options will work.
Nutritional Yeast & White Miso Paste: Adds umami. I wouldn't recommend leaving out both but if you don't have nutritional yeast, leave it out and add a little more miso paste. The same goes for miso paste. Taste and adjust to your preferences.
Dijon Mustard: Ground mustard will be just fine.
Red Chili Flakes: Add more or less depending on your preferred spice level.
Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free pasta and certified gluten-free miso paste to make sure this recipe is completely free of gluten. I used Jovial fettuccine pasta.
Serving Ideas & Variations
Silken tofu pasta can be a versatile and delicious alternative to traditional cream-based pasta sauces. Don't be afraid to get creative with your seasonings and toppings to suit your taste preferences.
Add roasted red peppers: Jarred roasted red peppers would be a delicious addition to change up the flavor. Sundried tomatoes would also be great!
Pesto: Add a drizzle of pesto over the top or mix in a little bit to the sauce.
Marinara Sauce: Add a touch of your favorite marinara sauce to create a creamy red sauce.
Add a topping: My favorite topping is parsley, freshly grated vegan parmesan, or roasted crispy Brussels sprouts.
Side Dishes: Serve with toasted sourdough, garlic bread, side salad, or roasted vegetables.
Tips & Tricks
Important Note: Not all salts are made equal and cannot be substituted 1:1. If you are substituting table salt for kosher salt, you will need to cut the amount called for in the recipe by at least half.
Salt as needed: Silken tofu on its own doesn't have much flavor, so you'll need to season it well. The onion and garlic add a lot of flavor here but you'll want to make sure you use enough salt to bring out the flavor.
Blend it well: Blend for a few minutes to achieve the right consistency and smooth texture. You might need to scrape down the sides a few times to ensure there are no lumps.
Reserve some pasta water! Once the sauce is heated and seasoned to your liking, add the cooked pasta. Toss the pasta and sauce together until well coated. If the sauce becomes too thick, you can add some of that reserved pasta water so you can reach the desired consistency.
Storage: Store leftover pasta in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days.
Reheat: The sauce will thicken as it gets cold but add a splash of water to loosen the sauce and heat on the stovetop for a few minutes until warmed through.
Freeze: This creamy tofu pasta recipe does not freeze well as the texture changes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, silken tofu is the perfect substitute for heavy cream in pasta sauces. When blended, it's smooth and creamy and will take on whatever flavor you add to it. It's also high in protein!
The texture of tofu is determined by water content. Silken tofu has more water and is softer in texture.
Soft tofu is a little more firm than silken tofu. Soft tofu might yield a grittier texture than silken tofu but both are delicious and work great in this recipe.
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Creamy Silken Tofu Pasta Sauce
- 16 ounces Silken Tofu drained
- 1 tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 large Yellow Onion diced
- 3-5 Garlic Cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 2 teaspoons White Miso Paste
- 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt see note
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
- ½ cup Water
- 1 tablespoon Chopped Parsley garnish
- 12 ounces Fettuccini Noodles gluten-free if needed
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Reserve about ½ cup pasta water.
- Dice the onion and add to a large pan on medium-high heat with olive oil. Cook for 7-10 minutes or until soft and starting to brown. Add the minced garlic and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the onions and garlic to a blender along with the drained silken tofu, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, white miso paste, dijon mustard, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and water. Blend until smooth.
- Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
- Add the silken tofu sauce back to the pan on medium heat and cook until warmed through. Add the cooked pasta and toss to combine. If it thickened too much, add a splash of reserved pasta water until your desired consistency is reached.
- Serve and enjoy with toasted sourdough bread, chopped parsley, or roasted vegetables.
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