Who doesn’t like a one-pot, easy, good-for-you, veggie-filled, creamy pasta sauce? Did I mention that it’s also freezable? Meet one of my staples, this Easy, 5-Ingredient Creamy Carrot Tomato Vegan Pasta Sauce!
I’ve been making this sauce for quite some time now. I usually have some in my freezer, and therefore makes the perfect quick weeknight dinner, school lunch, or “I’m feeling too lazy to cook” meal. Just boil your favorite pasta, defrost this vegan pasta sauce, and there you have it…a delicious easy meal!
Why Is This Creamy Pasta Recipe So Awesome? It’s vegan, gluten-free, made easily in a pressure cooker or instant pot (stove-top directions also included), freezable, only 5-ingredients, hearty, and contains veggies (for those picky eaters). Use your favorite quinoa or lentil-based pasta for some added protein.
When You Have Too Many Home-Grown Tomatoes
I know that you’re thinking that’s a great problem to have…
This recipe started off as a quick way to use the 60+ vine-ripe tomatoes in our yard after my kids and I came back from a week-long road trip. My husband had to work and stayed back, but warned me about all the fresh produce grown in our yard (this was also when we had four 2-3 lb. zucchinis growing in our yard!).
When we’re home, especially during tomato season, it’s easy to use them up as they ripen. They literally taste like candy. The kids can easily polish off 10-15 cherry tomatoes while playing in the yard.
I don’t know about you guys, but it always takes me a day or two to get back into cooking after we come home from vacation. In other words, I was lazy, yet had a boatload of tomatoes ready to be used.
Instead of making my standard easy Spicy Tomato Sauce, I felt like throwing all the tomatoes into one pot and being done. Little did I know that my easy quick pasta sauce would not only become a staple in my house, but also a favorite that we now use for a variety of different dishes!
Only 5-Ingredients To Make This Easy Pasta Sauce!
- cashews (optional)
The simple combination of homegrown tomatoes and cooked carrots (bringing out their natural sweetness) made this sauce thick and creamy. But why stop there? If you’re not allergic to nuts, blend in some soaked cashews to make this vegan pasta sauce richer & super-creamy!!
But to all my nut-free readers out there, the cashews are totally optional and this sauce will still taste great.
Can you believe that I really didn’t edit these pictures that much? Yes…the color of the sauce is really that vibrant!
How To Make This Veggie Filled Creamy Pasta Sauce – Step by Step
Chop the carrots and tomatoes into large pieces. Mince the garlic.
In your pressure cooker or instant pot, quickly saute the garlic and onions for a few minutes. Add in the carrots, tomatoes, a little salt, and some water.
Pressure cook. Open to cool.
Blend completely in a Vitamix with the drained soaked cashews (if using).
Reduce the sauce to thicken if necessary. Season well with salt and pepper!
I always make a large batch of the sauce so I can freeze the leftovers in my freezable deli containers for a quick meal when I need it.
My kids refer to it as vegan mac n cheese, but it’s more of a delicious veggie filled smooth sauce that can be used for a variety of different dishes.
5 Ways To Use This Vegan Pasta Sauce
- Quick Pasta Dish – Serve it over your favorite cooked pasta (quinoa, whole wheat, gluten-free, or lentil pasta)
- Baked Pasta Dish – Toss with cooked pasta, layer in a baking dish, top with vegan mozzarella and/or seasoned breadcrumbs, and broil in oven for a few minutes.
- Pizza – This makes the perfect creamy pizza sauce, complete with veggies!
- Spiralized Veggie Dish – Spiralize some zucchini & add in any other veggies (broccoli or mushrooms). Cook the veggies on high, add in the spiralized zucchini for a few minutes, then toss with vegan pasta sauce. Add some red crushed peppers or vegan parm.
- Baked Spaghetti Squash Casserole – Toss this vegan pasta sauce with roasted cooked spaghetti squash. Place in casserole dish, top with vegan mozzarella or breadcrumbs and bake in the oven.
If you like this recipe or post, be sure to leave a comment and use the rating field! You can also tag me on Instagram with any re-makes, @vegetariangastronomy so I don’t miss it, as I love sharing them on Re-Make Fridays! Or you can help me spread the word about my recipes on Pinterest and Facebook!
This rich Creamy Carrot Tomato Vegan Pasta Sauce is only 5 ingredients, loaded with hidden veggies, freezable, easy to make, and can be used for all sorts of dishes!
- 10 medium vine-ripe tomatoes , quartered
- 8 medium-large orange carrots , diced into large pieces
- 1/2 medium white onion , diced into large pieces
- 8 cloves garlic , minced
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup raw cashews , soaked in water for 2-3 hours (optional, use for creamier pasta sauce)
- 2 stems celery , diced into large pieces (optional)
- salt , to taste
- red crushed pepper (optional)
- freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Select the Saute button (normal) on the Instant Pot or heat a non-stick pan on medium heat.
Add olive oil.
Add all the minced garlic and cook until fragrant (~30 sec).
Add the diced white onions and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the diced carrots, tomatoes, and celery (if using). Saute for another 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add 1/4 cup water and mix well.
For Instant Pot Method: Close the Instant Pot lid. Select the Pressure Cook button to cook on high pressure (HP). Set the timer for 7 minutes. When the time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally (NPR). Open the lid and cool slightly.
For Stove-Top Method: When mixture starts boiling, turn down heat to gentle simmer and cover pot. Let it simmer covered for about 15 minutes or until carrots are very tender (no need to add water to the pot because tomatoes should release liquid).
Empty the contents into a blender (I used my Vitamix) and completely puree everything. Depending on how much sauce you make, you may need to do this in two batches.
Pour most of the pureed sauce back into the pot or instant pot, but leave about 2 cup of the sauce in the blender.
Drain the soaked cashews (if using) and add them into the blender with the remaining sauce. Blend on high completely until the cashews are pureed and the mixture becomes thick and creamy. There should not be any pieces of cashews left in the sauce.
Pour the cashew cream/pasta sauce mixture in the pot along with the rest of the pasta sauce.
Heat the pot on medium-low, saute mode (normal) for Instant Pot, and simmer uncovered for 5-10 minutes to reduce and thicken the sauce if necessary.
Season with salt to taste. Since we did not add any salt prior to this step, depending on how sweet your tomatoes are and whether or not you used cashews, you may need to add a decent amount of salt for the amount of pasta sauce you have.
(optional) Add red crushed pepper and freshly ground black pepper for some spice.
The creamy carrot tomato sauce is done! You can pour it over your favorite cooked pasta, use it as a pizza sauce, in a casserole, or let it cool completely and freeze in freezable containers to use at a later time (see notes below on how best to defrost).
This recipe makes about 3 cups of sauce. you need 6-7 tbsp sauce per 1 cup cooked pasta. The nutritional label below includes the use of cashews.
How To Prepare Sauce Using Traditional Pressure Cooker -
- Follow through with recipe up to Step 6.
- Lock the lid in place for the pressure cooker (make sure you have the whistle attached) and turn the heat to medium-high.
- Once the steam begins to hiss out of the pressure cooker, reduce the heat down to medium to maintain the hissing. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and let the pressure cooker sit until the safety valve releases and you can open the pressure cooker.
- Follow the above recipe again starting at Step 9 until the end. Just add a bit of water if needed while blending to get desired thickness of sauce.
Seasoning/Tomatoes/Carrots - The tomatoes I used were home-grown and sweet, so depending on how sweet your tomatoes are will affect the taste of your sauce, so feel free to adjust accordingly with enough salt. The instant pot/pressure cooker method allows the carrots to really cook through and caramelize.
Freezing Option - I typically make a larger batch of this sauce and freeze leftovers in freezable containers for quick go-to meals. Simply pull the sauce out of the freezer the day before to defrost, and give it a quick whirl in any blender to fix consistency before heating (I use my hand blender).
For the Pasta - I recommend using any of the following: NOW Foods Quinoa Pasta, Whole Grain elbow pasta , Explore Cuisine Red Lentil Penne, or Explore Cuisine Green Lentil Pasta (the last two options are both Gluten-Free and have 21g of protein per serving for a complete meal!), gluten-free brown rice pasta by Tinkyada, quinoa pasta, etc.
To Prepare a Baked Pasta Dish - For every 1 cup cooked pasta, you'll need about 7 tbsp of the creamy carrot tomato sauce. Mix, add in fresh black pepper or red crushed pepper for spice and heat, then transfer to a baking dish.
- In a separate bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups breadcrumbs, 1 1/4 teasp salt, 1/2 teasp onion powder, 3/4 teasp garlic powder, and 3/4 teasp dry Italian Seasoning.
- Sprinkle a layer of your favorite vegan mozzarella (follow your heart block or Daiya new cutting board collection are two of my favorites).
- Sprinkle a thin layer of the breadcrumb mixture over the pasta (store leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge), and broil in the oven until golden brown (this will happen quickly so be sure to watch the oven, otherwise your breadcrumbs will burn).
- You can also bake this dish at 375 degrees if your pasta is cold, but be sure to slightly under-cook your pasta and add a little more sauce so it does not dry out while baking.
Other Uses For Sauce:
- Pizza - This makes the perfect creamy pizza sauce, complete with veggies!
- Spiralized Veggie Dish - Spiralize some zucchini & add in any other veggies (broccoli or mushrooms). Cook the veggies on high, add in the spiralized zucchini for a few minutes, then toss with vegan pasta sauce. Add some red crushed peppers or vegan parm.
- Baked Spaghetti Squash Casserole - Toss this vegan pasta sauce with roasted cooked spaghetti squash. Place in casserole dish, top with vegan mozzarella or breadcrumbs and bake in the oven.