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!
Add olive oil.
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 -
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.
Other Uses For Sauce: