Healthy Vegan Tomato Sauce Recipe for All Diets

Hey there, foodies! Are you on the lookout for a tangy and refreshing pasta sauce that’ll keep you coming back for more? Look no further as I present to you my Creamy Vegan Tomato Sauce recipe!

Here’s a little background: As a die-hard fan of Italian cuisine, I can confidently say that tomato sauce is an essential ingredient in most dishes. However, traditional tomato sauce recipes often include heavy creams or cheeses, making it difficult for those who follow a vegan diet to indulge in its deliciousness. That’s where this recipe comes in – it’s a vegan take on the classic tomato sauce that still maintains its creamy flavor and texture.

I’ve spent months tinkering with different ingredients and ratios to perfect this creamy vegan tomato sauce recipe, and I can assure you that the results are unbelievably satisfying. With ingredients like fresh basil, yellow onions, garlic cloves, and canned whole tomatoes, every spoonful of this dish will be an absolute delight for your taste buds.

But don’t just take my word for it – try out this recipe for yourself and witness its magic at work. Trust me; this burst of flavor will make the extra effort worth it. So, without further ado, let’s dive right into the ingredient list and get started on creating your very own creamy vegan tomato sauce!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Creamy Vegan Tomato Sauce
Creamy Vegan Tomato Sauce

Looking for a hearty, rich, and flavorful sauce to pair with your favorite pasta dish? Look no further than this creamy vegan tomato sauce recipe!

This sauce has the perfect balance of sweet and savory thanks to the combination of fresh and canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, and a touch of sugar. You’ll also love the added heat from the red pepper flakes, which gives it just the right amount of kick.

But what really sets this creamy tomato sauce apart is the addition of raw cashews. Blended into a creamy cashew cream and added to the sauce, they add a luxurious texture that makes it hard to believe this dish is vegan. Plus, they’re an excellent source of healthy fats and protein.

And if you’re worried about missing out on the richness of traditional cream sauces, fear not! This creamy vegan tomato sauce is just as indulgent as its dairy-based counterparts. Made with just a few simple ingredients: cashews soaked in hot water, nutritional yeast, salt, onion powder and garlic powder blend until smooth and delicious.

So whether you’re a seasoned vegan or simply looking to try something new in your kitchen repertoire, give this recipe a try. Trust me when I say that even non-vegan friends and family will be fighting over the last scoop!

Ingredient List

 This creamy tomato sauce will make your taste buds sing with joy!
This creamy tomato sauce will make your taste buds sing with joy!

Here are the ingredients you need to make this creamy vegan tomato sauce:

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp (8 g) tomato paste
  • 1 can (28 oz or 794 g) whole canned tomatoes
  • 1 cup (240 ml) raw cashews, soaked in hot water for at least 15 minutes and drained
  • 3 cups (720 ml) water, divided
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) sugar (optional)
  • Handful fresh basil, chopped (optional)
  • Nutritional yeast (optional)

Note: If you’re preparing the creamy vegan tomato sauce for pasta, you’ll also need a pound of pasta of your choice and a large pot of salted boiling water to cook it.

The Recipe How-To

 Thick and luscious, this vegan sauce will satisfy your cravings while keeping it cruelty-free!
Thick and luscious, this vegan sauce will satisfy your cravings while keeping it cruelty-free!

Now that we have gathered all our ingredients, it’s time to dive into the recipe how-to. In this section, you’ll learn how to make the creamy vegan tomato sauce that will take your pasta dish up a notch.

Step 1: Prepare the Cashew Cream

Start by soaking 1 cup of raw cashews in hot water for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the fridge. Drain and rinse when ready to use.

Place the soaked cashews in a blender or food processor with 1/4 cup of water and blend until smooth. This will be our base for the creamy sauce.

Step 2: Sauté the Aromatics

In a large pot over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté 4 cloves of minced garlic and 1 diced yellow onion until fragrant and slightly browned.

Step 3: Add Tomatoes

Add in 15 oz of whole canned tomatoes, breaking them up into chunks with a wooden spoon. Then mix in 2 tbsp of tomato paste until fully combined.

Now, pour in 3 cups of strained tomatoes (or crushed tomatoes) and mix everything together.

Step 4: Add Spices

This is where we can really amp up the flavor! Sprinkle in 1 teaspoon each of dried basil, dried rosemary, dried thyme, and dried oregano, then add a pinch of red pepper flakes for some heat.

Season with 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt, stirring well. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

Step 5: Make It Creamy

Pour the saucy mixture into the blender containing the cashew cream blend. Blend on high speed until you achieve a smooth, velvety texture.

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy

Return the creamy vegan tomato sauce to the pot and bring to a gentle simmer over low heat. Season to taste with additional salt or sugar if needed.

This delicious vegan sauce pairs perfectly with any pasta choice you desire or even better- with some vegan gnocchi! Pour your creamy tomato pasta onto your plate and spoon on some of this amazing sauce on top. Sprinkle some fresh basil leaves on top for added flavor and enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 Give any meal a little bit of Italian flair with this easy-to-make sauce!
Give any meal a little bit of Italian flair with this easy-to-make sauce!

Ah, the beauty of cooking – the ability to get creative and make a recipe your own! Here are some substitutions and variations you can try for this creamy vegan tomato sauce recipe:

1. Spice it up: If you’re a fan of spicy food, add some extra heat to this sauce with additional red pepper flakes or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

2. Nut-free: If you have a nut allergy and can’t use cashews, substitute them for white beans or silken tofu to achieve a similar creamy texture.

3. No fresh basil? No problem: While we love the fresh taste of basil, you can use dried basil instead in this recipe – simply reduce the amount to 1 teaspoon.

4. Gluten-free: Use gluten-free pasta like rice, lentil or quinoa pasta to make this dish safe for those with gluten sensitivities or allergies.

5. Tomato variations: Try using different types of tomatoes in this recipe – cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes or even roasted tomatoes can all work well.

6. Creamy variations: Instead of cashews, experiment with non-dairy milk like coconut milk or oat milk for another type of creaminess.

7. Add veggies: Sneak in some extra veggies into your meal by adding one shredded carrot into your onion and garlic mixture at the beginning or any other vegetables that you like

8. Mix ins: For more variety stirring in Peas artichokes, diced eggplant or sliced mushrooms are all great options

Don’t be afraid to play around with ingredients and find what works best for you! Enjoy!

Serving and Pairing

 Perfect for pasta night, this vegan tomato sauce adds a comforting touch to any dish!
Perfect for pasta night, this vegan tomato sauce adds a comforting touch to any dish!

Now that you’ve got a delicious and creamy vegan tomato sauce ready, it’s time to serve it up! This versatile sauce is perfect for pairing with a variety of dishes, making it a great staple to keep on hand in your kitchen.

One classic serving suggestion for this sauce is to ladle it over your favorite pasta dish. I personally love pairing this creamy tomato sauce with penne all vodka or rose sauce, but it would work well with any type of pasta, including gluten-free or vegan options.

For a fun twist, try using this vegan tomato sauce as a dip for some crusty bread, or spread it on your favorite flatbread for an easy and tasty snack.

Another tasty way to use this sauce is as a topping for baked potatoes or vegetable bowls. The combination of the creamy tomato sauce and roasted vegetables creates the ultimate comfort food.

If you’re looking to add some protein to your meal, this creamy tomato sauce pairs well with vegan meatballs or grilled tofu. The subtle herbs and spices in the sauce will perfectly complement these heartier dishes.

To enhance the flavors even more, top your dish off with some fresh basil leaves or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast. With so many pairing possibilities, this creamy vegan tomato sauce is sure to become a go-to in your recipe collection.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This sauce will have everyone licking their plates clean. Don't worry, we won't judge!
This sauce will have everyone licking their plates clean. Don’t worry, we won’t judge!

Once the creamy vegan tomato sauce is prepared, you might have some leftovers that need to be stored or even reheated for future consumption. Fortunately, this recipe can be stored easily and reheated effortlessly.

To store this creamy tomato sauce, ensure that it has cooled completely before placing it in an airtight container. This sauce will last for up to five days when kept in the refrigerator. The best way to reheat the sauce is by gently warming it on low heat on the stovetop, stirring it occasionally until it’s heated through.

If you plan to make this dish ahead of time, you can freeze your leftover pasta and sauce. Simply place the cooled pasta into a freezer-friendly bag or container with an airtight lid and pop it in the freezer. Remember to label the package with the date and name of the dish. It can last up to three months in the freezer.

When you’re ready to serve, there’s no need to defrost the entire dish, as doing so may compromise its texture. Instead, portion out what you need and either reheat it gently over low heat on a stovetop or defrost in the microwave before reheating.

The best thing about this recipe is that it’s not only easy and quick but can also be utilized in numerous ways. You can integrate this creamy vegan tomato sauce into recipes like penne alla vodka or rose sauce pasta by swapping out the heavy cream and incorporating coconut cream instead for an added tropical twist. Additionally, you could use this recipe as a tomato soup base or a dipping sauce for garlic bread.

One serving of this creamy vegan tomato pasta guarantees that your taste buds are fully satisfied, allowing you to enjoy those welcoming vegan ingredients such as cashews, nutritional yeast, fresh basil, garlic and ripe tomatoes. So go ahead and try making some of these irresistible creamy vegan tomato dishes for yourself today!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Indulge in a little bit of decadence without sacrificing flavor with this vegan cream sauce!
Indulge in a little bit of decadence without sacrificing flavor with this vegan cream sauce!

To make the best creamy vegan tomato sauce, there are certain tips that you need to keep in mind. First off, take your time to go through the recipe and understand it well before you start cooking. This will help you avoid mistakes that could ruin the sauce.

When it comes to the garlic, be sure not to overcook it. Garlic burns easily and when that happens, it becomes bitter and unpleasant. To prevent this from happening, sauté the garlic just until it becomes fragrant then remove it from the heat.

Using canned tomatoes is a good idea because they are more flavorful than fresh tomatoes, especially during the off-season. But make sure you use whole canned tomatoes instead of crushed or diced ones. This way you’ll get bigger, meatier tomato pieces that can be easily blended into a smooth sauce.

Another tip is to use only a small amount of dried herbs because they can easily overpower the delicate flavors of the sauce. Therefore, start with a small amount and then adjust accordingly after tasting.

For an extra creamy texture, use raw cashews as opposed to roasted cashews or other nuts like almonds or peanuts. Raw cashews blend better and yield a creamier consistency that’s perfect for this tomato sauce.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to customize this recipe and add your own twist by using different herbs or spices according to your taste preferences. Whether you’re using this sauce on pasta, as a dip or as a base for other recipes like penne alla vodka or rose sauce, these tips will give you perfect results every time!


Before I wrap up this article, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions about this creamy vegan tomato sauce recipe. These questions will help clarify any doubts or queries you may have about the ingredients or the recipe process. So, let’s dive in!

What is creamy tomato sauce made of?

To achieve a deliciously complex savory flavor with a touch of sweetness, we’ll be including dried basil leaves, white sugar, dried oregano, salt, and ground black pepper in our tomato-cream sauce recipe for pasta. And let’s not forget the main component of cream sauce: cream itself! However, we can make a slightly lighter version by using a combination of half milk and half heavy cream.

Can I put milk in my tomato sauce?

One way to balance the tanginess of tomato sauce is by adding a touch of milk. This widely used technique, often passed down from generations of Italian grandmothers, can bring a subtle sweetness to your sauce. A popular example is Bolognese sauce, which traditionally always includes milk. The milk can be added either at the start or near the end of cooking, depending on your preference.

Does heavy cream thicken tomato sauce?

When it comes to thickening soups and sauces, heavy cream, sour cream, and yogurt are all viable options. However, it’s important to handle them delicately since boiling any of these ingredients could result in unwanted curdling.

Why do you add milk to tomato sauce?

You might find it unusual, but incorporating milk in your bolognese sauce can add a delightful richness and tenderness to your meat. Don’t let the dairy concept throw you off, as it can truly elevate the flavours of your tomato-based sauce.

Bottom Line

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In conclusion, this creamy vegan tomato sauce is a must-try recipe for all vegans and non-vegans alike. The combination of fresh herbs, juicy tomatoes, raw cashews, and extra virgin olive oil creates an explosion of flavors that will leave your taste buds craving for more. By following the simple instructions and adding your own variations, you can create a personalized version of this delicious sauce that will complement any pasta dish.

Moreover, this recipe provides an excellent opportunity to explore the world of vegan cuisine and discover mouth-watering alternatives to traditional dairy-based sauces. It is also an excellent option for those looking to reduce their intake of animal products without sacrificing flavor or texture. With just a few simple substitutions, you can enjoy the same creamy and rich taste without any animal-derived ingredients.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your ingredients and start cooking! With this recipe at your disposal, you’ll never go back to store-bought tomato sauce again. Trust us, once you taste the creaminess of this vegan sauce, you’ll be hooked for life! So go ahead and rediscover the joy of cooking with this easy-to-follow recipe today!

Creamy Vegan Tomato Sauce

Creamy Vegan Tomato Sauce Recipe

Who says you can't have creamy tomato sauce without dairy? This recipe takes advantage of canned tomatoes and is perfect in winter, when fresh tomatoes tend to look a little pale. A quick spin in the blender creates a rich, creamy base, which is then simmered with aromatics and spices. Serve with your favorite pasta!
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Sauce
Cuisine Vegan
Calories 212.2 kcal


  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole canned tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 large tomatoes, diced (optional)
  • fresh basil, sliced, to garnish (optional)


  • Place cashews, canned tomatoes (with their juices) and tomato paste in a blender and puree until very smooth. This can take a few minutes, depending on the strength of your blender.
  • Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sautée until golden. Add garlic and sautée for another 1–2 minutes, making sure not to burn it.
  • Stir in the pureed tomato mix and bring to a simmer. Add herbs, salt and sugar and simmer gently for 15–20 minutes, until sauce has slightly thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • If desired, stir in fresh diced tomato shortly before serving and simmer until heated through.
  • Mix with, or serve over, your favorite cooked pasta and garnish with fresh basil.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 196gCalories: 212.2kcalCarbohydrates: 18.3gProtein: 4.8gFat: 15.1gSaturated Fat: 2.6gSodium: 644.1mgFiber: 3.4gSugar: 8.3g
Keyword < 30 Mins, European, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Sauces, Vegan
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