8 Homemade Vegan Pasta Sauce Recipes

Updated: May 02, 2024

What lies at the heart of every great pasta dish? The sauce, of course! Vegan pasta sauce recipes pack all the classic flavor with none of the meat or dairy.

While we love tossing pasta in olive oil and fresh herbs, it’s not always a filling meal. Luckily, there are plenty of vegan pasta sauce recipes you can use to coat your noodles or create cozy baked dishes (hello, vegan lasagna!). Once you have these recipes tucked into your recipe box, you’ll be able to create all sorts of vegan pasta dishes.

Veggie-based sauces like marinara and pesto don’t need much work to make them vegan. Others, like bechamel and Alfredo, need more creativity to emulate dairy’s creamy consistency. If you’re vegan, chances are you’ve used cashews and nutritional yeast for many dairy-based dishes. If you’re not vegan and you’re just looking to cut meat and dairy from your diet, you’d be surprised at what these powerhouse vegan ingredients can do! There are also plenty of vegan cheeses you can use in place of regular cheese.

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Vegan Marinara Sauce

A mouthwatering aroma will fill your house every time you make this vegan tomato sauce. The seasoning bursts with flavors of garlic, basil and oregano. Pro Tip: We recommend using canned San Marzano tomatoes for their bright flavor.
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Vegan Alfredo Sauce
Jenna Urben for Taste of Home

Vegan Alfredo Sauce

Who says you need butter and cheese to make Alfredo sauce? Nutritional yeast, cauliflower and cashews make up this oh-so-creamy vegan Alfredo sauce. Spoon it over a big bowl of fettuccine for an easy dinner.

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Best Ever Cashew Cheese Sauce

Use this plant-based cashew cheese sauce as a base for vegan mac and cheese or to serve over zoodles. The cashews need to soak overnight in order to blend into a creamy consistency, so plan ahead! Spanish or Hungarian paprika will add smokiness to the sauce and up the flavor profile. 
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Vegan Pesto

Turning classic pesto into vegan pesto is one of the easiest tweaks. Instead of using Parmesan, use nutritional yeast. It has a naturally cheesy flavor, so it won’t even change the flavor of pesto much. Noodles like long fusilli and bucatini hold this herby sauce really well, as do smaller pastas like gemelli and orecchiette.
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Vegan Garden Vegetable Tomato Sauce

This dairy free pasta sauce is a tasty substitute for regular pasta sauce. Made with zucchini, squash, carrots, onions, mushrooms and more, and flavored with a variety of seasonings, you’ll definitely get your vegetable cravings fulfilled with this recipe.
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béchamel sauce on a pasta
TMB Studio

Vegan Bechamel Sauce

This vegan bechamel sauce mimics the classic white sauce. Use it in lasagna and mac and cheese or as a creamy sauce for a plate of veggies. Add a touch of color with red pepper flakes and chopped parsley.

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Spicy Vegan Tomato Sauce

Looking for a red sauce that’s spicy, creamy and vegan? Look no further than this vegetable-packed pasta dish. The recipe uses gluten-free pasta, but you can swap the GF noodles for other dry pasta, as long as the dough doesn’t contain eggs!
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Avocado Sauce

If you’ve never made avocado sauce, now’s the time. Because the fruit is naturally soft, it creates the consistency of a cream-based sauce, but with none of the dairy. You can add grated vegan cheese as a garnish or sprinkle a tablespoon of nooch over the top. Because the base of the sauce is avocado, you’ll want to eat this dish fresh the day you make it. Leftovers tend to look brown and unsightly once the avocado oxidizes.

Vegan Pasta Sauce FAQ

Which pasta sauces are vegan?

When you’re shopping for vegan pasta sauces, it’s best to look for the ones specifically labeled as vegan. Even sauces you might think are naturally vegan (like marinara) often have ingredients like Parmesan cheese or use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth.

Is pasta vegan?

Most of the boxed pastas you see in the grocery store are vegan. It’s always good to read the label to be extra sure, but, in general, boxed pastas use semolina flour and water. Homemade pasta often uses eggs in the dough, and you’re more likely to see these noodles in the refrigerated section of the store.