Coconut milk pasta sauce is a super easy vegan pasta recipe that's ready in just 15 minutes. It's creamy, flavourful, and just the perfect sauce for a date night or simply those days when you want a quick dinner treat.
This coconut milk pasta sauce is proof that you don't need any dairy to enjoy a super creamy, rich bowl of pasta. You can whip up this coconut milk tomato pasta sauce in the time it takes to boil your favourite pasta.
Even though this is such a simple recipe that only requires a handful of ingredients, the sauce is super flavourful. This coconut pasta sauce is creamy, garlicky and just a bit spicy to make it interesting.
It's just the perfect recipe to have in your collection for those days when you want a speedy meal that's also delicious.
Why you'll love this coconut milk pasta sauce
- The sauce only has a mild coconut flavour. Pasta sauce made with coconut milk doesn't exactly taste like coconut. It does have a mild flavour, but don't expect it to be super coconut-y. You'll only be bothered by it if you really hate coconut.
- It's a very versatile sauce. You can use this coconut pasta sauce as a base for pasta dish loaded with veggies such as artichokes and broccoli. It also tastes great with olives or grilled zucchini.
- It only requires a handful of ingredients. This is one of those super easy pasta sauces that you can make with staple ingredients you may already have in the kitchen.
Ingredients and substitutions
Shallots — Shallots have a milder flavour than regular yellow or red onion, which makes them perfect for this delicate pink pasta sauce.
Garlic — Add as much garlic as you like — I find two large cloves to be enough, but feel free to add more.
Passata — Known as tomato puree in the U.S., passata is the type of pureed and strained tomatoes that's sold in bottles. It's not the same thing as crushed tomatoes — it's completely smooth and has a uniform texture.
Coconut milk — Full-fat coconut milk will make the sauce super creamy. Don't use low-fat coconut milk because it will not thicken as it should. You can use coconut cream instead of coconut milk for an even creamier sauce.
Fresh basil — A handful of shredded fresh basil adds extra flavour and brightness to the pasta sauce. You can sprinkle some extra basil on individual bowls when serving.
How to make pasta sauce with coconut milk
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it generously, and cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the package. Reserve a cup of pasta water before draining.
Stir in the garlic and red chilli flakes and continue to cook for another minute.
Transfer the cooked pasta to the pan and toss well until covered in sauce. Add a dash of pasta water if the sauce looks too thick.
Stir in the fresh basil, season to taste, and serve immediately.
Leftovers and storage
- The coconut milk pasta sauce will keep well in the fridge for 3 to 5 days in an airtight container.
- You can freeze coconut pasta sauce in a freezer-safe container or bags for up to 3 months. I recommend you freeze it without the pasta. Thaw the sauce overnight in the fridge before reheating.
- Reheat in the microwave on high power for 2-3 minutes until piping hot. If the leftovers already have the pasta in, you may need to add a couple of tablespoons of water when reheating.
Recipe notes and tips
- You can top the pasta with some freshly grated vegan parmesan if you like.
- Use your favourite gluten-free pasta to make this dish gluten-free.
- Make sure you simmer the sauce for at least 5 minutes (or more if you have the time). That way, the coconut flavour will fade, and the coconut milk will basically act as a thickening agent.
If you liked this coconut milk pasta sauce, you might also like some of my other easy vegan pasta recipes:
- Vegan Caponata Pasta
- Vegan Saffron Pasta with Lemon
- Creamy Vegan Fajita Pasta
- 20-Minute Vegan Pasta Puttanesca
- Vegan Creamy Mushroom Pasta with Walnuts (Tagliatelle ai Funghi)