This silken tofu pasta sauce is hearty, satisfying and super easy to whip up. The result is a creamy alfredo-style sauce with an impressive source of plant-based protein and lots of flavor!
This silken tofu pasta sauce has the potential to be a game-changer in your weeknight dinner routine. It’s not only packed with nutrients, but it's also incredibly easy to whip up after a busy day.
One of the best things about this recipe is that it's deceptively simple, with the pasta sauce coming together while the pasta boils.
The silken tofu blends smoothly with garlic, nutritional yeast and your choice of plant-based milk to create a creamy, dairy-free sauce that's full of protein.
Why you’ll love this silken tofu pasta sauce
- Unbelievably creamy — One bite of this pasta, and you might forget it's completely dairy-free. The silken tofu creates a sauce that's so creamy and luscious you'll swear there's cream in it.
- Protein-packed — Who said pasta dishes couldn't be protein-packed? Thanks to the silken tofu, each serving of this pasta comes with a hefty dose of plant-based protein, making it a super satisfying meal.
- Super easy to make your own — This recipe is just a starting point. Feel free to throw in whatever veggies you have in your fridge, switch up the type of pasta, or add in some extra spices or condiments to make this dish uniquely yours.
Ingredients and substitutions
Silken tofu — This is the star of the dish, creating a creamy and rich base for the sauce.
Silken tofu, also known as soft or silk tofu, is a type of tofu that has a higher water content than regular tofu, giving it a softer and smoother texture.
It has a neutral flavor, making it an excellent vehicle for other flavors.
Garlic — Don't skimp on the garlic – it's key to the flavor profile. Fresh is best in this recipe!
Nutritional yeast — This provides a “cheesy” flavor to the sauce. You can substitute with grated plant-based Parmesan.
Dijon mustard — The mustard adds a bit of tang to the dish. If you don't have Dijon, you can use a bit of yellow or honey mustard and adjust to taste.
Plant-based milk — You can use any plant-based milk you prefer here. Almond, soy, oat, or even coconut milk for a bit of a flavor twist. The key is to make sure it's unsweetened and unflavored.
Shallot — Shallots have a slightly milder and more sophisticated flavor than onions. If you can't find shallots, a small white or yellow onion would also do the trick.
Frozen peas — These add a touch of sweetness and a vibrant green color. If peas aren't your thing, feel free to substitute them with any other green veggies you have on hand, like spinach or broccoli.
Pasta — I’m using rigatoni for this recipe, but feel free to substitute any other kind of short pasta you love. Penne, farfalle, or rotini would all work beautifully.
How to make silken tofu sauce for pasta
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to the package instructions until al dente. Reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water, then drain and set aside.
Blend for 1 minute, then pour the plant-based milk and continue to blend until you get a smooth and creamy sauce that has the consistency of heavy cream. Add more plant-based milk if it looks too thick.
In a large pan, heat half of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped shallot and sauté until it becomes translucent. Stir in the frozen peas and cook until they are heated through.
Add the cooked pasta to the pan with the vegetables. Pour the tofu sauce over the pasta and stir well to combine. If the pasta seems dry, add a bit of the reserved pasta water.
Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately, garnished with fresh parsley if you like.
Leftovers and storage
- Transfer any leftovers into an airtight container and pop it into the fridge. It'll stay good for up to 4 days.
- Reheat the pasta gently in a saucepan over medium heat, adding a splash of plant-based milk if necessary to get that creamy consistency back. You can also use the microwave; just be sure to stir it every minute or so to ensure even heating.
- This silken tofu pasta is freezer-friendly! Just portion your cooled pasta into freezer-safe containers or bags, and it'll keep well for up to 2 months.
- When you're ready to enjoy it, defrost it in the fridge overnight, then warm it up on the stove or in the microwave, adding a touch more plant-based milk if needed.
Recipe notes and tips
- Like it spicy? Feel free to add a pinch of red pepper flakes when sautéing the shallots for a bit of heat.
- When blending the silken tofu, make sure it's completely smooth to get that creamy texture in your sauce. Don't rush this step!
- If your sauce seems too thick when blending, don't hesitate to add a little more plant-based milk until you reach your preferred consistency.
If you liked this silken tofu pasta sauce, you might also like some of my other creamy vegan pasta recipes:
- Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce
- Creamy Vegan Tahini Pasta
- Vegan Creamy Mushroom Pasta with Walnuts
- Creamy Vegan Fajita Pasta
- Creamy Vegan Lemon and Basil Pasta