This Creamy Vegan Ricotta Pasta checks all the boxes for a satisfying, savory and delicious pasta. The ricotta is made from a blend of tofu, marinated artichokes, dill and seasonings, to make the sauce super creamy and with added protein!
If you’re looking for an irresistible pasta that the whole family will love, this Creamy Vegan Ricotta Pasta is it! It has amazing depth of flavor, thanks to some hidden ingredients that add a special touch. The marinara sauce combines so well with the tofu ricotta, making this pasta extra creamy without any cream or milk. Optionally, you can add vegan parmesan, but this is so yummy without it as well.
You can use your pasta of choice, whether regular, whole wheat, or gluten-free variety. I like to use a short pasta for this recipe, to hold all of the sauce really well. The fresh tomatoes add a pop of sweetness and texture to the sauce, and it’s all topped off with fresh basil leaves, and a touch of red chili flakes for spice if you like it that way.
I love to serve this pasta with a side of greens like baby spinach, simply sauteed in a bit of olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Another great side dish would be baby broccoli or escarole, which you can prepare in the same way. The broccoli doesn’t cook as quickly as the other options, and you can add a bit of water and cover the pan during part of the cooking process to steam it.
How This Creamy Vegan Ricotta Pasta Comes Together
Cooking the pasta: start by cooking the pasta of choice in salted water, until al dente. I like to add in around 2 teaspoons of salt into the cooking water, to flavor the pasta itself. Check the package for the “al dente” cook time. You’ll want to avoid overcooking the pasta, especially for this recipe, so that it can properly hold up to the sauce and not break apart. Just prior to draining, reserve around 1/3 cup of pasta cooking water. This is to add to the final sauce, if you’d like to thin it out.
Blending the ricotta: this part is super simple. Just add all of the “ricotta” ingredients into a food processor, and blend until nearly smooth. For the tofu, drain it well and pat it dry with kitchen towel, gently squeezing with your hands to remove excess water, before adding to the food processor. For the dill, there’s sometimes thick, hard stems. Avoid those, as you’ll just want the fronds/thin stems.
Making the sauce: lastly, make the sauce by preheating a large pan on medium heat. You can also use a large pot for this. Add the olive oil, onions, salt and pepper. Stir and cook these on medium low for 8 to 10 minutes. Some browning is fine and adds flavor. If getting too brown, simply lower the heat. Then add the fresh tomatoes and cook another roughly 5 minutes, as the skins begin to get wilted. Now add the crushed tomatoes and seasonings and cook another few minutes at a simmer.
Putting it all together: Add in around 1 cup of the tofu ricotta into the sauce. You can use more or less, to your liking. Gently simmer the sauce another couple minutes to meld the flavors. Then add in the cooked pasta, stir, and feel free to add some of the pasta cooking water to thin out the sauce. If using the vegan parmesan, add that in as well.
Serving the pasta: I love to top this pasta with fresh basil, sliced, around 5 to 6 leaves but feel free to use as much as you like. I know how inviting fresh basil can be, especially with pasta, so no judgment here! For some spicy heat, sprinkle with red chili flakes, and enjoy!
Other Delicious Pasta Recipes to Try Next
The following pastas are all blog and Instagram favorites, so I think you’ll love them! The links below will take you to those blog posts, with photos and full method for each.
If you make this Creamy Vegan Ricotta Pasta, I would love to see it! You can leave a comment here and tag me on Instagram @janetsmunchmeals.
Creamy Vegan Ricotta Pasta
- 1/2 lb. pasta of choice
- 14 oz. extra-firm tofu drained, squeeze out excess water
- 1/2 cup (packed) marinated artichokes drained
- 2 tbsp (packed) fresh dill fronds/thin stems, avoiding thick stems
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic granules
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup (packed) sliced cherry or grape tomatoes
- 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
- 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- 1/4 cup shredded vegan parmesan optional
- 5 to 6 sliced fresh basil leaves for serving
- Red chili flakes for serving optional
- Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions for al dente. Prior to draining, reserve 1/3 cup pasta cooking water.
- Meanwhile, add all Ricotta ingredients to a food processor and blend until nearly smooth.
- Preheat a large pan on medium heat. Add olive oil, onion, salt and pepper, stir, and let cook at medium-low for 8 to 10 min until just starting to brown. Add fresh tomatoes, stir, and cook another 5 min, stirring occasionally. Add crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and garlic granules. Stir well and cook another 3 to 5 min.
- Add around 1 cup ricotta to pan (more or less to your liking), stirring it into the sauce. Cook another 2 to 3 min on low, at a very gentle simmer. Add cooked pasta, and vegan parmesan if using. Stir well to combine, serve and top with fresh basil leaves and red chili flakes if using.