I paired beets with cashews to create a smooth and savory pasta sauce in the happiest color around! This Creamy Vegan Pink Pasta is the sweetest dinner for Valentine's Day...or just a weeknight that calls for dinner that makes you smile!
Can you believe this bright pink pasta sauce?! I can't decide if it's more fun to make, photograph, or eat! My kids weren't always the biggest fan of beets, but I've found that pairing them well makes a world of difference. That's exactly what this recipe does, and it's delicious! If you have little ones who would normally be apprehensive about trying beets, this is the PERFECT recipe. A pasta dish and a fun color? That's a win in our house! My kids couldn't believe that our dinner was pink, and it was so fun to watch them try it and see what they thought of the different flavors. This pasta sauce is just five ingredients, and it'll be ready to go before the pasta is done boiling.
Vegan Pink Pasta Sauce Ingredients
This is a really, really short ingredient list! Just a couple ingredients, and I love that all of these items are easy to store for longer periods of time, so you can grab groceries to have on hand. If you want to shorten the meal prep time, cook your beet in advance, peel it, and store it in the refrigerator until you're ready to pop it in the blender while the pasta boils!
- Beet - Use a red beet, cooked and peeled, for this recipe. This is, of course, the source of that amazing pink color!
- Cashews - The creaminess in this pasta sauce comes from cashews. Soak them in advance for the perfectly smooth and creamy texture!
- Garlic cloves - I use two garlic cloves, but would reduce it to one if I were making this for kids since they can be sensitive to stronger flavors! For a boosted, dreamy garlic flavor, try roasting the garlic in advance.
- Salt - Start with a teaspoon, then taste and adjust until it's perfect.
- Nutritional yeast - This is optional and will make your pasta sauce taste a bit cheesier! I love adding a bit of nutritional yeast when my kids will be eating a dish because they go nuts for the cheesy flavor.
How to Quickly Cook Beets
The vibrant, gorgeous pink color in this pasta comes from beets! A lot of people think of beets as earthy and bitter, but when you prepare them right, they add a really wonderful and savory flavor that will surprise you. Since they're a heartier root vegetable, beets take a while to cook, which is why I make them in the Instant Pot. Leave the skins on (remove the leafy greens from the top, though!) and use the steamer basket with 2 cups of water. Cook them on manual high pressure for 18 minutes, then release the steam and let the beets cool before you peel the skins off. They'll slide off easily and just like that, you're ready to cook with beets! I typically cook a couple at once to use throughout the week in hummus, grain bowls, smoothies and on salads.
Creamy Vegan Pink Pasta Sauce
The creaminess in this pasta sauce comes from cashews! Longtime Eating by Elain readers know that I LOVE cashews and cook with them all the time. Cashews are an incredible plant-based source of protein, and they blend into this incredibly smooth, silky consistency that adds creamy texture to my favorite recipes! Cashews are considered an excellent source of copper and a good source of magnesium, manganese, vitamin K, phosphorous and zinc. For a nut-free Vegan Pink Pasta Sauce, use my Vegan Sunflower Seed Cream!
My Favorite Gluten-Free Pasta
I love the brand Jovial for gluten-free pastas! They have several different varieties, but they all cook and taste just like regular pasta. I also love Andean Dream and Olo brands for pasta without wheat. Any noodle shape would work for this recipe, so pick your favorite and enjoy!
All About Beets
Beets are low in calories and known to be an excellent source of folate and a good source of potassium, vitamin C and dietary fiber, which is awesome because beets are available year-round! Choose beets that are round, firm and smooth with non-wilted leaves. Look for a deep red color on the exterior. Beets will last a long time when stored properly: remove the beet leaves leaving one inch of the stem attached, then store in a bag in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. Wash your beets well before using; like potatoes, they're grown underground, so they need a good scrubbing before use!
Here are some of my favorite beet recipes:
More Gluten-Free Pasta Recipes
- Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta with Caramelized Onions
- Easy No-Boil Vegan Baked Ziti with Veggies – One Dish!
- Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Black Lentils and Creamy Marinara Sauce
- Caramelized Onion Apple Pasta with Sage
- Vegan Creamy Pasta Primavera
- Pasta Fresca
- Spaghetti Aglio e Olio (Pasta with Roasted Garlic, Olive Oil, Chile and Parsley)
- Roasted Veggie Tomato Sauce for Pasta
- Easy Creamy Vegan Pasta Sauce
- Creamy Vegan Pasta al Limone
Creamy Vegan Pink Pasta is made with beets and cashews for a smooth and savory pasta sauce in the happiest color around!
- 1 cooked beet, ends removed and peeled*
- 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews (soaked, drained and rinsed in advance**)
- ¾ cup filtered water
- 2 garlic cloves (reduce to 1 clove for kids)***
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- optional: 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (for cheesy flavor)
- 12 ounces gluten-free pasta, cooked according to package instructions
- Add beets, cashews, water, garlic, salt and nutritional yeast (if using) to a high-speed blender on the highest speed for 1 minute until perfectly smooth and creamy. Stop to scrape down the sides with a mini sptaula and re-blend if needed.
- Pour the pink blender sauce overtop freshly cooked pasta, mix and enjoy hot. Garnish with vegan feta cheese and fresh dill.
*I cook my beets in the Instant Pot with the skin on (greens removed) in the steamer basket. Even though this recipe calls for one beet I usually cook 3-4 at a time and save the rest for other recipes. To cook in the Instant Pot, add 2 cups of water and the beets on the steamer basket and cook on manual high pressure for 18 minutes. Manual release and allow the beets to cool before handling. The skin will peel right off - so easy! You can also add the cooked beets to hummus to make pink hummus or to salads or smoothies.
** Soak your cashews overnight in filtered water before using, or use my quick-soak method: pour boiling water overtop and let them sit for an hour before blending into this sauce. Learn more about How (and Why!) to Soak Cashews in this post.
***For a boosted, dreamy garlic flavor, try roasting the garlic in advance.
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 10
- Category: Entree
Keywords: Creamy Vegan Beet Pasta