Make the creamiest vegan Sweet Potato Pasta Skillet with rigatoni, sweet potato-coconut cream sauce, herbs, and a bit of spice for dinner tonight. All dairy-free and vegan ingredients. Gluten-free option.
I'm all about skillet dinners. If you have a good-quality cast-iron skillet, you can make so many delicious recipes. And pasta just happens to be one of my favorites! I literally can find myself eating all variations of pasta within the same week and not missing a beat or feeling underwhelmed.
I just love how versatile pasta can be simply by adjusting ingredients or adding additional ingredients for a whole new experience. This Creamy Vegan Sweet Potato Pasta Skillet is by far on my top faves list during the Fall/Winter seasons because it offers not only a velvety texture, but it also has bold spices and a coolness that comes from the coconut cream/milk. Everything just comes together amazingly.
This pasta recipe, in particular, happens to be vegan, but it's so full of creamy, savory and cheesy goodness, non-vegans will go crazy for it too.
The secret is a dynamite combination of sweet potato puree and coconut cream or milk. The sauce coats every nook and cranny of your pasta so every bite is flavor-packed and decadent.
How to Make Creamy Vegan Sweet Potato Pasta
If these photos have you ready to get in the kitchen, start by reading these tips and swaps for the best cheesy vegan pasta skillet:
Here's what you need to bring this creamy sweet potato pasta skillet to life for dinner tonight:
Rigatoni. You can substitute rigatoni with your favorite pasta shape. For a gluten-free version, simply use gluten-free pasta.
Sweet potato puree. You can buy this canned or make your own by roasting a sweet potato until totally tender and pureeing it in a blender or food processor. Pumpkin puree will also work, though the flavor may not be quite as sweet.
Garlic. This adds a delicious aromatic flavor to compliment the sweetness of your puree.
Nutritional yeast. I think this is a must-have vegan pantry ingredient. It instantly adds umami and cheesy flavor without any dairy.
Full-fat coconut cream/milk. For the rich, creamy body in the pasta.
Flour. I use organic all-purpose flour from Bob's Red Mill, which is certified vegan. For gluten-free, simply use their gluten-free flour blend to thicken your creamy sweet potato sauce.
Vegetable stock. Make your own or buy organic store-bought stock.
White wine. Opt for a dry white wine in this recipe.
Cajun seasoning. Use store-bought or homemade seasoning blend.
Kale. Any kind of kale will work!
5 REASONS WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS CREAMY PASTA
It’s Meatless, but still works for any eater.
Super easy to make and quick.
Full of flavor + so creamy! (The best reason!)
Very kid-friendly (entirely nut-free).
Done in just under 1 hour.
Make-Ahead Vegan Skillet Pasta
If you're meal prepping, you can make a big batch of this sweet potato rigatoni. Divide it between airtight containers and store in the fridge for up to four days. You can heat it up on the stove or in the microwave for a comforting lunch all week long.
What about Gluten-Free Skillet Pasta?
To make this vegan sweet potato skillet pasta recipe gluten-free, simply use your favorite gluten-free pasta. I also recommend ensuring that the full-fat coconut cream or milk that you use is GF-friendly.
CAJUN SEASONING BLEND
To make your seasoning, combine:
Together, these herbs and spices strike the perfect balance of savory and fresh with a bit of smoky heat.
What Are Delicious Foods to Pair This Pasta With?
With most pasta dishes, I often enjoy them with a side of bread of some sort. Most times, I make my own homemade Garlic Bread, however, you can choose to spruce things up with many other options such as:
A delicious Salad
Topping Ideas for Vegan Skillet Pasta
While I love this pasta skillet dinner as-is, straight from the pan, you can dress it up with toppings if you like.
I usually add kale, but for extra spice, color and texture, you can try:
Chopped nuts, such as toasted hazelnuts or walnuts
Sliced jalapenos for a bit of heat
Shredded vegan cheese
Toasted bread crumbs
If you discover a new favorite topping idea, be sure to let me know in the comments section below!
Adding Protein to this Skillet Pasta
If you'd like to add protein to this vegan dish, it's easy to do!
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
Rinse sweet potatoes and pat dry. Lightly coat potato with olive oil, arranging them side by side unto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes or until tender and juices begin to bubble outside of skin. Remove from oven, let cool for 10-15 minutes and slice in half. Remove sweet potato 'flesh' (insides) and place in a bowl.
TO MAKE THE SWEET POTATO PUREE:
In a high-powered blender, add the cooked/cooled sweet potato flesh along with the olive oil and veggie stock. Blend on high-speed until fully smooth. If needed, add additional veggie stock (1 tablespoon at a time) until desired consistency is met.
BOIL THE PASTA:
To begin, cook pasta according to packaging. NOTE: rigatoni pasta doesn’t take a long time to cook, usually 8-10 minutes (however, you should cook at 6-8 minutes or so—‘al dente’).
TO MAKE THE SAUCE:
In a large 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and minced garlic, sautéing until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add the nutritional yeast, salt, black pepper, cinnamon, and cajun seasoning, stirring everything together. Whisk in the flour, veggie stock, coconut cream/milk, until everything thickens and becomes smooth with no lumps visible.
Add the blended sweet potato puree followed by the white cooking wine and chopped kale, stirring everything together until combined. Reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer for 3-4 minutes until it thickens more and the kale has wilted and cooked.
Add in the cooked pasta and stir until everything is well coated.
Remove from heat and serve immediately with your favorite side or on it's own with a bit of vegan parmesan cheese, if desired.
Tips & Tricks
STORAGE: Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.
SPICES/HERBS: If desired, you can reduce the amounts slightly. Please know that this recipe is bold in flavor, so feel free to adjust based on your tastebuds.
GLUTEN-FREE: To make this dish GF, simply use Gluten-Free pasta and ensure that coconut cream/milk is GF-friendly.
PASTA: You can use Jumbo shells or long pastas like Pappardelle, Fettuccine, etc. if desired, however, I would recommend tossing with tongs to ensure that pasta is fully manageable and fully coated. Otherwise, the traditional penne or rigatoni pasta works perfectly too!
CAJUN SEASONING (STORAGE): Any leftover cajun seasoning mix can be stored in a ziplock bag for later use or used as garnish. For homemade cajun seasoning, head over to my One-Pot Cajun Pasta recipe.
GREENS: To add a bit more flavor to this dish, you can always feel free to add in your favorite greens such as kale, spinach, broccolini, collards, or asparagus.
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Hi - how to make the sauce GF? It calls for 1/4 C of flour. Will GF flour also thicken the sauce adequately!
Hi Lisa! You can use arrowroot starch or GF flour to thick the sauce! 🙂
This is my favorite recipe! So good and so easy to make!
Hi! I'm so happy to hear that! Thanks so much for choosing to make this! 🙂
Tried this recipe and my toddler loved it! It was creamy and delicious! Definitely a must try!
Hi Ashley, I'm so glad to hear that! Thanks so much for choosing to try this recipe! 🙂