Creamy Tomato Pasta Sauce (Dairy-Free)
This quick and easy tomato cream sauce for pasta is made with… drumroll please…. coconut milk!
Canned tomatoes and tomato paste combine with a splash of coconut milk to create the most satisfying, creamy and comforting dairy-free pasta sauce.
about this creamy tomato pasta sauce (dairy-free)
We’re big fans of gluten free and dairy free recipes around here!
And this creamy, dreamy tomato sauce with coconut milk is one of my family’s go-to dinners on busy weeks.
I learned a long time ago that homemade sauce is so much better than the store-bought variety.
But just because it’s dairy-free, doesn’t mean it has to be complicated or time consuming to be delicious.
Like this quick and easy pumpkin pasta sauce recipe, this sauce leans on simple ingredients.
I’m betting you already have many of them in your pantry or fridge too!
how to make a creamy tomato sauce that’s dairy-free
Our specialty is quick & easy recipes, and this sauce delivers on that promise.
Since there’s just 7 ingredients (many of them that come already prepared in a can), this recipe has minimal hands-on prep time.
Just sauté the onions & garlic, add your canned tomato products, season and simmer until silky & thick.
The secret to making a truly creamy dairy free pasta sauce is to add full-fat coconut milk at the very end.
If you’re worried that the coconut milk will lend a coconutty flavor, don’t be.
There’s just enough in this recipe to make this vegan tomato sauce creamy, without adding an in-your-face coconut taste.
Tip: You can freeze any leftover coconut milk to use another time, too, or store it in the fridge for using in smoothies.
ingredients & modifications
Garlic: Since we’re using such simple ingredients, I love using fresh garlic in this recipe. Together with the granulated garlic powder, it adds lots of flavor.
Onion: The onion also adds so much flavor to homemade tomato sauce. But if you don’t like or can’t eat onions, feel free to skip them in this recipe.
Tomato paste: Don’t skip the tomato paste, it has great concentrated tomato flavor. And also allows the sauce to thicken.
Crushed tomatoes: The crushed tomatoes add lots of delicious flavor and moisture without watering down your sauce.
Olive oil: I like the flavor of olive oil best in this recipe. But any neutral oil will work in this soup, such as avocado oil, vegetable oil or canola.
Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store (it has a subtler flavor). Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.
Coconut milk: This is the secret to making a creamy pasta sauce without a drop of cream. The taste of the coconut milk is nearly undetectable in this recipe, but you can also use heavy cream in it’s place for a classic cream sauce.
Tip: Use full-fat coconut milk from a can for the best flavor. Be careful not to use “coconut beverage” from a box, which is much more watery and won’t produce the creamy, thick texture you want.
how to use this creamy tomato pasta sauce (dairy-free)
Serve over spaghetti or any other shape of pasta you like, with or without gluten-free turkey meatballs.
Also works great for a low carb option, like ladling it over zoodles, cooked spaghetti squash, chicken or fish.
You can also use any extra sauce to make an easy lasagna!
how to store & freeze leftovers
Homemade tomato sauce keeps well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, in a sealed container.
This sauce also freezes beautifully, either in a gallon ziplock bag, or individually in mason jars.
You can store it in a sealed freezer friendly container for up to 2-3 months.
more dairy free pasta sauce recipes
this recipe is…
I hope you’ll make this dairy-free Creamy Tomato Pasta Sauce recipe soon.
If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!
Creamy Tomato Pasta Sauce (Dairy-Free)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or finely grated
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ⅓ cup full-fat coconut milk, from a can
- red pepper flakes, optional
- chopped fresh parsley or basil for serving, optional
- In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, ¼ teaspoon salt, and cook for 5-8 minutes, until very soft and slightly browned, stirring frequently.
- Add the garlic and garlic powder, stirring constantly over medium heat for about 30 seconds, until lightly browned.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and ¼ teaspoon salt, stirring to combine. Simmer over medium-low for 10 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk, and an additional ¼ teaspoon salt, stirring to combine. Taste and add additional salt or red pepper flakes if desired.
- Serve with gluten-free or whole wheat pasta, or as a sauce for chicken or fish, sprinkled with red pepper flakes, parsley and basil if you like.
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