This easy Cajun pasta is packed with spicy flavor! Made with vegan sausage, peppers, and fire roasted tomatoes in a creamy sauce, it’s both comforting and easy to make.
But I also like to incorporate those Cajun flavors into not-so-classic, less authentic recipes, like this vegan Cajun pasta.
What You’ll Need
- Dried pasta
- Olive oil
- Vegan sausage
- Vegan butter
- Bell peppers (red and green!)
- Black pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- Coconut milk
- Fire roasted tomatoes
- Red wine vinegar
- Parsley, scallions and/or chives
How to Make Cajun Pasta
Start by cooking your pasta according to the package directions. Drain it when it’s done, then toss it with some olive oil to prevent sticking.
While the pasta cooks, brown your vegan sausage in a skillet. Chop it into small pieces and cook it over medium heat, flipping it from time to time, until it begins to brown. Remove it from the skillet when it’s done.
Now melt some vegan butter in the skillet and add your peppers and onion. Cook everything for about 10 minutes, to start softening it up, then add your garlic and spices. Continue cooking everything for a minute or so, until it becomes very fragrant.
Next, sprinkle in some flour. Stir the mixture to coat your veggies with flour. Continue cooking everything for about a minute.
Slowly start adding your coconut milk, stirring all the while to prevent the flour from forming any lumps. Once all of the coconut milk has been added, stir in your tomatoes, raise the heat, and bring your sauce to a simmer. Lower the heat and let it cook until it thickens up a bit and the peppers are soft.
Stir in the vinegar and season the sauce with salt to taste. Now stir in your pasta and sausage, then take the skillet off of the burner.
If you’d like a little extra heat you can season your pasta with some extra Cayenne pepper or some hot sauce. Sprinkle it with parsley, scallions, and/or chives before serving. Dig in!
Vegan Cajun Pasta Tips & FAQ
- Can this recipe be made gluten-free? I’m pretty sure it can, but I haven’t tried. My best suggestions would be to substitute an all-purpose gluten-free blend for wheat flour, and use your favorite gluten-free pasta and vegan sausage.
- Does the sauce taste like coconut milk? Not to me, but if you absolutely hate the taste of coconut milk, try subbing cashew milk.
- What brand of vegan sausage works best with this recipe? I used Field Roast Mexican Chipotle Sausage, which I recognize is not a Cajun flavor, but it’s smoky and spicy and it works!
- Not into vegan sausage? Try subbing vegan meatballs (the ones from my gumbo recipe would work well), seitan, or even chickpeas. You could also just leave it out.
- Is this recipe spicy? If you use 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and no hot sauce it will have a little kick. Also, if you use the Field Roast chipotle sausages like I did, they’ll add quite a bit of heat. For a milder version, leave out the cayenne pepper. For an extra spicy version, use extra cayenne and/or hot sauce.
- Leftovers and storage: Leftovers will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 3 days.
Vegan Cajun Pasta
This easy Cajun pasta is packed with spicy flavor! Made with vegan sausage, peppers, and fire roasted tomatoes in a creamy sauce, it's both comforting and easy to make.
- 8 ounces dried penne pasta (or pasta shape of choice)
- Dash olive oil
- 2 vegan sausage links, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 medium green bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 2 (14 ounce or 400 gram) cans fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- Salt, to taste (I used 3/4 teaspoon)
- Hot sauce, to taste (optional)
- Chopped fresh parsley, scallions, and/or chives, for serving
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook it according to the package directions. Drain the pasta into a colander, return it to the pot, and toss it with a dash of olive oil.
While the pasta cooks, place a large skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the sausage.
Cook the sausage for about 5 minutes, flipping occasionally, until browned. Remove the sausage from the skillet and transfer it to a plate.
Melt the butter in the skillet, then add the onions, red bell peppers, and green bell peppers. Sweat the veggies for about 10 minutes, until they begin to soften.
Add the garlic, paprika, thyme, oregano, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to the skillet. Sauté everything for about a minute, until very fragrant.
Sprinkle in the flour and stir to form a paste that coats the veggies. Continue cooking and stirring for about a minute.
Slowly add the coconut milk, a bit at a time, stirring between additions to work out any lumps formed by the flour.
Once all of the coconut milk has been added, stir in the tomatoes.
Bring the sauce to a boil, lower the heat, and allow it to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until it thickens up a bit and the peppers become tender.
Stir in the vinegar. Season the sauce with salt to taste, and optionally some more cayenne pepper and/or hot sauce.
Stir in the pasta and sausage, then remove the skillet from heat.
Sprinkle the pasta with parsley, scallions, and/or chives. Serve.