Get into the holiday spirit when you make this Vegan Christmas Pasta featuring homemade red and green sauces and your favorite toppings. Not only is it loaded with incredible flavors, the presentation is a feast for the eyes. And it's ready to enjoy in just 15 minutes!
What do you get when you top curly corkscrew noodles with a combination of red and green sauces? An easy festive holiday dish everyone will enjoy!
Based on my recipes for short-cut tomato paste pasta sauce and vegan basil pesto, vegan Christmas pasta is gorgeous to look at and delicious to eat. And it's quick and easy to prepare in the amount of time it takes to cook a box of pasta.
Enjoy it with all your favorite vegan Christmas recipes for Christmas dinner and throughout the holiday season.
Why you'll love this recipe
- It's perfect for easy holiday entertaining and family dinners.
- You can make it in just 15 minutes.
- It looks festive and tastes amazing.
In addition to the ingredients for the sauces shown above, you'll also need pasta, either traditional semolina, whole wheat, or gluten-free. I like to use rotini or fusilli, but any shape will work such as penne or even spaghetti.
- Garnish your vegan Christmas pasta with toppings such as cherry tomatoes, avocado, pine nuts, and fresh herbs.
- Make this dish with other red and green sauces such as cashew and sun-dried tomato pasta sauce and avocado and basil pasta sauce.
- For a heartier red sauce, add walnut meat crumbles or your favorite plant-based meat substitute.
- Short on time? Skip the homemade sauces in this recipe and use store bought marinara sauce and pesto.
For the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions, please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
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Prepare the pasta
Cook the pasta in a large pot according to the package directions until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, start to make the sauces.
Make the red sauce
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare the red sauce by sauteing garlic in olive oil in a large pan. Then adding tomato pasta, water, Italian seasoning, and a bay leaf to the pot.
- Simmer, then add a splash of balsamic vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Make the green sauce
- While the red sauce is simmering, add the ingredients for the green sauce to the bowl of a food processor.
- Process, scraping down the sides, as necessary, until the sauce is combined.
Put it all together
- Divide the cooked and drained pasta equally among two mixing bowls.
- Add the red sauce to the pasta in one bowl, and the green sauce to the pasta in the other bowl.
- Toss well to combine each sauce with the noodles.
- To a serving bowl, add a scoop of red pasta followed by a scoop of green pasta. Continue alternating the pastas in a visually pleasing pattern.
- If desired, top the dish with tomatoes, avocado, and pine nuts and serve.
In addition, this pasta is delicious served with colorful Christmas salad or vegan broccoli and dried cranberries salad. Or enjoy it with red and green veggie sides like Mediterranean green beans and tomatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts and grapes.
Leftover pasta can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
According to The Spruce Eats, "The key to distinguishing the two is to remember that fusilli is made of strands of pasta twisted into little spring-like shapes, while rotini is typically extruded into a twisted shape. Rotini is more common in the U.S. and is produced by all major pasta manufacturers. The two can be swapped in recipes with similar results."
Most dried pasta such as spaghetti, penne, and rotini is typically vegan. However, fresh pasta found in the refrigerated section often contains eggs, so be sure to check the ingredients before purchasing.
Traditional pesto often contains dairy cheese such as Pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano. If you are making this recipe with store bought pesto, look for ones labeled vegan that do not contain cheese or other animal products.
More vegan pasta recipes for Christmas
And for even more recipes, join the Vegan Mediterranean Diet Recipes Facebook group for support, inspiration & fun!
If you love this recipe, please give it 5 stars! ★★★★★
Vegan Christmas Pasta Recipe
- 1 pound pasta, (gluten-free, if necessary) such as rotini (or your favorite shape)
For the red sauce:
For the green sauce:
- 2 cups packed basil leaves, large stems removed and discarded
- ½ cup toasted pine nuts, (Or substitute walnuts. For a nut-free version, substitute hemp seeds.)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
- salt, to taste
- up to ¼ cup cold water, as needed
- optional toppings such as quartered or halved cherry tomatoes, diced avocado, and/or pine nuts
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Meanwhile, make the sauces following the directions below. Drain the cooked pasta and set it aside until the sauces are ready.
To make the red sauce:
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in the tomato paste, water, Italian seasoning, and bay leaf. Bring to a low boil, then lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. (Prepare the green sauce following the directions below while the red sauce is simmering.)
- Remove the saucepan from the heat. Discard the bay leaf. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste. Add in a splash of balsamic vinegar and stir to combine. Set the sauce aside until you're ready to assemble the pasta dish.
To make the green sauce:
- Add the basil, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt to the bowl of a food processor.
- Process, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until a chunky paste forms. You should still see bits of the basil leaves. Add up to ¼ cup of cold water if the mixture is too thick. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
- Divide and transfer the cooked pasta to two large mixing bowls.
- Add the red sauce to one bowl of pasta and toss well to coat.
- Add the green sauce to the other bowl of pasta and toss well to coat.
- To a large serving bowl add a scoop of red pasta followed by a scoop of green pasta. Continue alternating in a visually pleasing pattern until all the pasta from the mixing bowls is in the serving bowl.
- If desired, top with cherry tomatoes, avocado, and pine nuts and serve. (Alternatively you can skip the serving bowl and combine the red and green pastas and optional toppings in individual pasta bowls or plates.)
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Nutritional information is an estimation only.