This one pot creamy garlic pasta is probably the closest recipe I’ll share to a vegan fettuccine alfredo*. Also, sorry in advance for a couple more pictures than usual today. (Now with a recipe video!)
The classic fettuccine alfredo recipe is made with fresh cooked pasta tossed in butter and cheese. The butter and cheese melt together to form a sauce. But nowadays in my neck of the woods, as American takes on dishes are wont to do, our version has managed to evolve to also have the additions of heavy cream, garlic, and more. Regardless, my vegan version has none of those things; but I’d say it’s closer to the bastardized American dish than the authentic original.
The one pot creamy garlic pasta recipe I have here is what I personally find to be an ideal preparation for a creamy vegan pasta dish. Because of the one pan method that cooks together the pasta and the sauce all in one pot, the sauce coats the pasta exceptionally well. Fettuccine is especially suited to coming out to a lovely al dente texture in the final product. Thankfully, if you prefer your pasta cooked differently it’s also easy to adjust.
As I was taking these photos, I was wondering to myself, is it about time for me to finally buy a tripod? Holding the camera in one hand, trying to look through the viewfinder and snap the photo, while maneuvering tongs with my other hand, was a pretty ridiculous exercise in balance. I would say that I was sad nobody was around to help me, but uh… I didn’t have to share this one pot creamy garlic pasta with anyone. Miraculously, the photos came out okay too.
When it comes to nondairy milk, my preferences have changed over the years. The only store-bought nondairy milk I buy nowadays is soy milk, and that’s simply for the reason that I can’t find any other products in my neck of the woods made without processed ingredients or sweeteners. I sometimes make almond milk and oat milk at home. My local grocer sells a soy milk that’s made with only soybeans and water, and in my mind the fact that I tried differently-produced soy milks in the past was why I thought I didn’t enjoy the flavor. Soy milk is also very creamy and thick which makes it a great choice for uses like this, but I understand that it’s not everybody’s cup of tea (milk?).
So while I recommend using an all-natural soymilk in this recipe (<- link is for informational purposes – I buy that brand but not in a 12-pack!), if you already know you dislike soy milk, then obviously don’t use it. Other choices with a higher water content may affect the cooking time and amount of liquid needed, but luckily with this recipe it’s fairly easy to adjust as you go. If you choose something other than soy, I recommend starting with just 1 cup of it and adding more as needed from there. And let me know how it goes!
This one pot creamy garlic pasta recipe is great with spinach added, or served alongside other veggies and sides of choice, and can easily accommodate the addition of your favorite “cheezy” ingredients too, so make it your own, but know that I also love it in its basic form printed here.
One Pot Creamy Garlic Pasta
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (see notes)
- 1 and 1/2 cups plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk (see notes)
- 1 tsp salt plus more to taste (reduce if using a salty broth - mine is low-sodium)
- 8 oz dry fettuccine
- black pepper, dried oregano and red pepper flakes to taste
- chopped fresh basil or parsley for serving
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. If possible, choose a skillet that is wide enough to completely fit the fettuccine. Smaller pans will work, but require a bit more fuss to stir and submerge the pasta as it cooks.
- Add the garlic and shallot to the pan along with a sprinkle of salt, and stir. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the garlic is softened and the shallot is turning translucent; avoid browning.
- Add the vegetable broth, nondairy milk, and salt, and stir. Add the dry pasta and gently prod it around to submerge it under the liquid. If not all of it fits now, you will need to gently push it into the pan after the submerged portion has softened later.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Stir occasionally, gently separating any pasta that starts to stick together. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened onto the pasta and the texture is to your liking. If too much of the liquid is cooking off, reduce the heat a little bit, and add more nondairy milk.
- Adjust seasoning to taste, and serve with fresh herbs and other toppings if desired. Best served immediately, but leftovers will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge (cool completely to room temperature before boxing up and refrigerating).
For a slightly 'cheesier' taste, try adding white or yellow miso paste, and/or nutritional yeast.
This recipe will taste bland if not properly seasoned, so be sure to taste it throughout cooking and add salt and other seasoning as needed.
You can finish the dish with a squeeze of lemon juice if you like, but I recommend only adding it to individual portions just before eating. The lemon juice will start to curdle the soy milk if left to sit, and may also have the same effect if other nondairy milks are used.
This recipe is as good as your nondairy milk and vegetable broth. If you do not like the taste of them on their own you will not like how this recipe tastes.
The cooking time will need to be adjusted for differently-shaped or thinner pasta. The simmer in step 4 should be fairly gentle otherwise too much liquid may cook off - though that's luckily an easy fix; but note that the cooking time will increase because the extra nondairy milk will cause the temperature of the overall cooking mixture to temporarily decrease.
*Never say never, of course. Recipe adapted and veganized from Damn Delicious.
Enjoy this vegan spin on a typically dairy-laden classic? Try some of my other recipes that kick milk to the curb: