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Zesty Cilantro Cream Pasta with Roasted Paprika Tomatoes (Vegan)
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5 from 1 vote

Zesty Vegan Cilantro Cream Pasta with Roasted Paprika Tomatoes

Warm pasta is tossed in a zesty cilantro cream sauce and topped with roasted paprika tomatoes. The creamy sauce is balanced and brightened by the lime juice, fresh cilantro, zesty garlic, and peppery arugula. The roasted tomatoes add a subtle smoky flavor and just a hint of sweetness. The combination comforts like an alfredo pasta yet the range of flavors is vibrant of fresh like a vegetable-laden spring or summer pasta.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Bigger Bites, Entrée, Pasta
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, plant-based, Vegan
Servings: 4 servings


Roasted Paprika Tomatoes

  • 3 cups grape or cherry tomatoes (or a mix of both), halved
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Sea salt, to taste


  • 12 ounces gluten-free rigatoni, penne, or fusilli pasta
  • 2 cups baby arugula, chopped

Zesty Cilantro Cream Sauce

  • 2 ½ cups small cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Silk Original Almondmilk
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled, to taste
  • 2 scallions (green onions), ends trimmed so that only the white and light green parts remain
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Dash of cayenne pepper (optional, for a kick of heat)
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, very finely chopped


For the Roasted Paprika Tomatoes

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large rimmed baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Add the halved cherry tomatoes to the pan, drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with the smoked paprika and sea salt. Toss to coat and spread out into an even layer across the pan. Roast the tomatoes for 18 to 22 minutes or until they're tender, blistered, and just beginning to turn golden-brown on the edges. Remove from oven and let cool on pan.

For the Pasta

  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water, and transfer the cooked pasta to a large bowl. Add the chopped arugula, toss, and set aside.

For the Zesty Cilantro Cream Sauce

  • Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets to the pot and boil for 7 minutes or until very fork-tender. Strain off the water.
  • Add the boiled cauliflower florets, almond milk, garlic, scallions, nutritional yeast, olive oil, lime juice, sea salt, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper (if using) to a high-speed blender. Blend on high for 1 to 2 minutes or until completely smooth and creamy.
  • Pour the sauce into a large saute pan. Turn heat on medium and stir constantly for 3 to 5 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Stir in the chopped cilantro. Then, add the pasta and arugula to the pan and toss to coat. Heat for 2 minutes or until the sauce thickens and clings to the pasta. If needed, add pasta water, ¼ cup at a time, to thin the sauce. Remove from heat.

To Assemble

  • Scoop the pasta into pasta bowls and top with the roasted cherry tomatoes.