This vegan pasta puttanesca recipe is an easy and incredible meal to impress everyone! Feels and tastes like a restaurant, but made as quick as fast food!
I love changing up my pasta flavors and this is one of the best. It doesn't hurt that it's made in under 30 minutes!
This post was originally published on October 20, 2016.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Terra's Kitchen. The opinions and text are all mine.
We love Italian food so options are important so we don't have the same meal over and over. While our tomato marinara sauce is a fam favorite, the best and most surprising part, is that our kids love this vegan puttanesca sauce too!
How to Make Vegan Puttanesca Sauce
This sauce is filled with amazing flavorbomb ingredients. You'd think by taking a glance that it would be too much, but the ingredients pair perfectly together! The added bonus is how quick and easy it is to throw together.
It is made of some very basic pantry type items, so if you're looking for a pantry recipe, it's a good one!
There are some traditional basic ingredients used in puttanesca sauce, but one of them, anchovies, is not vegan. However anchovies main attribution is the salt they contribute. So it's easy to substitute them.
Since capers have a similar flavor profile, and they already are used in puttanesca, they make a perfect substitute. Simply just use a little more to make up for the loss of anchovies.
Combine them with the other spices and flavors and you get a final product with total awesomeness!
- Crushed tomatoes
- Fresh parsley
- Kalamata olives
- Penne pasta
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese
Step by Step Instructions
Here are the few steps you need to get this done in under 30 minutes:
- Combine the tomatoes, garlic, red pepper and salt with oil or broth and let it simmer to thicken.
- Add in the olives, capers, thyme and parsley.
- Toss with the pasta.
This recipe originated from a partnership I did with a meal service called Terra's Kitchen. Unfortunately they are no longer in business but I felt I needed to mention them since it was not my original creation.
While pasta is the obvious choice here. Any type of pasta works, even a gluten-free alternative you love. But you can also serve this on top of many other things! Here are a few things we've tried:
- Spaghetti squash
- Blanched zucchini noodles
- In a veggie lasagna, simple sub this for one of the layers or double it to use as the tomato sauce base
This would also go great with salad! You can use an actual salad recipe or simply add a side salad tossed with balsamic, sea salt and a drizzle of oil or broth if you are oil free.
Here are some salad recipes to try if you want something a little more involved:
- Lemon Kale Salad
- Watermelon Feta Mint Salad
- Grilled Romaine with Vegan Caesar Dressing
- Avocado Kale Salad
Dress up this dish with extra flavor with these plant based garnishes:
- Parmesan cheese (Just do yourself a favor and always have this on hand!)
- Feta Cheese
- Ricotta Cheese
- Or, drizzle with Creamy Vegan Alfredo Sauce
How to Add Protein
If you want to make this an all encompassing meal and add a serving of protein, there are a few things I would suggest:
- Store bought veggie based sausage.
- These chickpea sausage crumbles.
- Add some white beans to the sauce, you can add canned ones at the end.
- Crumble up some tempeh and add it in with the tomatoes at the beginning to give it an almost bolognese like feel.
There are actually many stories about where this name came from. Some resources say it was first called "alla marinara" and then the name changed after the second World War.
Other sources say it originated in the brothels, which is what the word "puttana" means.
And yet others say it was invented one night when the owner of a restaurant wanted to feed his hungry customers and simply threw together what he had.
Puttanesca sauce has a very salty bold and rich flavor. It combines the saltiness of the olives, capers and anchovies (if you use them) into the tomato sauce to result in the delicious end result.
Yes! Capers are simply flower buds that have been pickled. So they originate from a plant.
Yes! It is made of whole food ingredients and has some great nutritional benefits. The only thing to watch is if you have issues with sodium as it has a higher salt content.
More Vegan Italian Recipes
If you love Italian food, here are some other delicious plant based recipes to try:
- Vegetable Lasagna
- Vegan Pasta Bake
- 3 Ingredient Vegan Pasta Sauce
- Vegan Butternut Squash Lasagna Roll Ups
- Italian Wedding Soup
- Vegan Alfredo Sauce
Vegan Pasta Puttanesca Recipe
For the pasta:
- 2 cups crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1-3 teaspoons red pepper flakes , optional depending on how spicy you want it
- drizzle oil for sautéing , or broth if oil free
- ½ cup chopped parsley , save 2 tablespoons for garnish
- ¼ cup chopped kalamata olives
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 8 ounces penne pasta , gluten-free if needed or other shape of choice
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese , optional for serving
- Add tomatoes, garlic, red pepper and salt with oil or broth into a pan and simmer 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly.
- Stir in olives, capers, thyme and all but 2 tablespoons parsley (save for garnish).
- Cook 1 more minute or until thoroughly heated.
- Cook pasta according to directions on the box.
- Add pasta to the hot sauce and toss.
- Garnish with parsley and top with Parmesan if desired and serve!
- You can serve this with many things, like spaghetti squash if you don't want to do pasta.
- Parmesan is optional but highly recommended
- Nutrition facts do not include optional items
Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite, visit our site for more great plant-based recipes.
Nutrition and metric information should be considered an estimate.
I love how easy this was! Definitely adding to the regular rotation.
Anjali @ Vegetarian Gastronomy
Yum!! This pasta sounds delicious...those olives and tomatoes! I love veg friendly meal plans out there. This container it came in is outstanding!
It was delicious! It's an amazing company!
Oh I wish there was something like that at my end. Especially on busy week days when you really have not time on hands.
Perfect for busy days!
I know what you mean about foodies needing a break sometimes! Sounds like a great service, the ingredients look very fresh and flavorful.
We are people too! LOL! It is very fresh and flavorful!
I've heard of this service before but have never tried it. It's great.
Highly recommend it!! It's awesome.
Emma @ Supper in the Suburbs
I could really do with this. Our life is way too hectic atm and we aren't eating very well. Would love to come home to a dinner like this!
Isn't it awesome! So fresh and healthy! Hope things settle down.
This recipe look absolutely beautiful - you definitely showcased the Terra products extremely well. That "vessel" is a seriously cool way to deliver the meals!
Thanks so much! The vessel was awesome!
The Vegan 8
I had never heard of these before and they sound so amazing! I love, love that they send the ingredients so you can make it yourself instead of those pre-made meals that are full of sodium and crapola. This sounds fantastic and would make busy days so much easier, yet still fresh and healthy! That recipe sounds divine, so simple and fresh. I definitely need to try that! LOVE arugula and any excuse to use it is a win in my book! So cool you got to try them out!
It's such a great service for those that want fresh and healthy but don't have the time! It's a type A dream. You would love the organization of it!! LOL!
Linda @ Veganosity
This is so great for people who don't like to cook, or who don't have time to plan a menu. It looks like it would also be a great way to lift some weights. That container looks heavy-haha!
It totally is!! Ha! Yes, it's heavy but durable and so awesome!
dixya @food, pleasure, and health
i'd definitely try something like this esp when i have no time to plan or think of my meals yet want to enjoy cooking and eating at home!
Yes! It's perfect for that!
What an amazing service!!! To have everything prepped for you and ready to go sounds incredible...especially on the super busy days...or if you're a mom, that basically means every day ? That vessel is insane!!!! It's like a mini, well stocked, and very organized fridge. This recipe sounds delicious! Pretty much anything with kalamata olives will get my approval!
Oh it's amazing! A type A organization dream. It is literally the perfect thing for those busy people or those that just don't like prepping meals but want the healthy lifestyle!
This looks like the vegan version of Blue Apron! LOVE their recipe ideas. The pasta sauce for this recipe looks phenomenal!
It isn't all vegan, but they have tons of veggie and vegan options! And everything is so fresh and so easy to throw together! Huge recommendation from me!