Vegan and gluten-free Creamy Chili Sauce with Zucchini, Spinach and Pasta. An incredibly creamy, rich and yet light with no oil or butter. Just whole food ingredients. So much flavor from Italian dried herbs and chili powder and tomato sauce.
If there was ever a throw-together meal that turned out amazing, this is it!! I’m sharing another sauce and pasta dish today. Sauces are one of my favorite things to create, as if it wasn’t obvious by now. My collection is huge. Wellll, this is sooooo good, creamy, amazing, filling, “restaurant-worthy”, as my hubby said. You all wanted this recipe sooo bad when I shared this quick phone snap of my dinner 2 nights ago. Regardless of the fact that I’m a blogger, I do not like to measure ingredients. In fact, I’m a throw-together kind of cook, and even baker. A lot of my dinners I just throw together on instinct and taste as I go. I’ve always done the same when I create cakes, cookies, etc. I have literally had to make myself start writing things down as I’m creating, in case it turns out, I can easily remake it and post it here. I do that now for my baked goods, except for cookies. If I’m craving cookies, I hardly ever measure, unless I’m following a specific recipe of mine, I will just throw everything into a bowl. I’m always pressed for time, so measuring takes longer. However, it is very important to get the right amounts for a recipe to be posted, so the results turn out right for you guys. In that case, I’m very precise in what I post here.
This recipe today, Creamy Chili Sauce with Zucchini, Spinach and Pasta, is infused with a good dose of chili powder (hence the name). I mean, look at all those yummy specks of chili powder in the sauce.
I wasn’t even thinking of creating for the blog, I was just in a hurry to make dinner. As you know, I share my dinners and lunches often with you all on Facebook and IG. Well, I quickly rushed to remake this one and actually write down measurements so I could share the recipe, since the response was so big. So, I hope you are all happy and scarf it down in mere seconds the way my family did. It is THAT GOOD.
I love proving you don’t need animal products to make a delicious dish. Vegan substitutes are soooo easy. Instead of dairy cow milk, I love to use cashew milk, coconut milk and even almond milk. My favorite is cashew milk though, homemade, because it is the creamiest.
- 2 cups dry elbow pasta (I used GF brown rice pasta. You can use spiral or other short pasta, but wouldn’t recommend long noodles)
- 1 cup low-sodium veggie broth or water, more as needed (I used broth for more flavor)
- 1 loosely filled cup (130 g) finely chopped onion
- 2 small zucchini (365 g), sliced into rounds 1/4 inch thick, then in 1/4th’s (see video)
- 1 cup homemade cashew milk (SEE NOTE below how to make & regarding subs)
- 3/4 cup tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian spice blend (I use the McCormick blend, you want one with no salt or red pepper added)
- 1/2-1 tablespoon chili powder (SEE NOTE, not habanero, just a standard American chili powder. McCormick or Fiesta brand is good)
- 4 large handfuls fresh spinach (100 g)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt (notice in directions you are adding salt at different times)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- optional: 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- Make sure your veggies are chopped/prepared at the beginning, as the sauce comes together pretty quickly.
- Begin by bringing a large pot of water to boil for your pasta. Adding a lid will make it boil faster. Make sure to salt your water well so the pasta is well seasoned.
- Add the onion and broth to a large sauce pan over medium heat. Once it begins to simmer, cook 5 mins and then add the zucchini and just 1/4 teaspoon of salt at this time. Stir well and add cover. Turn the heat down to medium-low. It’s important to cover the zucchini so it cooks through well. Let it all cook about 8 minutes until the zucchini is nice and tender (no longer crunchy), but not mushy. Check it a couple of times to stir it and make sure there is enough broth, if necessary to keep the zucchini cooking, add a little bit more. You basically want most of the liquid gone though before the next step.
You can find complete recipes of this Creamy Chili Sauce with Zucchini, Spinach and Pasta in thevegan8.com