Quick garlic butter pasta that is creamy, rich, and comforting! This weeknight dinner can be tossed together in about 20 minutes, with minimal effort. The sauce recipe is vegan (dairy-free, eggless), super easy, and can be served with gluten-free pasta!
If you love a creamy vegan carbonara, you will most likely also enjoy this delicious pasta with garlic butter sauce. The scent of fried garlic in oil or butter is probably my favorite scent when it comes to food. It should be called “Garlic N°5” haha. But seriously, if you are also a garlic fan, you will understand what I mean.
In the past, I loved eating Spaghetti Aglio e Olio in Italian restaurants. It’s a simple dish containing garlic, olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and parsley. This pasta dish is very tasty, however, it didn’t agree with me because it contains loads of fat due to the oil and cheese. I wanted to create something similar, which has the flavor of pasta Aglio e Olio and the creaminess of a carbonara sauce, therefore, I made this garlic butter pasta.
Garlic Butter Sauce Ingredients
This homemade garlic sauce contains a little vegan butter, a lot of fresh garlic, plant-based milk, spices and a little cornstarch to thicken. You can use any other starch of choice, for example, arrowroot flour/starch, or potato starch. Tapioca flour or regular flour should be fine too.
I also love adding a little lemon juice which adds a nice refreshing kick! I once replaced a part of the dairy-free milk with white wine which turned out to be a success. Very flavorful and delicious! But this is of course optional. If you decide to give the wine a try, then I would recommend leaving out the lemon juice.
This pasta dish is not as greasy as pasta Aglio e Olio, yet it’s creamy like pasta carbonara without containing egg yolks, heavy cream, or Parmesan cheese.
The list of ingredients with measurements and nutrition facts (calories, etc.) can be found in the printable recipe card below.
How To Make Garlic Butter Pasta?
Everyone can make this vegan white garlic butter sauce and the recipe has only 5 simple steps. Check the following step-by-step photos:
STEP 1: Prepare your favorite pasta (regular pasta, gluten-free pasta, or grain-free pasta) first. Cook the noodles in a pot according to package directions. Then, drain most of the pasta water but reserve a little in a separate bowl (you might need it later to thin out the sauce).
STEP 2: For the sauce, heat vegan butter (or oil) in a large skillet and add garlic and the sliced pepper. Fry for about a minute, stirring frequently. Also, add all spices and stir to combine.
STEP 3: In a medium-sized bowl combine plant-based milk and cornstarch (or any other starch). Whisk until there are no lumps and pour the mixture into the skillet.
STEP 4: Let simmer for a few minutes. The sauce will quickly thicken. Now add lemon juice, hot sauce (or red pepper flakes), and also the cooked pasta. Stir to combine.
STEP 5: Finally, taste it and adjust seasonings. Add more salt/black pepper/spices/lemon juice if needed. If the sauce thickened too much, add a little of the reserved pasta water.
I also like to sprinkle this vegan pasta dish with nutritional yeast and garnish with fresh parsley.
Tips & Variations
How to store? Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you plan to make more sauce for e.g. meal prep, I would recommend cooking the pasta separately, as it tastes the best fresh, and to store the garlic sauce in an airtight container in the fridge.
Vegan butter: You can use margarine (typically vegan) or oil (e.g. olive oil) if you don’t have vegan butter.
Dairy-Free milk: Any plant-based milk like almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, etc. can be used.
Make it spicier or less spicy: If you love a spicy kick, simply increase the amount of hot sauce, add a chili, or some red pepper flakes. If you are sensitive to spicy food or have a toddler/kid, then leave out the hot sauce.
Add more veggies: Believe it or not, but when I created the recipe and took photos of the dish, I only had a few peppers in the fridge. However, you can add any other veggies of choice, for example, cooked broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, or even mushrooms!
Spaghetti: Use spaghetti to make creamy garlic spaghetti.
This White Sauce Is:
- Flavorful (garlicky)
- A little spicy
- Easy to make with simple ingredients
- Quickly prepared
Should you give this tasty garlic butter pasta a try, please leave a comment below, and don’t forget to tag me in your Instagram or Facebook post with @elavegan and #elavegan because I love to see your remakes!
If you love a creamy white sauce, make sure to also check out my delicious Vegan Alfredo Sauce. For other vegan pasta dishes, definitely visit this ultimate guide of my Vegan Pasta Recipes.
Garlic Butter Pasta
- 2 tbsp vegan butter or oil
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pepper sliced (e.g. red bell pepper)
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 3/4 tsp sea salt or less/more to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp hot sauce or more to taste (optional)
- 2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot flour (see notes)
- 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) plant-based milk (see notes)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 10 oz (280 g) pasta of choice, gluten-free if needed
- Fresh herbs to garnish (e.g. parsley)
- Nutritional yeast to taste (optional)
- You can watch the video in the post for visual instructions.Cook your favorite pasta (regular pasta, gluten-free pasta, or grain-free pasta) in a pot according to package directions. Then, drain most of the pasta water but reserve 1/2 cup (120 ml) in a separate bowl.
- Meanwhile, heat vegan butter (or oil) in a large skillet and add garlic and sliced pepper. Sauté for about a minute, stirring frequently. Add all spices and stir to combine.
- In a bowl combine plant-based milk and cornstarch. Whisk until there are no lumps and pour the mixture into the skillet.
- Let simmer for a few minutes until thickened, then add lemon juice, hot sauce (or red pepper flakes), and also the cooked pasta. Stir to combine.
- Taste it and adjust seasonings. Add more salt/pepper/spices/lemon juice to taste. Add some reserved pasta water if you prefer a thinner sauce.
- Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and garnish with fresh herbs. Enjoy!
- Milk: Any plant-based milk like almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, etc. is fine! You can also replace 1/4 to 1/3 cup (60-80 ml) of the milk with white wine. If you do, I would recommend leaving out the lemon juice.
- Cornstarch: Any starch can be used (potato starch, arrowroot flour). Regular flour should work too. You can also use less and cook the sauce longer until it thickens.
- More tips/variations and step-by-step photos are above in the blog post.
- Recipe serves 4. Nutrition facts are for one serving (1/4 of the recipe).
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically
If you are using Pinterest, feel free to pin the following photos:
This will go great with my lemon pepper chicken! Thank you!
Whoops, found this on google and didn’t realize it was a Vegan site. No offense was meant. I appreciate vegan cooking and I think this a fantastic recipe.
No worries, Thomas! I hope you will like the recipe. 🙂
This was good, and easy to make, thank you!
Glad you liked it, Janet! 🙂
Could I use oatmilk? Or do you think that would taste off?
That should be fine as long as it’s unsweetened.
I’ve made this recipe several times now. Changed the veggies each time – so delicious!
Sounds great, Gerry! So glad you like it. 🙂
This is hand down amazing, I used real butter and milk red chilli bits with the white wine. Thinked up and tasted just like I had used parmesan cheese
Fabulous! I added onion when I sauted the garlic. Added a handful of peas and fresh spinach and fresh basil. Used home made hemp milk . White wo e, no lemon. Sprinkle of nutriental yeast. Will definitely make again.
Sounds great, JoAnn. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
This recipe is super easy and very tasteful
Wonderful! I am glad it was a hit. 🙂
It had great flavor buttttt my was just slimy and gooey so it really grossed me out. Probably added to much powder
Did you use something different than cornstarch?
So delicious!! The depth of flavor was fantastic. I added spinach and marinated artichokes and it was very tasty.
Love the addition of spinach and artichokes! Thanks for your feedback, Meera. 🙂
I can’t believe how flavorful this was with so few ingredients. Very creamy too. I added vegan Italian sausage for extra protein.
Happy to hear you enjoyed it, Cat. Thanks for your feedback. 🙂