This high-protein pasta sauce is plant-based but rich and creamy! You’ll love this healthy tofu pasta sauce on your favorite noodles!

high protein pasta sauce
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The secret ingredient in this high-protein pasta sauce is silken tofu! It’s an easy way to add protein to this sauce while adding creaminess to the texture. Blending it with just a few ingredients makes it easy to create a rich and flavorful sauce with no cooking required!

high protein pasta sauce ingredients

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Tofu: Silken tofu helps create a creamy and smooth texture. It adds richness and thickness to the sauce without the need for dairy. Be sure to use silken tofu, not firm tofu. If you don’t like tofu, try my cottage cheese pasta sauce instead! It’s rich and creamy and high in protein.
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes: Sun-dried tomatoes contribute a deep and intense flavor to the pasta sauce. They are dried tomatoes that have a concentrated, sweet, and slightly tangy taste, which enhances the overall richness of the dish. Be sure to use the kind that are packed in oil for the best flavor.
  • Garlic Powder: Garlic powder is a convenient way to infuse the sauce with savory garlic. If you prefer fresh garlic, you can substitute two to three cloves of minced garlic for the garlic powder, but keep in mind that raw garlic can have a sharp flavor.
  • Tomato Sauce: Tomato sauce adds a little umami flavor and serves as the primary source of acidity and sweetness in the dish. If you run out of tomato sauce, you can substitute crushed tomatoes or diced tomatoes that are blended until smooth.
  • Nutritional Yeast: Nutritional yeast is used to add a cheesy and umami flavor to the pasta sauce. It’s a common ingredient in vegan cooking and provides a good source of B-vitamins. If you don’t have nutritional yeast, you can use grated vegan cheese or a small amount of miso paste to introduce a similar depth of flavor to the sauce.

Additions and Variations

  • I like to add fresh basil and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes on top to add a little heat and spicy flavor. If you’re serving this to kids or you don’t like spicy pasta, you can skip the red pepper flakes.
  • If you don’t want to keep this recipe vegan, you could also add a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top. Or you can use vegan Parmesan cheese to add a little salty flavor to this creamy sauce.
  • If you’re not a fan of tofu but still want to enjoy creamy vegan pasta recipes, try my vegan vodka sauce, which uses cashew cream to create a cheesy texture.
  • I like to serve this with chickpea pasta. It’s a great way to get extra protein and fiber, but you can use any kind of pasta you like. This recipe makes enough sauce for about one-pound of pasta.
  • If you need to thin out the sauce, you can add a splash of plant-based milk like almond milk or just use a splash of pasta water.
  • ​This sauce can be blended in a blender or food processor.

Silken Tofu vs. Firm Tofu

The main difference between silken tofu and firm tofu is in their textures. Silken tofu is soft, delicate, and silky-smooth, similar to custard. It contains a higher water content and is typically packaged without excess water. Silken tofu makes it easy to create a creamy texture in things like desserts, smoothies, dressings, and sauces like this one.

On the other hand, firm tofu has a denser and more robust texture, holding its shape well. With lower water content, extra-firm tofu is versatile, suitable for grilling, stir-frying, sautéing, or inclusion in hearty dishes like tacos and egg rolls. The choice between silken and firm tofu depends on the desired texture and application in a given recipe. If you have leftover silken tofu, try making my tofu smoothie!

High Protein Pasta Sauce (4 of 7)

Types of Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes come in two primary types: dry-packed and oil-packed. Dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes undergo a process where fresh tomatoes are left in the sun until most of their moisture is lost, resulting in a chewy texture and concentrated tomato flavor. These tomatoes are typically sold without additional liquid and are rehydrated in water or oil before use in recipes.

On the other hand, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes are created by soaking fresh tomatoes in oil and herbs before sun-drying. Packed in the same oil and herbs, they have a softer, more tender texture compared to their dry-packed counterparts. Due to the infusion of oil and herbs, they boast a more intense, savory flavor. That’s why I recommend using sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil for this recipe. If you like sun-dried tomatoes, be sure to try my sun-dried tomato pasta!

What to Serve with Pasta

Try enjoying this pasta with garlic bread, this vegan chopped salad, or my healthy high-protein breadsticks! If you need more ideas of what to pair with this sauce, check out my full list of the best sides for pasta.

How to Store Leftovers

To store leftover pasta sauce, allow it to cool before transferring it to an airtight container. Store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. I do not recommend freezing this sauce as it may separate. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop in a large skillet when you’re ready to enjoy it. You may need to add as splash of water to thin the sauce.

How to Make Protein Pasta Sauce