This simple pasta curry is done within 25 minutes, packed with healthy vegetables and all made in one pan. It features a naturally vegan and healthier creamy curry sauce that bursts with amazing flavors. Perfect busy weeknight dinner for your whole family!
Here is another quick and easy delicious dinner you should try: one-pot curry pasta! It combines pasta, a curry cream sauce, and tons of healthy veggies. It is aromatic and packed with amazing flavors!
I have realized that swapping the rice for pasta when eating Indian-style curry sauces is super fun and delicious, plus our kids absolutely love it. This tikka masala pasta recipe is a favorite and we made it a few times, but now I am in awe with this yellow curry pasta dish.
The best part is how easy it is to make: everything is made in the same pan, including the raw noodles, yellow sauce and vegetables, so easy! You will save time and dirty dishes to clean up, perfect for a speedy weeknight dinner.
As a side note, it is hard to appreciate in the pictures, but the noodles are soaking in a creamy sauce that's super rich and silky. Cooking the noodles right into the sauce releases extra starches that make the sauce so heavenly and creamy. I wanted to avoid the heavier coconut milk this time to keep this dish lower in fat, so I used a small amount of vegan cream (or plant-based milk) instead just as a final touch, which worked out perfectly.
You can make this pasta dish as strong in spicy curry flavor as you wish and you can use other veggies that you like. It makes for a versatile, fuss-free and easy meal your whole family will love and you can whip it up within 25 minutes during busy nights.
Let me know if you gave it a try! ❤️
Why you will love this recipe
- Easy recipe and quick one-pan pasta meal
- Made without heavy cream
- Healthy and rich in antioxidants, thanks to yellow curry powder
- Packed with fiber-rich vegetables
- Filling and satisfying meal that will warm you up!
- Vegan and vegetarian
Ingredients you will need
(See below in the recipe card for the measurements)
- Pasta: I used regular wheat ziti pasta. You will need 8 ounces of pasta for this recipe, so if you have a box of 16 ounces, just use half of it.
- Onion: I used a yellow onion to add flavor to the curry sauce. Shallots or sweet onion would be great too.
- Garlic: adds great flavor to the sauce, add as much as you want.
- Carrots: You can use another vegetable, but I like how carrots add color, a mild sweetness that balances well the curry powder and a good bite to this dish. I find that chopping the carrots in larger pieces worked out well for the best texture.
- Green peas: use frozen peas for convenience, although in the summer feel free to use fresh peas. Peas are super sweet and go well here in a spiced sauce.
- Spinach: or any other leafy greens that you like, such as kale or collard green. I like baby spinach for its tender and soft texture (my kids like this kind of cooked green best).
- Maple syrup: or any other sweetener. Add to taste once the dish is almost done just to balance the flavor. You can omit it too if you feel it doesn’t need it.
- Vegetable broth: I like using concentrated vegetable broth as it is so convenient and much cheaper than the veggie broth by the box.
- Curry and turmeric powder: different brands of yellow curry powder will have different spicy levels, so you can adjust the amount depending on your personal preference. You can also look for a mild curry powder for a meal that's not too strong in flavor.
- Vegan cream or milk: to turn the sauce creamy and rich. I used the vegan creamer from the brand Nut Pods, but you can also use coconut milk or regular plain plant milk if you prefer!
How to make a pasta curry recipe
(See below in the recipe card for the full recipe)
Cook the vegetables
Warm up a large nonstick pan or large skillet over medium-high heat with a little bit of olive oil (I like oil spray), then add the onion with a pinch of salt. Cook for 6-8 minutes stirring often until softened and browned.
Then, add the carrot and cook for 2-3 minutes just to add some color to them. Do not cook them too much at this point, they will simmer with the broth.
Add the garlic and spices (curry and turmeric), stir and cook for one minute.
Pour the broth into the pan and add the uncooked pasta. Stir to make sure all the noodles are submerged in the broth, then cover.
Simmer the pasta on low-medium heat until they are al dente, about 8-10 minutes.
At this point, watch carefully: if it boils too much, turn down the heat and stir often so the noodles don't stick to the bottom. Stirring the noodles a few times also helps create a super silky pasta sauce. Add more broth if needed.
Finish up and serve
Once the pasta is al dente (even a little undone), then add the vegan cream or milk, frozen peas and baby spinach. Stir to combine and cover. Cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the peas are thawed and the spinach leaves wilted.
Taste the curry pasta sauce and adjust spices, salt and consistency to your taste. Serve while still warm, enjoy!
- I like to keep the dish covered for most of the time so the moisture stays trapped to help cook the pasta. If the sauce gets too thick before the noodles are done to your liking, then feel free to add an extra splash of veggie broth!
- On the other hand, feel free to uncover at any time while cooking the pasta if yours cooked quicker and you would like to thicken the sauce.
- Check on your pasta box to have an idea of how long they have to cook until al dente. All pasta cooks differently!
Serve warm with some freshly cracked black pepper. You can also add a drizzle extra of vegan cream for a beautiful look.
If you want to add a touch of freshness, then you can also splash some zesty lemon juice or lime juice when serving. This really brightens up the whole meal. You can also add some fresh herbs, especially cilantro.
This dish is also great with a side of crusty bread to dip in the delicious fragrant curry sauce. A simple baguette bread would work well, or serve with these whole wheat rolls, such a treat!
To add more protein to your meal, try including:
- High-protein vegetables, such as broccoli or double up on the amount of spinach
- Using whole wheat pasta also would boost this meal with more plant-based protein!
This curry pasta recipe is so versatile and you can play around with the spices and vegetables you are using. Here are some ideas:
- Ginger: this recipe would be great with some grated fresh ginger. Add some when you add the garlic.
- Fresh herbs: add a handful of fresh cilantro, parsley or even basil for a touch of freshness. You can add them to the sauce in the pan so the herbs wilt and blend better or simply garnish your bowls at serving.
- Spices: feel free to add more or less of the curry powder and turmeric powder depending on your spices tolerance. Other ground spices to try are garam masala, coriander, cumin and paprika.
- Cream sauce: as mentioned above, I avoided coconut milk this time and simply added a splash of vegan cream or milk at the end to finish up the sauce. But, you can also use coconut milk!
- Vegetables: you can use so many other vegetables that you like for this dish. Try broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini or mushrooms. Depending on how quickly they cook, you might want to add them halfway through cooking the pasta.
The pasta sauce tends to thicken while storing, so this dish is best when enjoyed right away. That being said, it still makes for good leftovers for lunch the next day!
Keep the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days and reheat using the microwave. You can add a splash of water before reheating if the sauce dries out too much.
I do not recommend freezing this recipe.
What type of pasta should I use?
I think for this recipe, short pasta works better as they are easier to stir around when making a one-pot pasta recipe. I used ziti noodles, but other pasta shapes such as farfalle, rigatoni, rotini or penne pasta would be great too. If you would rather use long noodles, then spaghetti, fettuccini or linguini would be fine.
Can I use whole wheat noodles?
Yes, you can! Whole wheat noodles might need a little more broth or moisture to cook properly, so add more if needed.
Is this recipe spicy?
Not really, but I have had curry powders that were spicier than others. So if you want to make sure yours isn’t spicy at all (such as if serving for kids), then add just enough to flavor without overpowering the taste and make sure to choose a mild curry powder.
Can I make this recipe gluten-free?
Yes, simply choose gluten-free pasta to make it, the rest of the ingredients are naturally GF.
Similar recipe to try
- Tikka masala pasta
- One-pot coconut curry ramen
- One-pan tomato cabbage spaghetti
- Creamy harissa pasta
- One-pot vegan hamburger helper
I hope you like this creamy curry pasta recipe as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
One-Pan Curry Pasta
- 8 oz uncooked pasta - I used ziti pasta, any other short pasta will work well too
- 1 yellow onion - sliced
- 2 large carrots - peeled and sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic - crushed
- 2 tsp curry powder - or more to taste
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 2 ½-3 cup vegetable broth - plus more for desired consistency
- ½ tbsp maple syrup - or other sweetener
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
- ⅓ cup vegan cream or coconut milk or regular plant-based milk (plain, unsweetened) - I used the plain vegan creamer from the brand Nut Pods
- Warm up a large nonstick pan with a little olive oil (I like using oil spray) and add the onion with a pinch of salt. Cook on medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes stirring often. Then, add the carrot and cook for 2 minutes (just enough to add some color, do not cook much as they will simmer in the broth).
- Add the garlic and spices (curry and turmeric), stir and cook for one more minute. Pour the broth over and add the uncooked pasta. Stir and make sure all the noodles are submerged. Cover and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer on medium heat until the noodles are al dente. Stay close and stir often so the noodles don't stick to the bottom of the pan and check on your noodle's packaging for an estimation of cooking time. Add more broth if needed.
- Once the noodles are almost done, then add the vegan cream or plant milk, frozen peas and spinach. Stir and cover, then cook for 2-3 minutes or until the peas are thawed and the spinach wilted. Taste and adjust salt, consistency (add more broth if it dries out too much) and curry powder to taste.
- Serve warm, enjoy!
- Storage tips: this pasta recipe is best when enjoyed right away since the sauce tends to thicken or dry out while storing. That being said, this recipe still makes for delicious leftovers: keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, then reheat them using the microwave (you can add a splash of water before reheating).
- You can easily customize this recipe with other spices or vegetables. Be sure to check out the blog post for more ideas!