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bowl of rigatoni with pesto sauce on a countertop next to a fork and basil leaves

Creamy Pesto Rigatoni

  • Author: Stephanie Dreyer
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Store-bought pesto and homemade roasted garlic cream sauce join forces to transform an ordinary pasta dish into a weeknight wonder.



For the Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce:

  • 1 head garlic, peeled (about 12 cloves)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews (Soak overnight if not using a high-speed blender.)
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the Creamy Pesto Rigatoni:

  • 1 lb rigatoni pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups store-bought or homemade vegan pesto
  • 1 1/4 cups Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and julienned
  • 1/2 cup vegan Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (optional)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn


For the Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce:

  1. Roast the garlic: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the garlic on a small sheet of foil. Fold the foil so that the garlic is completely covered and place the foil package on a sheet pan. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, until soft and spreadable.
  2. Blend ingredients together: When the garlic is done cooking, remove the cloves from the foil and place in a high-powered blender along with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth.

For the Creamy Pesto Rigatoni:

  1. Prepare the pasta: Boil a pot of water and cook according to package directions.
  2. Add in the sauces: When the pasta is done cooking, drain and immediately return to the pot. Stir in the pesto, Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce, and sun-dried tomatoes.
  3. Serve: Garnish with the vegan Parmesan cheese and basil.


  • Nut allergy? Substitute raw, shelled pumpkin seeds for the cashews.
  • Gluten Allergy? Swap the rigatoni for a gluten-free alternative.
  • Spoiler Alert: Creamy Pesto Rigatoni is best eaten when served but will stay fresh in an airtight container for 3-4 days. When reheating, stir in ¼ – ½ cup vegetable broth to prevent the pasta from drying out.
  • For non vegans: Add cooked, shredded chicken.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Main Meals
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
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