This homemade Pink Sauce Pasta is made creamy with the perfect blend of marinara and coconut cream for a lighter twist. It's prepared in 1-pot with just 11 ingredients, convenient for quick dinners, easy meal prep, and cooking with pantry staples!
📋 About the Recipe
- Made creamy with coconut cream. Traditional tomato cream sauces use heavy cream or Alfredo but this lighter version is just as decadent and you can't even taste the coconut at all!
- One pot pasta! Just like my Bucatini Cacio e Pepe, pink sauce pasta is great for busy weeknights or easy meal prep.
- Comforting meatless meal. If you're looking for meatless meals that are filling and delicious enough to please the whole family, this pink sauce pasta is the ticket! Serve with my homemade garlic bread for the perfect addition!
- Add veggies for a boost of nutrition! This pasta is delicious enough on it's own, but if you've got vegetables in the fridge that need using, add them in to make this pasta even more healthy and filling.
A few notes about the ingredients:
- Marinara - To make this pink sauce realistic for weeknights, opt for a high quality store-bought marinara like Rao's or La San Marzano's.
- Crushed tomatoes - Adding a can of crushed tomatoes is going to add a bit of texture to the pasta sauce, resembling the texture of a homemade tomato sauce.
- Coconut cream - The ingredient that transforms this marinara from a classic red sauce into a pink, rose pasta sauce! Note that coconut cream is not the same as coconut milk. Coconut cream has a higher fat content because it is made with more coconut and less water.
- Frozen peas - An easy addition of vegetables. Try adding broccoli, spinach, or kale too!
- Pasta - I recommend using penne, ziti or rigatoni pastas with this hearty pink sauce because the sauce can get inside the hollowness of the pasta, adding flavor to each bite.
- Cook the pasta in salted boiling water for 2 minutes less than package instructions. Drain over a colander and set aside.
- In the same pot over medium heat, sauté the garlic and onion in olive oil until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent the garlic from burning.
- Add the marinara, crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, dried basil, red pepper flakes, and kosher salt.
- Stir to combine and evenly incorporate the spices. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes to thicken.
- Add the coconut cream and stir again to combine.
- Stir the peas and parmesan cheese into the pasta until the parmesan has melted.
- Fold in the pasta until coated.
- Serve warm with additional parmesan cheese, as desired.
⁉️ Substitutions and Alterations
- Instead of coconut cream: substitute with heavy cream.
- For more protein: add broccoli or other green vegetables. You can also add lobster, shrimp, or chicken.
- If preferred, the frozen peas can be omitted.
- If you cannot find crushed tomatoes without added salt, it is okay to use crushed tomatoes with added salt. If doing so, omit the ¼ teaspoon kosher salt.
- Parmesan is optional, but highly recommended!
❄️ How to Store
To store: This pasta keeps well in the refrigerator and can be stored for up to 5 days.
To freeze: Freezing pink sauce pasta is not recommended because the coconut cream will separate from the marinara once frozen and will result in a chunky unappetizing sauce once thawed.
To reheat: Reheat any leftovers in the microwave or warm through on the stovetop. Serve leftovers with additional parmesan cheese.
Pink sauce originated in Italy and is made by combining marinara tomato sauce with Alfredo sauce or a cream base to make the "pink" color. It is also often referred to as Parma Rosa, rose pasta sauce, or blush sauce.
Both pink sauce and vodka sauce are made by combining cream with marinara tomato based sauce, but pink sauce is slightly different in that it is not made with any vodka.
It's tangy from the tomato sauce but creamy from the coconut cream. It is slightly less acidic than your typical marinara since the cream helps to balance the flavors. It's the perfect blend of both, resulting in a velvety pasta sauce.
💭 One More Tip
Be sure to slightly undercook the pasta so it does not get too mushy and overcook when added to the sauce.
🍴 Related Recipes
Share your cooking with me! If you make this recipe, I'd love to know! Tag @yourhomemadehealthy on Instagram or leave a comment with a rating and some feedback at the bottom of this page!
Pink Sauce Pasta
- 1 pound rigatoni, penne, or ziti pasta (16 ounces) whole wheat optional
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ¼ cup chopped yellow onion (around ½ an onion)
- 1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic (around 3 garlic cloves)
- ½ cup high-quality marinara sauce I used Rao's brand
- 14.5 ounces no salt added crushed tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt plus extra for pasta water
- ¾ cup coconut cream SEE NOTES
- ½ cup frozen peas
- ½ cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
- Bring water to boil in a large pot. Season with salt and add pasta. Boil pasta 2 minutes less than the package instructions. Drain in a colander and set aside.
- Place the same pot back on the stove over medium heat. Add olive oil. Cook the onion and garlic about 5 minutes until the onion softens. Stir intermittently so the garlic does not burn.
- Add the tomato sauces and seasonings. Stir to combine.
- Simmer the sauce on low for about 10 minutes to slightly thicken.
- Add coconut cream. Stir again to combine.
- Mix in peas and parmesan cheese.
- When the cheese is melted, fold in the pasta until each noodle is fully coated in the sauce.
- Serve warm with an extra sprinkle of parmesan cheese over top.
- To measure the coconut cream, pour cream and liquid out of the can into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk together until smooth and creamy. Then, measure ¾ cup to add to the tomato sauce.
- Make sure to slightly undercook the pasta so it doesn't get mushy when you add it back into the pasta sauce.
Want more recipes like this delivered right to your inbox? Be sure to subscribe above and never miss a thing!