Vegan Puttanesca Pasta

This vegan puttanesca pasta is full of bold, briny flavour. It’s a delicious and hearty plant-based version of a classic, Italian-inspired pasta dish. Unlike traditional puttanesca sauce, this vegan version is made without anchovies but has no shortage of flavour, thanks to generous amounts of capers and olives in the sauce.

Pasta with olives and capers on a plate.

How to make it

This puttanesca sauce is really easy to make. Start by sautéing some garlic in a bit of extra virgin olive oil in a large pot on the stove. Don’t allow the garlic to brown, just give it a quick sauté to cook the garlic through.

Next you’ll add the strained tomatoes, dried oregano, and dried chilli flakes. You can substitute crushed tomatoes if you can’t find any strained tomatoes (I like the strained tomatoes sold in glass jars that are made with Italian tomatoes).

You could also substitute fresh chopped tomatoes if you prefer. Just chop them up and toss them in the pot. You could also use a combination of fresh and canned tomatoes.

While the sauce is simmering, cook up your spaghetti according to the package instructions. I used gluten-free brown rice spaghetti, but you can substitute whatever type of pasta you prefer (and whatever shape pasta you like).

When the sauce is almost done simmering, you’ll add the olives and capers so they’ll have enough time to warm through and thoroughly flavour the sauce, but not so much time that they disintegrate.

Any type of olives work well in this recipe, but the bigger the better. I used Kalamata olives this time and cut them in quarters, leaving them nice and chunky.

The capers add an extra layer of salty, briny flavour to this dish, so definitely don’t leave those out. Be sure to drain the capers before adding them to the sauce or the flavour of their brine will overpower the sauce.

The final touch that pulls this vegan puttanesca pasta together is a garnish of fresh herbs at the end. Either basil or parsley add a hit of freshness that goes nicely with the briny flavour of the capers and olives.

Pasta on a plate.

More vegan dinner recipes

Pasta on a plate.
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5 from 1 vote

Vegan Puttanesca Pasta

This vegan puttanesca pasta is a plant-based version of a classic, Italian-inspired dish.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword dairy-free, gluten-free, plant-based, vegan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 303kcal


  • 340 grams brown rice pasta (or substitute your preferred pasta)
  • 4 cups strained tomatoes (or substitute crushed tomatoes)
  • 3/4 cup olives (pitted and cut in quarters)
  • 1/4 cup capers (drained)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • Optional garnish: fresh basil or parsley


  • Add the extra virgin olive oil and garlic to a large pot on the stove and sauté on low heat for approximately one minute to cook the garlic.
  • Add the strained tomatoes, oregano, and dried chilli flakes, then simmer on low heat, uncovered, for 25 minutes.
  • Add the olives and capers and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  • While the strained tomato mixture is simmering, cook the spaghetti in a separate pot according to the instructions on the package.
  • Drain the pasta and add it to the pot with the sauce, then simmer for one minute so the pasta absorbs some of the sauce.
  • Optional: garnish with fresh basil or parsley.
  • Makes 6 portions of vegan puttanesca pasta.


  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.


Calories: 303kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 689mg | Potassium: 480mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 448IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 2mg