Gluten-Free Vegan Pasta With Cauliflower & Caramelized Onions

February 15, 2018
This recipe is a special one for me to share because it's one that has been in my family for quite some time. My grandma made this pasta a lot when my dad was growing up and my dad made this pasta many times when I was growing up! This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and there is an option for grain-free (using spiralized zucchini noodles). This gluten-free vegan pasta is tossed with naturally sweet caramelized onions and fiber-rich cauliflower (with optional broccoli). By using gluten-free brown rice pasta or spiralized zucchini noodles, you'll be creating a lighter, healthier pasta dish with all the flavor payoff of a more traditional Italian staple.
Gluten-Free Vegan Pasta With Cauliflower & Caramelized Onions

Gluten-Free Vegan Pasta With Cauliflower & Caramelized Onions

Recipe Type: Hearty Entrees
utensils YIELDS 4-6 servings
herb graphic for recipe card
  • 3 medium red onions, diced
  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 head broccoli (optional)
  • 3-4 zucchinis, spiralized (if using instead of gluten-free pasta)
  • 16 oz package brown rice pasta or other gluten-free pasta
  • 1/2 red onion, diced, for sautéing zucchini noodles
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes, or less (optional)
  • fresh parsley for serving (optional)
        graphic for recipe card


1. Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium high heat and add diced red onions.
2. Sauté until caramelized, about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. While the onions are cooking, steam cauliflower (and broccoli, if using) in a separate pot for about 10-15 minutes, until just fork tender.
4. Cook pasta according to package instructions (if using). If you're planning to use zucchini noodles, add about 1/4 cup water and diced onion to a large pan.
6. Water sauté onion for about 5 minutes or until translucent.
7. Add zucchini and sauté for 5-7 minutes. The zucchini should be slightly tender, but still slightly crunchy.
8. Add chili flakes to the caramelized onions and sauté for a few minutes (if using).
9. Toss the cauliflower (and broccoli, if using) into the pot with the caramelized onions.
10. Add salt + pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
11. Add pasta or zucchini noodles and stir together.
12. Turn off heat. Top with fresh parsley to serve.

Also by Ashley: Vegan, Gluten-Free Lentil & Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie

Related: Creamy Sundried Tomato Pasta Sauce

Gluten-Free Root Vegetable Pasta

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Photos: Ashley Smaldino

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Ashley is an Integrative Nutrition Certified Health Coach and yoga and meditation teacher. She hopes to inspire others through her own journey with chronic illness and to teach the importance of self-love and mindfulness for living the life of your wildest dreams. Follow Ashley on Instagram @ashleysmaldino and YouTube.


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