Vegan Garlic Pasta (40 Cloves!)

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You read the title right…this vegan garlic pasta is made with 40 cloves of roasted garlic! The creamy sauce base is combined with soft, buttery, slightly sweet, roasted garlic cloves and fresh thyme. Garlic lovers will go crazy for this dreamy pasta dish that is filled with flavor.


  • Easy – Most of the time in this recipe is waiting for the garlic to roast ! Otherwise you just need to cook your noodles and make a simple vegan cream sauce.
  • Flavorful – Roasted garlic is NOT pungent – it’s buttery, soft, and slightly sweet and creates a dreamy pasta dish.
  • Healthy– Garlic has lots of health benefits like high antioxidants and may even protect against colds/illness!
  • Vegan, dairy-free

Don’t run for the mouthwash yet! This roasted garlic pasta does not have the pungent flavor you might expect!

Roasting causes the natural sugars in garlic to caramelize, resulting in a sweet and mellow flavor. This process reduces the sharpness and intensity of the garlic taste found in raw cloves.

Also, allicin, the compound responsible for the pungent and sharp taste of raw garlic, breaks down during the cooking process. As a result, the roasted garlic has a milder and less pungent flavor.

Ingredients

Ingredient notes:

  • Garlic cloves: You may be wondering if you have to truly peel 40 garlic cloves…and the answer is you can, but I would recommend buying it pre-peeled. It’s not too costly at the grocery store and saves SO much time.
  • Fresh thyme: This compliments the roasted garlic cloves and pairs well in our pasta dish. If you have extra thyme, make these roasted carrots and asparagus with fresh thyme! (Makes for a great side dish with this recipe)
  • Linguine: I love this type of pasta noodle for this recipe! You could try other ones like spaghetti, farfalle, and more.

See recipe card for full ingredient list and quantities.

▶︎Love garlic? You will go crazy for these Garlic Lemon Herb Potatoes or my flavorful Garlic Fried Rice! You can also make Smoked Garlic that is amazing on toast or potatoes!

📝Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Preheat oven 300 F.

Combine 35 of the 40 cloves with thyme leaves and olive oil in a small bowl. Stir until combined. Bake in a small oven safe dish or a small baking sheet for 40-45 minutes until very soft (can poke/press with a fork to check).

Step 2: Meanwhile, cut up 5 extra garlic cloves into thinly sliced pieces and cook over the stove with a dash of olive oil over low heat to make some garlic chips for topping. Set aside.

When the roasted garlic is almost ready, start to boil the water for the noodles. Cook only until al dente.

Step 3 (Making a roux): In a large saucepan, add in 1 tbsp of olive oil and flour over medium heat. Mix until combined and starting to bubble.

Step 4: SLOWLY add in 2 cups of warm or room temp milk while whisking. Stir continuously over medium heat for 8-10 minutes until it thickens. Add in salt and pepper.

Step 5: Once your roasted garlic is done, use a fork to smash the pieces (this part is fun!). I smashed mine right in the pan.

Step 6: Add the roasted garlic (along with it’s infused olive oil) to the sauce and stir until combined. Taste and add more salt if desired. Add in the cooked pasta and use a tongs to combine. Plate your pasta and sprinkle on your garlic chips and fresh thyme if desired. Enjoy!

▶︎Craving more pasta? Try out these sweet potato noodles in this Korean Tofu Noodle Bowl, this Creamy Mushroom Rigatoni, or add a delicious easy white wine sauce for your pasta dish!

❓Recipe FAQs

How do I store leftover garlic pasta?

Store leftover garlic pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, sprinkle a bit of water on the pasta and heat it in the microwave or on the stove, stirring occasionally to maintain its texture.

What else can I add to this garlic pasta?

You can add a medley of roasted vegetables (zucchini, mushrooms peppers, and more) , sautéed spinach, vegan Parmesan, toasted pine nuts, fresh basil, lemon zest, or sun-dried tomatoes. Also consider adding in some protein like chickpeas or vegan chicken strips.

What are some quick and easy side dishes that pair well with garlic pasta?

Serve garlic pasta with a side of simple salad like this spring salad recipe, roasted vegetables (like broccoli & zucchini or asparagus & carrots), roasted artichokes, or garlic bread.

Why is my sauce clumpy?

A roux cream sauce may turn out lumpy due to insufficient whisking during the incorporation of milk, causing the flour particles to clump together. Whisk your sauce continuously until its thickened. Rapidly adding cold liquids to a hot roux can shock the mixture, resulting in uneven dispersion and the formation of undesirable lumps. I recommend warming your milk to room temperature before adding. Cooking on high heat will also cause your roux to become clumpy. Cook over medium heat for best results.


Pro Tips


  • Cook the garlic in a lower heat oven to slowly release its flavors. This will give you a deep, rich taste without the bitterness that can come from high heat. I cooked mine at 300 F for 40 minutes (but you can leave it in there up to 50 minutes- just watch it so it doesn’t burn).
  • Cook the pasta just until it’s al dente for the best texture in your pasta.
  • Whisk your creamy sauce consistently for 8-10 minutes for the creamiest sauce!
  • This dish is easily customizable. I highly recommend roasting some veggies to go along with it!
  • I love to finish off my pasta with a little parmesan cheese (choose vegan if dairy-free) and fresh thyme!

⇨ Other Delicious Pasta Dishes ⇦

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Vegan Garlic Pasta (40 Cloves!)

Allie Petersen
Garlic lovers will go crazy for this 40 clove garlic pasta that combines soft, buttery, sweet roasted garlic with a vegan cream sauce. One bite and you will fall in love with this dreamy pasta dish!
5 from 41 votes

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 520 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 40 cloves of garlic peeled* (see note)
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup olive oil + 1 more tbsp for the roux
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cup non-dairy unsweetened milk room temp (see note)*
  • 10 oz linguine noodles
  • 1/2 tsp salt add more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • more fresh thyme leaves for garnish optional

Optional Additions

  • roasted zucchini, mushrooms, sauteed spinach, chickpeas, and more!

Instructions
 

Roast Garlic & Cook Pasta

  • Preheat oven 300 F. Combine 35 of the 40 cloves with thyme leaves and olive oil in a small bowl. Stir until combined. Bake in a small oven safe dish or a small baking sheet for 40-45 minutes until very soft (can poke/press with a fork to check).
  • Meanwhile, cut up 5 extra garlic cloves into thinly sliced pieces and cook over the stove with a dash of olive oil over low heat to make some garlic chips for topping. Set aside.
  • When the roasted garlic is almost ready, start to boil the water for the noodles. Cook only until al dente.

Making Your Roux

  • In a large saucepan, add in 1 tbsp of olive oil and flour over MEDIUM heat. Mix until combined and starting to bubble.
  • Take the pan off the heat. SLOWLY add in 2 cups of milk, whisking as you do. Add back to heat. Stir continuously over medium heat for 8-10 minutes until it thickens. Stir in salt and pepper.
  • Once your roasted garlic is done, use a fork to smash the pieces (this part is fun!). I smashed mine right in the pan.

Combine your Pasta

  • Add the roasted garlic (along with it's infused olive oil and herbs) to the sauce and stir until combined. Taste and add more salt if desired.
  • Add in the cooked pasta and use a tongs to combine. At this point you can add in any roasted veggies.
  • Plate your pasta and sprinkle on your garlic chips and fresh thyme. Enjoy!

Notes

⭐️You may be wondering if you have to truly peel 40 garlic cloves…and the answer is you can, but I would recommend buying it pre-peeled. It’s not too costly at the grocery store and saves SO much time. 
Tips for making the vegan cream sauce (roux):
  • Cook on medium heat. Too high of heat will cause it to burn/clump. 
  • Whisking is key to a smooth roux. Be diligent in whisking, especially in the beginning stages when you’re combining the flour and fat.
  • Warm your milk to room temperature to avoid clumping. I popped mine in the microwave for 20-30 seconds which helped warm it up quickly. 
  • If your sauce is clumpy at the end – STRAIN IT! 

Nutrition

Calories: 520kcalCarbohydrates: 69gProtein: 15gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gSodium: 360mgPotassium: 458mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 550IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 242mgIron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Comment below & tag @naturallieplantbased on Instagram!

6 Comments

  1. Why not roast the whole head of garlic? I do that and then smash out the insides and pulverize it and use it in my recipes. Wouldn’t that work with this recipe?

    1. Hi Valerie-
      That’s a great question! The reason I did not use whole heads of garlic is because it can vary so greatly how many cloves are in them (some have 5, others have up to 25!) so to keep it more accurate, I specified 40 peeled cloves. Now you could guess the approximate clove # by looking at your head of garlic and aim to get close to 40 (but doesn’t have to be exact) 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    As a garlic lover, this recipe is perfect for me! I made it last night and it was amazing! Thanks so much for this recipe. Another addition to my rotation!

  3. 5 stars
    I can never get enough garlic so this was my kind of pasta! So good and the garlic really is well balanced!

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