This creamy Penne Arrabbiata is an easy, healthy dinner! It's made with spicy arrabbiata sauce, cashews and gluten free penne pasta. Mix in ground turkey, extra veggies or leave it plain for a dinner recipe that's just spicy enough.
This penne arrabbiata recipe is dairy free and gluten free! It's a super healthy recipe and makes it a perfect meal prep recipe. This is one of those recipes that gets better over time! Divide it up into containers and store in your fridge. I promise it will taste just as delicious on day 5 as day 1!
Why We Love This Penne Arrabbiata Recipe
On of my favorite things about this creamy penne arrabbiata pasta recipe is that it's both gluten free and dairy free. I recommend buying your favorite gluten free pasta at any local store. My favorite gluten free pastas are Ancient Grains and Banza (chickpea pasta).
This creamy penne arrabbiata is also dairy free! Instead of cream or cheese, this sauce is made creamy with cashews! I use cashews all the time to make things creamy without diary like my vegan turtle cheesecake and I swear by it.
Why is it Called Arrabbiata?
Arrabbiata sauce is a spicy pasta made with red chili flakes. It is a mildly spicy sauce and can be more spicy depending on the amount of red chili flakes you put in it.
Arrabbiata technically means "angry" in Italian and refers to the spiciness of the sauce. It definitely has a kick!
Adjust the Spice Level
But if you don't love spicy things don't be scared of this recipe! I don't love spicy at all, I have a pretty low tolerance for spice and I love it! The cashews cut the spiciness as well so that definitely helps. And if you love a creamy pasta recipe but don't want to the spice, you can definitely buy regular pasta sauce!
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
Watch How to Make Penne Arrabbiata
More healthy pastas:
- Creamy one pot buffalo chicken pasta (dairy free)
- One pot creamy cajun chicken pasta (dairy free)
- Homemade cauliflower gnocchi (whole30)
- Lemon garlic chicken asparagus pasta
Creamy Penne Arrabbiata (Dairy Free)
Creamy Arrabbiata Sauce
- 1 (24 ounce) can arrabbiata pasta sauce with no added sugar
- 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup water
- 8 ounces gluten free penne pasta my favorites are Ancient Grains or Banza Chickpea Pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound ground turkey optional
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Add 3-4 quarts of water to a large sauce pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the penne pasta and allow to boil for 9-11 minutes, stirring frequently. Check the time on your pasta box as cook time could vary.
- While pasta is cooking, add the arrabbiata pasta sauce, cashews, salt and water to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend on high for at least 3 minutes until cashews are completely broken up and the sauce turns a lighter color. Sauce should be mostly smooth. Set aside.
- If using ground turkey, heat olive oil over medium heat and add ground turkey. Sprinkle with sea salt an garlic powder. Brown and stir until cooked completely through. Set aside.
- Drain pasta water from pasta and add back to the large sauce pan. Add the pasta sauce and ground turkey to the pan and stir well to combine.
- Top with more chili flakes or chopped basil.
Hello Molly - where do you find Arrabbiata sauce? If I can find it here in Iowa is there a substitute?
Molly Leonard says
Hey Lyn! You can find arrabbiata sauce in the Italian section by all the other pasta sauce! It's just a spicier version of pasta sauce:) If you can't find it you can use a traditional marinara sauce and if you like heat you could add some red chili flakes!
Super simple and tasty pasta recipe! I had never had Arrabbiata sauce before and we loved it.
Molly Thompson says
We love the kick it has! But the cashews are a nice balance:) Thanks for taking the time to share!