An easy recipe for creamy coconut milk pasta

12.1.21 | Recipe by Renz

A great weeknight dinner option to satisfy your family, this creamy dish made with pasta in coconut milk sauce is your best pick. Then add in some smoked sausage and bell peppers.

A big white bowl of creamy pasta with sausage and bell peppers.

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As much as I love cooking, I sometimes do not want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking some days.

Those times I try to make up dishes that are quick, not much work, and still pack a punch with taste.

This coconut milk pasta concoction hits all those points.

A delicious one-pot with luscious sausage and bell peppers simmered in a creamy pasta sauce with coconut milk. And we all love one pots, just like the chicken pelau, oil down and saltfish and rice. 

Hitting all the points needed for a great dinner option.


Why this dish is a must-try

This simple coconut milk pasta dish is sure to win over the hearts of readers with its creamy and delicious sauce. The rich and smooth texture of the coconut milk creates a luscious and indulgent sauce that perfectly coats the pasta.

The subtle coconut flavor adds a unique twist to the dish, giving it a tropical and fragrant taste that is both comforting and satisfying. And the hint of jerk gives it just the right amount of spice you need.

Not only is this dish a delight to eat, but it also offers the convenience of storing leftovers. The coconut milk sauce holds up well when reheated, allowing you to enjoy the same delicious flavors the next day. This makes it a great option for meal prepping or for busy weeknights when you need a quick and tasty meal.

This pasta recipe is a winner for its creamy and flavorful sauce.

Ingredient notes

The handful of ingredients for the dish is pretty easy and everything should be easily found in your pantry.

Sausage, bell peppers, coconut milk, onion and garlic. All ingredients for making this coconut milk pasta.

Make sure to check out the recipe card below for the full recipe with all the ingredients and their quantities.

  • Coconut milk - you can make your own milk using my recipe or get canned full fat coconut milk. And if you only have coconut cream, check the notes section for how you can substitute.
  • Jerk seasoning - it is best to use a marinade here versus dry seasoning. Check out my recipe to make your own jerk marinade or buy premade marinade. I especially like Walker's wood.
  • Sausage - You can use any sausage you want to use. I used a smoked sausage to give it a different layer of flavor.
  • Seasonings/Spices: I use fresh for this recipe but it can be replaced by onion powder and garlic powder

What kind of pasta to use

When making coconut pasta sauce, numerous types of pasta can be used, including spaghetti, linguine, rigatoni, penne, and farfalle. However, the type of pasta used will not affect the final result, as the delicious coconut milk sauce will complement any shape or size of pasta.

Whether you prefer the long, thin strands of spaghetti or the short, tube-shaped penne, the coconut milk sauce will pair perfectly with each type. The options are endless when it comes to combining different types of pasta with the rich and creamy coconut pasta sauce. So feel free to experiment with different pasta types and variations to create your unique pasta masterpiece.

How to make coconut milk pasta?

Since everything comes together quickly definitely get all your ingredients prepped. This means sausage sliced up, bell peppers julienned, garlic minced (I used my coffee grinder to mince mine up) and onions minced as finely as you want it.

Also, set your large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Make sure you add some salt and some oil to the water. Add your pasta and boil till ready.

Once those major things are fixed we are ready to go.

In a large skillet, heat some olive oil or coconut oil on medium-high heat, add in the garlic cloves, onions, and jerk seasoning, and let that heat up for about 2-3 minutes and the onions become opaque.

Add your sausages and bell peppers to the pot.

Sausage mixed up with bell peppers, jerk seasoning and onions.

Mix that up so that it gets coated with the jerk seasoning. Lower to medium heat then add in the coconut milk, and let it simmer down.

Simmer for another 3-5 minutes then add in the pre-cooked pasta.

Allow it all to simmer down till the sauce is thickened and is thickly coating the pasta.

Sausage mix with coconut milk added to it to simmer down.

Do not worry if the coconut milk is looking watery, just leave it to simmer, stirring occasionally and it will thicken. As it is thickening up add in some spinach or basil leaves.

When the sauce has reduced you can season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Pasta added to the sausage and coconut milk to now blend flavors.

What additional things could you add?

For this dish, there are several options for additions and substitutions to enhance flavor and cater to different dietary preferences and requirements.

Other protein options could include grilled chicken, shrimp, tofu cubes, or even cooked quinoa. For those looking to make the dish spicy, you can add red pepper flakes, a drizzle of hot sauce, or diced jalapeños. Note if using shrimp, add it at a later step when the milk has already started to thicken.

In terms of veggies, consider adding bell peppers, white mushrooms, broccoli florets, corn, sun-dried tomatoes, or snap peas for added crunch and nutrition. Additionally, you can customize the dish to be gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta and ensuring that any other condiments or ingredients are also free from gluten.

Substitutions can also be made based on dietary restrictions or personal preferences. For example, replacing regular pasta with zucchini noodles (zoodles) for a low-carb option.

There are many ways to customize this dish to cater to different dietary needs and to enhance the overall flavor to suit individual tastes.

Helpful tips for the best coconut milk pasta

When making this dish, it's important to choose the right type of pasta that will absorb the creamy sauce well. Fettuccine, linguine, or spaghetti are great choices, as their smooth texture allows them to hold the coconut milk sauce effectively

To cook the noodles, it's best to use a generous amount of salt in the boiling water. This not only seasons the pasta but also helps to enhance its flavor. Be sure to follow the package instructions for cooking time and taste the noodles for doneness before draining.


Welcome to our FAQs section, where we aim to answer some of the most common questions.

I have coconut cream and not milk, can I use it?

Don't worry if you just cream, which is different from the milk. Cream is thicker so you will need to dilute it some to use it in this recipe. Different creams have different fat content so you will need to use your eye and thin out to your liking. You can use water (you can use a cup of the pasta water) or vegetable broth to thin it out.

Can I use light coconut milk instead?

You can substitute with light, but it is more water content than the full fight so it will be thinner. You will need to add a cornstarch slurry to help thicken it up.

The finished dish of coconut milk pasta in a white bowl.

What to serve with it?

Coconut milk pasta sauce pairs well with a variety of pasta options, such as fettuccine, linguine, or penne. For a gluten-free option, try it with spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles. Some delicious side dish ideas to complement the creamy sauce include a fresh garden salad, garlic bread, or roasted vegetables like asparagus or broccoli.

Additional toppings such as grated parmesan cheese, toasted coconut flakes, or chopped fresh cilantro can add texture and flavor to the dish.

To add a fresh touch to the coconut milk pasta sauce, consider garnishing with a few basil leaves for a burst of herbal aroma and flavor. For those who enjoy a hint of spice, sprinkle a pinch of red pepper flakes on top to kick up the heat.

With these serving suggestions, you can create a delicious and well-balanced meal that is sure to impress your family and friends. Enjoy the creamy and flavorful coconut milk pasta sauce with your favorite pasta, paired with delicious sides, and topped with fresh basil leaves and a touch of red pepper flakes for an extra layer of flavor.

Storage and reheating leftovers of coconut milk pasta

To store leftover coconut milk pasta, transfer it into an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator promptly. The pasta can be safely stored for 3 to 5 days. To reheat the leftovers, there are a couple of options.

One option is to use the microwave. Simply place the desired portion of pasta in a microwave-safe dish, cover it with a damp paper towel to prevent drying out, and heat it in 30-second intervals until it reaches the desired temperature.

Another option is to reheat the pasta in a skillet on the stove. Add a splash of water or milk to the skillet to help thin the sauce and prevent it from becoming too dry. Stir the pasta frequently over medium heat until it is thoroughly heated. It is important to ensure that the pasta reaches an internal temperature of 165°F to ensure that it is safe to eat. 

My coconut milk looked like it curdled.

Coconut milk has the tendency to curdle when exposed to high temperatures for an extended period. To prevent coconut milk from curdling when cooking, it is important to ensure that it is heated on low heat for just a few minutes. This gentle heating process will help prevent the coconut milk from curdling.

Additionally, it is important to stir the milk gently and consistently while it is being heated to ensure that it remains smooth and creamy. Avoid boiling, as this can increase the likelihood of curdling.

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