Saffron Coconut Milk Penne Pasta

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Coconut Milk makes for an amazing sauce – be it a curry sauce or this special pasta sauce. Instead of a usual marinara or pasta sauce use this coconut sauce recipe – it’s like using coconut milk to make the cousin of Penne Ala Vodka Sauce (without the pasta sauce and vodka). The subtle flavor of saffron threads intensifies the nutty flavor of the coconut milk; and it evokes an air of affluence and elegance.

Check out some of the health benefits of coconut milk at MedicalNewsToday.

This savory and intensely delicious pasta one dish meal will be loved by adults and children alike. I added spinach to this dish for color and it’s healthy for you as well. I love to use a Protein Plus Pasta that is healthier – look for pasta that identifies as such when you are in the pasta eisle of your local grocery store. This is a great meal to serve on its own as vegetarian or add grilled chicken or shrimp. Either way you will enjoy this meal.

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Saffron Coconut Milk Penne Pasta

An easy and Flavorful Vegetarian Friendly dish.

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Keyword Coconut Milk Pasta, Saffron Coconut Milk Penne Pasta, Saffron Pasta, Spinach Pasta, Vegetable Pasta
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 53 minutes
Servings 4 People
Author Yasmin Rasheed


  • 6 to 8 ounces Penne Pasta (Protein Plus)
  • 1 large shallot chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • OPTIONAL: 1 whole hot pepper (Habanero) or your favorite hot pepper
  • 1 tablespoon loosely packed Spanish Saffron
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces organic baby spinach


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions but reduce the cook time by 2 minutes – I cooked the pasta for two minutes less than the al dente recommendation. Set aside while you make the sauce. (You can save time if you cook the pasta while the sauce is simmering).

    Note: I use 5 quarts water to cook the pasta and one tablespoon salt in the water.  The pasta will continue to cook when it’s added to the sauce.

  2. In a deep sauté pan or dutch oven pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

  3. Add the shallots and hot pepper (if using) and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for up to a minute until fragrant.

    Note: Do not break the hot pepper if using one.  Leave it whole all the way through the cooking process.  Leaving the pepper whole will give a mildly spicy flavor but it will not be hot and spicy.

  4. Add the spices – saffron, paprika, black pepper, coriander and salt.  Sauté up to three minutes until fragrant. 

  5. Add the coconut milk and vegetable broth – stir.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and let simmer for 30 minutes.

  6. Add the spinach, cover the pan and let the spinach wilt for 3 to 4 minutes.  Remove the cover from the pan and stir the spinach to coat with the sauce. Turn off the heat.

  7. Add the cooked pasta and coat with the sauce. Allow the pasta to sit in the sauce for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

You can substitute chicken broth for the vegetable broth and use a “Protein Plus” Pasta. 

This sauce can be made early in the day or a day before use.  You can also freeze in a container – and defrost in the refrigerator.  Store up to a month in the freezer or store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Dahlia Jackson says:

    Visual of this saffron milk penna have you unable to wait for the first taste; then all you can do is to close your eyes & savor the taste! Blend of flavors so pleasant you will hold the penna in your mouth longer than you realize!
    You’ll miss a delicious dish (vegan or a complement to other dishes) would give unbelievable complements TRY IT

    1. julietkitchen says:

      Thanks for Your generous and kind comments Dahlia.


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