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black bowl with pasta covered in vegan vodka sauce with red checked napkin, fork, glass of red wine, and loaf of Italian bread in background

Vegan Pumpkin Vodka Sauce, Instant Pot with Cashews and Cauliflower

Course: Sauce
Cuisine: American, Italian fusion
Keyword: pumpkin pasta sauce, Vegan Instant Pot, Vegan Vodka Sauce
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Coming to pressure: 10 minutes
Servings: 13
Calories: 109kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey
For a creamy, dairy-free, vodka sauce with the flavor of fall, try my pumpkin pasta sauce, made easy in the Instant Pot. This highly flavored vegan vodka sauce is made with cashews, cauliflower, fire-roasted tomatoes, pumpkin puree, and of course, a little bit of vodka to make it authentic! Serve on top of pasta, roasted veggies, or potatoes for a delicious seasonal vegan main course everyone can enjoy!
Print Recipe


  • Instant Pot or other pressure cooker
  • high-speed blender


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • cup white or yellow onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 10 ounces cauliflower about 4 cups bite-sized pieces
  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree 1 15 ounce can
  • 14.5 ounces fire roasted tomatoes
  • ¾ cups raw cashews
  • cup water
  • ½ cup vodka
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • fresh basil to garnish your dish


  • Rough-cut the onion and garlic cloves into med/small pieces
  • Pour the olive oil into the Instant Pot and set to the saute mode. Add the onions and garlic. When they begin to sizzle, stir for three minutes until they begin to soften.
  • First, add the water and vodka and stir the bottom of the pot to deglaze any possible burn spots. Next, add the other ingredients except for the fresh basil to the liquid and onion/garlic mixture. Add the cauliflower, cashews, nutritional yeast, pumpkin puree, fire-roasted tomatoes, v, balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, ground sumac, salt, Italian seasonings, and cayenne pepper. Give it a stir.
  • Using manual, set the Instant Pot to 5 minutes on high pressure. The Instant Pot will begin to come to pressure and will take up to 10 minutes.
  • After the Instant Pot has come to pressure and counted down the five minutes, carefully do a quick pressure release.
  • Carefully (it will be hot) ladle the hot cooked ingredients including all of the liquid into a blender. This will reach the maximum capacity of a large blender. If your blender is not large enough to handle all of the cooked ingredients, blend in batches.
  • Start the blender on low and work up to high speed. The mixture will be hot so work up slowly with the lid firmly in place to avoid sudden splatters. Blend for about three minutes on high until the vodka sauce is smooth and creamy.


  1. You MUST disclose to anyone eating this cashew-based vodka sauce that it contains vodka and cashews. 
  2. Sautéing, releasing pressure, and blending is included in prep time. This recipe serves 13 one-half cup servings.
  3. Adjust the nutritional information to your actual serving size accordingly. 
  4. This will keep in the refrigerator tightly covered for up to five days as long as the cauliflower you used was super fresh.
  5. You can make this recipe oil-free by sautéing the vegetables in veggie broth. Start with one-half cup. Watch it carefully and add more as necessary to prevent the pan from drying up and burning. If there is any burn at all on the bottom of the pan then it may not properly come to pressure.


Serving: 0.5cups | Calories: 109kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 258mg | Potassium: 251mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 5275IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg