Masala Pasta Recipe is a simple, delicious, flavorful, and easy-to-make Indian style pasta dish where cooked pasta is tossed in a spicy Indian sauce. This spicy onion tomato sauce has an array of aromatic Indian spices, fresh vegetables, herbs, and some cheese.
It’s a bright red colored pasta oozing with irresistibly delicious, spicy, and tangy Indian curry flavors!
On this page you will get the step-by-step photos and video recipe instructions of ‘Masala Pasta Recipe’.
About Masala Pasta
Masala Pasta recipe makes a perfectly cozy, comfy, mouth-watering, and filling weeknight dinner or lazy weekend lunch. It is a savior on such days when you want a quick and easy fuss-free meal that is made with simple ingredients.
Made from scratch with handy ingredients, comes together in under 30 minutes. It is a vegetarian, soy-free, and nut-free recipe.
If you love vegetarian pasta recipes and Indian curry flavors, then you must try this Indian curry-flavoured masala pasta recipe. You may call it an Indo-Italian dish, but it is more Indian because other than the pasta, this recipe is made with all the Indian ingredients.
With every single bite of this Indian pasta recipe, your mouth gets filled with the well-seasoned pasta coated in a rich-tasting flavourful pasta masala sauce. Just so good.
This Indian Style Pasta is similar to Makhani Pasta which is pasta cooked in a creamy curry sauce.
It tastes also good when served as a side with cajun potatoes.
What is Masala Pasta (Indian Style Pasta)?
Masala pasta is a flavorful & delicious pasta recipe made using Indian onion tomato-based spicy sauce. It is an Italian Pasta with a Desi (Indian) touch, thus this Indian pasta recipe is also called Desi Pasta.
This tasty masala pasta has the perfect balance of spicy, sour, and mildly sweet flavors. Children and adults both relish it. And it is certainly gourmet enough to serve to your guests.
Making masala pasta is very easy. So if you want to sort a quick dinner for the entire family, this masala pasta recipe fits the spot.
It can be served as a snack, lunch, or dinner. It can also be packed in a lunch box or served as an after-school snack.
Features of this Indian Style Masala Pasta
This masala pasta:
✓ is very easy, and simple to prepare
✓ tastes super delicious
✓ is vegetarian, soy-free, nut-free
✓ is wholesome and nutritious
✓ is made with basic ingredients
✓ can also be made vegan and gluten-free
✓ is ready in under 30 minutes
✓ can be served as a heavy brunch, lunch, or go-to weeknight dinner
How to make Masala Pasta
Making Masala Pasta recipe is fairly simple and easy. You just boil the pasta, and then make pasta sauce. After that, toss the boiled pasta in masala sauce.
This is how it is done in 6 simple steps:
1. Cooking Pasta: Boiling pasta in salted water. Drain the cooked pasta and drizzle with some olive oil.
2. Making Sauce: Make masala pasta sauce by sauteing onion, ginger garlic, and green chilies in oil and butter mixture. Then cook it with tomato puree and spices.
3. Adding vegetables: Add fresh vegetables, water, and cook.
4. Adding cheese: Add grated cheese and cook until cheese melts.
5. Tossing Pasta: Toss boiled pasta in masala and cook until heated through. Done!
Masala Pasta Ingredients
Masala Pasta is a super easy and homely recipe. Thus, this recipe requires all the homely basic ingredients which are probably lying in your pantry. Below are the ingredients you will need to make this masala pasta recipe.
Butter: I added unsalted butter here, but salted butter can also be used.
Cheese: I used cheddar cheese in this recipe, but you can also use grated parmesan or grated mozzarella cheese.
Cilantro: Fresh cilantro (coriander leaves) add a nice refreshing herby punch to this spicy dish.
Fresh vegetables: The addition of veggies makes this pasta recipe fiber-rich and wholesome, so I have added some fresh vegetables including onion, ginger, garlic, green chilies, corn kernels, carrot, and bell peppers (capsicum). Green peas, spring onion, and green beans can also be added to this masala pasta.
Oil: I prepared pasta using olive oil, feel free to use any other vegetable cooking oil of your choice.
Pasta: I used penne pasta in this recipe, but you can also use fusilli, macaroni, or any other short type of pasta.
Powdered Spices: Since it is masala pasta, spices are the key ingredient of this pasta recipe. Pasta, Masala spices I have used are typical Indian spices which are cumin powder, coriander powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, and Kasuri methi.
Tomato Ketchup: A little bit of tomato ketchup adds a nice sweet note to this tangy and spicy pasta dish.
Tomato Puree: I have used tomato puree in this masala pasta recipe, but chopped tomatoes can also be used here.
Best Pasta for this Indian Style Desi Pasta recipe
Masala Pasta recipe can be made with many types of short pasta. Pasta varieties that taste good in masala pasta are Penne, Fusilli, Macaroni, Rigatoni, Farfalle, Elbows, Ziti, Rotini, Gemelli, or Manicotti.
How to make vegan Masala Pasta
This recipe makes vegetarian masala pasta. To make this recipe vegan, you need to replace butter with dairy-free butter. You can also omit the butter and cook it entirely in oil.
This Indian style pasta recipe also has cheese, so for a vegan version use dairy-free cheese. You can also add a vegan cream such as coconut cream, cashew cream.
How to Make Masala Pasta gluten-free
This Indian style masala pasta recipe uses regular white pasta. To make this pasta gluten-free, all you have to do is to substitute the regular pasta with any of your favorite gluten-free pasta varieties. When using gluten-free pasta, make sure to adjust the cooking time according to the package instructions and follow the rest of the recipe.
Masala pasta can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Just reheat it before serving. If for some reason, your pasta seems sticky and dry, then simply add 1/8 cups of hot water to the pasta and gently toss it before reheating it.
Using Leftover Masala Pasta
To use leftover pasta, you can either warm in a microwave or in a stovetop pan and enjoy! But if you want to relish it in a different way, then following are some wonderful recipe options for you to use your leftover masala pasta.
Masala Pasta Puffs:
To make masala pasta puffs, you can simply fill the puff pastry sheets with leftover masala pasta and bake in an oven at 200°C/400°F for about 15-20 minutes or until golden. Masala Pasta puffs are ready, you can serve them with and tomato ketchup.
Masala Pasta Sandwich:
Spread leftover masala pasta over a bread slice, drizzle it with tomato ketchup. Sprinkle with freshly chopped onions, chopped cilantro (coriander leaves). Cover it with another bread slice and grill in a pan, panini maker, or toast in a sandwich maker. Your delicious masala pasta sandwich is ready.
Masala Pasta Toast:
Smear some butter on a slice of the pan. Spread masala pasta and add any grated melting cheese or cheese slice. Sprinkle it with oregano and chili flakes. Toast it in a covered pan until the cheese is melted. Or broil it in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F for about 1-2 minutes. Slice and enjoy!
Important tips and tricks to make your best masala pasta recipe
Always add the pasta to the boiling salted water. Also, make sure to stir the pasta after dropping it in the water. This ensures even cooking.
To cook the perfect masala pasta, follow the cooking instructions on the pasta packet.
Adding a drizzle of olive oil to strained pasta makes it non-sticky and this oil glaze adds a nice taste to the pasta.
I have only used Indian spices in this Indian style pasta dish, but you also make it in Indo-Italian flavors by adding Italian herbs, or dried oregano to it. Red pepper flakes can also be added here.
If you don’t have Kashmiri red chili powder, then you can swap it with regular chili powder. You can also use cayenne pepper.
I have used white penne pasta, but you can also use brown or whole grain pasta to make it healthier.
I used store-bought tomato puree, but you can also freshly chopped ripe tomatoes. Canned tomatoes can also be used here.
This is a vegetarian masala pasta recipe, but you can also make chicken masala pasta by replacing fresh vegetables with shredded chicken.
Creamy Masala Pasta: If you want to make creamy masala pasta, then you can either add fresh cream or cashew cream to it.
If you don’t like too hot pasta, then you can reduce the amount of green chilies. Or you can also skip adding green chilies.
Cook till al dente: Always cook pasta till al dente, this way it will hold its shape better when you toss it in a spicy sauce. Never overcook pasta, or you’ll end up with mushy and squishy pasta which won’t taste very good.
Vegetable Options: Other than carrots, sweet corn, and bell peppers, you can also add spinach, mushroom, broccoli, baby corn, green beans, or green peas to this masala pasta.
Masala Pasta Recipe | Indian Style Pasta (Step-by-step photo instructions)
- Add hot 5 cups of water to a pan and 1 teaspoon salt to it. Let it come to a boil. Once water is boiling, add pasta to the boiling salted water and stir it well.
- Cook pasta until al dente or cook it according to the package instructions. Keep stirring occasionally. Take a bite or cut pasta from the center. If the center of the pasta is soft yet remains slightly firm to cut or bite then it is ready.
- Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water. Keep this water aside, to use it later in the pasta. Now drizzle the drained cooked pasta with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Toss well and keep it aside. Coating boiled pasta with oil prevents them from sticking to each other. Keep the pasta aside.
Making Masala Pasta:
- Heat a wide pan over medium heat. Once hot, add 1.5 tablespoons of butter and 1.5 tablespoons of oil to the pan. Now, add cumin seeds, minced ginger-garlic (or ginger-garlic paste), and let them saute for about 30-40 seconds.
- Next, add chopped onions and stir well. Saute for 2-3 minutes or until the onions turn translucent, keep stirring occasionally. After that, add chopped green chilies and stir well. Saute for 1 minute.
- Now, add tomato puree and mix everything well to combine. Further cook for 3-4 minutes or until tomato puree is cooked and the raw smell of tomato puree is gone.
- Then add cumin powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and garam masala powder. Mix everything well to combine, and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Next, add Kasuri methi and stir well. Cook for 1 minute over medium heat. Add boiled kernels, chopped carrots, and diced bell peppers.
- Mix everything well and cook for another 2 minutes. Then, add 1/2 cup (or as needed) water and mix well. Let it come to a boil and then turn the heat to low. After that, cover the pan with the lid and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Uncover the pan and stir the mixture. Add tomato ketchup and mix again. After that, add grated cheese and mix again, keep cooking until cheese melts completely.
- Once the cheese is melted, add boiled pasta and toss everything well. Cook for 2-3 minutes, at this point you can add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cooked pasta water. Cook further until the pasta is coated well in a thick sauce.
- Turn off the heat and sprinkle masala pasta with chopped cilantro and toss gently. Delicious masala pasta is ready, serve hot with some garlic bread.