clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
bowl of creamy sweet corn pasta with basil and tomatoes shot from overhead

Creamy Sweet Corn Pasta with Basil and Tomatoes

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 7 reviews

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This Creamy Sweet Corn Pasta with Basil and Tomatoes is a simple and healthy dinner that's completely vegan! Instead of using cream, we're boiling corn cobs to create a starchy, infused cooking water. Adding basil and tomatoes makes this the perfect summer meal.


  • 4 ears fresh sweet corn, shucked and cleaned
  • Kosher salt, used throughout
  • 2 heirloom tomatoes or 15 cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 4 TBS butter, divided, vegan if needed 
  • 2 medium shallots, diced
  • 1 hot pepper (like habanero), seeded and minced
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh or dried thyme
  • 1 lb./16 oz. short pasta, like fusilli
  • 1 cup basil, sliced into ribbons


  1. Begin by standing corn upright in a shallow bowl, end to end. Using a sharp knife, cut down the sides of the corn to remove the kernels. This normally takes me about 4 passes per cob. Reserve the kernels in the bowl and add the cleaned cobs to a medium pot with 10-11 cups (about 2.5 liters) or water. Bring corncobs to a boil and let cook for 15 minutes. This will infused more corn flavor and starch into our eventual pasta cooking water. 
  2. Meanwhile, add diced tomatoes to a small bowl and season with 1 tsp salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet or wok over medium heat, melt 2 TBS butter and sauté shallots for 5 minutes, until fragrant, stirring as you go. Add corn kernels, hot pepper, garlic, thyme, and 1 tsp salt. Remove 1 cup of water from the cooking corncobs and add this to the pan with the corn and shallots. Stir to combine. Let cook for 5-8 minutes, until the corn is slightly browned. It will thicken a bit
  4. Using tongs, remove corncobs from their cooking water. Bring it back up to a boil and add pasta, cooking according to package instructions. Reserve one more cup of pasta water, setting it aside. Drain pasta and set aside. 
  5. Add cooked pasta to the pan with the corn along with 2 more TBS butter. Stir to combine and stream in half of the reserved cooking water. See if the sauce is creamy enough and add the rest of the water as needed. Add reserved tomatoes and fresh basil. Enjoy immediately!
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dinner


  • Serving Size: One fifth of recipe
  • Calories: 308 grams
  • Sugar: 8 grams
  • Sodium: 540 milligrams
  • Fat: 9.8 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 6.8 grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 3 grams
  • Trans Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 50.8 grams
  • Fiber: 4.8 grams
  • Protein: 8.6 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams