Creamy vegan pasta with vegetables is the perfect choice for dinner on busy weeknights. With whole grain pasta, kale, mushrooms, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes, it's the ultimate combination of pasta and veggies, and it's all coated in a creamy cashew sauce. No one will know that the lush cream sauce is dairy-free! This easy recipe is vegan with a gluten-free option.
Vegan Pasta with Creamy Sauce
Do you have a dish you make time and time again? You know the type. You just throw together ingredients from the fridge, no written recipe needed.
For me that's pasta with beans and greens. I feel like I tomatoed out years ago, so I rarely go for marinara. Sometimes I use pesto, other times I might use a lemony sauce. But my favorite sauce is a vegan creamy cashew sauce. There's just something about a lush and creamy sauce that I just can't get enough of. I add nutritional yeast for a little cheesy flavor.
What You Need
- Olive oil
- Garlic minced
- Cannellini beans
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Kalamata olives
- Raw cashews
- Lemon juice
- Nutritional yeast
- Vegetable stock or water
- Sea salt
See recipe card for exact amounts.
How To Make Creamy Vegan Pasta with Vegetables
This recipe is super easy to make!
- First you cook pasta according to directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat oil in large pan over medium high heat. You add the shallots and cook for about 5 minutes, until they begin to brown.
- Next you add mushrooms to the pan along with ½ teaspoon of salt and continue cooking for about 10 minutes, until the mushrooms are fragrant and have released their liquid.
- Then you add the sun-dried tomatoes, beans, and kale to the pan and cook until the kale is wilted and slightly tender, for about 3 minutes.
- While the vegetables are cooking, you mix the cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, stock, and ½ teaspoon of sea salt together in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Finally, you stir the pasta, vegetables and beans and cashew cream together. Top with the olives and serve.
I recommend using raw cashews in this recipe. They’re softer and have a milder flavor than the roasted variety. I have high-speed blender, but I soak my cashews for about 2 hours before making dressings like this anyway. If you don’t have a high-speed blender, make sure you soak your cashews longer to help them blend easier.
Roasted cashews can be used, but they aren’t as soft as raw so they may be more difficult to blend. They may give your sauce a roasted, almost burnt flavor.
- If you follow a gluten-free diet, make sure your pasta is gluten-free.
- If you don't like any of the ingredients in this recipe, you can swap them for something you do like. Spinach or arugula can be used instead of kale, zucchini can be used in the place of mushrooms, and sliced bell pepper can be used instead of sun-dried tomatoes. Chickpeas can be used instead of white beans.
- If you're not serving your pasta right away, wait until you're ready to eat to toss the pasta in the cashew sauce.
Pasta with Creamy Cashew Sauce
For the Pasta
- 12 ounces whole grain or gluten-free pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium shallot diced (about ½ cup)
- 2 cups button or crimini mushrooms sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 bunch kale chopped (about 6 cups)
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes cut into thin strips, soaked for 15 minutes if they’re too stiff
- ¼ cup kalamata olives chopped, optional
For the Sauce
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked for 2 hours, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 ½ cups vegetable stock or water
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Cook pasta according to directions.
- Heat oil in large pan over medium high heat. Add shallots and cook for about 5 minutes, until they begin to brown.
- Add mushrooms and garlic to the pan along with ½ teaspoon of salt and continue cooking for 5 to 10 minutes, until the mushrooms are fragrant and have released their liquid.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes, beans, and kale to the pan and cook until the kale is wilted and slightly tender, for about 3 minutes.
- While the vegetables are cooking, mix the cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, stock, and ½ teaspoon of sea salt together in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Stir the pasta, vegetables and beans and cashew cream together. Top with the olives and serve.