How to Make Quick & Satisfying Creamy Vegan Pasta

This simple and versatile dish using pantry ingredients is on repeat at my house

Creamy vegan pasta (baked) with pimento peppers, buttered breadcrumbs & backyard parsley.

I’ve been making creamy vegan pasta quite a bit these days. It’s inexpensive comfort food made with pantry ingredients, and you can throw in anything you have in the fridge. There are three essential components to this dish: pasta, the sauce (made with non-dairy milk of your choice), and add-ins (cooked vegetables, roasted peppers, frozen veggies, pickles,etc.). I do give ratios, but this dish can easily be doubled or tripled.

Let’s start with the pasta; any kind will work. I like penne, orecchiette, and fusilli, but use whatever you have in your pantry. I typically cook half a pound (8 oz) of pasta for my family of three. Cook the pasta off first, drain (reserving 1 cup of pasta water), and set it aside while you prepare the sauce in the same pan.

The sauce is the most important component of the dish, and there is one ingredient that I think is key to making a savory vegan cream sauce: nutritional yeast. It’s possible to make a nice sauce without it, but nooch* adds an extra layer of flavor.

  1. Start by melting 2 TBS of vegan butter* in your saucepan over medium heat.

And finally, the add-ins: this is where you can get creative using ingredients you already have. The possibilities are endless.

Some ideas for add-ins are roasted vegetables (peppers, zucchini, asparagus, anything you like), chopped preserved lemons, pickled vegetables, frozen peas or corn (steamed or microwaved first), caramelized onions, roasted garlic, artichoke hearts, mashed butternut squash, cooked beans, or fresh herbs. Add anything that sounds delicious to you, or whatever needs to be used first in the fridge or pantry.

Bring it together. Fold pasta and add-ins into the cream sauce. Warm over low heat for a few minutes, if necessary. You can also bake this mixture at 375 degrees for 15 minutes with seasoned breadcrumbs or maybe a little almond ricotta on top. Top your bowl of creamy vegan pasta with more delicious-ness like crushed red pepper, fresh herbs, or scallions. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar or serve with hot sauce. Eat it however you like, with whatever you want, and revel in the glory of a creamy, comforting bowl of pasta.

*The best vegan butter is Miyoko’s European-style cultured butter. It’s far, far better than any of the margarine-like plant-based butter available. _______________________________________________________________

Add-in Combination Ideas:

  • Black beans, leftover grilled corn (cut off the cob), roasted peppers, cilantro or scallions

Fermentation geek, veg head, cannabis advocate, outdoor enthusiast, brewery owner, writer. @grisettemenot // www.grisettemenot.com

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