The best Creamy Vegan Pasta with veggies! Made with 10 ingredients and ready in 30 minutes. It will be your new go-to plant-based meal for an easy and comforting weeknight dinner. And it packs 17 grams of plant-based protein, fiber, and healthy fats for a well-balanced meal the whole family can get behind.
An easy weeknight pasta I can get behind!! To be honest, when I have pasta, it has to be AMAZING. And that is what this vegan pasta is. No, I am not vegan, but I could eat this all the time and never get tired of it.
I love this pasta because:
- the sauce is amazing – so so creamy
- loaded with lots of veggies
- comes together in 30 minutes
- is super customizable
A few months ago someone asked on Instagram how to get in more veggies and I was giving a few suggestions. One of you guys reached out and suggested pairing them with some carbs! I absolutely loved this idea so here we are.
For day 4 of ETGveggies, this pasta is sure to win over anyone that isn’t so keen on veggies. First of all, it’s pasta, and second of all, it’s covered in the most wonderful sauce (that’s only 2 ingredients by the way!).
This pasta with veggies is loaded with 8 cups of veggies! It has carbs from pasta and veggies, protein from the pasta, veggies, and cashews, and healthy fats from the cashews and pasta sauce (depending on what brand you use).
It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals and a perfect healthy comforting meal.
How to make vegan pasta
Quick and easy creamy veggie pasta makes the perfect plant-based meal. It comes together in 30 minutes with just 10 ingredients. Perfect for the whole family and even picky eaters.
Creamy vegan pasta ingredients:
- pasta – I like penne for this recipe
- pasta sauce
- raw cashews
- red bell pepper
- quartered artichokes
- cherry tomatoes
- salt and pepper
First, cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and once boiling, cook according to the package.
Next, make the sauce. See below for how to make the easiest vegan creamy pasta sauce.
Then, when the water is almost boiling for the pasta, start making the veggies. Add oil to a large nonstick skillet over medium and let it get hot. Add broccoli and salt and pepper and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Then add peppers and cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, add mushrooms and cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Drain pasta, saving 2 tablespoons (or more) of the pasta water. Add artichokes, cooked pasta, cashew sauce, and pasta water to the pan. Mix well to combine and let warm through about 1-2 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes and carefully mix to combine.
Finally, top with fresh basil and enjoy!
Vegan creamy pasta sauce
Pasta is not pasta without a good sauce. It can totally make or break a dish. We are taking your classic pasta sauce and taking it up a notch and making it oh so creamy. And the kick is, you only need two ingredients.
If you have been here a while, you know I am a huge fan of blending cashews with spices, herbs, and condiments to make the most creamy sauces. Check out these 6 unique vegan sauces, with 4 of them using cashews in them.
Cashews are super neutral in flavor, meaning they can pair well with so many things. They also blend up into the most creamy texture, making them perfect for sauces. This vegan creamy pasta sauce is just pasta sauce and cashews!
Creamy vegan pasta sauce ingredients:
First, soak your cashews in water overnight, or for at least 4 hours. If you forget (which I do a lot), you can just add them to a bowl, cover them with water, and microwave them for 1-2 minutes. Soaking them in water allows them to soften up and makes for easy blending.
Once they are soaked, drain and rinse them. Then add your favorite pasta sauce and the cashews to a high-powered blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.
You can either use 3/4 or 1 cup of cashews. Both will give you a creamy sauce, but the 1 cup will yield a thicker result. I personally prefer using 3/4 cups, but it up to you!
You can also adjust the amount of pasta water to make it more or less thick.
What to serve with veggie pasta
While I think this pasta makes a great meal on its own, here are a few additions to add:
- crusty bread – a must for soaking up the sauce!
- for topping – fresh basil, red pepper flakes, parmesan cheese
Give it a protein boost!
This vegan pasta packs in 17 grams of plant-based protein per serving thanks to the pasta, veggies, and cashews. But I know some people will like more than that at times (like me!). Here are a few options to up the protein:
- use higher protein pasta – there are many kinds of pasta made from chickpeas, lentils, and beans that will have more protein per serving in them
- add in some beans
- top with some tofu – we do this for meatless Monday!
- top with some cheese – or better yet, mix some into the pan with the sauce. Goat or mozzarella would be great choices.
- add sauteed shrimp
- add in some animal protein – grilled chicken, shredded chicken, or ground chicken, turkey, or beef would all work well.
Note not all of these options are vegan.
Meal prep creamy vegan pasta
This pasta is very meal prep friendly. I would suggest holding off cooking the pasta until you are ready to eat, but the other ingredients can be made ahead of time for a quicker assembly.
- partial prep – cook your veggies and allow them to cool. Store in the fridge. I would suggest slightly undercooking so when you heat them up, they get to the perfect consistency. In addition, make the creamy pasta sauce and store it in a jar. When you are ready, make your pasta, heat up the veggies in a pan, and add to the sauce. Let it all warm through.
- full prep – just follow the directions as written.
- storage and heating them up – allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight glass container. To heat it up, pop in the microwave for a couple of minutes until warmed through. To be honest, I love this pasta cold – it’s almost like a pasta salad!
Substitutions for veggie pasta
Make this pasta with veggies your own with these substitutions or additions below. It is easily customizable! Check out the protein additions above too!
- pasta – any kind of pasta will work (penne, spaghetti, angel hair, elbow…). I like penne has it has a good surface area to soak up the pasta sauce. If need, opt for gluten-free pasta to make this meal gluten-free.
- cashews – I love cashews since they are very bland and neutral in flavor. That being said, you would probably use almonds or macadamia nuts instead, but the flavor will change slightly. If allergic to nuts, you could try sunflower seeds.
- veggies – use any veggies you like! The more the merrier. Zucchini, spinach, onion, and even asparagus would be good substitutes or additions.
- pasta sauce – I love a classic red sauce (Rao’s and Victoria are my favorites), but you could use any kind of sauce your like (store-bought or homemade).
More healthy vegan recipes
- Cauliflower Chickpea Curry
- Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup
- Beet Burger
- Veggie Power Bowl
- Coconut Curry Lentil Soup
Creamy Vegan Pasta with Veggies
- 8 ounces penne pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cups broccoli florets (250 grams)
- 1 large red bell pepper, julienne (1 heaping cup/150 grams)
- 1 heaping cup sliced mushrooms (about 5-6 mushrooms/100 grams)
- 1 14-ounce can quartered artichokes, drained
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (150 grams)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- for serving: basil, parmesan cheese, bread
Vegan Creamy Pasta Sauce
- 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce
- 3/4-1 cup raw cashews, soaked * (I like to use whole cashews)
- Soak cashews in water overnight, or for at least 4 hours. If you forget (which I do a lot), you can just add them to a bowl, cover them with water, and microwave them for 1-2 minutes until soft. Soaking them in water allows them to soften up and makes for easy blending.
- Cook pasta according to the instructions. When draining, reserve 2 tablespoons (or more depending on your preference) of pasta water.
- Make the sauce. Add the pasta sauce and cashews* (make sure to drain them) to a high-powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
- When the water is almost boiling for the pasta, start making the veggies. Add oil to a large nonstick skillet over medium and let it get hot, about 30 seconds. Add broccoli and salt and pepper and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add peppers and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms and cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Drain pasta, saving 2 tablespoons of the pasta water. Add artichokes, cooked pasta, 2 tablespoons of pasta water, and the cashew sauce to the pan. Mix well to combine and let warm through, about 1-2 minutes. If needed, add more pasta water to thin out the sauce. Add cherry tomatoes and carefully mix to combine. Top with basil and enjoy!
Recipe by Kelly Nardo, Eat the Gains | Photography by The Mindful Hapa
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