This is honestly one of my favorite meals. When I lived at home, this recipe found itself on our list of staple meals every week. It was quick, healthy, filling, and oh so delicious. And best of all it was one meal that everyone could enjoy despite being gluten free and vegan.
This recipe stemmed from a recipe that my grandmother used to make for us on special occasions. It was my absolute favorite. Unfortunately there came a day when it disappeared from my life. The recipe was filled with dairy and when I developed my food allergy, I had to kiss it goodbye for my own wellbeing.
For years I just ate pasta with homemade tomato sauce, it was good, but it wasn’t the same. Then I found packaged vegan mac and cheese, which was good but left me feeling sick because it was so processed. Slowly I started experimenting in the kitchen, it started with a cashew basil cream sauce that was good, but just not quite right.
Since then I have tweaked the recipe numerous times to come up with the one I now have. Once I got the cream sauce down, then I started adding in things like vegetables and vegan chicken. And slowly something that I had missed so much, a recipe that I thought was long lost, I found. The best part is that it’s healthy, which means you can eat it every week if you wanted to, not just on birthdays.
Pro tip: Save vegetable scraps to make vegetable broth. It saves money and it tastes way better!
I think cooking fresh onion and garlic makes for the best sauce, but if you are low on time you could either add a little bit of fresh garlic and some green onions or just go for powdered. Definitely not as good, but works if you are in a pinch.
I would recommend a high speed blender for making the sauce, but if you make sure to soak your cashews overnight, I am sure that it would work just fine in a regular blender. It just might not be as smooth.
When I took the photos for this recipe all we had was broccoli, so that is what got added in. But some other great options that I love are sautéed mushrooms, roasted butternut squash, roasted zucchini half moons, and even bite sized pieces of vegan chicken.
Creamy Cashew Pasta
- 16oz gluten free pasta (Tinkyada is my favorite brand)
- 2-4 cups roasted vegetables
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 1-2 cloves garlic chopped
- lemon juiced
- 1/4-1/2 cup vegetable broth (or water)
- 1 cup cashews (soaked)
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- salt + pepper to taste
Start by taking 1 cup of cashews and soaking them in warm water for several hours.* Next, preheat the oven to 400ºF and roasting two trays of vegetables with a little bit of olive oil. Start a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to instructions. Sauté onion in olive oil until translucent, then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the soaked cashews, onion & garlic, lemon juice, 1/4 cup vegetable broth, and nutritional yeast into the blender and blend on high until smooth.(If it is struggling to get going add more vegetable broth or water) Add the salt and pepper to taste and adjust the seasonings (ie: more lemon juice, nutritional yeast,…) Add the sauce and roasted veggies to the pasta and mix well. Top with vegan parmesan and serve warm.
*Note: If you are in a rush, use hot water and give it 30min. When it comes time to blend it might take a little longer and you’ll need to use a high speed blender to get it smooth.