Vegan Cacio e Pepe with Garlicky Mushrooms

vegan cacio e pepe topped with garlicky mushrooms on white speckled plate with glass of wine on marble countertop

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 4 reviews

You only need a few pantry staples to make this plant-based Cacio e Pepe! Spaghetti gets tossed in a peppery, cheesy sauce and then topped with mushrooms.


  • 8 ounces spaghetti (gluten-free or regular)
  • salt, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons of dairy-free butter, divided (I like Country Crock® Plant
  • 8 ounces Chanterelle, Oyster, or Cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped 
  • 3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 ounces vegan parmesan cheese, finely grated 


  1. Cook the Pasta: bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until just before al dente – the pasta will finish cooking later. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of starchy water, then drain the pasta and set aside.
  2. Sauté the Mushrooms: In the meantime, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Then, add the chopped mushrooms and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the sliced garlic to the pan and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant and translucent. Remove the mushrooms and garlic from the pan and set aside, returning the pan to the burner.
  3. Bloom the Pepper: melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the same pan over medium-high heat. Add the freshly ground black pepper and swirl it around in the pan for about a minute to bloom the spice. Then, add  ¾ cup of the reserved pasta water to the pan and bring it to a simmer.
  4. Add the Pasta: Reduce the heat to low, then add in the pasta and remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Once the butter has melted, add in the grated parmesan and toss the pasta with tongs, until the dairy-free cheese has melted. If your sauce is too thick, add more pasta water in 2 tablespoon increments to thin it out.
  5. Serve: transfer the pasta to serving plates, and top with our caramelized garlicky mushrooms, or as desired. Serve warm; this recipe is best served fresh, but leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days and are best reheated on the stovetop with a splash of water.