This Creamy Vegan Lemon Pasta is full of bright citrus flavor and packed with spring veggies for a wholesome and refreshing meal that’s Dairy & Gluten-Free
This recipe was originally just a quick and easy attempt to clean out my pantry and use some spring produce — but it was so dang good that I decided to put it on the blog!
This smooth and dreamy lemon pasta is *packed* with vegetables, but tastes way less boring than a bowl of steamed veggies and rice. Its tangy lemon flavor is the “lick-your-bowl-clean” type of delicious. But above all, my favorite part about this dish is how simple it is to make! Wholesome and satisfying pasta in just over 20 minutes? Count me in.
INGREDIENTS FOR CREAMY LEMON PASTA WITH SPRING VEGETABLES
This rich and creamy pasta dish requires only a handful of ingredients to make. All you’ll need is:
- Pine Nuts have a mild, sweet, and buttery flavor that’s perfect for a cream sauce. Bonus: they’re also a very soft nut, which means you don’t need a high-powered blender to make this recipe. A bullet blender will do just fine. If you don’t have pine nuts on hand, soaked cashews will also work.
- Garlic: I think we can all agree that garlic’s bite and classic flavor is necessary for any creamy pasta sauce, yes?
- Nutritional Yeast adds a rich, nutty, and delicious cheesy flavor to the sauce while keeping things dairy-free
- Lemon: the key ingredient for our sauce – we’re using lemon juice and zest to give this dish its bright, refreshing zip.
- Pasta: regular or gluten-free, whatever you like! I recommend choosing a shape with spirals or ridges to help the sauce stick to the pasta (yum!)
- Spring Vegetables: I chose to use Swiss chard, mushrooms, and frozen peas, but broccoli or asparagus would also be great here!
HOW TO MAKE CREAMY LEMON PASTA WITH SPRING VEGETABLES
This bowl of bright and creamy spring flavor can be sitting in front of you, fork in hand, in less than 25 minutes. Just follow these easy steps:
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and then cook your pasta.
- Blend the sauce ingredients in a high-speed or bullet blender, until smooth and creamy.
- Sauté the veggies in a large pan, then add the pasta + sauce and mix until well-combined.
- Garnish with fresh chives and enjoy!
I’m pretty much obsessed with the zippy, mouth-watering flavors of this Creamy Lemon Pasta. It’s jam-packed with healthy spring vegetables, without being boring in the slightest. You really can’t go wrong with a delicious, fuss-free dish like this.
It’s perfect for a weeknight or weekend dinner meal. While it looks like it came straight out of a fancy restaurant, it will take you almost no time to prepare. Store it in the fridge for up to 5 days (if you don’t eat it all before then! ????)
This Creamy Vegan Lemon Pasta is full of bright citrus flavor & packed with spring veggies for a wholesome & refreshing meal that’s Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free.
For the Lemon Cream Sauce:
- 1/2 cup (82 g) pine nuts*
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (Optional)
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Zest of 1 lemon; about 1/2 tablespoon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
For the Pasta:
- 8 ounces (225 g) regular or gluten-free pasta
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or plant-based butter (Optional)
- 1 bunch of swiss chard, de-stemmed chopped; stems and leaves separated
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 cup (135 g) frozen peas*
- 5 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced; about 5
- Fresh chives, for garnish (Optional)
- Prep the Pasta: bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; once boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to the package instructions.
- Make the Sauce: in the meantime, add the pine nuts, garlic, nutritional yeast, italian seasoning, red pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and water to a high-speed or bullet blender. Process for 60 seconds, until smooth and creamy.
- Sauté the Veggies: heat a large sauté pan with a lid over medium-high. Add the oil or butter once warm; for oil-free, use 1/4 cup of water instead. Add the chard stems to the pan and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until translucent. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the garlic, mushrooms, and a pinch of salt to the pan; sauté for 1 minute, then cover and let steam for another minute. Remove the lid from the pot and add the frozen peas; once they have thawed, add 1/4 cup of water to the pan along with the swiss chard leaves. Cover again and steam until the chard is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. There will be leftover water at the bottom of the pan, but this is okay.
- Add the Pasta to the pan along with the Lemon Cream Sauce and mix until well-combined; if there’s any extra liquid at the bottom of the pan, let the pasta sit for 2 to 5 minutes until it is absorbed. Season with salt to taste, then divide onto serving plates, top with fresh chives, and serve.
- Pine nuts can be replaced with equal parts soaked cashews. For a nut-free version, omit the water from the sauce recipe and replace with 1 cup of full-fat coconut milk
- If you’d like to use fresh peas, add them to the pot along with the mushrooms and cook until soft and tender.