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Mushroom Leek Pasta with Frizzled Leeks

This Mushroom Leek Pasta is a luxurious and comforting cold-weather meal. Pasta, leeks, and mushrooms are tossed in a white wine and cashew cream sauce, then garnished with crunchy fried leek greens. Nut-Free and Gluten-Free Options.
Course Main
Cuisine American, Italian
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Method Stovetop
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 464kcal
Author Caitlin Shoemaker


For the Pasta:

  • 1 large leek
  • 1/2 cup cashews soaked* (see notes for subs)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 8 ounces spaghetti gluten-free or regular
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons dairy-free butter or sub more oil
  • 8 ounces cremini oyster, or chanterelle mushrooms, sliced or torn
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine*
  • 1 ounce vegan parmesan cheese finely grated

For the Frizzled Leek Greens: (Optional)

  • 1-2 cups frying oil


  • Prep: Soak the cashews, if you haven’t already. Cut the bottom and dried ends off of the top of the leek, then cut it again between the light green and dark green sections to form two cylinders. Cut each cylinder in half lengthwise, then clean thoroughly under running water.
  • Leek Whites/Light Greens: Thinly slice the lighter portion of the leek to create half circles. Set aside.
  • Dark Greens: If you would like to make the frizzled leek topping, thinly slice the dark green portion of the leek into long, thin strips between 1-2” long. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel and pat them dry while the oil heats.
  • Make the Frizzled Leeks (Optional): Line a small baking sheet with a paper towel and set aside. Fill a medium pot (I recommend a pot with high walls as the leeks will bubble) with 1” of cooking oil. Warm over medium heat until shimmering, or until the oil creates bubbles around a wooden chopstick when inserted (around 350F). Add half of the leek greens to the hot oil and fry for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the leeks begin to turn golden. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the frizzled leeks to the baking tray and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining half of the leek greens and set aside.
  • Make the Cashew Cream: Blend the cashews and water together in a high speed blender until smooth, about 45 to 60 seconds. Set aside.
  • Cook the Pasta: Season a large pot of water with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Set aside 1/2 cup (120 ml) of pasta water (you may not need this, but it will help thin the sauce later). Drain the pasta, but do not rinse
  • Sauté the Mushrooms: In the meantime, melt the oil and butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced leeks and sauté for 3-5 minutes, then add the chopped mushrooms and sauté for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and black pepper to the pan and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant and translucent.
  • Deglaze: Add the white wine to the pan and mix well, scraping any browned bits off of the bottom of the pan. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the blended cashew cream to the pot and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the Pasta: Reduce the heat to low, then add in the pasta and the grated parmesan. Stir well, 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.
  • Serve: Transfer the pasta to serving plates, and top with crispy frizzled leeks and extra black pepper, 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. Store frizzled leeks in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.


  • Cashews: I like to cover my cashews with boiling water and soak for about 30 minutes, but you can also cover them with cold water and store in the fridge overnight.
  • Cashew Substitutes: You can replace the cashew cream with 1/2 cup of coconut cream or vegan cream cheese. Additionally, reserve 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water from step XX; start by adding 3/4 cup of pasta water along with the cream in step XX, adding more as necessary.
  • Wine: I used a Pinot Grigio for this recipe, but any dry white wine will work. You can double-check that your wine is vegan on barnivore.com.
  • Wine Substitute: Omit the wine and add 2 teaspoons of white wine or red wine vinegar, along with 1/4 cup of water or stock to deglaze the pan.
  • Gluten-Free: Use your favorite gluten-free pasta to make this recipe gluten-free.


Calories: 464kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 111mg | Potassium: 561mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 372IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 3mg