This Creamy Zucchini Alfredo is a hearty, veggie-packed dish that makes the perfect cozy summer lunch or easy-to-make dinner! Vegan, Nut-Free, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Option.
- 8 ounces (225 g) pasta of choice
- 1/2 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter or oil
- 2 zucchini, divided
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup (~35 g) hemp hearts or soaked raw cashews
- 2/3 cup (160 mL) pasta water; see instructions
- black pepper, to taste
- Prep: Use a vegetable peeler to peel all of the green outer layer off of one zucchini, then finely dice it. Take the other zucchini and finely julienne or slice it; set both aside, separately.
- Cook the Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil with the 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt. Add the pasta once boiling and then cook until al dente, according to package directions. When there is 1 minute left of cook time, (1) carefully remove 2/3 cup of the pasta water and set aside, then (2) add the julienned zucchini and cook for the remaining minute, to blanch it.
- Aromatics: In the meantime, melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and zucchini and sauté for 10 minutes, until the zucchini is translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.
- Blend: Carefully transfer the sautéed zucchini mixture into a blender along with the reserved pasta water, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, hemp hearts or cashews, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Blend on high for 45 to 60 seconds, until a smooth sauce forms.
- Combine: Return the blended sauce to the same pan over medium-low heat, then add in the cooked pasta and zucchini and mix well. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, then divide among plates and serve warm; store leftovers in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
- Gluten-Free: use gluten-free pasta instead of wheat-based pasta
- Oil-Free: sauté the veggies with 1/4 cup of water and a pinch of salt instead of the butter in step 3