Creamy, delicious, and made with simple ingredients, this mushroom broccoli rigatoni with vegan cream sauce is a healthier take on one of my childhood favorites.
Growing up, there was a restaurant down the street from me called Bertuccis. Did anyone else have this?? I was the pickiest eater back then, but had this weird obsession with certain pasta sauces. The restaurant had a chicken broccoli rigatoni with lemon garlic (not vegan) cream sauce that I LOVED. It was probably loaded with dairy, so it never made me feel too good after eating it, but I loved it nonetheless. I hardly ever ate the chicken OR the broccoli, mostly just the pasta.
I’ve played around with a few different vegan cream sauce variations, but ultimately settled on this one here. Nut allergies are awfully common these days, so I want to make sure this recipe is suitable for all types of eaters. I do, however, have other sauce ideas in mind for future recipes, so if you love cashew based sauces like me, you can find my alfredo sauce here!
I used chickpea pasta for this recipe to make it more protein, fiber, and iron rich, but any pasta will do. Brown rice pasta is my personal favorite gluten free pasta.
A few notes on this vegan cream sauce
- This recipe can easily be made nut free by subbing almond milk for soy, or any other non-dairy milk.
- This recipe will store in the fridge for about 3 days, but tastes best when served right away. To reheat, add to a pan with a splash of milk and heat until creamy and warm.
- If you want some extra lemon flavor, I suggest adding about 1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest. There is plenty of lemon without the zest, but it does add some extra flavor.
This easy pasta with a vegan cream sauce is a healthier take on one of my old childhood favorites!
- 16 ounces rigatoni
- 1 head broccoli, chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms
- 2 cups unsweetened plain almond milk
- Juice from 1 small lemon
- 10–12 large garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp brown rice flour
- 1–1.5 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Black pepper to taste
- Optional: 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package instructions.
- In a separate pot, use a steamer basket to steam the chopped broccoli for about 5 minutes.
- Gently wash mushrooms to remove any dirt.
- Slice each mushroom into about 4 pieces.
- Add to a pan and sauté with a splash of water until slightly wilted and cooked down.
- Prepare the sauce by mincing the garlic.
- Add the garlic to a large pot with the olive oil and cook until translucent.
- Stir in the flour and whisk to get rid of any clumps.
- Slowly stir in the almond milk and continue to whisk.
- Add the lemon juice and lemon zest if using.
- Reduce heat to low and let simmer until the sauce has thickened.
- Add the salt and pepper.
- Add the mushrooms, broccoli, and sauce to the cooked pasta.
- Top with additional salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes if desired and enjoy.
To make this recipe oil free, simply sub the olive oil for veggie broth or water. Just be sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn or stick!
Keywords: vegan pasta recipe, creamy pasta recipe, creamy vegan pasta, lemon cream sauce