Creamy, delicious, and made with simple ingredients, this vegan mushroom broccoli pasta with lemon garlic cream sauce is a simple and delicious dinner. It’s ready in about 20 minutes and approved by both kids and adults!
You guyyyyyys. I didn’t think it would be possible to make a dairy free sauce that was so creamy, so simple, and so damn easy to make. Yet here we are.
While I LOVE my roasted red pepper pasta and lentil bolognese, I think this mushroom broccoli pasta with lemon garlic cream sauce might take the cake on my all type favorite pasta recipes. Sprinkle on top some cashew parmesan and you’ve suddenly gone to vegan pasta heaven.
There’s no cashew soaking involved (I got you impatient people) but you still get a gorgeously creamy sauce in *literally* 20 minutes. I think I found heaven.
How to make this recipe
It’s easier than you think ladies and gents. Follow these simple steps to get the perfect lemon garlic cream sauce every time.
First, you’ll want to bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. You can use any type of pasta, but I like rigatoni for this vegan broccoli pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, add the chopped broccoli and mushrooms to a pan with about ½ inch of water and let steam for about 5-7 minutes.
To prepare the sauce, mince the garlic very finely and add to a large saute pan with the olive oil. Cook until the garlic starts to brown slightly.
Whisk in the flour until no clumps remain. It’s going to look clumpy because of the garlic, but as long as you whisk it really well, there shouldn’t actually be any clumps of flour. Slowly pour in the almond milk and whisk together.
Add in the lemon juice and reduce heat to low. Let simmer until the sauce is thick. This should take about 10 or so minutes.
Add in the salt and pepper, taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Try not to add the lemon and salt too close together (wait a few minutes between the two). For some reason when I did this once, the garlic turned blue when it reacted with the salt. If anyone can explain that to me, I’m all ears!!
For an extra creamy sauce, use an immersion blender to process the sauce until completely smooth or just add it to a regular blender. It will be delicious and creamy blended or not! I personally like the blender method because it really infuses the garlic flavor into every bite and gives a really silky texture, but the choice is yours!
Add the veggies and sauce to the pasta and combine well. Top with additional salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes and enjoy!
Can I make it nut free? This recipe can easily be made nut free by subbing almond milk for soy, or any other non-dairy milk.
Does it keep? Once prepared, this mushroom broccoli pasta 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.
Can I use lemon zest? If you want some extra lemon flavor, I suggest adding about ½ tsp fresh lemon zest. There is plenty of lemon without the zest, but it does add some extra flavor.
Why is there so much salt? I know a whole teaspoon and a half of salt seems like a lot, but it really rounds out the flavor of this dish, so don’t skimp on it!
How do I thicken the sauce? We’ll be using a bit of flour to do this! The brown rice flour can be subbed for any neutral flour like whole wheat (if not gluten free), regular rice flour, gluten free all purpose flour etc. Try to stick to a flour that has a very neutral flavor.
What’s the best way to mince garlic? I like to use this garlic press to ensure the garlic is very finely minced. You don’t want giant chunks of garlic in this cream sauce. With that said, I’ve received a few questions about the 12 cloves of garlic. YES, I really do mean TWELVE cloves! Trust me, it’s amazing. The flavors calm down when it cooks, so it won’t be overpowering!
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Mushroom Broccoli Rigatoni with Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce
- 16 ounces rigatoni
- 1 head broccoli (chopped)
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms (can be pre-sliced or whole)
- 2 ¼ cups unsweetened plain non dairy milk
- 3-4 tbsp lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
- 12 large garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp brown rice flour
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Black pepper to taste
- Optional: ½ tsp lemon zest
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package instructions.
- Gently wipe mushrooms to remove any dirt.
- Slice each mushroom into about 4 pieces.
- Add to a pan with the broccoli florets, add about 2 tbsp of oil, cover, and let steam/saute for about 5-7 minutes. Afterwards, drain off any extra liquid that was released from the mushrooms.
- Mince the garlic and add to a large pot with the olive oil and cook until the garlic starts to brown.
- Stir in the flour and whisk to get rid of any clumps.
- Slowly stir in the non-dairy 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. If the sauce doesn’t thicken to your desired consistency after 10 minutes, whisk in an additional tbsp of flour.
- Add the salt and pepper and stir.
- For an ultra creamy sauce, transfer to a blender or use an immersion blender and process until completely smooth. I prefer blending the sauce because it infuses the garlic flavor into every bite and makes it incredibly creamy and silky.
- Add the mushrooms, broccoli and sauce to the cooked pasta. Stir to incorporate.
- Top with additional salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes if desired and enjoy!