This creamy vegan lemon pasta is a quick and easy high protein dinner that the whole family will love. It’s made with wholesome ingredients, gluten free and only takes 20 minutes to make!
I’ve always had a thing for smooth and creamy pasta sauce. To this day I still put store bought pasta sauces in the blender to make them creamy. Is that weird?? Probably, but honestly it makes it SO much better!
This vegan lemon pasta is one of my favorite pasta sauces. It’s definitely up there on my list with my roasted red pepper pasta, mushroom broccoli rigatoni, and tomato basil cream sauce.
I honestly don’t think I could ever pick a favorite, but this one is up there!
I like to serve this pasta as the main dish since it’s a great source of both protein, fat, carbs and veggies, but it would also be great with a side salad or even my lemon pepper salmon. If you aren’t vegan or vegetarian, you can try my lemon chicken pasta!
There are several ways to make a creamy vegan pasta sauce. I often use cashews like in my vegan alfredo sauce but since many people have issues with nuts, I wanted a sauce without them!
For this recipe, we’ll be using a few key ingredients to yield a very creamy consistency.
White beans: Beans are a great way to make something creamy without adding dairy. Plus, they add a lot of protein, fiber, and other nutrients to the sauce without you even realizing.
Olive oil: A little bit of olive oil makes *most* recipes better. In this white bean pasta, the olive oil helps make the sauce rich and creamy without a touch of dairy.
It also adds a great flavor a lots of healthy fats. You can also use vegan butter for a richer flavor if you prefer.
Almond milk: You can use any non-dairy milk in this recipe to help the sauce blend and help it get an extra creamy consistency. Just be sure it is both unsweetened and unflavored.
How to make vegan lemon pasta
First, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. Always heavily salt your pasta water, it adds so much flavor!
While the pasta is cooking, add the chopped onion and minced garlic to a pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil.
Saute for 5-10 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
Add to a food processor with the drained and rinsed beans and all remaining ingredients.
Process until completely smooth. This may take a good 1-2 minutes to make sure the beans are completely processed.
To the same pan you cooked the onion in, add the chopped asparagus with a touch of olive oil if needed and saute for 5-10 minutes.
Add the asparagus to the cooked pasta and pour the sauce on top.
Mix together and top with red pepper flakes and extra salt or pepper if desired. Serve warm and enjoy!
What kind of beans are best?
You can use any small white bean in this recipe such as cannellini, navy beans (which are not in fact navy in color), great northern beans etc.
I would not recommend using chickpeas or butter beans. I personally used navy beans and it worked really well.
How to store
Once prepared, this vegan pasta will store in the fridge for 3-4 days. To reheat, add to a pan or pot with a splash of olive oil and heat until warm and creamy.
I have not tried freezing this pasta, but I do think it would turn out ok! The pasta itself may fall apart a bit when it defrosts, but the flavors will still be delicious.
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Creamy Vegan Lemon Pasta
by: claire cary
- 16 ounces pasta of choice
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 2 cups cooked white beans I used navy
- ¼ cup plain non dairy milk I used almond
- 3 tbsp + 1 tbsp olive oil divided
- 3-4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 large white or yellow onion
- 6 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup homemade cashew parmesan sub nutritional yeast for nut free
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp salt or more to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- Prep the cashew parmesan if you haven't already. If you're going to sub for nutritional yeast, just skip this step!
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions.
- Mince the garlic, chop the onion, and add both to a pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil.
- Saute for 5-10 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
- Drain and rinse the white beans and add to a food processor.
- Transfer the onion and garlic to the food processor along with all remaining ingredients and process until completely smooth. You may need to let it run for a good 1-2 minutes to make sure it is completely smooth and no bean pieces remain.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
- To the same pan that you cooked the garlic and onion in, add the chopped asparagus and saute for 5-10 minutes or until it is your desired doneness. I like asparagus on the firm side, so I only cook it for about 5 minutes.
- Add the asparagus to the cooked pasta and pour the sauce on top. Stir together until well incorporated.
- Top with red pepper flakes and more nutritional yeast or cashew parm if desired.
This is a delicious recipe! I will say though- the texture isn’t that creamy or silky. Definitely beanie…maybe next time I would add some tofu or something to help make it more silky! I added more milk but it still wasn’t a creamy mouth feel
Claire Cary says
You need to blend it for a while to really get that creamy feel!
I am obsessed with this white bean cream sauce. I make it every couple weeks. It is delicious and so easy to make.
Claire Cary says
thank you Dana! so happy you’ve been enjoying it!
OMG this is soooooo good! I doubled the amount of nutritional yeast (you know, Dutch people like cheese) and left out the lemon juice, and all of a sudden I ended up with such a delicious creamy cheese sauce! It’s definitely my new favorite recipe 🙂
Claire Cary says
Thank you Cindy!! More nutritional yeast is always a good idea 🙂
I have made this twice and love it. I used green beans once because I didn’t have asparagus and it was just as delicious! A hit with picky eaters.
Claire Cary says
YUM!! Sounds perfect 🙂