I love a good cashew cream sauce, but every once in a while, it’s nice just to not have to worry about soaking those cashews and breaking out the blender- vegans, you know what I’m talking about. I present to you this Creamy Vegan Mushroom Pasta, an easy and flavorful pasta dish that is an alternative to the cashew cream sauce. Perfect for when you want something fast for a weeknight dinner and also a lifesaver for those with nut allergies. I think you’ll be happy you gave this one a try!
Why You’ll love this Creamy Vegan Mushroom Pasta
-Nut free! Use your favorite trusted brand of plant based milk
-Ready in 25 minutes
-Filling and satisfying
-Make gluten free by using GF pasta
-Rich and creamy flavor
Why Mushrooms Rock…
There are so many types of amazing mushrooms out there. They really are one of the crown jewels of plant based cuisine. Their texture and flavor is really beyond comparison to anything else in the plant world, and they pack a nutrition punch as well.
High in selenium, vitamin C, B vitamins to name a few, mushrooms have an amazing antioxidant profile. Not only are they amazing for your immunity, but some studies are starting to show that mushrooms are an important part of cancer prevention. There is certainly still a lot to learn about these magical fungi, but I think it’s safe to say, they are a superfood that will be at the top of the list for a long time to come.
You can really use any type of mushroom you want for this dish. I used baby bellas, but there are many options that would work well. Shitake, portobellos, or oyster mushrooms would also work well.
Do I need olive oil to sauté the onions and mushrooms?
It may feel crazy if you’ve never cooked without oil, but you don’t need oil to caramelize onions and mushrooms. When you start to sauté the onions, at first it will look like they are going to stick. But give it a minute, and they will start to release their water. Then continue to sauté, until they start to turn golden brown.
If the onions or mushrooms stick at any point, just add a bit of water or veggie broth to the pan to release the stuck bits from the bottom of the pan. This will actually enhance the flavor, as those stuck bits contain a lot of rich umami flavor.
What is nutritional yeast?
Nutritional yeast is a type of yeast that is known as deactivated, whereby the yeast cells are actually killed during processing and rendered inactive.
It is commonly used in vegan cooking because of it’s nutty, cheesy flavor. It has many nutritional benefits as well. It is a complete protein and is very rich in B vitamins.
It also comes commonly in a fortified version that has vitamin B12 added. This can be a good source of B12 for vegans, but also for anyone really. B12 is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies in people of all types of diets. Because of our soils being depleted of many nutrients they once had, it is very difficult for anyone to get their recommended daily dosage of B12 solely from diet. If you want to know more about if you should supplement with B12, here is some important information from Nutritionfacts.org.
Can I make this dish Gluten Free?
This recipe can easily be make gluten free by making sure your pasta is gluten free and you are using Tamari instead of soy sauce. Other than those ingredients, this dish is completely gluten free.
Creamy Vegan Mushroom Pasta
- 10 oz whole wheat pasta, or pasta of your choice
- 1/2 of a red onion sliced and then halved (sweet onion would work well also)
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 4-6 cloves of garlic
- 3 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 4 cups chopped mushrooms
- 1 tbsp italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 cup unsweetened plain soy milk (or other unsweetened plant based milk)
- 1/2 tbsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
- Salt to taste
- Boil water for pasta on the stovetop and cook according to the directions on the package.
- While waiting for the pasta water to boil, add onions and red pepper flakes to a medium to large sauté pan. Sauté medium heat until onions soften and start to brown. Add water or broth as necessary if they start to stick
- Add garlic and sauté for about a minute until garlic becomes fragrant
- Add mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes until the mushrooms release water and reduce in size, adding small amounts of broth or water if they start to stick.
- In the meantime, add soy milk, arrowroot powder and lemon juice to a small bowl and mix well till well incoroporated.
- Add the tamari, Italian seasoning, and smoked paprika to the mushrooms and continue to sauté for another couple of minutes, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms are nice and soft and have released all of their liquid.
- Drain your pasta when it has finished cooking and set aside.
- Add soy milk mixture to the pan and turn heat up to medium high. The sauce will start to simmer and thicken.
- When the soy milk mixture has reached a creamy consitency and is well combined with the mushrooms and onions, add cooked pasta and nutritional yeast to the pan. Stir well for about a minute until pasta is completely coated in sauce. Add salt to taste if needed.
- Serve with fresh basil or parsley and vegan parmesean.