This Creamy Vegetable Pasta is easy to make for a simple mid-week dinner. Creamy lemony sauce mixed with whichever vegetables take your fancy, plenty of garlic, and an optional hint of chili. Choose your favourite pasta and dinner is served!
This easy pasta dish is perfect for a quick mid-week dinner. You can switch up the vegetables according to what is in your fridge and in season, or you can make it even easier and speedier to make by using pre-chopped frozen veggies.
This recipe is: Dairy Free, Easily Made Gluten Free and Full of Veggie Goodness!
If you love a good quick pasta recipe, you've come to the right place, I have loads, why not try this Vegan Penne Puttanesca with Kale or my other fave cupboard staple Creamy Cannellini Bean & Tomato Pasta.
- Pasta of Choice: I like using short pasta like rigatoni or penne for this dish so you can scoop up some veggies and pasta at the same time for a delicious bite. Choose a Gluten Free pasta if you want to make this Gluten Free. You can also increase the protein by using chickpea or lentil pasta. I tend to ensure that we have 90g of pasta per person, or more if I want leftovers or we're really hungry.
- Vegan Single Cream: Use soya or oat 'cream' to make this dish. You can also make your own cream by soaking then blending cashew nuts. I tend to usually use Oat cream as it suits my tastes best.
- Lemon: Fresh lemon zest goes into the pasta sauce, then I like to squeeze a little extra lemon juice over my pasta to eat.
- Nutritional Yeast: This gives the pasta a savoury cheesy flavour. Think of it like a vegan version of parmesan cheese in this dish.
- Garlic: Freshly chopped garlic is the best, but you could also use jarred or frozen garlic.
- Olive Oil: For sauteeing the veggies.
- Chilli Flakes: Optional, but nice for a bit of heat.
- Oregano: I love adding oregano to pasta dishes. Again optional but delicious.
- Black Pepper and Flakey Sea Salt: Season to taste with these two essentials.
CHOOSE YOUR OWN VEGGIES
- Vegetables: You will need roughly ½ cup/50g of chopped veggies per person you'll be serving. You can choose any 'choppable' crunchy vegetables you like and that happens to be in season/in your fridge. Choose a single variety, or use up any odds and ends in your fridge.
- Here are some veggies I like to use:
- Broccoli: Chop into mini florets
- Carrot: Finely Diced
- Peppers: Finely Chopped
- Leeks or Onions: Always good in pasta
- Asparagus spears: fancy and delicious when in season. Also very elegant when just used on their own.
- Green Beans: Frozen or fresh.
- Fresh or Frozen Peas
You can also choose to use frozen vegetables, either those pre-mixed varieties that you can get in the supermarket or just what you fancy. I always have peas, beans and corn in my freezer, and I can tell you now, that they have saved my hungry tummy when there have been no fresh veggies available on more than one occasion! Tinned vegetables also work well, just reduce the overall cooking time as they are already cooked.
- Put your pasta water on to boil. In the meantime, chop and prepare your veggies.
- Once the pasta water is boiling, start to make the veggies and sauce.
- While the pasta water is boiling, Chop all your veggies into bite sized pieces. Mince the garlic and zest the lemon (be sure to get the yellow parts only)
2. Sautee the garlic and any onions or leeks, peppers and carrots until softened. Then add any green vegetables, herbs and spices and a pinch of salt and cook for a minute.
3. Salt the pasta water then cook the pasta according to packet directions. Add the vegan cream to the pasta along with a scoop of pasta water. Stir. Add the lemon zest and nutritional yeast and stir.
4. Drain the pasta when cooked to be al dente and, add to the creamy lemony sauce. Season to taste with pepper and salt. Squeeze a little extra lemon juice over if desired.
Hint: Check the packet of pasta for how long it needs to be cooked. Start regular dried pasta earlier as it takes longer. Gluten Free and Chickpea/other pastas don't take as long to cook. Don't overcook them or they will be mushy.
🌶Substitutions and Variations
There are a number of easy ways you can switch up this creamy veggie pasta recipe to suit your tastes and dietary needs.
- Gluten-Free- choose your favourite gluten-free pasta.
- Higher Protein - Choose a 'High Protein' pasta such as lentil or chickpea pasta.
- Kid-friendly - Omit the chilli and choose kid-friendly veggies (peas and corn are particularly popular)
- Chilli- Add extra chilli flakes or fresh chilli.
- Different creams: I use Oat Milk cream most regularly as I like the texture. But you can choose soya milk, ordinary dairy cream (for vegetarians) or make your own cashew nut cream and use that. In each case, stir it in at the end and don't bring it a boil.
You'll need a good chopping knife and two large pots to make this recipe effectively.
This recipe can be made ahead up to 3 days and reheated as needed. You might need to add a splash of water to reheat. I do not suggest freezing this recipe.
Add a bit of pasta water to the vegetables just before you add in the vegan cream. This helps create a sauce that 'clings' to the pasta once it is stirred in.
You can add a huge variety of veggies to pasta. I like to choose crunchy sweet vegetables cut into bite-size pieces, as well as frozen vegetables such as peas or beans.
I prefer to use non-dairy cream such as soya cream or oat cream as it doesn't split when heated.
Add a little of the pasta cooking water to the vegetables before adding the cream. The starches in the cooking water add creaminess and help the sauce cling to the pasta.
Easy Dreamy Creamy Vegetable Pasta
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
- 360 g (13 oz) pasta
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lemon zest only
- 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 250 ml (1 cups) vegan cream (Oat or soya cream)
- 400 g (2 ¼ cups) mixed vegetables (choose zucchini, peas, carrot, peppers, green beans, leeks, onions etc. )
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 1 teaspoon flakey sea salt (or to taste)
- Put your pasta water on to boil. Once boiled add salt.
- Finely chop the vegetables you will be using (if they are not pre-chopped)
- Finely mince the garlic and zest the lemon (be sure to only zest the yellow part)
- In a large pan, gently sautee the garlic and any firmer veggies (eg carrots) until softened.
- Add your pasta to your salted pasta water and cook. (times will vary according to the type of pasta you are using, so adjust according to packet directions)
- Add any green vegetables (eg broccoli or peas) to the vegetable pan. Season with any chilli/herbs you are using.
- Put a little of the pasta water into the vegetables and stir. Turn down the heat.
- Add the vegan cream, nutritional yeast and lemon zest to the vegetables.
- Drain your pasta and add to the creamy vegetables.
- Taste and season with salt/pepper/more chilli as needed.
- Serve with extra herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice,