A creamy vegan mushroom pasta, ready in less than 30 minutes. Each mouthful explodes with flavor. Perfect for a quick, comforting dinner!
Ok, I don’t get easily excited.
But the first time I made this creamy vegan mushroom pasta, I almost had tears in my eyes. (Overdramatic, I know!).
You see, I am really committed to a diet full of wholesome foods that are good for you. But sometimes, I also feel like I just want to eat something sinful.
And let’s be honest: heavy cream and mushrooms really go well together.
Many creamy vegan mushroom pasta recipes out there use coconut milk, but I just find the coconut flavor mixed with mushrooms overpowering.
So, is it really possible to make a decadent creamy sauce that tastes as good as the real deal?
It turns out it is.
This easy-to-make creamy vegan mushroom pasta is rich and indulgent yet full of goodness.
Each mouthful will surprise you with its rich flavor from the garlicky roasted mushrooms and the white cream’s smoothness.
All ready in under 30 minutes!
And the sauce that makes all of this possible is cashew cream.
If you have been on a vegan diet for a long time, you will probably be familiar with it and don’t need an introduction. But for the novice out there, cashew cream will quickly become your best friend.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Here is what you need:
- Mushrooms – No kidding!
- Parsley and/or thyme – fresh for more flavor, but frozen works too
- Olive oil
- Cashew nuts
- Lemon juice
- Black pepper and salt
How to make this creamy vegan mushroom pasta
Here is how to make it:
- Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil. Once golden, add the mushrooms, fresh parsley, and thyme, season, and let them brown for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, blend the cashew (more on that below).
- Cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to the package direction. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water before draining.
- Add the cashew cream to the mushrooms and toss with the pasta. If the sauce is too thick, now it’s time to add a bit of the reserved cooking water. Mix well and serve.
How to make cashew cream
Cashew cream is the real deal and what makes this vegan mushroom pasta so deliciously creamy.
You just need 4 simple ingredients:
- Soaked cashews
- Lemon juice
The trick to making the most amazingly smooth cashew cream is to soak your cashews in water. You can do this for 12 hours in cold water (who has got time for that?) or simply add them to boiling water for 10-15 minutes (I’ll go for this one!).
I never tried to soak my cashew nuts for more than 15 minutes for 2 main reasons:
- As much as I love meal prepping, I never remember to make this kind of thing ahead.
- This vegan cream comes out so good and smooth, even with the cheap blender I use, that I don’t really see a valid reason to soak cashews for longer.
All you have to do is place the cashews in a bowl and cover them with boiling water (it needs to be super hot!).
Soak them for at least 10-15 minutes. Drain and rinse thoroughly.
Place the cashews in a food processor or blender with water, salt, and lemon juice until velvety smooth. The lemon juice just adds a bit of acidity. This gives the cream the perfect tanginess to replace dairy cream in this recipe (or any recipe).
I find that the perfect ratio for this creamy pasta recipe is roughly 1 to 1. So if you are using 1 cup of cashews, you’ll need 1 cup of water. This makes a slightly less thick cream, but that’s the consistency we need to soak our pasta in and allow it to absorb all the creaminess.
What kind of mushrooms can you use?
You will need plenty of mushrooms to infuse the cream and pasta with flavor.
Pretty much any type of mushroom works. In this version, I used a mix of shitake mushrooms and brown mushrooms (AKA gourmet, cremini/crimini, or chestnut mushrooms). But you can also use medium-size portobello mushrooms.
Tip for extra awesomeness: If you really want to go the extra mile and have an extra 10 minutes to spare, you can also add a handful of dried porcini mushrooms. The flavor will be unbelievable!
All you have to do is to soak the dried porcini mushrooms in a glass with hot water for at least 15 minutes before adding them to the pan (make sure they are fully covered). This will rehydrate them and create a rich mushroomy broth that you can add to the sauce.
You can do this ahead of time while you prepare everything else.
Toppings and additions
This pasta is perfect as it is, but if you want a bit of extra flavor and crunchiness, you can top it with some grated walnuts (like I did here), some parmesan if you are not vegan, or some nutritional yeast flakes.
You can also add a couple of handfuls of spinach into the sauce just before tossing the pasta for a full rounded meal (eat your greens, remember?).
Can you meal prep this pasta?
I wouldn’t recommend cooking this pasta ahead of time, or it’ll get too soft and soggy.
But you can prep the sauce ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days. Once you are ready to eat it, just warm it up in a pan on low-medium heat. Add some extra water a bit at a time to loosen it up a bit, and cook your pasta at the last minute for the perfect weeknight dinner.
More pasta recipes you absolutely need to try:
- Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta
- Tuscan Kale Pesto Pasta
- No-Cook Creamy Tomato Pasta
- Creamy Tomato Pasta With Herbs
- Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
- Hummus Pasta
Creamy Vegan Mushroom Pasta
Vegan Cream Sauce
- 6 oz pasta of choice - (spaghetti, fettuccine, linguine, penne)
- 10 oz mushrooms - (brown mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, portobello)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 medium onion
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- fresh parsley and thyme
- salt and black pepper
- chopped parsley
- shaved walnuts, parmesan
- Soak the cashews in boiling water for at least 10 minutes.
- Wash and slice the mushrooms, and chop the onion, parsley, and thyme.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the chopped onion and minced garlic cloves.
- Add the sliced mushrooms, half of the chopped parsley, and thyme, and stir regularly. Season with salt and black pepper and let them cook for about 10 minutes, until soft and wilted.
- In the meantime, cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to the package direction. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water before draining.
- Rinse the cashews under running water. Make the cashew cream by blending the soaked cashews with water, lemon juice, and salt.
- Add the cream to the cooked mushrooms, and stir well. Transfer the pasta into the sauce, toss for 1-2 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit of the reserved cooking water.
- Garnish with the remaining parsley and thyme, grated walnuts, or parmesan.
Did you make this recipe? Tag @gatheringdreams on Instagram. I want to see it!