A dreamy, creamy vegan mushroom pasta. You won’t believe there is no dairy in this amazing cashew cream sauce, which is packed with flavors and could rival any alfredo or carbonara sauce. This dish can be on the table in under 30 minutes, so it’s easy enough for a weeknight but special enough for date night.
It is no secret that I love a plate of creamy pasta.
But we can’t just go pouring heavy cream on everything all the time can we?
I am not a healthy blogger per se, but I am vaguely health conscious. Enough to know that we can’t.
Enter Cashew Cream… a Decadent Dairy Free Cream Sauce
So here’s the solution! Cashew cream!
With a jar of cashews sitting on the shelf, you can have cream whenever you want, with no expiry dates to worry about, and far less guilt. Because nuts are amazingly good for you.
This is in no way second best to “real” cream. It really is just as good.
This is still an intensely calorific dish and in no way light, but I feel better eating cashew cream than dairy cream. Even if you don’t have that viewpoint, it is always good to get variety in your diet, so swapping things around can make sense.
And obviously this is a huge win for anyone following a vegan diet, or dairy intolerant.
How to add flavor
When minimicking a creamy mushroom pasta or carbonara style sauce, the cream is super easy to replace with cashew cream.
But we don’t have any cheese here, so we want a lil’ something to bring umami. I add lots of wholegrain mustard, wine and nutritional yeast to my sauce. It just gives it all a little lift.
I wouldn’t skimp on these ingredients. When I’ve made it with less wine, mustard or nutritional yeast it was still good but a little more bland. Up to you!
What Mushrooms to Use
Portobella (or portabellini / baby bella) and shiitake mushrooms are my faves in this dish, but whatever you use, just make sure they are super flavorful ones. Don’t use white button mushrooms, they won’t do a lot for this pasta.
Toppings & Extras
I also like to add toppings! Chives and sundried tomatoes add color and bursts of extra flavor.
You could use other herbs too: basil or parsley would work well.
Instead of sundried tomatoes, you could roast some cherry tomatoes.
I use lots of ground black pepper in this dish too.
What else can you do with this pasta?
While this iteration is all about those ‘shrooms, you could certainly add some extra veggies if you wanted to.
- Making this in the winter? Try throwing in some leeks.
- Autumn? It’s never a bad idea to throw some pureed butternut squash into your vegan cream sauce.
- Spring or summer? This would be awesome with some asparagus or peas.
Creamy Vegan Mushroom Pasta
- 300 g (11 oz) linguine or spaghetti
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 400 g (14 oz) mixed mushrooms, sliced*
- 200 ml (6 fl oz) white wine
- 2 Tbsp wholegrain mustard
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Cashew Cream Sauce
- 150 g (1 cup) cashew nuts
- 8 Tbsp (½ cup) nutritional yeast
- 1 clove garlic
- First, make your cashew cream sauce. Soak your cashews and garlic clove in 1 cup of boiling water while you prep the other ingredients, Then add the nutritional yeast and blend (including the soaking water) until smooth. I like to use a high powered hand blender for this, but a quality jug blender will work too.
- Put your pasta on to boil; you will cook the mushrooms while it’s simmering.
- In a large pan, saute your shallots until transluscent and then add the mushrooms and garlic to the pan in batches, sauteeing on a medium-high heat until the mushrooms start to cook down and release a little bit of juice. If anything starts sticking to the pan, add a couple spoonfuls of the wine to get things unstuck.
- Add mustard and mix through the mushrooms for a minute or two before pouring in the wine. Turn the heat up so that the wine starts to reduce for a few minutes, and then pour in the cashew cream. Turn the heat off at this point, as cooking the cashew cream over a high heat will make the sauce too thick.
- Once cooked, drain the pasta and stir it into the pan to mix with the sauce.
- Add toppings and serve.