This Tex-Mex pasta dish is so easy to make and bursts with big flavors. The healthy creamy sauce is made out of butternut squash, roasted red peppers and cashews. And the chili powder makes this Tex-Mex dish so unique! This recipe will be a perfect weekday meal for all the family.
What does Tex-Mex cuisine mean?
Originally started in Tejano, a region in Texas, the Tex-Mex culinary style as now spread all over United states and also in Canada. You can describe this type of food predominantly with Mexican flavors, but also containing lots of other cultural influences, mostly American and less often Spanish.
In the classic Tex-Mex cuisine, you can find lots of meat, cheese, corn, beans, avocado, peppers, tomatoes and spices. Some common dishes you can find in this cuisine type are chilis, fajitas and nachos.
What brings the Tex-Mex flavors in this creamy pasta dish
- Roasted red pepper: Using jarred roasted peppers makes this sauce super easy to prepare.
Roasted red pepper are quite different then their non-roasted version: more tender, sweeter and with an almost smoky taste. Very unique. So please, do not substitute with fresh peppers!
- Even though there are lots of cheesy flavors in this meal, you won’t need any cheese to make it! What makes this pasta dish creamy and cheesy:
Cashew: They are what bring the extra luscious texture to this sauce. Almost dairy like creaminess, but without the cream or the cheese.
Butternut squash: Hiding vegetable in pasta sauces is one of my favorite thing to do in the kitchen! This dish is made out of butternut squash, which brings a hint of delicious sweetness to the whole dish. Blending the cooked vegetable helps to achieve a super smooth and rich sauce.
Nutritional yeast: Well, I would have a hard time not adding this ingredient when making a creamy sauce! It adds that cheezy taste and really, brings all the flavors together. Nutritional yeast is your best friend if you want to cut on the dairy!
- Chili powder: This spice is the essential Mexican influence to bring this meal together.
How to make this EASY Tex-Mex pasta meal?
Making this dish is so easy! The sauce can also be prepared ahead for quick and easy weekday meals.
1- Make the sauce. Boil the squash until tender, 15-20 minutes. You will have to add the raw cashews half way through the cooking to help them soften before blending. Then, add the butternut squash and cashews to the blender along with all the other sauce ingredients (except for the lentils) and blend until very smooth.
2- Add the canned lentils to the sauce and stir.
3- Combine with the pasta of your choice.
How to store this Tex-Mex pasta dish
The sauce will stay good in the fridge for up to 4 days. Try to keep the pasta apart from the noodles when storing, if possible.
The sauce can also be frozen for up to 3 months!
Additions possible to this dish
Here are some ingredients you can use to make this dish even more infused with the Tex-Mex culture:
- Swap the lentils for black beans
- Add cumin powder alongside the chili powder
- Top your dish with sliced jalapeño
- Crumble tortilla chips on top to create extra texture
- Add a diced fresh red pepper for a good crunch
- If you like cilantro, add some too!
Other hidden vegetables pasta sauce
I hope you will love this pasta dish as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was.
Simple Tex-Mex pasta – Creamy and Vegan
- 1 cup raw cashew
- 16 oz roasted red pepper drained
- 5 cups butternut squash peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tsp chili powder or to taste
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cups almond milk unsweetened and unflavored
- 15.5 oz canned lentils drained and rinsed
- pasta of your choice cooked according to the packaging
- Boil the butternut squash in water for about 10 minutes. Then, add the cashews to the pot and keep boiling for 10 more minutes. Drain the squash and cashews together in a colander.
- Combined the squash, cashews, roasted red pepper, garlic, nutritional yeast, chili powder, almond milk and salt to a blender and blend for a minute or two until very smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Transfer the sauce to a large bowl, add the lentils and stir.
- Pour the sauce on the pasta of your choice. Enjoy!