Noodles coated with a rich creamy sauce that’s extra easy to make and so flavorful: this is what I call the perfect comfort food. The cashews make this vegan white sauce pasta dish extra decadent and the seared chewy mushrooms add a great texture along with a deep umami flavor. And you won’t believe that this meal is dairy-free!
Our son Zachary just started part-time pre-school. Our I-can’t-stop-talking-and-won’t-never-stop-moving-neither-also-no-thank-you-for-a-nap 3 1/2 year old. I enjoy how his explosive personality brings lots of action around. But oh boy, mama is tired.
Not that I want to be overly tragic, but I feel like I’m just starting to get back to a more normal life since that new semester started. At least a more balanced life.
And one of the things I enjoy from having him in school is that I have some extra alone time with our daughter. Which is amazing. I realized that she might have been a little overshadowed by our stormy energetic happy little man.
So, I’m trying to do more girl friendly activities while we are alone. Well, she is only 2, so these activities are kind of limited. But I try to focus on the things she loves to do the most, like long stroller rides or never ending swinging sessions (welcome to my thrilling life).
Or eating delicious food. If you know our sweet Lilianne, I see you nodding your head right now. She is the biggest foodie I have ever met. Ever. Which is amazing. Especially for a food blogging mom like me.
So I made this vegan creamy sauce pasta dish in my quest on doing more of Lili’s fav things (ok, maybe the pasta idea was for me). And unsurprisingly, it was very much Lili approved. And there is no doubt you will approve too.
It’s a totally dairy-free creamy pasta dish!
The secret to reaching such a silky sauce without any dairy ingredients is the cashews. If I am looking for a regular weekday quick white sauce for pasta, then I’ll make this Cauliflower Alfredo. But, I keep this cashew sauce recipe for the very special occasions. It is also as quick to make as the cauliflower one, but a little richer, so I keep it for when I need a treat!
To make the basic creamy white sauce, you will need:
- Raw Cashews
- Hemp seeds
- Nutritional yeast
- Fresh Lemon
- Fresh garlic
I love using hemp seeds while making this sauce for their healthy fats and high amount of protein. Also blending them with cashews really make the sauce consistency similar to a regular thick cream.
How to make this mushroom vegan white sauce
The dairy free white sauce is a great base for any pasta dishes and so flavorful on its own. I have eaten this sauce plain simply with noodles more than often!
But the addition of onions, garlic, mushrooms and fresh parsley to the basic sauce is what make this dish heavenly.
To make it, you will have to cook the veggies and herb in a pan. Then, add the white sauce and warm up everything together before combining it to the noodles of your choice.
Adjust the vegan white sauce recipe to your taste
You should keep the basic white sauce as it is. BUT, there are endless swaps you can use instead of the mushroom mixture.
Try combining the basic vegan creamy white sauce with:
- Other veggies, like green peas, asparagus, red pepper, broccoli, green beens, zucchini or even corn! Similar to this Primavera pasta bake, you can load this creamy sauce with lots of veggies if you want.
- Other fresh herbs, like fresh basil, thyme or oregano. If you don’t have any fresh herbs, especially if they are not in season, then add a pinch of dried basil, parsley, oregano or thyme to flavor the sauce to your taste.
- More protein by adding a can of lentils (drained and rinsed). I love how tiny lentils add a crumbly feeling in creamy sauces, just like in this Tex-Mex pasta dish.
Pro-tips when making this meal
- If you don’t have a high speed blender, you might have to blend the white sauce for a few minutes and take breaks to scrape down the walls of the blender with a spatula.
- Before adding the white sauce to the pan, take the pan away from the heat first (try not to pour the sauce in the pan when the pan is very hot). Do not overcook the sauce. You actually do not want to cook the mixture after adding the creamy sauce, the goal is simply to combine with the mushrooms and warm up everything together.
If you poured the sauce on a very hot pan and it became thicker than you want (or if it coagulated), then simply add a splash of unsweetened non dairy milk (or water) to the pan and stir well using a whisk until it has regained its smooth texture.
- You can either combine the noodles with the sauce in the pan before serving, or simply top the noodles with the sauce. If you think you will have leftovers, then I recommend to simply top the noodles with the sauce so you can store the leftovers easier.
How to eat the leftovers
The basic white sauce tends to thicken as it cools down. So, after resting in the fridge, you might have to loosen up the sauce to reach the texture you want:
- First, warm the leftover sauce in the microwave (without the noodles).
- Then, add a small amount of water or unsweetened non dairy milk to help loosen up the sauce and mix well. Repeat until you reach the texture you want.
- Top the noodles of your choice with the sauce and gobble up!
I hope you will love this vegan creamy pasta dish as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let us know how it was.
Vegan white sauce pasta with mushrooms
For the cream sauce
- 3/4 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup hemp hearts (seeds)
- 1/4 tsp garlic (about 1 small) crushed
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 3/4 tsp salt or to taste
- a pinch of nutmeg optional
- 1 cup water
For the pasta
- 1 tbsp olive oil optional
- 1 small white onion (or half of a large one) diced
- 8 oz mushrooms (white button or baby bella) sliced
- 1 clove of garlic crushed
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley finely chopped, plus more for serving
- salt and black pepper to taste
- pasta of your choice cooked according to the packaging
- Boil the cashews in water for 10 minutes. Drain well.
- Add the cashews to a blender along with all the other cream sauce ingredients (hemp seeds, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt, nutmeg, water). Blend until very smooth. Set aside.
- In a large pan, cook the onion in the oil (or a little water) for about 3-5 minutes (or until softened). Add a good pinch of salt. Then, add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for another 5-7 minutes stirring occasionally.
- When the veggies are cooked, add the parsley and stir to soften the herb slightly.
- Then, take the pan away from the heat and add the cream sauce to the pan. Stir constantly until the sauce is warm enough, but be careful not to overcook it.
- Serve over the pasta of your choice. Enjoy!
- Do not overcook the sauce in the pan and try not to pour the sauce over the veggies when the pan is very hot. If the sauce gets too thick by cooking it too much, then add a splash of water or unsweetened non dairy milk and whisk until it regained its smooth texture.
- It is better to store the leftover noodles and pasta sauce separately.
- The sauce tends to thicken when cooling down. To reheat the leftovers, start by warming the sauce in the microwave and then add a little water or unsweetened non dairy milk and mix well. Repeat until you have the desired texture. Then, serve over the warmed up noodles.