It’s hard to imagine a creamy pasta dish without butter, cheese, and milk, but these vegan recipes prove you don’t need dairy to make a silky smooth sauce for your favorite noodles.
Many of these recipes already call for veggies, but don’t let the instructions limit the produce you use. Feel free to get creative and add your favorites to any of these variations for a healthier pasta dish.
1. Avocado Pasta
You had us at avocado, the creamy substitute for butter in this dish. Then you say it only takes 20 minutes to prepare from start to finish? Excuse us. The kitchen is waiting.
2. One-Pot Vegan Pasta
We’re all about healthy one-pot meals. And even though this one will smell deliciously tempting when you take it off the burner, wait a few extra minutes to let the pasta and veggies soak up all of the broth. (If you can’t find vegan Parmesan, don’t worry—it’s optional.)
3. Creamy Vegan Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo
Gluten-free brown rice pasta gets topped with vegan Alfredo sauce for an indulgent pasta dish you’ll want to slurp up Lady and the Tramp style. Cashews and veggie stock replace the dairy in the sauce, and the nuts need to soak for three hours beforehand, so factor that into your prep schedule.
4. Cilantro Basil Pesto Pasta
This dish proves you don’t need Parmesan to make a delicious pesto. The recipe calls for a mixture of cilantro, basil, cashews, ginger, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. It’s incredibly simple: Throw the ingredients in a food processor, and once the sauce is mixed, use it to dress the pasta.
5. Avocado and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta
Avocado keeps this pesto variation creamy, while the sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and red pepper flakes add bursts of flavor that’s similar to Bolognese sauce. Word to the kitchen-wise: Just like the last recipe, you’ll need a food processor to whip this up.
6. Vegan Pasta Alfredo
The traditional Alfredo recipe gets a makeover. Made with cauliflower, almond milk, and nutritional yeast, this pasta dish is completely dairy-free. All you need is nine ingredients and 25 minutes to throw it together.
7. Creamy Vegan Lemon Asparagus Pasta
Get ready for asparagus season! This recipe combines the stalky vegetable and zesty lemon with a creamy sauce for a dish that’s light and fresh—perfect for spring.