lemony basil creamy vegan pasta with broccoli & sun-dried tomatoes

creamy vegan pasta made in 25 minutes or less!!! perfectly al dente vegan pasta tossed with sautéed bell pepper, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, & an easy homemade lemony basil creamy vegan pasta sauce made from cashews. the easiest healthy pasta recipe – totally dairy-free, vegan & filled with veggies!creamy vegan pasta made in 25 minutes or less!!! perfectly al dente vegan pasta tossed with sauteed bell pepper, broccoli, sundried tomatoes, & an easy homemade lemony basil creamy vegan pasta sauce made from cashews. the easiest healthy pasta recipe - totally dairy-free, vegan & filled with veggies! #creamyveganpasta #easycreamyveganpastasauce #veganrecipes #vegandinner #easyveganrecipes #healthyveganrecipes #plantbased #veganpasta #dairyfree #dairyfreerecipes

pin this lemony basil creamy vegan pasta recipe for later!!!

guys, we did it! the end of dreary march is in sight, & we’ve made it through one whole month of plant-based recipes! it’s been creamy & dreamy, totally craveable, & even slightly unexpected. & i couldn’t have loved it more.

i’ve truly been so obsessed with how well every one of the plant-based march recipes have turned out (i mean, even chris has loved them, ha!). & you guys have been so on board with trying out vegetarian & vegan cooking for your own families. it’s been so fun to watch & be a part of!

we’re wrapping up plant-based march today with what actually ended up being my favorite recipe of the entire month…lemony basil creamy vegan pasta with broccoli & sun-dried tomatoes.

lemony basil creamy vegan pasta with broccoli & sun-dried tomatoescreamy vegan pasta made in 25 minutes or less!!! perfectly al dente vegan pasta tossed with sauteed bell pepper, broccoli, sundried tomatoes, & an easy homemade lemony basil creamy vegan pasta sauce made from cashews. the easiest healthy pasta recipe - totally dairy-free, vegan & filled with veggies! #creamyveganpasta #easycreamyveganpastasauce #veganrecipes #vegandinner #easyveganrecipes #healthyveganrecipes #plantbased #veganpasta #dairyfree #dairyfreerecipes

pin this lemony basil creamy vegan pasta recipe for later!!!

oh my gosh.

oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh.

i am FLIPPING OUT over this lemony basil creamy vegan pasta. it’s pretty much perfect, in so many ways:

  • totally creamy, but totally vegan (say whaaat?!)
  • completely healthy (it’s basically a skillet full of veggies!)
  • full of springtime vibes (comforting, but so super fresh)
  • so freakin’ easy to throw together
  • 100% weeknight friendly (made start-to-finish in less than 25 minutes!)

creamy vegan pasta made in 25 minutes or less!!! perfectly al dente vegan pasta tossed with sauteed bell pepper, broccoli, sundried tomatoes, & an easy homemade lemony basil creamy vegan pasta sauce made from cashews. the easiest healthy pasta recipe - totally dairy-free, vegan & filled with veggies! #creamyveganpasta #easycreamyveganpastasauce #veganrecipes #vegandinner #easyveganrecipes #healthyveganrecipes #plantbased #veganpasta #dairyfree #dairyfreerecipes

pin this lemony basil creamy vegan pasta recipe for later!!!

i wasn’t planning on sharing a pasta recipe in the plant-based march line-up…until this lemony basil creamy vegan pasta kinda just happened one night. & let me tell you: it’s the best coincidence my kitchen in a long time. too good not to share!

the backstory: i randomly got the most intense cravings for one of my favorite pasta dishes at the italian restaurant where i used to work. this pasta dish is my idea of the perfect springtime pasta, made with onions, sun-dried tomatoes, & tons of broccoli. the best part, though, is it’s all tossed in the most insanely velvety pesto cream sauce.

equal parts comforting & fresh…& it’s seriously to.die.for.

the only problem? when the craving struck i had no pesto & no heavy cream on hand, & it was one of those nights when i’d do pretty much anything not to have to leave the house. (ahem, the bachelor was going to be on in like 30 minutes. ??‍♀️ priorities!?)

turning to my fridge & pantry, i grabbed some ingredients i thought might work to satisfy my craving:

  • some broccoli florets to beef up the pasta.
  • a few handfuls of leftover arugula to add an addictively peppery bite.
  • sun-dried tomatoes for extra richness.
  • & some basil & cashews to (*fingers crossed*) make an easy basil cream sauce without using any dairy.

what happened next was nothing short of magical.creamy vegan pasta made in 25 minutes or less!!! perfectly al dente vegan pasta tossed with sauteed bell pepper, broccoli, sundried tomatoes, & an easy homemade lemony basil creamy vegan pasta sauce made from cashews. the easiest healthy pasta recipe - totally dairy-free, vegan & filled with veggies! #creamyveganpasta #easycreamyveganpastasauce #veganrecipes #vegandinner #easyveganrecipes #healthyveganrecipes #plantbased #veganpasta #dairyfree #dairyfreerecipes

pin this lemony basil creamy vegan pasta recipe for later!!!

everything came together so effortlessly & quickly that the longest part of making this vegan pasta dinner was waiting for the pasta to boil! the creamy vegan pasta sauce worked perfectly. (…like, so perfectly i may never make a cream sauce with dairy ever again, haha!) & the flavors hit all of the notes i wanted them to: bright & fresh, but still super cozy & comforting.

& the best part?

totally vegan, but still totally creamy. totally healthy, but still totally satisfying. & totally weeknight friendly.

(& the second best part? i plated up my dinner & plopped onto the sofa right in time to catch the bachelor. ?? boom shakalaka.)

easy vegan creamy pasta sauce (…made with cashews!)creamy vegan pasta made in 25 minutes or less!!! perfectly al dente vegan pasta tossed with sauteed bell pepper, broccoli, sundried tomatoes, & an easy homemade lemony basil creamy vegan pasta sauce made from cashews. the easiest healthy pasta recipe - totally dairy-free, vegan & filled with veggies! #creamyveganpasta #easycreamyveganpastasauce #veganrecipes #vegandinner #easyveganrecipes #healthyveganrecipes #plantbased #veganpasta #dairyfree #dairyfreerecipes

pin this lemony basil creamy vegan pasta recipe for later!!!

if you’ve been reading pwwb for awhile, you know i can’t resist a good creamy cashew situation (exhibit a: smoky chipotle cashew queso. exhibit b: creamy chipotle lime cashew crema.).

i was pretty hopeful that i could also use cashews to make a creamy vegan pasta sauce, & it totally works! the lemony basil creamy vegan pasta sauce kind of stole the show in this pasta recipe! it’s seriously good, & you can throw it together in less than 5 minutes.

to make this creamy vegan pasta sauce, you need:

  • cashews
  • garlic
  • lemon
  • fresh basil
  • water
  • & a pinch kosher salt  

simply add all of the ingredients to a high-speed blender & let it blend for a good 1-2 minutes until the mixture is perfectly thick & creamy. voila! creamy vegan pasta sauce, easy as can be.

on a side note: i usually recommend a food processor for tasks like this, but i really prefer using a blender for cashew sauces. the blade in a food processor isn’t really suited for breaking down cashews into the creamy, dreamy texture we’re looking for here – you’ll inevitably end up with some chunky bits of cashew. no bueno. promise, a good high-speed blender will be your bff for making creamy vegan pasta sauce. this is the blender i have & love.

an easy vegan pasta recipe perfect for weeknight cooking!creamy vegan pasta made in 25 minutes or less!!! perfectly al dente vegan pasta tossed with sauteed bell pepper, broccoli, sundried tomatoes, & an easy homemade lemony basil creamy vegan pasta sauce made from cashews. the easiest healthy pasta recipe - totally dairy-free, vegan & filled with veggies! #creamyveganpasta #easycreamyveganpastasauce #veganrecipes #vegandinner #easyveganrecipes #healthyveganrecipes #plantbased #veganpasta #dairyfree #dairyfreerecipes

pin this lemony basil creamy vegan pasta recipe for later!!!

my absolute favorite, favorite, favorite thing about this lemony basil creamy vegan pasta recipe is how easy it is to throw together, especially on a weeknight. the whole dish comes together in less than 25 minutes – truly, the longest part of this recipe is waiting for the water to boil!

to make this lemony basil creamy vegan pasta any night of the week, you’ll need to:

  • boil your pasta & broccoli.
  • quickly chop & sauté some veggies.
  • make the lemony basil creamy pasta sauce.
  • toss it all together!

if you’re the kind of person who likes meal prepping, you can totally chop up your veggies (the broccoli, onion, & bell pepper) & make the lemony basil creamy vegan pasta sauce in advance. store everything separately in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. at dinnertime all you have to do is boil the pasta & toss it all together – it couldn’t be easier!

my meat-loving husband’s honest review of this lemony basil creamy vegan pasta recipecreamy vegan pasta made in 25 minutes or less!!! perfectly al dente vegan pasta tossed with sauteed bell pepper, broccoli, sundried tomatoes, & an easy homemade lemony basil creamy vegan pasta sauce made from cashews. the easiest healthy pasta recipe - totally dairy-free, vegan & filled with veggies! #creamyveganpasta #easycreamyveganpastasauce #veganrecipes #vegandinner #easyveganrecipes #healthyveganrecipes #plantbased #veganpasta #dairyfree #dairyfreerecipes

pin this lemony basil creamy vegan pasta recipe for later!!!

my unexpectedly favorite part of creating all the recipes for plant-based march is hearing what my husband chris has to say about them. he’s a total meat-lover, so i know i’m on to something when i can create a vegetarian or vegan recipe that he really enjoys.

since plant-based eating may be a new venture for some of your families, i thought it would be really fun to ask chris to write down his honest thoughts about this month’s recipes.

for full transparency, i gave him a really hard time about not being obsessed with this recipe, only because i’m so in love with it! it honestly was my favorite recipe of the month! creamy vegan pasta made in 25 minutes or less!!! perfectly al dente vegan pasta tossed with sauteed bell pepper, broccoli, sundried tomatoes, & an easy homemade lemony basil creamy vegan pasta sauce made from cashews. the easiest healthy pasta recipe - totally dairy-free, vegan & filled with veggies! #creamyveganpasta #easycreamyveganpastasauce #veganrecipes #vegandinner #easyveganrecipes #healthyveganrecipes #plantbased #veganpasta #dairyfree #dairyfreerecipes

here’s what he had to say about this lemony basil creamy vegan pasta:

jess is mad at me because she doesn’t think i like this recipe as much as i should.

it’s literally in my top 5 recipes she’s ever developed!

it’s an incredibly flavorful and filling pasta dish that doesn’t weigh you down but still doesn’t leave you missing protein.

TOP 5!! she’s created so much delicious food in the last 2+ years and this is in the TOP 5 of everything!!! creamy vegan pasta made in 25 minutes or less!!! perfectly al dente vegan pasta tossed with sauteed bell pepper, broccoli, sundried tomatoes, & an easy homemade lemony basil creamy vegan pasta sauce made from cashews. the easiest healthy pasta recipe - totally dairy-free, vegan & filled with veggies! #creamyveganpasta #easycreamyveganpastasauce #veganrecipes #vegandinner #easyveganrecipes #healthyveganrecipes #plantbased #veganpasta #dairyfree #dairyfreerecipes

…i mean, i guess that’s not bad though, huh?!

if you love this lemony basil creamy vegan pasta recipe, here are a few other easy vegan recipes you have to try!

be sure to follow along with me on instagram, facebook, & pinterest for more easy, modern recipes & fun!

thank you so much for reading & supporting plays well with butter. this post includes affiliate links for products i truly love & use on the reg in my own home. all opinions are always my own! should you make a purchase using one of these links, pwwb with earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, which helps me continue to bring you great original content.  ???

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creamy vegan pasta made in 25 minutes or less!!! perfectly al dente vegan pasta tossed with sauteed bell pepper, broccoli, sundried tomatoes, & an easy homemade lemony basil creamy vegan pasta sauce made from cashews. the easiest healthy pasta recipe - totally dairy-free, vegan & filled with veggies! #creamyveganpasta #easycreamyveganpastasauce #veganrecipes #vegandinner #easyveganrecipes #healthyveganrecipes #plantbased #veganpasta #dairyfree #dairyfreerecipes

lemony basil creamy vegan pasta with broccoli & sundried tomatoes

  • Author: jess larson | plays well with butter
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 1x
  • Category: pasta, vegan recipes
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian, vegan

Description

Creamy vegan pasta made in 25 minutes or less!!! Perfectly al dente vegan pasta tossed with sautéed bell pepper, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, & an easy homemade lemony basil creamy vegan pasta sauce made from cashews. The easiest healthy pasta recipe – totally dairy-free, vegan & filled with veggies!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces whole wheat pasta (see Recipe Notes)
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, sliced (see Recipe Notes)
  • 4 ounces arugula (a few handfuls)
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

lemon basil cashew cream sauce:

  • 1 cup roasted, unsalted cashews
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Boil the pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, generously salt the water. Add in the pasta and cook to al dente, according to package directions. About 2 minutes before the pasta is al dente, add the broccoli florets to the pot to cook with the pasta as the pasta finishes cooking. Reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta water. Drain the pasta and set aside.
  2. Make the lemon basil cashew cream sauce: Add all listed ingredients to a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  3. Cook the veggies: Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add in the onion and bell pepper. Season with 1 teaspoon Kosher salt and ½ teaspoon ground black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies soften slightly, 3-4 minutes. Once softened, add the sun-dried tomatoes and arugula to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sun-dried tomatoes soften and the arugula wilts slightly, 1-2 minutes.
  4. Finish the creamy vegan pasta: Once the veggies are ready, add the drained pasta & broccoli to the skillet. Pour the lemon basil cashew cream sauce over top. Toss to combine, adding a little of the reserved starchy pasta water as you go to reach your desired consistency. Taste and season additionally with salt or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, as desired. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Pasta: Obviously, to make this pasta vegan, use your favorite vegan pasta. I love DeLallo’s whole wheat pastas – they’re totally vegan-friendly. While I prefer a textured short noodle for this lemony basil creamy vegan pasta recipe (it clings to the sauce really nicely – pictured here is rigatoni), you can use whatever shape you like best.
  • Sun-dried tomatoes: I find 3 ounce bags of sliced sun-dried tomatoes at Trader Joe’s & they work really well for this recipe. You’ll want to make sure to use dried sun-dried tomatoes for this recipe, not the kind that comes packed in oil, to ensure your creamy vegan pasta doesn’t get super oily.

Keywords: creamy vegan pasta, creamy vegan pasta sauce

don’t forget to pin this lemony basil creamy vegan pasta recipe for later!!! creamy vegan pasta made in 25 minutes or less!!! perfectly al dente vegan pasta tossed with sauteed bell pepper, broccoli, sundried tomatoes, & an easy homemade lemony basil creamy vegan pasta sauce made from cashews. the easiest healthy pasta recipe - totally dairy-free, vegan & filled with veggies! #creamyveganpasta #easycreamyveganpastasauce #veganrecipes #vegandinner #easyveganrecipes #healthyveganrecipes #plantbased #veganpasta #dairyfree #dairyfreerecipes 

Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.

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Comments

  1. 11.11.19
    Kayla said:

    I made this tonight with a few tweaks based on what was available to me and holy moly, that sauce is TASTY AF. (For anyone else who doesn’t have a high speed blender: subbing about 120g/half a cup of prepared cashew butter worked great for me.) Thanks so much for sharing, this is being added to my regular rotation! x

    • 11.11.19
      jess said:

      ah, what a great tip – thank you so much for sharing! i’m SO glad you loved it – it’s one of my faves too. enjoy! xx

  2. 11.6.19
    Marina said:

    Do you soak the cashews before hand? Or just out them in hard?

    • 11.7.19
      jess said:

      hey Marina! I don’t soak my cashews; I’ve found that as long as I use a high-speed blender (Vitamix, Nutribullet, etc.), it’s not necessary. If you want to play it safe, soak them overnight, or soak in boiling hot water for 10-15 minutes before blending.

  3. 8.25.19
    Kari said:

    Is the broccoli cooked before putting in pan? It doesn’t say cooked but I assume it would need to be. Can you confirm?

    • 8.25.19
      jess said:

      hey kari! you quickly cook up the broccoli in the pasta water as the pasta finishes cooking – one of my favorite weeknight pasta hacks! Check Step 1 of the Recipe Directions for the full run down!

  4. 4.2.19

    I’ve got to make this creamy green cashew sauce!

    • 8.25.19
      jess said:

      you will LOVE it, jo! it’s so good!