This is probably the creamiest vegan mushroom pasta you'll ever try! What's fascinating is that it's made entirely without cream. Think of it as a vegan bechamel sauce combined with sautéed mushrooms and served over perfectly cooked pasta. We love that the creamy pasta sauce comes together in one pan and makes a quick and easy vegan dinner for busy weeknights. You may also like this 15-minute creamy pumpkin pasta.
Why you'll love this recipe
- It comes together in 15 minutes. It's so quick that you can even make it for lunch if the circumstances allow.
- This vegan version of mushroom pasta is healthier and less calorie-dense than the traditional recipe made with heavy cream, white wine and parmesan cheese. Although cashew butter is high in fat, these are mostly healthy monounsaturated fats.
- This comfort food recipe is allergen-friendly and suited for people on a vegan and vegetarian diet. It's vegan (dairy-free and egg-free) and gluten-free.
Key ingredients and substitutions
Cashew butter is the magic ingredient that will melt into the vegetable broth to form an extra creamy mushroom sauce. Choose cashew butter made from 100% cashews that are unroasted and unsalted and unsweetened. It should be very mild in flavor when eating a spoonful. Do not replace the cashew butter with another type of nut or seed butter. Cashew butter is the only one that has a flavor that is neutral enough to make this kind of vegan bechamel sauce.
Vegetable broth adds a ton of flavor and prevents the sauce from tasting bland. You can use jarred or boxed vegetable broth or, dissolve half a bouillon cube or bouillon powder in a cup of water. We like to use bouillon powder as it's the most inexpensive in the long run. Check for clean ingredients if possible.
Mushrooms make the base of this vegan mushroom pasta. We like to use white mushrooms or baby bellas. Feel free to use different types of fresh mushrooms such as porcini mushrooms, portobello mushrooms or oyster mushrooms.
Pasta can be gluten-free or whole wheat according to your dietary needs. We love serving this vegan mushroom sauce over spaghetti but you could also you penne or farfalle.
Add-ins: you can sauté some fresh garlic with the mushrooms, stir some baby spinach into the sauce and add a squeeze of lemon juice if you'd like.
- Time-saving tip: buy sliced mushrooms at the grocery store. You can add them straight to the pan without having to take a cutting board and a knife out of the cupboard.
- Make sure the mushrooms are perfectly golden, almost caramelized before adding the cashew butter. This caramelization adds flavors and prevents the mushrooms from being mushy. Read our tips below.
- Toss the pasta in the pan with the sauce to allow it to cling to the pasta. Plus, if you drained the pasta before the sauce was ready, this will reheat them.
How to sauté mushrooms (+ pictures)
Before you sauté the mushrooms, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain when al dente.
Brush off any dirt from the mushrooms using a clean vegetable brush. Slice them using a sharp kitchen knife.
Heat a large pan or skillet with some vegan butter, olive oil or your preferred cooking oil. Wait until the pan is very hot before adding the sliced mushrooms. Give it a good stir to coat them with butter or oil. Then, try to spread them into a single layer.
You'll want to sauté the mushrooms over medium-high heat to evaporate the water that seeps out. A gentle sizzle indicated that the pan is got enough and prevents them from being waterlogged and mushy.
Let the mushrooms cook without stirring for a few minutes. This allows them to turn golden-brown. Finally, give stir the mushrooms around the pan and sauté for another 2-3 minutes until soft.
How to make the vegan cream sauce (+ pictures)
Add the cashew butter, vegetable broth, nutmeg and garlic to the pan. Once the broth is hot enough, the cashew butter will start to melt into a creamy sauce. Let it simmer for a few minutes until it starts to thicken.
If the sauce gets too thick, add a splash of vegetable broth to thin it out. Once it reached the desired consistency, remove the pan from the heat or turn the heat down to low heat.
Add the pasta to the pan. Toss in the vegan mushrooms sauce until they are generously coated. Top with some black pepper, fresh parsley and pine nuts if desired.
Frequently asked questions
White button mushrooms, cremini mushrooms or baby bellas taste great in creamy mushroom pasta. You could also use porcini, portobello, oyster or shiitake mushrooms. Chop them into small pieces before sauteing if necessary.
You can make the sauce 2 days ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Heat the sauce in the pan and toss with the cooked pasta.
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Vegan Mushroom Pasta Without Cream
- Bring water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain when cooked.
- Brush off the dirt of the mushrooms and cut them into slices.
- Heat a large pan or skillet with vegan butter or your preferred cooking oil. When hot, sauté the mushrooms over medium-high heat for 5-8 minutes until golden.
- Add in the cashew butter, vegetable broth, nutmeg and garlic powder. Wait for the cashew butter to melt and form a sauce. Simmer for 3-5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Toss the pasta into the pan until covered in sauce.
- White button mushrooms, cremini mushrooms or baby bellas taste great in creamy mushroom pasta. You could also use porcini, portobello, oyster or shiitake mushrooms.
- Choose cashew butter made from 100% cashews that are unroasted and unsalted and unsweetened. It should be very mild in flavor when eating a spoonful. Do not replace the cashew butter with another type of nut or seed butter.
- On average, 1 serving of pasta equals 2-3 ounces (60-85 g).
More pasta sauce recipes without cream
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