Creamy Vegan Mushroom Pasta with peas is pure whole-food goodness. It's easy to prepare and astonishingly healthy for something that tastes so indulgent. Even though it's entirely vegan, you can serve this with confidence to all your meat-eating friends.
🏆 Top tip
Wipe fresh mushrooms with a dry cloth and store them in a brown paper bag in the refrigerator to increase their shelf life.
⭐ Why it works
- Easy recipe
- 4 Main ingredients
- Flavorful and filling
- Meatless Mondays
🌟 Healthy comfort food
From the cashews that make its luxurious sauce to toothsome whole-grain brown rice noodles, every element of this creamy vegan mushroom pasta is nourishing.
When I am making it for dinner, I find it hard not to eat spoonful after spoonful before it hits the table. You know that sort of macaroni and cheese experience, right?
Tell me I'm not the only one because I am sure it's universal. Chewy bites of pasta wrapped in a velvety smooth sauce, rich with mushrooms? Sprinkle on bright green peas and a splash of fresh parsley. Yep, that's the kind of food that even rainy days are better with.
- Dry pasta - our favorite for this dish is gluten-free Jovial farfalle pasta. Other types are delicious too, and suggestions are listed below.
- Cashews - use raw, unseasoned white cashews.
- Mushrooms - button mushrooms, cremini, and baby bella are all scrumptious. Make sure they are fresh and firm with gills attached to the stems.
- Peas - frozen petite or spring peas add a welcome sweet touch and bright color to the recipe.
- Sherry - glazes the mushrooms and adds a caramel flavor. See the FAQ section below for alternatives.
- Paprika and white pepper - give the dish a signature flavor. Be sure to include them.
- Saute mushrooms and glaze with sherry.
- Blend cashews to make rich, dairy-free cream sauce.
- Combine cashew cream sauce and sauteed mushrooms.
- Fold boiled pasta into the mushroom cream sauce and sprinkle in peas with parsley.
🥣 Cashew cream sauce
The beauty of this simple vegan mushroom pasta is the velvety cashew cream sauce. Cashews blend easily and magically thicken into a smooth sauce with just the right body.
You don't need to fool around with flour or cornstarch to get the perfect consistency to the sauce. That's because, like homemade almond cream, cashew cream thickens when it is cooked.
🍝 What type of pasta
There's a reason I chose bowtie pasta for this dish. It's available made from whole brown rice, and the shape is an ideal perch for bites of mushroom and spring peas.
Two of our other favorite kinds of pasta that are especially good in this vegan entree are campanelle and penne. Because these shapes go by more than one name, I have a little breakdown for you.
Farfalle - Farfalle is the Italian name for pasta shaped like bowties. It has that name because farfalle means butterfly in Italian. So, whether you call it bowtie, farfalle, or butterfly pasta, it's easy to recognize at the store.
Campanelle - The Italian name for campanelle translates as little bells or bellflowers. This pasta is also called trumpet pasta and gigli. It has ruffled edges and a hollow center that easily captures creamy sauce and small peas.
Penne - This very popular pasta is easier to identify. The Italian name is inspired by the angled cut of the tubular pasta that resembles a writing pen or quill. Its chewy nature is a perfect match for hearty pasta meals, and like the other shapes of noodles, it gathers sauces with its ridges.
👩🏻🍳 Expert tips
- Soak cashews - Pour boiling water over raw cashews and soak for 15 minutes before blending. You can leave this step out if you are blending with a high-powered machine like a Vitamix.
- Oil-free variation - Even though only one tablespoon of plant-based butter is used in the recipe, it does flavor the mushrooms while cooking. So, the choice is yours if you don't mind this change in taste.
- Preheat pasta water - Bring water to a boil and keep it warm while preparing the mushrooms and cashew sauce. It will shorten the time it takes to finish this quick recipe.
- Mushrooms - Cut the mushrooms into thick ¼-inch slices for a meaty vegan pasta dish.
- Sherry - Divide sherry and use half to glaze sauteed mushrooms and stir the other half in before serving. More flavor! See substitutions in the FAQ section.
- Petite green peas - Wait to add fresh frozen peas at the very end. You can toss them in straight from the freezer, and they'll be brightly colored and fresh-tasting in the creamy vegan mushroom pasta.
- Parsley - Reserve a little to sprinkle over the finished recipe at the table.
Farfalle can be made from a variety of regular or gluten-free flours. My favorite choice is Jovial Foods whole brown rice pasta. It's ideal for cooking al dente and much more tasty and nutritious than denatured white flour pasta. Plus, it just so happens to be gluten-free.
You can use different pale cooking wines, brandy, or Marsala. You can also use apple juice, apple cider, or plain kombucha with delicious results. Be sure to choose one rather than leaving out the sherry. It gives just the touch of sweetness and acid that makes the sauteed mushrooms extra delicious.
It won't be necessary if you have a high-powered blender like a Vitamix. If not, pour boiling water over the cashews and let them sit for 15-30 minutes. Drain well before using in recipes.
🌮 More easy weeknight recipes
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Creamy Vegan Mushroom Pasta
- Remove stems from 10 oz. mushrooms and cut them into thick slices. Heat 1 TB butter in a deep saucepan. Add mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Once mushrooms begin to release moisture, add 1 large clove garlic , minced. Cook until fragrant and mushrooms are glossy. Add half of 2 TB sherry. Cook briefly to allow mushrooms to soak in the flavor of sherry.
Make cashew cream sauce
- Pour boiling water over ¾ cup cashews. Let sit for 15 minutes. Drain cashews. You can leave this step out if using a high-powered blender like a Vitamix.
- Place drained cashews in the blender with 2 cups water, 1 ½ tsp. salt, ⅛ tsp. white pepper, and ¼ tsp. paprika. Blend for 2 minutes at high speed or until perfectly smooth.
- Pour blended cashew cream into the saucepan with mushrooms. Bring to a boil and cook briefly until cashew cream thickens. Keep sauce warm over low heat.
Make mushroom pasta
- Boil 10 oz. farfalle pasta according to the instructions on the package. Drain well.
- Add cooked pasta to the saucepan with creamy cashew mushroom sauce. Add ¾ cup peas and stir to mix. Heat gently until uniformly hot. Stir in the remaining half of 2 TB sherry.
- Transfer pasta to a warm serving bowl and sprinkle with 2 TB parsley, minced.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to one week. Add a little cashew milk or water when reheating, and heat gently. Freezing is not recommended.