This fresh and zesty creamy lemon pasta is the perfect summer dish! With a creamy cashew sauce, garlic butter and fresh lemon.
With just a few simple ingredients you can make the most delicious creamy lemon pasta sauce.
We start by frying some garlic in butter until lightly golden. Next comes the zest and juice of lemon and a super simple cashew cream!
Ingredients for vegan creamy lemon pasta:
- Vegan butter – go for the block type vegan butter like Flora plant, it adds richness and flavour but you can sub for a good quality olive oil
- Garlic – for flavour, we are using a good amount of garlic so don’t skimp on it
- Lemons – the zest and juice, use unwaxed lemons for this
- Cashews – our base for the cream, a high speed blender will blitz them easily but if you don’t have one soak them in some boiled water for 30 minutes to soften
- Plant milk – to combine with the cashews to make cashew cream. You can sub for water but I find milk gives it a creamier texture. Any unsweetened plant milk works – soya, oat, almond.
- Pasta – any pasta shape works, I used linguine
- Optional toppings – vegan parmesan, fresh parsley, chili flakes
What is cashew cream?
Cashew cream is simply cashews blended up with water until it resembles cream. If you don’t have a high speed blender, soak the cashews in boiled water for 30 minutes until softened.
It’s a much lighter and healthier option to dairy or non dairy creams and is packed with healthy fats.
If you can’t eat cashews then by all means you can sub the cashew cream for a non dairy cream, you will need less pasta water or none at all though as it is thinner than this cashew cream.
To make this cashew cream extra creamy we are blending it with vegan milk instead of water.
How to make vegan creamy lemon pasta:
If you don’t have a high speed blender start by soaking your cashews in hot water. Pop them in a pyrex jug and top with boiled water and leave to soften for around 30 minutes.
Put the pasta on to boil, according to packet instructions. Make sure to add a decent amount of water as we need some of pasta water for the sauce.
Finely chop or mince the garlic cloves. Heat the vegan butter in a heavy bottom skillet on medium heat. Add the garlic and fry for a few minutes and lightly golden, watch they don’t burn, turn down the heat if you need.
Add the lemon juice, lemon zest and slices of lemon and turn down the heat to low. Make the cashew cream by adding the cashews and vegan milk to a high speed blender (or soaked cashews in a food processor).
Blend until completely smooth and add to the pan. The sauce will look quite thick. When the pasta is done, scoop out 1 cup/250ml pasta water.
Add this to the cream sauce and mix well, it should now resemble a silky creamy sauce. Remove the slices of lemon.
Add the pasta to the sauce and mix well until the pasta is all coated. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
I love topping it with some vegan parmesan and cracked black pepper. You can top with some fresh parsley and chili if you want some spice.
What is the best way to reheat a cream based pasta dish?
Creamy sauces typically don’t reheat well and therefore are always better eaten fresh. If you do need to reheat, put it in a pan over a low heat. Add a little water to loosen if needed. Don’t microwave it.
What to serve with creamy lemon pasta:
- Simple salad with leafy greens
- Sauteed greens like spinach or kale
- Garlic bread
For more pasta recipes you may enjoy these:
- Cheesy broccoli pasta
- Brazil nut pesto pasta
- Creamy cauliflower alfredo pasta
- Roasted courgette pesto pasta
- Sun dried tomato and roasted red pepper pasta
As always if you make this vegan creamy lemon pasta be sure to leave me a comment, rate this recipe and tag me on Instagram. I love seeing all your photos of my recipe recreations!
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- 1 cup / 240g cashews, raw
- 1 cup / 240ml vegan unsweetened milk (soya/almond/oat)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 14oz / 400g pasta
- 3 tbsp vegan butter
- 6 garlic cloves
- 2 lemons
- Cracked black pepper
- 1 cup / 240ml pasta water
- Vegan parmesan
- Fresh parsley
- Chili flakes
- Place the cashews, milk and salt in a high speed blender and blend until completely smooth. If you don't have a high speed blender, place cashews in a pyrex jug with boiled water for 30 minutes until softened, then drain and blend.
- Put pasta on to boil for 10 minutes or according to packet instructions. You will need 1 cup pasta water for the sauce so make sure to boil in plenty of water.
- Heat butter in a skillet on medium heat. Once melted add finely chopped/minced garlic. Fry for a few minutes until lightly golden. Watch it doesn't burn, turn down the heat if needed.
- Zest one of the lemons and then juice it. Cut the other in half, juice half then cut the other half into slices. Add zest, juice (should be about 4 tbsp) and slices to the garlic butter.
- Turn down to a low heat. Leave for a few minutes then add the cashew cream. Use the wooden spoon to squish out the juice from the slices, then remove them.
- When the pasta is cooked, scoop out a cup of pasta water and add to the sauce. Stir well then add the pasta and mix until all the pasta is coated in the sauce. If your sauce is still a little thick add a bit more pasta water. Season with salt and cracked black pepper.
- Top with vegan parmesan and enjoy!
I use Flora Plant butter and Violife parmesan.
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