Say hello to the spring pasta of your dreams: Pasta Al Limone! Our inspired, vegan take doesn’t skimp on bright, lemony flavor or cheesiness. The sauce is incredibly velvety and creamy and perfectly coats al dente pasta. This dish is so delicious you’ll be going back for seconds (or thirds), trust us. The best part? Just 10 ingredients and simple methods required. Let us show you how it’s done!
Origin of Pasta Al Limone
Limone is the Italian word for “lemon.” And Pasta Al Limone refers to a lemony, creamy pasta dish especially popular in southern Italy. Based on our research, it seems to have originated in a region (Campania) that’s famous for its lemons!
This dish is typically made with cream and parmesan, but our plant-based version strays from the traditional ingredients without skimping on flavor.
How To Make Vegan Pasta Al Limone
First, we make the lemony, cashew-based sauce with soaked cashews for creaminess and lemon zest and juice for tartness and acidity. Fresh garlic and garlic powder combine for a well-rounded garlic flavor, nutritional yeast adds a “cheesy” component, and miso and sea salt add saltiness and a bit of umami flavor. Olive oil is the final element for enhanced richness.
Then for the noodles, we like using something long like spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine. There’s just something so satisfying about swirling creamy noodles around a fork!
Cooking the noodles until just al dente gives them the perfect texture in the final dish. This is especially important for gluten-free noodles because they tend to be more prone to getting mushy.
Once the sauce and noodles are prepared, they’re combined until just warmed then topped with vegan parmesan cheese. Optionally, garnish with red pepper flakes for a little heat and fresh parsley for herby flavor and a pop of color.
We hope you LOVE this Pasta Al Limone! It’s:
It’s the perfect weeknight meal for spring and beyond! Enjoy as an entrée or side with a salad, roasted vegetables, or other Italian-inspired dishes. It would pair especially well with our Best Vegan Meatballs, Chickpea Caesar Salad, Vegan Zucchini Gratin, and/or Mini Crispy Eggplant Pizzas.
More Creamy Vegan Pasta Recipes
- Creamy Mushroom and Asparagus Pasta (GF)
- 30-Minute Cashew Alfredo
- Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Garlicky Alfredo Sauce
- Creamy Vegan White Pasta with Summer Vegetables
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Vegan Pasta Al Limone
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1/2 tsp chickpea miso (we like Miso Master brand // or regular miso — we recommend white or yellow)
- 2 tsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese (or store-bought)
- Water (for boiling)
- Salt (for seasoning water)
- 12 oz. dry pasta (we like spaghetti or linguine // gluten-free as needed // ensure vegan-friendly // we like Jovial brand spaghetti)
- Red pepper flakes
- Fresh parsley
- Vegan parmesan cheese
- Soak cashews in very hot water for 30 minutes, uncovered.
- In the meantime, add 3 quarts (~3 liters) of water and 1 Tbsp salt to a large pot (adjust amounts if adjusting serving size). Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add pasta, stir, and set a timer for the lower end of your package’s al dente recommendation.
- While pasta cooks, blend soaked cashews, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic powder, garlic clove, chickpea miso, nutritional yeast, salt, and olive oil with 1 cup (240 ml) water (amount as recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) until completely smooth — about 1 minute. Sauce should be somewhat thin and watery, like the texture of non-dairy milk. It should taste quite tart from the lemon juice, and savory from the garlic powder. If it seems too tart, don’t worry! It will balance out once it’s on the pasta. Adjust to taste by adding more lemon juice for brightness, or nutritional yeast for a more savory cheesy flavor.
- Transfer sauce to a large shallow pan, such as a Dutch oven or rimmed skillet (at least 10 inches in diameter and 3 inches deep). Test pasta for doneness. It should be just a little firmer than you want it to be, as it will finish cooking in the sauce.
- Carefully scoop out about 1 cup (240 ml) of the pasta water (amount as recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) to reserve for thinning the sauce. Then drain pasta.
- Off the heat, add 1/2 cup (120 ml) pasta water (amount as recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) to the sauce and whisk to combine. Add drained pasta to sauce.
- Turn heat to medium low and begin stirring and tossing the pasta in the sauce. It will seem watery and loose, but don’t worry! After 3-5 minutes, the sauce will thicken and begin clinging to the pasta. Stir until the sauce fully coats the pasta.
- Add vegan parmesan and give the pasta one final toss. If sauce appears too thick, add some of the remaining pasta water until you reach the desired consistency. Serve immediately and garnish with red pepper flakes, parsley, and more vegan parmesan, if desired.
- Best when fresh. Leftovers will keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or in a skillet with a splash of non-dairy milk to bring back the sauciness! Not freezer friendly.