Vegan Pasta Al Limone

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Sprinkling vegan parmesan cheese over a bowl of pasta al limone

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!

Spaghetti noodles, miso, nutritional yeast, sea salt, lemon, garlic, vegan parmesan, cashews, and olive oil

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.

Blender with cashews, water, lemon, garlic, miso, nutritional yeast, sea salt, olive oil, and vegan parmesan cheese

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.

Creamy cashew-based sauce for vegan lemon pasta

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.

Spaghetti noodles in a pot of pasta al limone sauce

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.

Bowl and pan of vegan lemon pasta topped with red pepper flakes and parsley

We hope you LOVE this Pasta Al Limone! It’s:

Bright
Creamy
Lemony
Rich
Cheesy
& Decadent!

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

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!

Close up shot of a bite of pasta al limone on a fork

Vegan Pasta Al Limone

A pasta that screams spring: Pasta Al Limone! Our vegan take doesn’t skimp on lemony, cheesy flavor or mega creamy texture. Just 10 ingredients and simple methods required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Sprinkling vegan parmesan cheese over a bowl of pasta al limone
5 from 33 votes
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 (Servings)
Course Entrée or Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Italian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 5 Days

Ingredients

SAUCE

  • 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)

PASTA

  • 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)

GARNISH optional

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 291 Carbohydrates: 33.8 g Protein: 9.4 g Fat: 13.9 g Saturated Fat: 2.2 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.1 g Monounsaturated Fat: 8.4 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 423 mg Potassium: 219 mg Fiber: 3.2 g Sugar: 1.8 g Vitamin A: 3.2 IU Vitamin C: 7.8 mg Calcium: 18.6 mg Iron: 2.3 mg

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My Rating:




    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi El, yes! That would be fine. Just know it might thicken overnight in the fridge, so add more water as needed. Let us know how it goes!

  1. Rebecca says

    This was so so delicious! I used a full pound of pasta and doubled most of the sauce ingredients (only 1.5 cups of water was plenty). Roasted asparagus, zucchini and red onion to add a vegetable component to the dish. Light, fresh, lemony and addictive. Will definitely make again soon- my whole family including a picky teen loved it.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’re so glad to hear everyone enjoyed it, Rebecca. Thank you for the lovely review! xo

  2. Laurie says

    SOOOO good!!! I made this last night and it blew me away. I love anything with lemon but never thought of it as a main ingredient with pasta until now! So grateful for this recipe which will be in heavy rotation this summer. Thank you!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, yay! We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Laurie! Thank you for the lovely review! xo

  3. Bethany says

    I want to eat this everyday😍, the perfect lemon creme sauce I was looking for. It took me no time at all and reheated so well in the pan with some almond milk! I’m super weird and love this cold too now that it’s warming up out. I didn’t make any adjustments measurement wise but had to use white miso as chickpea is hard to find. Super easy to add veggies either with the sauce or raw. Adding this to my weekly prep!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy this recipe, Bethany! Thanks so much for the lovely review! In our experience, Whole Foods and other health food stores typically carry chickpea miso. But white miso is a great alternative!

  4. Adrienne says

    Love this recipe! We made our own whole wheat spaghetti, and added a couple cups of roasted grape tomatoes and sautéed spinach to this recipe. It was outstanding.
    This is a welcome addition to our Minimalist Baker rotation. Yum!

  5. Amanda says

    This is extremely yum!!! Very easy and just a fun sauce – something a little different than pesto or tomato sauce. One cup of pasta water will seem like a lot but it really doesn’t turn out to be!! Very happy with this recipe, will be adding to our regular rotation.

  6. Dana says

    This dish is so perfect. Like restaurant quality- can’t believe the chickpea miso and yeast didn’t come out with a different flavor I was expecting something not similar to pasta al limone but this tasted like the real deal! This will be my new go-to. Such a fool proof recipe. Love that your recipes are so simple my husband who never cooks can easily follow them :)

  7. Iralyn says

    Oh. My. Goodness. This was soooo delicious!! And very easy! We will definitely be making it again soon. We did a full pound of pasta and adjusted the sauce accordingly. The sauce did take 2-3 times as long as the recipe said to thicken and I had to turn the heat up to almost medium. I’m assuming this is because we increased the recipe. Next time, I might cook the noodles (linguine) a little less and expect them to cook a little longer in the sauce. We roasted asparagus and sautéed shrimp to go with. Yum!

  8. Lindsey says

    This was absolutely outstanding. Recipe is perfect as written, and it was very quick and easy to pull together. Will be making it again soon!

  9. Kara says

    This was so delightful! Only tweaks I made were to use garlic infused olive oil instead of garlic clove (and for the olive oil in recipe) and garlic scape powder instead of garlic powder (on Low FODMAP). It was perfect! The sauce thickened right up. I paired it with a herby salmon recipe which I know is weird but it was a perfect pairing! My whole family loved it – it is a keeper! Thank you!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! We’re so glad to hear everyone enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing, Kara! xo

  10. Rachel says

    I rarely make pasta but this one looked so summery I had to try it. I was pleasantly surprised! Very bright, flavorful, and easy to make. Satisfyingly creamy and not at all heavy. I added blanched asparagus and lots of parsley.

  11. Natalie says

    This was so delicious! We loved the tangy flavour of the lemon ! Something we don’t usually do, but so happy we did! Definitely going to make this again!!

  12. Kandee says

    Deeeeeelish!!
    I made this exactly as written and used Voilife’s vegan parmesan 😋
    Also added grilled salmon on top.
    So good 👌🏼 and felt so fancy, but not too difficult to make. Would make a great dish for when guests come over…you would not be able to tell its gluten and dairy free!!

  13. Magdalena says

    First time writing a comment. Been making your recipes for years now! You’re my life saver to eat good things at home but also at work. Since I’m working at a hospital (especially nowadays) I’m so short on time, but your simple yet delicous recipes save me from eating junks.
    Made this pasta for tommorrow’s lunchbox. Love you!

  14. Maddy says

    Lemony, creamy deliciousness! Everything you want in a creamy pasta, but the lemon is bright and keeps it from being too heavy. I didn’t have miso so I used some Trader Joe’s umami seasoning. I made both the vegan parmesan and this in 30 minutes!

  15. Miles says

    This was so, so good. Fresh Italian parsley and crushed red pepper on top really pushed it over the top! Very grateful for the frequent “don’t worries” in the recipe, because I was very skeptical at how thin it was initially and then whether it would coat the pasta. But follow the recipe and it will all work out wonderfully! Definitely going into our regular rotation.

  16. Anthony says

    This dish was a total home run! I didn’t have any miso, so I just used a little more nutritional yeast and lemon juice and WOW, was it good! It’s the perfect balance of lemon and garlic and creaminess (with no cream!), and it all came together so nicely. I added in some mushrooms and zucchini because I had them in my fridge, and that was also a really nice touch. I will definitely be making this again!

  17. Cristina says

    No modifications made and it was absolutely delicious. It’s nice to have something that tastes so creamy and decadent that doesn’t make you feel sick afterwords. I actually had all the ingredients in my kitchen already. I’ll definitely make it again and add in some peas or broccoli or asparagus. Yum! Thank you!

  18. Mattie says

    This recipe knocked it out of the park! I didn’t have miso so used an equivalent volume of coconut aminos. I didn’t have vegan Parmesan but had vegan coconut mozzarella shreds (so delicious brand) and stirred in at the end to some of the pasta and compared the taste with and without the vegan cheese finish. I preferred mine without the extra cheese flavor.
    I made a double batch of the sauce in my vitamix and had the first with spaghetti noodles. The additional sauce sat in the fridge for a few days in a covered jar, I gave it a shake before cooking another batch using whole wheat rotini. I did end up preferring the way the sauce worked with the long thin spaghetti noodles slightly more.
    My husband who consumes lots of dairy said if he was served this at a restaurant he wouldn’t be able to tell it was vegan.

  19. Amy says

    Another amazing recipe! Made this tonight and it tasted so spring-y and also (remarkably) like it contained a pound of cheese!!!! So easy. So delicious!!!

  20. Roz says

    You nailed it on this one. This was light but flavorful. Creamy but not heavy. And easy to make! I added some fresh asparagus and used fresh dill instead of parsley. Spring is in the air!

  21. Liz says

    I’m eating the pasta leftovers as I write this. This dish is delicious. I didn’t have miso, so I made it without and it still tastes great. It would probably be even tastier with some leafy greens, which I will add next time.

  22. Lisa says

    So good! I made this tonight with a few modifications. I used white miso, Meyers lemons, half cashews half sunflower seeds and skipped garlic. I added a little extra salt and pepper, tons of crushed red and parsley. I used lentil pasta and mixed in beyond beef crumbles, sautéed peppers, spinach and tomato. Delicious! My boyfriend loved it too. Minimalist baker you don’t disappoint!

  23. Raluca says

    I must admit I was really waiting for a more complete recipe to make as a meal (not only as a side or a sauce) and this arrived just on time in my inbox! Made it and it’s delicious! I have also added sun-dried tomatoes to the recipe, works well!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed this one! Love the sun-dried tomato idea. Thanks for sharing, Raluca!

  24. Lisa M says

    Delicious! I made this last night for dinner. I used white miso paste, instead of chickpea miso, because that’s what I had. I am not vegan – just can’t tolerate dairy – so I made this as a side dish for a pan-fried Arctic Char, and it paired nicely. I also kept the lid on the pasta in sauce while preparing the fish, which I found helped to thicken up the sauce, but did make the pasta a bit soggy (I probably should have cooked the noodles a couple of minutes less). We don’t eat much salty food, but it seemed like the finished dish could use a pinch of salt (to taste). Thanks for another great recipe!

  25. Suzanne Baker says

    Made this for dinner tonight exactly as written. Even used jovial spaghetti. So, so delicious. Perfect first day of spring meal. So lemony and yummy. A keeper for sure.

  26. Joanna says

    This was an excellent recipe! I didn’t have any miso so I skipped it and added a little more nutritional yeast (2 tsp) and a little more lemon juice (maybe 1 tsp) and tossed in some prawns while stirring my GF pasta in the sauce. Absolutely delicious!!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Joanna! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  27. Kat says

    Loved this recipe! I added in a ton of veggies which made the dish even heartier. I also agree with the comment that the dish reminded me of Italy. Definitely keeping this one on hand!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Kat! xo

  28. Denise Corklin says

    Question :
    You listed cheese as last ingredient with the sauce but did not say what to do with it. I’m assuming it’s the garnish but could you verify that? I’ve made it up for tomorrow’s lunch and am so anxious to finally try it….looks and sounds amazing!

  29. MaryLiz Williamson says

    Hi Dana!

    I love and have made many of your recipes! I saw the email with this recipe last night and it looked so yummy I couldn’t wait to make it for lunch today! Luckily I had all the ingredients and was able to follow the recipe exactly! I used Jovial GF spaghetti and added a little more garlic and nutritional yeast. I will add some more lemon too next time! I ate it with some kale I steamed in my air fryer with some Bragg Liquid Aminos and Olive oil. It made a perfect and delicious dish! Thank you and keep it up! Love from Ft Lauderdale, FL

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you are enjoyed it, MaryLiz. Love your modifications as well! Thanks for sharing!

      • MaryLiz Williamson says

        I ate some of it the day I made it and my sister and I shared the remainder of it the next day and she also loved it! Win/Win for sure!
        Thank you for all your delicious recipes! Love them very much! Your videos are scrumptious! :-)

  30. Diane says

    I can’t eat nutritional yeast which is a real bummer given how many vegan recipes use it. Do you know of any substitute? Do you think the dish would be good if it was simply omitted? Also, with the vegan parm, same question… I would think the parm would add to the dish because of the texture even without the cheesy taste? Thanks for your help with this as well as providing terrific recipes.

  31. Steph says

    This was great! Husband loved it. I used Meyer lemons, also added in some fresh spinach at the end, and served once it wilted. Needed a pinch more salt for my taste, also added in some lemon pepper.
    I used gluten free spaghetti, so definitely needed the whole cup of pasta water since they are so absorbent. Thanks for another yummy recipe!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you both enjoyed it, Steph! Love the additions too. Thanks so much for sharing! xo

  32. Kate says

    This recipe was great and definitely reminded me of Italy. The vegan Parmesan really made the sauce offset the tartness of the lemon.

  33. Sara says

    The sauce is sooo good! Tasted super overly lemony straight from the blended but, as it said, balanced out perfectly with the pasta. I made this with capellini because it was all I had, but I think a thicker noodle would be better. Capellini cooks super fast so I managed to overcook the noodles by the time the sauce thickened up. Really yummy though aside from ‘user error’ and came together in about 8 minutes! Will definitely be trying this one again!

  34. Linda says

    Hi. Looks delicious! I can eat most nuts, but not cashews. Any suggestions for using another nut to make the sauce? Thank you.