Creamy Lemon Garlic Pasta with asparagus and peas comes together in just 30 minutes. This kid-friendly spring pasta is dairy-free, yet incredibly creamy and satisfying. This recipe post is sponsored by Silk and Sprouts Farmers Market. I was compensated for my time, however all opinions are my own.
Dairy-Free Creamy Lemon Garlic Pasta:
We're currently at the height of asparagus season, and I'm adding these crunchy spears to everything. Pasta, tarts, quiches, and refreshing spring salads to name a few. I especially love the snappy texture asparagus adds to creamy pasta dishes like this. Not to mention the nutritional perks, like potassium, folate, and fiber.
Both kids and adults will love this light, yet hearty spring pasta. The combination of garlic and lemon make it incredibly aromatic, bright, and flavorful. And even though I just waxed poetic about asparagus, you can really add vegetable you like. For example, zucchini or summer squash, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, or roasted tomatoes.
How to Make Lemon Garlic Sauce for Pasta:
This simple pasta calls for just 10 ingredients and comes together in 30 minutes. It's also super versatile, so you can hopefully use what you have on hand.
Here's what you need:
- Pasta: Use any shape or kind you like! For a protein boost, go for Banza chickpea pasta or a lentil pasta.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic is a must to build the aromatic foundation of the sauce. The recipe calls for 6 whole gloves, though feel free to use or less depending on your love for garlic.
- Veggies: I use a mix of fresh asparagus and frozen green peas, however you can use any combination you like. Mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes, spinach, and broccoli are all great options.
- Silk® Unsweetened Cashewmilk: Ultra creamy, yet completely dairy-free, Silk Cashewmilk is the perfect accompaniment to cream sauces. It's fortified to be an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D, and only contains 25 calories per serving. In addition, it’s free of gluten, soy, lactose, MSG, and any artificial colors or flavors, plus verified by the Non-GMO Project’s product verification program.
- Nutritional yeast: All the “cheesy”, savory flavor without the dairy, nutritional yeast is a major flavor agent here. If you don’t have any on hand (or don’t need to make the recipe dairy-free), you can use grated Parmesan instead.
- Four: This helps thicken the cream sauce, however you can use cornstarch or arrowroot to make it gluten free.
- Lemon! Lots of lemon zest and juice are employed to cut through the creamy richness of the sauce. Plus, lemon is such a lovely complement to asparagus and peas.
Vegan Creamy Pasta Sauce 101:
It's totally possible to achieve the most decadently delicious cream sauce using plant-based ingredients. Just follow these simple steps and you'll impress even the pickiest palates.
Step 1: Sauté the Garlic:
In a skillet over medium-low heat, add 3 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil. Once warm, add your thinly sliced garlic and chili flakes. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until gold and fragrant. Cooking the garlic over lower heat for a longer period of time ensures the oil is sufficiently infused with garlicky goodness, too.
Step 2: Whisk in the Flour:
Sprinkle in the flour and stir with a whisk until combined. Let the flour mixture cook for about 2 minutes, which helps eliminate the raw flour taste and makes for a smoother sauce.
Step 3: Stream in the Cashewmilk:
Next, gradually whisk in the cashewmilk a little at time to avoid any clumps forming. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until it starts to thicken.
Step 4: Add Lemon and Seasonings:
Lastly, stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. At this point, I like to remove the pan from the heat and season to taste. You may want to add more salt and/or pepper, or extra lemon for more zing.
Step 5: Add Sauce to Pasta and Vegetables:
Pour the cream sauce into the pot of drained pasta, and mix to combine. If the sauce seems too thick, add ½ cup of reserved pasta water to thin it out. Finally, plate the pasta and add garnishes of choice!
What to Serve with Creamy Lemon Garlic Pasta:
- Top with grilled chicken, shrimp, or edamame for a protein boost.
- Serve alongside a fresh green salad and garlic bread.
- Add roasted tomatoes and/or mushrooms for a kick of umami.
- Enjoy with steamed broccoli on the side.
How to Reheat Creamy Vegan Pasta:
More Vegan Pasta Sauce Recipes:
Creamy Lemon Garlic Pasta (Vegan)
- Large skillet
- Soup pot or Dutch oven
- 8 to 10 oz. chickpea pasta (such as Banza) or lentil pasta (sub traditional semolina flour pasta)
- 10 oz. fresh asparagus, sliced at a diagonal into 2-inch pieces
- ⅔ cup frozen peas
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ cups Silk Plain Unsweetened Cashewmilk
- 1 ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- ¾ tsp. black pepper
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast (sub finely grated Parmesan cheese if not making plant-based)
- 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
- Cook pasta according to package instructions in a pot of salted water. During final four minutes, add asparagus and peas. Reserve ½ cup pasta water before draining.
- While pasta cooks, heat oil in large skillet over medium-low heat. Once warm, add garlic and chili flakes. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, until garlic is golden and aromatic. Sprinkle in flour; stir with a whisk until smooth. Cook 2 full minutes, stirring often, to eliminate raw flour taste.
- Gradually stream in cashewmilk, whisking constantly, until mixture is smooth. Increase heat and bring mixture to a simmer; cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until sauce starts to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice, and nutritional yeast.
- Pour sauce into pot with drained pasta and veggies and stir to combine. If sauce is too thick, stir in some of the reserved pasta water in ½ cup increments until desired consistency is achieved. Stir in fresh basil and serve immediately with garnishes of choice.