This vegan broccoli pasta is one of my favourite easy weeknight meals. It never fails to boost me after a long day’s work. Slurping on the creamy tagliatelle noodles nestled between crunchy broccoli florets is pasta nirvana.
Now, as I’m sure it’s obvious from the picture, this vegan broccoli pasta is decadent. The creamy sauce is made from blended cashew combined with, lemon juice, miso paste, nutritional yeast and spices to give a silky smooth and sumptuous sauce. It’s delicately savoury with a lemony zing and a hint of cheesy flavour. Could there be a better combo of flavours?
I’m a big fan of broccoli with pasta, I love the satisfying bite it gives to the dish. However, I often find that people tend to overcook it. In this broccoli pasta recipe, I show you the best way to broccoli with a creamy vegan sauce – blistered and blackened. Cooking in this way helps to give the broccoli a lovely salty umami which works wonders against the notes of lemon juice and zest in the creamy sauce.
How to make the best vegan broccoli pasta
Here are some of my top tips to make your broccoli pasta dish truly divine.
Quick creamy cashew sauce
I love a cashew sauce but hate the faff of preparing it. Instead of soaking the cashews overnight, I just wack them in boiling water for 30 minutes. This softens the cashews just enough to make a really smooth sauce.
Once your cashews are prepared it’s important to add flavour to the cashews as you blend them. This is what I use:
- Nutritional yeast – to add a subtle cheesy flavour
- Miso paste – to add an umami depth to the sauce
- Minced garlic – because everything needs garlic
- Black pepper – to add a touch of heat to the sauce
- Lemon juice – to add a fresh zing
- Salt – no explanation needed here!
lemon juice + broccoli is always a winner
I love the earthy taste that broccoli has. It’s my belief that these crunchy brassicas should always be enjoyed with a dash of lemon juice. The tart acidity of the lemon juice makes the broccoli flavour so much better. So whether it’s for this broccoli pasta recipe, or for any other broccoli recipe, try adding a squeeze of lemon to the dish. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how better the broccoli tastes.
Variations on a creamy vegan pasta recipe
- Creamy mushroom pasta – slice and fry around 500g of assorted mushrooms in a large pan. I like to use a mixture of oyster, chestnut and shiitake. Fry the mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of olive oil with 1 chopped garlic clove. Toss in 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 100ml of white wine, season and cook until sticky and brown. Serve placed on top of your creamy pasta.
- Vegan broccoli carbonara – add some additional vegan protein by chopping a tofu block into a small square and then toss with 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon of sea salt, 1 teaspoon of nutritional yeast and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder. Bake in an oven at 200˚c for 18 minutes until the tofu is crispy. Serve the broccoli pasta with the crispy tofu stirred through the pasta.
- Bang bang creamy pasta – I’m not really sure what to call this hot mess of a dish. This recipe uses a tasty spice mix to turn the broccoli pasta into a spicy flavour bomb. Grind 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns, 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon of sea salt and 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast in a pestle and mortar. Serve the creamy pasta with a sprinkling of the “bang band” spice mix.
If you liked this vegan broccoli pasta recipe you’ll enjoy
Creamy Vegan Broccoli & Lemon Pasta
This meal is around 89% less polluting than the average UK meal.
Eating this recipe will save around 2.61 KG CO2e per person.
That’s equivalent to the emissions produced driving 21.60 KM in a modern car.How do I calculate this?
- 200 g Raw Cashews
- 2 Lemons (juiced and zested)
- 1 Clove Garlic (minced)
- 1 Tablespoon Miso Paste
- 2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
- 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 240 ml Water
- 300 g Broccoli (Sliced lengthways into 1cm thick pieces. Purple sprouting broccoli, tenderstem or broccolini work best here.)
- 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
- 400 g Pasta (I find linguine or spaghetti works best)
- Place the 200g of raw cashews in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to rest for 30 minutes until the cashews are soft. Drain.
- Place the soaked cashews, 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, juice of 2 lemons, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of miso paste and 240ml of water into a high-speed blender. Whizz the mixture into a smooth sauce. Reserve until needed.
- Cook the 400g of pasta to packet instructions in heavily salted water. Once the pasta is aldente, drain and combine with the cashew sauce. Toss until all the noodles are evenly covered. If the sauce is too thick, add some water, a little at a time, until the sauce reaches the desired consistency.
- Heat around 100ml of water in a large frying pan over a high heat. Toss in the 300g of sliced broccoli and fry until all the water has evaporated and the broccoli has just started to wilt.
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the broccoli and toss in the pan to evenly coat the florets. Fry on high until the broccoli takes a little colour and starts to blister. Season and remove from the heat.
- Serve each portion with a generous helping of creamy pasta and some blackened broccoli pieces. Garnish the pasta with any reserved lemon zest and enjoy immediately.