This creamy vegan mushroom pasta comes together in only 20 minutes which makes it a great meal after a long day. It features tahini and nutritional yeast to get that creamy, slightly cheesy flavor. The mushrooms, kale and tomatoes add some healthy vitamins and minerals to this dish.
How can you make a creamy vegan pasta sauce?
If you want to make a creamy vegan pasta sauce, you have many different options. Here are a few ways to achieve that creaminess:
- re-use the pasta cooking water: Pasta water is quite starchy and can help thicken up a sauce (instead of adding plain water). Also minerals are washed out of the pasta into the water while cooking. This way, they don't get "lost".
- potato starch/flour: Potato flour is a great sauce thickener. Add a little bit (like a teaspoon) to the sauce, stir it in and let it thicken up. Add more until you reach your desired consistency. If you don't have potato flour, cornstarch or rice flour is an alternative.
- tahini: Tahini in itself is already very creamy and has a rich, nutty flavor. It makes a great base for vegan pasta sauces - like in this vegan mushroom pasta recipe.
- white beans: Add a can of white beans to a blender and blend until smooth. Then stir it into the sauce. White beans work best since they tend to be quite flavorless (compared to other legumes). They're also a good source of plant-based protein.
What types of mushrooms should you use to make a creamy mushroom sauce?
When you say mushroom sauce, what type of mushrooms exactly do you mean?
There are so many different types of mushrooms, so let's see which ones would work great for this recipe. There isn't really a specific ratio you need to follow exactly. You can use whatever you like, and what is available to you.
- button mushrooms: These are probably the most common type of mushrooms and what we typically think of when we say "mushrooms". They're also called baby mushrooms or white mushrooms. I like to use button mushrooms for cooking because they are easily available in most supermarkets and tend to be cheaper than other mushrooms.
- cremini mushrooms: They are similar to button mushrooms, but brown. Also quite accessible and affordable.
- portobello mushrooms: These are much larger than button mushrooms and great to use for a vegan BBQ.
- oyster mushrooms: Not to be confused, these mushrooms don't taste like oysters. They have a very interesting texture and can add more variety to a dish.
- king oyster mushrooms: Like oyster mushrooms, but bigger. They have a thick, white stem that has quite a firm, meaty texture, making them a great choice for vegan meat substitutes (like pulled pork). I like using a combination of button/cremini mushrooms and oyster mushrooms for this recipe.
- chanterelle mushrooms: They have a typical, bright yellow color. They're usually only available for a short period of time during the year which is why I don't cook with them that often.
- shiitake mushrooms: I love using shiitake mushrooms for Asian-inspired dishes but haven't used them in this recipe yet.
What you need to make this creamy vegan mushroom pasta recipe
To make this creamy vegan mushroom pasta sauce, here is what you need:
- your favorite type of pasta: I prefer whole-grain pasta because it has a higher nutritional value than pasta made with white flour. To make white flour, the outer layers of the grain are removed. Since they contain most of the minerals and vitamins, these get removed as well. Whole grain flour uses the entire grain (hence: whole grain) and has more vitamins and minerals. You can't really taste a difference once cooked.
- mushrooms: I like to use a mix of button/cremini mushrooms and oyster mushrooms.
- kale: Raw kale works best for this recipe, but frozen is also fine. If you can't find kale - or don't like it, you can also use spinach. It wilts down quite a bit during cooking so add it right towards the end.
- cherry tomatoes
- tahini: This makes the base of our sauce.
- lemon juice: To add some nice acidity and freshness to the sauce. You can even serve a bit of lemon zest and add it before serving.
- nutritional yeast: Nutritional yeast is frequently used in vegan recipes to imitate that cheesy flavor.
- plant milk: I've found that soy, almond and oat milk work fine.
How to make creamy vegan mushroom pasta
First, cook your pasta. We will cook it with the sauce later, so you want to slightly undercook it (what it says on the package minus 2 minutes). Also, when you drain the pasta, keep about ⅛ of a cup of the cooking water. We will add that to the sauce later.
Finely dice the onion and mince the garlic. To a pan on medium-high heat, add a splash of water and then the onion and garlic. Cook it for a few minutes. Make sure it doesn't burn at the bottom and add a little more water if necessary.
In the meantime, wash the mushrooms and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Then, add them to the pan. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the mushrooms to be nicely browned and soft. It's fine if they burn a little, just add a splash of water to the pan to release the roast aromas.
While the mushrooms are cooking, prepare the kale, cherry tomatoes and sauce. For the sauce, simply whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and plant milk. I recommend adding the plant milk a little at a time. This makes it easier to mix and results in a creamier sauce with no lumps.
Add the cooked pasta, kale, cooking water and sauce to the pan. Give it a good mix and let it simmer for another 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened up. Then, stir in the tomatoes and season it with salt and pepper to taste.
Creamy Vegan Mushroom Pasta
- 2 ½ cups whole-grain pasta like fussili, penne or linguine
- 1 medium white onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 400 g mushrooms use white/brown button/cremini mushrooms and optionally oyster/chanterelle mushrooms
- 3 cups kale
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
for the sauce
- ⅛ cup tahini
- juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 cup plant milk like soy, oat or almond
- First, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. The pasta will be cooked in the sauce later to soak up all the flavors so you don't want it to be too soft.
- Finely dice the onion and mince the garlic.
- Add the onion and garlic to a pan on medium-high heat and cook for a few minutes with a splash of water. Add more water if it starts burning.
- In the meantime, wash and cut the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces.
- Add the mushroom to the pan and cook for 5-10 minutes, until the mushrooms are nicely browned and softened, stirring occasionally.
- In the meantime, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
- Wash the kale and cut it into bite-sized pieces. If you're using frozen kale, let it defrost in the microwave.
- Wash the cherry tomatoes and cut them in half.
- When the pasta is cooked, drain it but keep a little bit of the cooking water (roughly ⅛ cup).
- Add the cooked pasta, kale, cooking water and tahini sauce to the pan and mix well. Let it simmer for roughly 5 minutes to thicken up.
- Stir in the cherry tomatoes and season the pasta with salt and pepper. Serve immediately and enjoy!
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Did you make this creamy vegan mushroom pasta?
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