I love creamy sauces and one of my favourite dishes pre-vegan consisted of lashings of cream, chicken and leek folded into pasta. It was pure comfort food. So ever since I turned vegan back in 2015 I’ve been on a mission to replicate it by attempting a creamy vegan mushroom pasta dish.
At first, I tried making the sauce with a base of blended cashews and nutritional yeast. This worked fine, but it didn’t quite tick all the boxes in terms of texture and taste. I went on to experimenting with a bechamel made using vegan milk and flour. With the right vegan milk it worked, but it was a faff that didn’t quite scream ‘quick easy comfort food for those days you really can’t be arsed’.
For a while, I ended up settling with a pre-made vegan cream, like this one from Oatly. That was until I lived in Vietnam for a few years where products like these just didn’t exist yet.
One thing we did have lots of was tofu. By the bucket load. I would walk down to my local street market and buy it fresh from a lady surrounded by huge plastic buckets of the stuff.
One day out of desperation I decided to blend some of the silken tofu and mixed it in to my pasta dish. I was absolutely gobsmacked, it had the thickness of cream and held together really well when mixed into other ingredients.
I’ve been making it this way ever since and I don’t think I could be convinced to make it any other way again. Not when this is so easy to do and actually a really healthy nutritious option.
How to make a creamy vegan sauce
Making a creamy vegan sauce is really easy thanks to silken tofu. Simply cut your silken tofu packet open, drain out as much liquid as possible and then pour the tofu out into a blender. Then you need to add some flavouring. I like to add in a few raw skinned garlic cloves, some lemon zest and juice, nutritional yeast, vegan cream cheese, and some seasoning.
Blend the ingredients until it is nice and smooth. And there you have it, a really quick and simple creamy vegan sauce that is packed full of protein.
Cooking with creamy vegan sauce
One thing to be careful with when cooking with creamy vegan sauces is not to overcook them. Add the sauce in at the end of cooking and heat through before serving up.
Otherwise, you may find it splits and makes the dish look a bit gross!
An easy creamy vegan pasta dish
Who else here loves pasta? Well, I guess all of you. Otherwise you wouldn’t be finding yourself here on a pasta dish recipe.
What I really love about pasta and Italian food in general is just how simple but tasty it can be. Refrain from using too many ingredients and cooking methods, this is all about simple cooking that lets the ingredients do the talking.
This creamy vegan pasta dish is no exception, it takes about 25 minutes to prep and cook and it tastes great! By using raw garlic in the creamy vegan sauce, alongside lemon and seasoning, you get a really punchy and fresh sauce that is both comforting and refreshing. And it takes just a few minutes to put those ingredients together into a blender.
When it comes to adding ingredients into the pasta dish, I like to keep it simple with leeks, mushrooms, and peas for extra protein. You could also add in some vegan chicken pieces, like these from Heura, but I urge you to keep it simple and not add much more.
Why cook with mushrooms
Mushrooms are amazing. Not only do they bring a lovely earthiness to this creamy vegan pasta dish, but they are also highly nutritious. They are packed full of Vitamin D and are low in calories whilst being high in fibre.
I believe that they can be the star of the show in any dish, but so often they are side-lined by animal products. So instead of adding in a vegan fake meat to this dish, I let the mushrooms take the limelight.
When cooked well, they can retain a good meaty chew whilst also being soft on the inside. So you can get the feeling that there is something meat-like in your creamy vegan mushroom pasta!
Oh and to add to that, they are a really sustainable crop that may well help to influence a lot of new vegan products in the future.
Other vegan pasta recipes
Need even more of a pasta fill? I’ve got you.
You can take a look through all my articles about pasta here or simply browse some of my popular vegan pasta recipes below:
Creamy vegan mushroom pasta recipe
Creamy vegan sauce
Make the creamy vegan sauce
- Start by putting all the creamy vegan sauce ingredients into a blender with a good pinch of salt and ground black pepper
- Blend the ingredients for about 30 seconds until smooth. If your blender isn't that powerful you may need to add a little bit of vegan milk to help it to blend
- Set the blended creamy vegan sauce to one side as you continue with the rest of the dish
Prep the pasta ingredients
- Slice the leek and the mushrooms finely
- Put a handful of frozen peas into a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling hot water from the kettle
Cook the pasta dish
- Get your frying pan on to a medium high heat and add in your rapeseed oil
- Once the pan is hot add in the sliced leeks and sprinkle in a bit of salt. Stir the leeks a few times as they soften and brown. This should take about 5-6 minutes
- As your leeks are cooking start to cook your pasta, make sure to keep an eye on it throughout the next stages as we'll want it to be cooked al dente
- Turn up the heat on the pan so that it is quite high and add in the sliced mushrooms with another pinch of salt. Then drop in the vegan butter into the middle of the pan and stir around so it melts amongst the mushrooms
- Make sure to stir the mushrooms regularly until they have shrunk slightly and started to brown. This should take about 3-4 minutes if your mushrooms are sliced finely enough
- Drain your peas and pour them into the pan with your vegetable stock and turn the heat on the pan down to medium-high. Leave it to simmer away until the stock evaporates. This should take about 5 minutes
- Drain your cooked pasta and leave it to one side
- Once the stock has evaporated and there is just a little bit of liquid left around the leeks and mushrooms in the pan, stir in your creamy vegan sauce. Heat through for a few minutes and then take it off the heat
Serving up the creamy vegan pasta dish
- Mix your cooked pasta into the creamy vegan sauce and make sure the pasta is fully coated in the sauce
- Serve up your pasta and enjoy!