Vegan Dairy-Free Creamy Basil Pasta

Vegan Basil Pasta
Yagi Studio/Photodisc/Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
391 Calories
9g Fat
65g Carbs
13g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 391
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 382mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 65g 24%
Dietary Fiber 6g 20%
Protein 13g
Calcium 220mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

When you think of creamy, dairy comes to mind, but when you're vegan you need an alternative to the usual basil pasta recipe. This is the vegan pasta recipe you can enjoy in all its creamy glory. It's easy enough for weeknight dinners. From a health standpoint, it is satisfying and less fattening than traditional butter-and-cream pasta sauces. Feel free to add additional flavors to taste; a bit of lemon juice and zest can be a wonderfully refreshing addition to both hot and cold pasta dishes like these.

**This recipe is suitable for dairy-free, egg-free, and vegan diets, but as with any recipe intended for persons with allergies or dietary restrictions, make sure to read all nutritional labels carefully to make sure that there are no hidden dairy-derived ingredients (or gluten, egg, or wheat ingredients, if these apply to you).


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (finely minced)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 cups dairy-free unsweetened soy or almond milk, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup cashews (raw)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 pound whole wheat pasta, such as linguini or fettucini, cooked according to the manufacturer's instructions

Steps to Make It

  1. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, adding the onion and garlic once hot. Stirring often, cook until the onion is soft and fragrant, about 5-6 minutes. Add the fresh basil and cook until it is wilted and bright green, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

  2. In the same saucepan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Whisk in the flour using a wire whisk and cook for a little less than 1 minute, or until the flour smells slightly toasted but is not burned. Gradually add the dairy-free soy or almond milk, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened. Add the basil mixture to the pan, stirring until well combined. Remove from heat and set aside.

  3. In a blender, process the raw cashews until the mixture resembles very fine, powdery crumbs. Add the basil mixture, nutritional yeast, and sea salt, and process until creamy. Return to the saucepan and heat until desired temperature and consistency, adding more soy milk or sea salt to taste.

  4. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce, tossing to coat the noodles. Serve immediately, garnishing with sprigs of fresh basil if desired.