Vegan basil alfredo pasta, a twist on a classic comfort food! Creamy, cheesy and packed with herbs. Ready in only 10 minutes!
This dish is perfect for those hot Summer days were you can't bear to cook or stand near the stove! In the Summer, Canberra (Australia) gets crazy heatwaves where temperatures soar to the mid-40 Celcius (around 110 Fahrenheit) during the day. As I work from home sometimes without aircon, I'd do anything to cool down.
Alternatively, if it's a bit cooler, you can heat up the zoodles and sauce and it's warm comfort food!
What pasta should I use? Zoodles, pasta or gluten-free pasta?
I've tried the vegan basil alfredo sauce with all the above types of 'pasta' and they all worked very well! Zucchini noodles (or zoodles) are much firmer and can have a natural 'peppery' taste. Otherwise the taste between all of the different types is minimal.
If you want the 'light' zoodles option but don't like the taste of raw zucchini, you can cook the zoodles beforehand. Simply immerse the zoodles in boiling water for 5 minutes then drain! This removes the strong green/peppery taste.
Basil alfredo pasta sauce
I first made regular vegan alfredo sauce to go with pasta and was amazed at how simple plant-based ingredients can transform into a creamy pasta sauce!
For this basil alfredo sauce, all you'll need is:
- Soaked cashews: foundation of the sauce
- Butter beans, cooked: foundation of the sauce
- Plant-based milk
- Fresh basil leaves
- Lemon juice and zest: to balance out the 'greenness' of the basil
- Fresh garlic
- Onion powder
- Nutritional yeast: for that cheesy hit
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Blend it all together and you'll have a relatively smooth sauce perfect for pasta!
How to customise the vegan basil pasta
I'm always up for cooking intuitively and adjusting something to suit your tastes. If you want extra flavour, you can also add the following ingredients to the sauce:
- grated vegan cheese
- other herbs
If you want extra textures, you can add the following ingredients to the final pasta dish:
- Roasted nuts, such as pine nuts
- Wilted or fresh spinach
- Baked, sauteed or raw vegetables such as capsicum or broccoli
More vegan Italian inspired recipes!
Basil alfredo zoodles
- 2 (600g) medium zucchini
- 1 cup (150g) cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup (100g) butter beans
- ½ cup (65g) raw cashews, soaked overnight (note 1 for nut-free option)
- ½ cup (~30g) fresh basil leaves, packed
- ¼ cup (65mL) dairy-free milk
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- ¼ cup (12g) nutritional yeast
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp onion powder, optional
- Pinch any good-quality salt
- Spiralise zucchini with a spiraliser or julienne with a mandolin slicer. Place zoodles in a large bowl with ¾ cup of tomatoes.
- Add the remaining ingredients, except the tomatoes, to a high-powered blender and blend until extremely smooth. If the ingredients are not blending, gradually add water until it blends into a thick sauce.
- Pour sauce over zoodles and mix thoroughly.
- Separate zoodles to serving plates and top with remaining tomatoes. Enjoy!
- To make this recipe nut-free, replace the cashews with additional butter beans
This post was originally published in January 2017 and updated in March 2020.
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