Creamy Vegan Pasta Primavera

A few smart swaps transform your favorite creamy spring pasta into a vegan-friendly sensation. Umami-rich nutrional yeast shoulders the duties of Parmesan, while buttery macadamia nut milk stands in for heavy cream. Check the label closely when shopping to ensure the macadamia nut milk is unsweetened.

Vegan Pasta Primavera Recipe
Photo: Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis
Total Time:
45 mins


  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided

  • 1 cup finely chopped onion

  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic, divided

  • 1 cup unsweetened macadamia milk or cashew milk

  • 2/3 cup raw pine nuts

  • 5 tablespoons nutritional yeast, divided

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 cup panko

  • 1 1/2 cups thinly diagonally sliced multicolored baby carrots

  • 2 cups 2-inch-long asparagus pieces

  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed

  • 12 ounces uncooked gemelli pasta

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon


  1. Heat a small skillet over medium. Add 2 tablespoons oil; swirl to coat. Add onion and 2 tablespoons garlic; cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to a blender; add macadamia milk, pine nuts, 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Process on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside.

  2. Heat skillet over medium-high. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil; swirl to coat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon garlic; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in panko, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast. Cook, stirring often, until panko is crispy and toasted, about 2 minutes.

  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add carrots; cook 2 minutes. Add asparagus; cook 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove vegetables to an ice bath. Let cool; drain. Stir in green peas.

  4. Add pasta to boiling water; cook until al dente, about 12 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Drain pasta, and return to pot. Stir in vegetables, tarragon, sauce, pasta cooking liquid, and remaining ¾ teaspoon salt. Cook over medium until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Spoon pasta into shallow bowls, and top with panko. Serve immediately.

Suggested Pairing

Fresh, flinty Italian Verdicchio.

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