Creamy Vegan Pasta with Greens, Peas, and Lemon Zest


Quickly blanched greens and sizzling scallions and garlic meet in a surprisingly creamy vegan sauce for pasta, with a touch of white miso for added depth. Feel free to top with your favorite grated plant-based cheese, or just enjoy it all on its own.

Green Pasta in purple bowls
Photo: Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Prop Styling by Kathleen Varner / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
50 mins


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 4 large scallions, thinly sliced

  • 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced (about 2 1/2 tablespoons)

  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus 1 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 1 lemon), divided

  • 2 cups coarsely chopped leeks, dark green parts only (from 1 medium leek)

  • 2 cups stemmed and coarsely chopped green Swiss chard (from 1 bunch chard)

  • 2 cups packed fresh baby spinach

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon white miso

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 12 ounces dried garganelli pasta

  • 1 ¼ cups frozen English peas

  • Fresh chives, sliced 1/2-inch thick

  • Freshly grated vegan Parmesan, for serving (optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium; add scallions and garlic; cook, stirring often, until garlic is tender and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in lemon zest; let sizzle, undisturbed, for a few seconds. Remove from heat.

  2. Add desired amount of salt to boiling water. Stir leeks into boiling water; cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Add chard and spinach; cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender and deep green, about 1 minute, 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Using a spider, remove leek mixture from water, and hold over pot for a few seconds to drain completely. Transfer drained leek mixture to a blender. Reserve cooking water in pot.

  3. Add scallion mixture, miso, salt, and 1/4 cup cooking water to leek mixture in blender. Process until mixture is very smooth and has a thick heavy cream-like consistency, about 45 seconds. Set aside.

  4. Return cooking water in pot to a boil over high. Add pasta, and cook according to package directions for al dente, adding peas during final 45 seconds cook time. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water in a small heatproof bowl. Return pasta and peas to dry pot. Add pureed leek mixture to pasta mixture, and toss together, adding reserved cooking water as needed, 1/4 cup at a time, until sauce is loose and creamy. Add lemon juice and additional salt to taste; toss together. Divide pasta evenly among 4 bowls, and garnish with chives and vegan Parmesan, if using.

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