Make this vegan pasta recipe for an easy dinner, using just 5 ingredients! Tender pasta with a delicious and smooth garlic walnut sauce. Gluten free, and a keto recipe option!
And we’re on recipe number 4 for Kid Friendly pantry staple recipes in May. Or is it 5? Haha, losing count. I know this looks too fancy for a kid friendly recipe, but actually, it’s “faux” fancy. Meaning, it looks like you’ve made a gourmet meal when really you’ve just spent 30 minutes mixing together simple ingredients. YES!
Quick and easy meals that use just a few ingredients are the BEST, aren’t they? Especially when you want to make dinner at home, but you’ve had a long day.
This vegan pasta recipe is a perfect example; the sauce only has 5 basic ingredients!
So sit back, relax, and maybe let your kiddos do the cooking. *wink wink*
vegan pasta recipe ingredients
This recipe is a vegan version of the Salsa di noci (Ligurian Walnut Sauce) recipe, using a shortcut ingredient.
At first, I did make it like the original recipe, but with soaked gluten free bread, and we liked it! But, this version takes less time to make. Plus, the sauce is smoother, in my opinion. 🙂
So, in addition to a gluten-free pasta of your choice, you’ll need these 5 ingredients to make the garlic walnut sauce
- Walnuts – You want to look for walnut halves. If you can’t find any at the store, just roughly chop whole walnuts.
- Garlic – Fresh cloves will give you much more flavor than garlic paste or minced garlic from a jar. But whatever you have on hand will be fine.
- Almond milk – You can use any type of non-dairy milk that you want. If you use coconut milk, just know that your sauce will be very thick and you may need to thin it out with some water.
- Nutritional yeast – If you don’t need the recipe to be vegan, you could use grated Parmesan cheese instead.
- Lemon juice – The juice of one lemon will be perfect.
For a little extra flavor, you can chop up some fresh herbs. Parsley or Basil is a good choice.
To make this vegan pasta recipe low carb/keto, you can serve it over zucchini or other veggie noodles!
Talk about easy, y’all – this creamy smooth pasta sauce comes together in a food processor or a high speed blender! Just a few pulses and it’s ready to use.
How to make garlic walnut sauce
Before you start making the sauce, put a large pot of water on to boil. You’ll use this to cook the pasta. Now, for the sauce:
- Toast the walnuts.
Before the sauce ingredients can be put into the food processor, you’ll need to toast the walnuts. But, it’s okay – no oven is necessary.
There’s a much quicker way to toast nuts – it’s known as dry toasting.
I can safely say that once you learn this method, you’ll never go back to toasting nuts in the oven again.
To dry toast walnuts:
- Heat a dry skillet over medium-high heat.
- When the pan is nice and hot, add the walnuts. Let them sit in the pan for a minute or so and the natural walnut oil will start to release from the nuts. You’ll know when it happens because it smells heavenly! At this point, toss the nuts a bit so they don’t burn, then continue cooking for another 4 or 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add walnut sauce ingredients to food processor or blender
Place the toasted nuts, garlic, cheese/nutritional yeast, and fresh herbs (if you’re using any) into the food processor or blender. Blend for a minute or so, until a mealy texture is formed.
Next, set the blender or food processor on low and slowly add in the almond milk. Blend until a creamy, thick sauce is formed.
NOTE: If the sauce is too thick, add 2-4 tbsp more milk. Finally, add the salt/pepper and lemon juice, and blend once more.
- Heat the sauce and toss with cooked pasta
Take the prepared sauce and place it into the pot that you cooked the pasta in. It should still be warm but if it’s not, put it over low heat. Warm the sauce and add in the cooked pasta. Toss to coat. Then, use the reserved pasta water to thin out the sauce until the consistency is to your liking.
- Garnish and serve!
Make this vegan pasta recipe for an easy dinner, using just 5 ingredients! Tender pasta with a delicious and smooth garlic walnut sauce. Gluten free with a keto recipe option!
- 1 cup walnut halves toasted (see notes)
- 2 garlic cloves (minced or whole)
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast or grated Parmesan cheese for non vegan option.
- 1 tsp dried herbs optional
- 1/2 c almond milk or non dairy milk
- salt/pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 12 ounces gluten free pasta or zoodles (zucchini noodles)
- fresh basil and crushed walnuts to garnish
- Bring a large pot of water to a strong boil. Add salt, followed by pasta. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions.
- Set aside 1/4 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta and rinse with cold water. Set aside. While pasta is cooking, make the walnut sauce.
For the garlic walnut sauce
- Place toasted walnut halves, garlic, parmesan (or nutritional yeast), and herbs in a food processor or high powered blender. Blend until a mealy texture is formed.
- Next, set the blender or food processor on low and add in the almond milk. Blend until a creamy thick sauce is formed. If the sauce is too thick, add 2-4 tbsp more milk. Add the salt/pepper and lemon juice, and blend once more.
- In the same pot that cooked the pasta (which should still be warm, if not, heat to very low) heat the garlic walnut sauce. Then, mix in pasta or zoodles and 3-4 tbsp of the reserved pasta cooking water to create a creamy sauce. If the sauce isn’t creamy enough to easily coat the pasta, then add in an additional 2 tbsp water and toss again.
- Salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into bowls and add fresh basil and crushed walnuts to garnish.
To dry toast nuts:
Quickly toast the nuts in a hot, dry skillet over medium high heat for 5 minutes, tossing occasionally to prevent the nuts from burning.
- Category: Main
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 2-3 ounces pasta in sauce
Keywords: vegan pasta recipe, walnut sauce, keto, low carb
Happy almost long weekend for my American friends! What will you be doing this year for Memorial Day? I think it will look different for us all, but not a bad thing. Just different.