If basil pesto and cashew Alfredo had a love child, this would be it! Made with cashews, lemon, nutritional yeast, garlic, and fresh basil, you will love this divinely creamy pasta sauce that tastes just like summer. Top the bowls with roasted vegetables, chickpeas, and my hemp cashew parmesan for a meal made in heaven.
My friend Anna, vegan baker extraordinaire, makes a lot of my recipes, which I just love. A couple of weeks ago, she posted a photo of these Chickpea Meatball Subs with Basil Pesto Cream. Truth be told, I had forgotten about the recipe, but as soon as she reminded me of it, I knew that the basil pesto cream sauce deserved a post of its own! It is one of my absolute favourite sauce recipes to date, and this pasta recipe makes use of all that’s currently in season: basil, tomatoes, and zucchini!
The components of this pasta dish are as follows: Pasta tossed in creamy basil cashew sauce; roasted chickpeas; roasted onion, zucchini, garlic, and cherry tomatoes; and cashew hemp parmesan. Everything comes together quite quickly, despite this seemingly long list! Just prepare the chickpeas and roasted vegetables first, and then once they’re roasting, prepare the sauce and the cashew hemp parmesan.
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED
- For the basil pesto cashew Alfredo sauce: Raw cashews, fresh basil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic, salt, pepper, maple syrup (just a small amount, to balance the flavours!), and water.
- For the roasted vegetables: Red onion, zucchini, garlic, olive oil, and cherry tomatoes.
- For the roasted chickpeas: Chickpeas, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- For the cashew hemp parmesan: Raw cashews, hemp, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and sea salt.
- And, of course, pasta!
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
- Start by preparing the chickpeas and vegetables to roast. In a bowl, toss the chickpeas with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, until browned. They’ll crisp up more as they cool. Next, toss together the red onion, zucchini, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a bowl. Transfer to a second baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes in the final 7 minutes of roasting, so that they cook slightly and burst.
- Next, prepare the basil cashew cream sauce. Place the soaked cashews, basil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic, salt, pepper, maple syrup, and water in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a jar until ready to serve.
- Make the cashew hemp parmesan. Simply place cashews, hemp, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and salt in a food processor and process until a coarse powder forms. Transfer into a container.
- Cook some pasta. Pour the basil cashew sauce over the cooked pasta and toss to coat. Top individual bowls with roasted vegetables, roasted chickpeas, and cashew hemp parmesan. Serve immediately!
CAN THIS RECIPE BE MADE AHEAD?
Yes! You can make the basil cashew sauce a day or two in advance. Don’t add it to the pasta until right before serving, however, as the pasta will absorb too much of the sauce. You can also make the roasted chickpeas a couple of days in advance and store them in the fridge.
- For nut allergies, use soaked raw sunflower seeds in place of the cashews in the sauce, and use a combination of sunflower seeds and hemp in the parmesan.
- For gluten allergies, make sure to use gluten-free pasta.
I hope you love this basil pesto cashew Alfredo pasta! If you make it, leave a comment and rating below to let me know how you enjoyed it! And if you post a photo to Instagram, tag me @upbeet.kitchen and #upbeetkitchen so that I can feature it.
Basil Pesto Cashew Alfredo Pasta
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Diet: Vegan
If basil pesto and cashew Alfredo had a love child, this would be it! Made with cashews, lemon, nutritional yeast, garlic, and fresh basil, you will love this is a divinely creamy pasta sauce that tastes just like summer. Top the bowls with roasted vegetables, chickpeas, and my hemp cashew parmesan for a meal made in heaven.
- 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 14-oz can, drained and rinsed)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp each fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ a medium red onion, sliced
- 2 medium zucchini, sliced into half moons
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- Pinch each fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
Basil Cashew Cream Sauce
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked and drained
- 2 packed cups fresh basil
- ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 garlic cloves
- ¾ tsp fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp pure maple syrup
- ¾ cup filtered water
- 4 cups dry pasta (I used fusilli, but you may use rotini or penne, or 4 portions of linguine or spaghetti)
- Cashew Hemp Parmesan
- Additional basil, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the chickpeas in a bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Add the salt and pepper, toss to coat, and transfer to a baking sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned. The chickpeas will crisp up more as they cool.
- Place the sliced onion, zucchini, and garlic in a bowl. Add salt, pepper, and olive oil. Toss and transfer to a baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes. Around the 18 minute mark, add the diced tomatoes and roast for seven more minutes. In this time, the tomato skins will burst slightly.
- Meanwhile, make the basil cashew cream sauce. Place the cashews, basil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic, salt, pepper, maple syrup, and water in an upright blender. Blend until smooth and transfer into an airtight jar until ready to serve.
- Make the cashew hemp parmesan using this recipe.
- Right before serving, pour desired amount of the sauce over the pasta. I ended up using all of it, because I like my pasta on the saucy side! Mix it in. Divide the pasta between bowls and top with the roasted vegetables, roasted chickpeas, cashew hemp parmesan, and basil. Pass hot sauce or chili flakes at the table for some spice.
Soak the cashews in boiling water for at least 45 minutes before making the sauce to soften them. Drain and proceed with the recipe.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Dinner, Lunch
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: vegan basil pesto cream sauce, vegan basil cashew Alfredo, vegan summer vegetable pasta
These photos pulled me in. Then I made it and wow, it rocks. Certainly a show stopper. Will make it again soon.
Thanks- I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂