This Lentil Mushroom Pasta Bake with Sweet Potato “Cheese” Sauce is a hearty, comforting vegan dinner.
Lentil Mushroom Pasta Sauce
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, diced
- 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- A couple pinches each fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 6 cups sliced cremini or white mushrooms (approximately 1 1/4 pounds)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried basil, plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes or cayenne (optional)
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1000 mL pasta sauce of choice
- 3 cups cooked green or du Puy lentils (from 1 cup dry lentils)
- 1/2 cup red wine or vegetable broth
Sweet Potato Cashew Cheese Sauce
- 2 heaping cups diced peeled sweet potato (from 1 medium)
- 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked and drained*
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
- 2 medium garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 cups uncooked rotini or fusilli
- Cashew Hemp Parmesan
- Fresh herbs
- Make the lentil mushroom pasta sauce: Warm the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion, garlic, and a small pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 6-8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until all of the water has evaporated off of them and they are lightly browned. Mix in the oregano, basil, chili flakes, and another pinch of sea salt plus freshly ground black pepper to taste. Add the tomato paste, pasta sauce, lentils, and wine or broth. Bring to a simmer, then turn down heat to medium-low and continue simmering for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, make the sweet potato cashew cheese sauce: Steam the sweet potato in a pot fitted with a steamer basket for 15-20 minutes, until fork tender. Transfer into a bowl to let it cool slightly. Pour the almond milk into an upright blender, followed by the sweet potato, soaked cashews, dijon mustard, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, sea salt, and pepper. Blend until ultra smooth and velvety, adding up to 1/3 cup more milk if needed, to achieve a cheese sauce texture.
- Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and put back in the pot. Ladle all of the lentil mushroom sauce into the pasta pot and stir to combine.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly oil a 9×13-inch glass baking dish with olive oil. Scoop the pasta into the dish and pour the sweet potato cheese sauce over top. Spread to smooth out in an even layer.
- Bake for 18 minutes, remove from the oven, and wait five minutes for it to set slightly before enjoying.
*You can soak your cashews in boiling water for 1 hour or in cool water for 4-8 hours.
- Prep Time: 35 minutes
- Cook Time: 18 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: vegan lentil mushroom pasta bake