This vegan pistachio pasta is the perfect dish to impress guests! The sauce is creamy and nutty, and the combination of pistachio, lemon and basil flavors is simply divine!
If you've been looking for a delicious pasta recipe for date night or to impress your guests at a dinner party, this pistachio pasta definitely fits the bill.
Inspired by a traditional Sicilian pistachio pasta, this plant-based version is packed with flavor and super creamy while being 100% dairy-free.
The lemon and fresh basil flavors blend in beautifully with the pistachio, and the pasta sauce is so good it's likely to impress even non-vegans.
Why you'll love this pistachio pasta
- Super easy to make in just 25 minutes
- Incredibly flavorful and creamy
- Perfect for date night, dinner parties or any other special occasion
Ingredients and substitutions
Olive oil + plant-based butter — This combination makes for a creamy and flavorful base for the pasta.
Shallot — I like shallots in this sauce because they have a mellow flavor and become translucent super quickly.
Garlic — You can mince the garlic or chop it finely with a sharp knife.
Red chili flakes — Only add red chili flakes if you want your pasta to have a bit of a kick.
Lemon juice — This adds brightness and a bit of zing to the pasta sauce.
Pistachios — Raw pistachio kernels are best in this sauce. Ground them finely in a food processor. You can also use roasted pistachio kernels — it's best to go with unsalted ones in that case.
Plant-based cream cheese — I used the vegan cream cheese from Violife in this sauce. Plant-based cream cheese may take a while to melt, so it's a good idea to have it at room temperature.
Nutritional yeast — This gives a cheesy, Parmesan-like flavor to the pasta sauce.
How to make vegan pistachio pasta
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it and cook the pasta al dente according to the directions on the package. Reserve 2-3 cups of pasta water before draining.
Add the shallot and cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until softened.
Stir in the garlic and red chili flakes and cook for another minute.
Add the lemon juice, cook for 30 seconds, then add the ground pistachio, plant-based cream cheese and half a cup of the reserved pasta water.
Stir until the cream cheese is completely melted and you have a smooth sauce. Lower the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Transfer the cooked pasta to the pan, toss well to cover it in sauce, then stir in the nutritional yeast and fresh basil.
Season to taste and serve immediately, with some extra nutritional yeast on top if you like.
Leftovers and storage
- Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
- Reheat the pasta in the microwave or on the stovetop. If it looks too thick, you can add a splash of plant-based milk or vegetable broth.
- I don’t recommend freezing this pasta dish.
Recipe notes and tips
- You can use plant-based Parmesan instead of nutritional yeast in this pasta dish.
- Add some baby spinach, arugula or roughly chopped kale at the end to make the pasta more nutritious.
- To increase the veggie content of this pasta, add some sliced mushrooms or asparagus with the shallot.
If you liked this vegan pistachio pasta, you might also like some of my other easy vegan pasta recipes:
- Shiitake Mushroom Pasta
- Vegan Leek and Mushroom Pasta
- Sriracha Pasta Sauce
- Vegan Sundried Tomato Pasta
- Vegan Rasta Pasta