If you're looking for a pasta dish that is delicious and easy to make, look no further than this recipe for vegan pasta with peas.
This amazing creamy sauce is made with butter beans, pasta water, red pepper flakes, and garlic, so this dish is packed with spice and flavor!
The best part is that it can be made in just about 30 minutes, making it perfect for a busy weeknight meal. So why not give it a try tonight?
Anyone who knows me knows that I love pasta. It's one of my favorite comfort foods. I've been trying to update vegan versions of my favorite dishes recently, and this creamy pasta with the sweet flavor of peas is one of my favorites!
This vegan pasta dish with peas is the perfect comfort food for chilly spring evenings or any time of the year if you use frozen peas!
The peas add sweetness and freshness that complement the pasta, and the lemon zest and lemon juice add brightness and acidity. This dish is straightforward to make, so it's perfect for a busy weeknight dinner.
For more easy meals, try my Vegan Mushroom Risotto with Peas and my Asparagus Mushroom Pasta which pair well with this Southwest Quinoa Bowl; the kale with avocado and lemon makes a delicious, simple salad.
These are the fresh simple ingredients you need to make this fantastic creamy pasta with tons of flavor:
- Butter beans - I used unsalted canned butter beans for convenience, but if you have fresh cooked white beans, feel free to use them! Butter beans are also known as Lima beans or gigante beans.
- Shallot - this will need to be minced along with the garlic.
- Fresh garlic - I used several large cloves.
- Frozen peas - I used these for convenience year-round, but if you have fresh spring peas. please use them!
- Fresh lemon - the lemon zest and lemon juice add acidity and brightness.
- Reserved pasta water (not pictured) - for a creamy and flavorful sauce.
- Dried Italian pasta - I used this conchiglie; you can use any pasta you like. I recommend a short tubular pasta to contain the sauce and the peas! If you prefer whole wheat pasta or gluten-free, feel free to use it!
- Olive oil - I recommend using quality extra-virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
- Red chili flakes - for flavor and spice!
See the recipe card for the exact quantities. Substitutions are below.
How to make Pasta with Peas
It's easy to make this creamy pasta with peas. The delicious sauce is made with butter beans, garlic, shallots, pine nuts, red pepper flakes, nutritional yeast, pasta water, oregano, and olive oil.
Peas are added to the pasta near the end, along with lemon.
Cook the bean mixture
- Preheat a small non-stick saucepan over low-medium to medium heat for three minutes. My range runs hot, so I use low-medium heat to prevent burning the garlic and shallot.
- Add the olive oil, shallots, garlic, and pine nuts to the small saucepan with a pinch of salt. Stir occasionally for 3 minutes as the nuts develop a pale golden color.
- Add the red pepper flakes, chopped oregano, and beans and occasionally stir for three more minutes. Taste and adjust salt as needed. I typically add ¼ teaspoon salt at this point. Set aside the bean mixture to cool while you cook the pasta.
Cook the pasta
- Meanwhile, boil water. Heat a large pot of water (add 1 tablespoon kosher salt for 6 ounces of pasta) to boil on medium heat. Once its boiling vigorously, add the pasta, and occasionally stir to make sure the pasta does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Cook the pasta for a couple minutes less than the package directions for pasta al dente. Before the end of cooking, reserve at least 1 ¼ cup of the cooking pasta water.
Make the creamy bean sauce
- Carefully transfer ½ cup to ¾ cup salted pasta water to the blender along with the bean mixture. Add the nutritional yeast. Carefully blend for 30 to 60 seconds on medium speed until creamy and set aside.
Combine pasta with bean sauce and peas
- Drain the pasta in a colander; you may want to reserve another half cup of pasta water for any leftovers. Place the bean sauce in the large saucepan. Add the cooked pasta along with ½ cup of the starchy water. Mix well to combine.
- Bring to a gentle simmer and add peas. Stir occasionally for 5 minutes, cooking at low to low-medium heat until sauce thickens slightly. Stir in lemon juice and lemon zest just before serving.
- Mix well to combine.
- Serve in shallow bowls and garnish with freshly ground black pepper and oregano leaves which add a nice touch.
Hint: Serve immediately since the sauce thickens as it cools.
- Whole grain - Use 100% whole wheat pasta.
- Gluten-free - Use any gluten-free pasta of your choice.
- Butter beans - Northern beans or cannellini beans.
- Pasta - use 100% whole wheat pasta if you prefer, or any other pasta of your choice.
- Pine nuts - you can use walnuts or almonds instead.
- Peas - use asparagus cut into 1-inch pieces. Add them to the pasta four minutes before the pasta is to be done. Or try broccoli or frozen green beans.
- Shallot - chopped yellow or white onion will be fine.
- Nutritional yeast - if you prefer, you can omit it.
- Garlic - roasted garlic would be very good in this dish, whether you roast it yourself or use a prepared variety.
- Gluten-free - use a gluten-free pasta of your choice.
- Oregano - feel free to use another fresh herb such as basil or parsley.
- Starchy pasta water - you can use vegetable broth if you forget to save the pasta water, but it won't have as much body. The salted starchy water adds flavor and creaminess in addition to the beans.
Here are some variations you can try:
- Spicier - This recipe is spicy already, but if you want more spice, add more crushed red pepper flakes or add smoked paprika.
- Deluxe - add caramelized onions or roasted garlic.
- Kid-friendly - to make it less spicy, use only a little bit of the crushed red pepper flakes or leave them out entirely.
- Oil-free - You can saute the nuts in the saucepan until they are golden. Set them aside, and then cook the shallot and garlic in a tablespoon or two of water or veggie broth, then add the oregano, nuts, crushed red pepper, and beans.
- Salt-free - feel free to omit the salt.
I like to use a nonstick shallow frypan to prevent the garlic and shallot from sticking to the pan or burning.
I don't recommend using a cast-iron pan in this case; the ingredients may burn because cast-iron pans get hot and retain their heat, making it hard to make temperature changes in short periods of time.
I love my powerful Vitamix blender for blending the bean sauce. If you don't have a blender, you can use an immersion blender instead.
Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 to 5 days.
I don't recommend freezing since this will affect the texture.
Be sure to salt the pasta water like the sea. I use ¾ to one tablespoon of kosher salt for six ounces of pasta. For a one-pound bag of pasta, I use up to two tablespoons of coarse kosher salt.
I prefer to use pink Himalayan salt or Celtic sea salt for salting the food, not the pasta water.
If you have any leftover pasta water, save half a cup for reheating any leftovers.
More healthy recipes
If you're looking for an easy, vegan-friendly pasta dish, I hope you give this recipe a try!
If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ★★★★★ below. I love to see your amazing creations on Instagram, make sure to tag me @resplendentkitchen and #resplendentkitchenrecipes. To get more ideas follow me on Facebook and Pinterest.
Creamy Vegan Pasta with Peas
- blender or immersion blender
- large saucepan
- chef's knife
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup shallots diced
- 3 large garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano minced, or parsley or basil
- 15.5-oz can butter beans rinsed and drained, or northern or cannellini beans
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 6 ounces conchiglie pasta or any short tubular pasta
- Kosher salt for salting pasta water, ¾ to 1 tablespoon per 6 oz dry pasta
- ½ cup frozen peas or fresh, or frozen green beans, or broccoli
- ½ lemon, fresh zested and juiced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh oregano leaves for garnish
- Combine extra-virgin olive oil, shallots, garlic, and pine nuts in small saucepan with pinch of salt and cook over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally for 3 minutes while nuts develop a pale golden color. Add red pepper flakes, chopped oregano, and beans. Stir occasionally and cook for 3 more minutes. Add ¼ teaspoon salt. Set aside bean mixture.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and add at least 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Add pasta, and stir occasionally. Cook pasta for 2 minutes less than package directions.
- Reserve 1 ¼ cups pasta water several minutes before pasta is done cooking. Transfer ½ cup to ¾ cup pasta water to blender. Add bean mixture and nutritional yeast. Blend for 30 to 60 seconds until creamy.
- Drain pasta in a colander. Place bean sauce in pot, add cooked pasta with ½ cup pasta water and combine. Bring to a gentle simmer and add peas. Stir occasionally for 5 minutes, cooking at medium heat until sauce thickens slightly. Stir in lemon juice and lemon zest just before serving.
- Serve pasta in shallow bowls. Season with black pepper, and top with fresh oregano leaves.
- Store the pasta in an airtight container for up to 4 to 5 days.
- If you have any leftover pasta water, save half a cup for reheating any leftovers.
- I don't recommend freezing.
Resplendent Kitchen offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site as a courtesy. Although resplendentkitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information from online calculators, these figures are estimates.