Creamy Vegan Pasta al Limone

VeganGluten-FreeSoy-FreeRefined Sugar-FreeEasyVegetarianDairy Free

Perfectly cooked pasta, rich and creamy vegan cashew sauce, and the brightness of fresh lemon all combine to make this irresistible vegan Pasta al Limone!

Vegan Pasta al Limone

One of the produce items I try to always keep in my kitchen is fresh lemons. They look beautiful displayed in a bowl on the countertop, but they also add fresh and bright flavor to most of the dishes I make! In this vegan Pasta al Limone the lemon is the star of the show, and I love the way it makes a creamy, comforting, savory dish feel just right for spring or summertime.

Creamy Vegan Pasta al Limone
Quick Lemony Pasta Recipe

What is Pasta al Limone?

Translated simply, it’s pasta with lemon! This is a simple vegan dish made with pasta cooked al dente, a creamy sauce, and plenty of fresh lemon juice. I love it year round, but it’s especially delicious in the spring and summertime!

Pasta al Limone Ingredients
Easy Pasta al Limone

Should I Save Pasta Water?

YES, and I’ll tell you why! As your pasta cooks it releases starches. That’s why the water often looks white and cloudy when you drain cooked pasta. I save this water and use it in the creamy vegan cashew sauce! The starches in the water make the sauce in this vegan Pasta al Limone so much creamier than plain water.

Gluten-Free Pasta al Limone
Homemade Pasta al Limone

Creamy Vegan White Pasta Sauce

You might already know how much I love using cashews to make creamy vegan dishes! They have a really mild flavor and, after soaking, they blend into a perfectly thick sauce. Cashews are a nuntrient-dense, plant-based protein source! They’re considered an excellent source of copper and a good source of magnesium, manganese, vitamin K, phosphorous and zinc. I use cashews in Easy Homemade Vegan Cashew Cream, Easy Homemade Vegan Sour Cream, and even Vegan French Onion Dip! If you’re curious about soaking cashews, check out my post on How (and Why!) to Soak Cashews for the full information.

Lemony Pasta Recipe

Pasta Garnishes

Chef’s secret: garnishes make your pasta feel fancy! I try to have a couple extras to sprinkle on top of a finished dish. Even when you’re making a quick weeknight meal at home, plating your food a little bit makes it feel special and intentional. For Pasta al Limone, I garnish with…

  • Lemon zest, wedges, or slices (the more lemon the better!)
  • Freshly grated vegan Parmesan cheese – I love the brand VioLife
  • A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • Red pepper flakes for a little bit of heat
  • Fresh parsley leaves, finely diced
  • Vegan butter
  • Caramelized Onions (these go on everything!) or Roasted Garlic
Vegan Lemon Pasta

More Pasta Dishes

All these pasta dishes are vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, peanut-free and refined sugar-free.

Pasta Fresca
Parsley-Pea Pesto Pasta
Vegan Chickpea Pasta Bolognese
Pasta Aglio e Olio
One Skillet Baked Butternut Squash Pasta with Sage
Vegan Baked Feta Pasta
Grilled Veggie Pesto Pasta
Spicy Red Lentil Veggie Pasta
Vegan No Boil Pasta Bake

Lemony Pasta
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Quick Lemony Pasta Recipe

Creamy Vegan Pasta al Limone

  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Perfectly cooked pasta, rich and creamy vegan cashew sauce, and the brightness of fresh lemon all combine to make this irresistible vegan Pasta al Limone! 


  • 12-ounces long-cut gluten-free pasta such as capellini, spaghetti or fettuccine noodles
  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked for 8 hours in advance (or 1 hour with boiling water)
  • 1 1/2 cups reserved pasta water (plus more as needed)
  • 1 large lemon zested and juiced (about 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest)
  • 2 large peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Optional Garnish Ideas

  • lemon zest
  • lemon wedges/slices
  • vegan parmesan cheese (such as Violife), freshly grated
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • red pepper flakes
  • fresh Italian flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped (large stems removed)
  • vegan butter


  1. Cook pasta in salted water according to package instructions (al dente).  I recommend adding 1/2 tablespoon salt to the water to cook the pasta for best flavor.  Do not drain the pasta!  Reserve 2 cups of the cooking pasta water right as the pasta finishes cooking.  This starchy pasta water makes the sauce extra creamy!
  2. While the pasta cooks, drain and rinse the soaked cashews well.  Add the cashews to the blender along with 1 1/2 cups of the reserved pasta water.  Add the lemon juice, lemon zest (use a microplane to zest your lemon), garlic, salt, maple syrup and pepper to the blender.  Blend on the highest speed until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute in a high speed blender).  
  3. Taste the sauce and add more lemon, garlic, salt or pepper if desired.  
  4. Add the sauce to the cooked pasta (remove the pasta from boiling water with tongs and place in a mixing bowl or another pot).  Mix well.  Add more reserved pasta water to the pasta to thin out the sauce if needed.  I usually add another 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water.  
  5. Plate the pasta and add desired garnishes such as lemon zest, lemon wedges/slices, vegan parm, red pepper flakes, parsley and/or vegan butter,  Enjoy immediately while hot.
  6. Store leftovers once fully cooled in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 5 days.  Gluten-free pasta will absorb a lot of the sauce while stored and the sauce will thicken while stored, so you may want to make more or add water to the stored pasta when reheating.  The added water will help to rehydrate the noodles and thin out the thickened sauce.  Reheat pasta on the stovetop for best results. 


Soak cashews in water for 8 hours in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Alternatively, you can “quick soak” them by pouring boiling hot water overtop for an hour or two.  Either way be sure to drain the soaking water and rinse the soaked cashews well before using.  Read more about How (and Why!) to Soak Cashews for the full information.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: Entree/Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop and Blender
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Vegan Pasta al Limone

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  1. Hannah

    I didn’t follow the measurements exactly because I didn’t have access to wifi at the time but I remembered all of the ingredients from your story and tried my best. It turned out ridiculously good!! Like fancy restaurant quality. I topped it with king trumpet mushrooms that perfectly resembled scallops. Super easy and delicious dish!

    • Elaine Gordon

      OMG amazing! I love the inspo was enough for you to run with it! LOVE the idea of adding KT mushrooms! Sounds like it would be so delicious with this dish! Thank you for letting me know!

  2. Rebeca Trull

    Made this for dinner last night and the whole family loved it. I added broccolini and capers for that briny taste. DELISH!

    • Elaine Gordon

      Thank you, Rebeca! I’m so happy to hear that the entire family enjoyed! Love your briny addition… and broccolini definitely pairs brilliantly with this spring pasta dish – nice choice! I’ll try that myself next time I make it! Best, Elaine


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