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How to Make Vegan Lemon Pasta

The vegan lemon pasta recipe has a couple of surprise ingredients that will give your taste buds an extra kiss. (and it’s NOT lemon!)

Easy vegan lemon pasta recipe icon for blog post features pasta with basil leaves in bright blue bowl

Just think – in a few short minutes, you can make this easy and healthy recipe, that is divine. Isn’t life amazing?

The secret behind this wonderful dish? Just a few simple ingredients and a dash of creativity. It is that easy!

And the Main Ingredients Are:

The primary players in this vegan pasta sauce are lemon, spinach, chili, mushrooms, and garlic.

And the surprise ingredients? Hummus and tofu!

The hummus makes a creamy base for the sauce, and along with the tofu, infuses the dish with plenty of protein.

Tofu also adds texture to the dish, and helps make it taste amazing.

fact icon with information about tofu, which is used in the easy vegan lemon pasta recipe by easywaytovegan.com

About Tofu

First of all, what is tofu? It’s a bean curd made from soybean milk, pretty much the same way cheese is made from cow milk.

Tofu contains protein and has been eaten by cultures worldwide for centuries.

In addition to the protein in tofu, you will benefit from fiber, magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium.

According to the American Cancer Society, soy products, like tofu, are also said to have a connection with lowering the risk of breast cancer and heart disease and might even lower cholesterol.

And according to research, protein from tofu doesn’t have any strain on your kidneys the way meat protein does.

Pick Your Pasta

For the best health benefits, use organic whole grain pasta. It isn’t stripped of all the nutrients like regular pasta is. Whole grain pasta is also lower in calories than regular pasta and has more vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber.

Whole grain pasta is also denser so it is chewier, and makes you feel fuller longer. This recipe uses smaller pasta like elbow macaroni, ditalini, or small shells.

You can make this recipe even if you’re on a gluten-free diet! Many options are available, including this variety pack of chickpea pasta by Banza.

And here are several more gluten-free options made from various ingredients, including quinoa, lentils, edamame, rice, and even seaweed!

How to Make Vegan Lemon Pasta

The sauce for this tasty and easy vegan lemon pasta dish can be made while the pasta is boiling. Just add the olive oil to a frying pan set on medium heat.

Chop up the mushrooms and garlic, and add them to the pan. Stir, then crumble the tofu into the pan and blend.

While the tofu, mushrooms, and garlic are cooking, stir in the spices and lemon. Add the pasta water, hummus, and spinach and stir until the pasta is ready.

I strain my pasta quickly and then toss it into the mixture so it still has a bit of pasta water in it. This gives the sauce a silky texture and keeps the pasta from drying out.

Alternatives and Additions

You can easily switch out kale or even arugula for spinach. And if you don’t have small-sized pasta, then use spaghetti or fettuccine or another type of pasta.

blue bowl with a scoop of easy vegan lemon tofu
Vegan tofu macaroni without spinach

Not a nutritional yeast fan? Then leave it out. No chili powder? Think about using chili flakes instead, or if you prefer no heat, just leave it out entirely.

You can also add more vegetables to this recipe. Zucchini, red peppers, artichokes or? The skies are the limit – if you can chop it, you can add it 🙂

As with all of my recipes, you’re in control of your flavors and I’m just sharing my suggestions!


Vegan Lemon Pasta Recipe

The secret ingredients for this lemony vegan pasta dish are tofu and hummus! Hummus adds a creaminess to the sauce, while tofu adds some texture. And both make this a protein-rich dish while blending perfectly with the lemon, mushrooms, tofu, chili, and spinach. The nutritional yeast add a spicy, cheesy component to the dish and can be left out, if you prefer.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish, supper
Cuisine: Plant-based, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: lemon pasta, lemon vegan pasta, pasta main, vegan pasta
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pasta (ie small shells, macaroni)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil for cooking
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup medium sized mushrooms sliced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled tofu extra firm
  • 1 lemon juiced, seeds removed
  • 3 tablespoons hummus
  • 1 handful baby spinach
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (can use pepper flakes, if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1-2 fresh basil leaves for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest for garnish

Instructions

  • Prepare the pasta according to the instructions on the package, and let the pasta cook while you begin preparing the other ingredients to make the sauce.
    One cup Macaroni
  • Remove water from the tofu by squeezing it in a paper towel and drain until needed
  • Finely chop the garlic and mushrooms
    Chopped mushrooms
  • Pour the olive oil into a frying pan over medium heat, and add the garlic. When the edges of the garlic begin to brown, add the mushrooms
    Fry up garlic and mushrooms
  • Crumble the tofu into the pan with the mushrooms and garlic, and stir
  • Add the lemon juice, chili, salt, pepper, and (optional) nutritional yeast
    Add the spices
  • Take 4 tablespoons of water from the pasta pan, and add to the veggies
  • Mix in the hummus and stir well
  • Stir in the baby spinach and set aside until the pasta is ready
    Add baby spinach
  • Add the drained pasta to the sauce and stir well until the pasta is coated completely with the sauce. Top with fresh basil and lemon zest before serving
    Mix in the macaroni

Notes

This is a tangy protein-rich pasta dish that can be prepared quickly. It makes a wonderful main dish or can be served as a side. It pairs well with a glass of buttery Chardonnay or a crisp glass of Pinot Grigio.
TIPS: Adding water taken directly from the cooking pasta gives the sauce a silky, creamy texture.
You can also swap pepper flakes for the chili powder if you want a little more heat. (Or use both if you dare!
Add vegetables (zucchini, tomatoes, artichokes, or ?) or more tofu, if desired.
GLUTEN-FREE: This dish can also be made with gluten-free pasta. Try out one of the many gluten-free pasta options like these gluten-free elbow macaroni
LEFTOVERS:  The pasta tastes even better the next day. It can be reheated, or mixed with lettuce and chopped fresh veggies for a delicious pasta salad. Just mix in some more hummus and top with lemon. 
 

How to Serve Vegan Lemon Pasta

This dish can be served as a main meal or a side dish. It’s perfect for summer barbecues and potlucks and goes great with my quick and easy summer salad recipe.

Serve with a slice of garlic bread or tomato bruschetta on the side, and enjoy with a glass of Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. Bon appetit!

Pinterest icon with a photo of a blue bowl of vegan lemon pasta

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