Posts in Pasta
Pasta with Spinach, Mushrooms, + Creamy Lemon Garlic Sauce

Another day, another pasta dish! I can blame it on my Italian roots, but let's be honest, pasta is one of the easiest meals to improvise. The noodles are a blank canvas that you can color with the veggies of your choosing. In this dish, I made a creamy sauce using coconut yogurt, keeping it plant based but delicious with a splash of some lemon juice to brighten it up!

Pasta with Spinach, Mushrooms, + Creamy Lemon Garlic Sauce (vegan)
Pasta with Spinach, Mushrooms, + Creamy Lemon Garlic Sauce (vegan)


1/2 pound of pasta (whole wheat, lentil, gluten-free, etc)

1/2 red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

8 oz sliced mushrooms

6 oz unsweetened coconut yogurt (I like sodelicious)

3 big handfuls of spinach

juice of 1/2 a lemon

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

salt + pepper, to taste


1) Boil large pot of water. Add pasta and stir. Continue to cook until al dente.

2) In a large saute pan, add extra virgin olive oil, red onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Allow to cook until onions are translucent.

3) Add mushrooms. Stir frequently. Cook for additional 5 minutes or until mushrooms have reduced in size and begin to brown.

4) Add the coconut yogurt, lemon juice, and spinach. Stir to wilt spinach and create creamy sauce, about 2 minutes.

5) Drain pasta and add to sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Pasta, MainsKristen CarliComment
Butternut Squash Cheezy Pasta

Have you ever taken a bite of something and done a little dance move? Then took another, and danced again. And another bite, another move, repeating this cycle until you’ve both choreographed a full “So You Think You Can Dance” routine and finished the bowl? Just me? Well, take a bite of this dish and then tell me it didn’t make you want to bust a move!

Listen, I’m not a huge squash fan. Its just not my fave. But when fall comes around grocery stores are basically throwing it into your shopping cart. So when I end up with butternut squash, I want to minimize all the nasty, soggy parts that I don’t like about squash, and maximize the semi-sweet, nutty flavor. How do I do this? Puree that bad boy, turn it into a sauce, and dump it over pasta with freshly cracked black pepper.

When butternut squash is pureed, the earthy, nutty flavors really come out to play and you end up with a velvety texture that is oh-so appealing. In this recipe, we throw in a bit of nutritional yeast to give it a cheese-like funk (in the best way), and flavor with some garlic and spices.

This one will be a crowd pleaser. If you serve it to a dinner party, I’ll guarantee the dinner ends in a dance party.

Butternut Squash Cheezy Pasta (vegan)

Yield: 6 servings


3 cups butternut squash, diced + peeled

3/4 cups soaked cashews

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 lb uncooked pasta


1) Steam the butternut squash until tender.

2) Blend all ingredients (except pasta) in a high speed blender. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

3) Heat a large pot of water over high heat. Once boiling, add pasta and cook according to package directions.

4) In a large bowl, dump drained pasta and add butternut squash sauce. Stir to combine. Serve with fresh cracked black pepper on top. Enjoy!

Summer Veggie Sausage Pasta

Summertime means only one thing to me... fresh basil and tomatoes!! This recipe combines these summer favorites with pasta (duh!) and veggie sausage to create a whole, balanced, plant-based meal that comes together in less than 30 minutes. 

I recommend using the Trader Joe's brand of veggie sausage. It is my favorite on the market. Buyer Beware (!!) - this option does contain egg whites! If that's not your thing, I would recommend one of the many flavors of Tofurkey sausage. 

I pride myself on creating foolproof recipes that require very minimal cooking skills, that lead to very simple meals that taste good! But this recipe has one, not difficult, but slightly annoying task: crisping up both sides of the veggie sausage. Don't worry! If you whip out your tongs, you can flip each veggie sausage coin in no time... and it will be well worth it! I love the crispy texture in this dish!

Summer Veggie Sausage Pasta (vegan)
Summer Veggie Sausage Pasta (vegan)


1/2 bag of pasta (I used 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 regular fusilli)

3 handfuls of grape tomatoes, halved

2 veggie sausages, cut into coins

1/2 cup of basil, julienned

the juice of one lemon

1 tsp avocado oil

olive oil

sea salt

lemon pepper



1) Boil pasta according to package instructions. Drain.

2) Saute veggie sausage coins in avocado oil in a fry pan over medium heat. Be sure that each coin lays flat, and they do not overlap. Allow the first side of the coins to crisp up. After 2-3 minutes, flip each coin over (this is tedious, but worth it!) Allow the second side of the coins to crisp up. 

3) Toss pasta, veggie sausage coins, tomatoes and basil in a large bowl. 

4) Add a glug of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and lemon pepper. Toss and enjoy!


Mac + Cheez + Peas + Trees

Alright, alright... are you sick of me talking about this amazing non-dairy cheez sauce yet?!? I'm sorry! I just love it.

This time we added it to pasta with peas and broccoli (trees). This makes a great 'kid meal' (I hate using that phrase!) because it contains many servings of vegetables, with several hidden in the sauce. Give it a shot! Adults will love it too!

Mac + Cheez + Peas + Trees (vegan)


1/2 bag of pasta

1 head of broccoli, cut into florets

1 cup of frozen peas

1/2 cup of non-dairy cheez sauce

optional: Trader Joe's Chili Lime spice or Tajin


1) Prepare non-dairy cheez sauce according to recipe directions here.

2) Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain.

3) Parboil broccoli florets and frozen peas for 5 minutes until tender. Drain.

4) Toss pasta with broccoli, peas, and cheez sauce. Add optional chili lime or Tajin seasoning. Enjoy!

Lemon Kale Pasta

This dish is probably what I crave most nights. A large serving of pasta with plenty of greens, beans for protein, with olives and lemon for brightness. I always have these ingredients on hand, which makes it a really simple go-to meal! 

Lemon Kale Pasta (Vegan)

Makes about 4 large servings


1/2 bag of whole wheat pasta

3 cups chopped kale

2 spoonfuls of kalamata olives, halved

1 can of white beans, rinsed and drained

olive oil and/ or avocado oil

lemon juice

lemon pepper

sea salt


1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Then add the pasta. Cook until al dente, roughly 9 minutes.

2) Saute the chopped kale in a saute pan with a glug of olive (or avocado) oil. Toss with salt and lemon pepper. Cook for several minutes until kale gets a bit charred and crispy.

3) Add the can of beans to a large bowl along with the olives. Add the crispy kale and rinsed cooked pasta. 

4) Toss with lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt and tons of lemon pepper. Enjoy!

Pasta with Brussel Sprouts, Crunchy Chickpeas & Hemp Seeds

The number one question I get about plant-based diets: But where do you get your protein? Plants are loaded with protein, and this pasta dish is living proof. In fact, just one tablespoon of chickpeas has about 2.5 grams of protein. Hemp seeds pack an even bigger punch, coming in at 5 grams of protein per tablespoon. 

The point is this... Plant-based protein is abundant, and there are plenty of creative and delicious ways to have a nutritious, meat-free meal. 

For inspiration, give this pasta a try. 

Pasta with Brussel Sprouts, Crunchy Chickpeas & Hemp Seeds
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Pasta with Brussel Sprouts, Crunchy Chickpeas & Hemp Seeds
  • 1 box pasta
  • 3 cups shredded brussel sprouts
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 3 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 4 tablespoons, divided avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tsp pink salt
  • 2 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Dry chickpeas completely with paper towels. 2) Toss chickpeas with 1 tablespoon avocado oil, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, and garlic powder. Bake in oven for 30 minutes, stirring chickpeas halfway.3) Boil a pot of water. Add pasta. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Drain.4) Saute brussel sprouts in 1 tablespoon avocado oil for 8-10 minutes. Add 1/2 of lemon juice to saute pan. Add cherry tomatoes to warm through. 5) Combine pasta, tomatoes, brussel sprouts, and roasted chickpeas. Add hemp seeds. Toss with 2 tablespoons avocado oil and remaining lemon juice and salt to taste.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6-8 servings
Pasta with Brussel Sprouts, Crunchy Chickpeas & Hemp Seeds
Pasta with Brussel Sprouts, Crunchy Chickpeas & Hemp Seeds
Pasta, MainsKristen CarliComment
Taco Pasta

Like every good Arizonan, I love tacos. And like every good Italian, not a week goes by that I don't consume some sort of pasta dish. But sometimes, I want both. Crazy, right?!


It's cheesy, without the cheese. Meaty, without any meat. Creamy, without the dairy. This dish has everything we love, and stays true to our plant-based mantra. 

Using Beyond Meat burger patties, our favorite cheez sauce, and some avocado to top, all your cross-continental cravings will be cured. 

Vegan Taco Pasta
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Taco Pasta (Plant-Based)
  • 2 Beyond Meat plant based burger patties
  • 1 box pasta
  • 3 tablespoons non-dairy cheez sauce
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon red salsa
  • 1 tablespoon salsa verde
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • one bunch cilantro
1) Heat the burger patties in a saute pan over medium heat, breaking up into ground 'meat' pieces. Mix with taco seasoning and continue to cook through.2) Boil a large pot of water. Add pasta. Cook until al dente. Drain.3) In the saute pan with the ground 'meat', add the cheez and the salsa. Stir and cook through.4) Add the cooked pasta to the saute pan and stir to combine.5) Garnish with cilantro and avocado. Enjoy!
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 servings
Vegan Cheezy Taco Pasta
Mains, PastaKristen CarliComment
Simple Weeknight Pasta

If you follow me on my Instagram stories, you know that most nights I whip up some pasta and mix whatever veggies I have on hand in with it. It is my go-to busy weeknight dinner. 

Spinach is a wonderful green because it literally can be mixed in any dish and it works. Every now and then, if I stock up on spinach, I try to hand a handful of it to all of my meals (smoothies, avocado toast, sauteed in a grain bowl, salads, on pizzas, or mixed with pasta!) I always have cauliflower and olives in my fridge so they are easy grab and go ingredients for this dish!

Simple Weeknight Pasta
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Simple Weeknight Pasta
  • 1 box pasta
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1 cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 2 tablespoons kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • juice of half a lemon
1) Preheat the oven the 400 degrees. Place the cauliflower florets on a baking sheet. Dress with 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bake the cauliflower for 30 minutes.2) Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add pasta. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Drain.3) Add cooked pasta, roasted cauliflower, olives, and spinach to a large mixing bowl. Add remaining olive oil and lemon juice. Stir to combine.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4-6 servings
Mains, PastaKristen CarliComment
Lemony Artichoke Pesto Pasta
Lemony Artichoke Pesto Pasta


1/2 box of pasta

1 head of broccoli, cut into florets

1 can artichoke hearts, chopped

2 tablespoons hearts of palm medallions, quartered

1 tablespoon Walnut Basil Pesto

juice of a whole lemon





1) Fill a large stock pot with water and place over high heat. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8-10 minutes and drain.

2) Fill a small pot with water and place over high heat. Boil broccoli florets in water for 5 minutes and drain.

3) Stir broccoli, pasta, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, pesto and lemon juice to combine. Season with salt and pepper as needed.


Lemony Artichoke Pesto Pasta
Mains, PastaKristen CarliComment