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No-Blend Vegan Cacio e Pepe!
A few weeks ago I had a hunkering for a Vegan Cacio E Pepe, but I had no blender and no time to soak raw cashews. I decided to experiment with using cashew butter instead, because essentially it’s the same ingredient, pre-blended. The result was this insanely easy, no-blend Vegan Cacio e Pepe, or Cashew e Pepe as I like to call it. Cacio e pepe translates to “cheese and pepper” and traditionally involves spaghetti or tonnarelli, pecorino romano cheese and freshly cracked black pepper.
In this vegan version, we’re using a creamy base of cashews. This pasta is rich and creamy without any dairy! It’s *almost* magic. To make it gluten free, it’s as simple as using a gluten free pasta. In my experience however, gluten free spaghetti does not have the best texture, so I opted for a different variety. This dish comes together so quickly and easily, it can be enjoyed as a weeknight dinner on the reg. It’s not the best dish to meal prep or store as the sauce loses some of its silkiness as it sits, so it’s best enjoyed fresh and luckily is quick enough to whip up on the spot.
This Vegan Cacio e Pepe is vegan, gluten free, oil free and ready in 15 minutes. The only equipment you’ll need is a pot to boil your pasta in.
What’s in this Vegan Cacio e Pepe?
To make this soup you’ll only need 6 ingredients.
- Cashew butter → No raw cashews required. We’ll be using a creamy cashew butter, which means no blending is required. Opt for a cashew-only butter. Cashews provide the creamy base for our pasta.
- White miso paste → Just a touch helps to add depth of flavour, and this is an ingredient I use in all of my vegan cheezy recipes.
- Lemon juice → Fresh lemon juice brightens up the creamy sauce base, and again, is a key ingredient used to make cashews taste cheezy!
- Nutritional yeast → Once again, for the cheezy factor. This also helps to thicken up the sauce and adds a nice boost of plant protein and B vitamins.
- Gluten free pasta → Or regular pasta if you’d like. While spaghetti is more traditionally used, I opted for a gluten free cavatappi.
- Salt & pepper → Salt to season and freshly cracked black pepper. Don’t skimp on the pepper, this is what makes it Cacio E Pepe!
And some optional vegan parmesan to garnish.
How to make Vegan Cacio e Pepe
- Cook your pasta according to package directions until al dente. Set aside some of the pasta cooking water and drain your pasta.
- In the pot or in a small bowl, whisk together cashew butter, miso past, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt and cracked pepper, adding pasta water as needed.
- Add pasta back in to the pot, toss to coat and plate! Garnish with vegan parmesan if desired, and lots of cracked pepper.
Secrets to success!
- Make it hearty → Use a heavy hand with the vegan parmesan for a more true-to-original experience. You can also add olive oil or vegan butter to your sauce base to give it more richness.
- Boost the nutrition → Sprinkle a handful of microgreens on top, or consider a sprinkle of a nut based vegan parmesan. Hemp seeds would also make a lovely covert addition to the dish.
If you like this recipe, try…
- 10 Minute Pumpkin Tahini Pasta
- Green Bean + Almond Gremolata Pasta
- Vegan Lemon Pepper Pasta
- 15 Minute Caprese Pasta Salad
- High Protein Tempeh + Mushroom Bologenese
If you try this recipe out, tag me on Instagram @veggiekins so I can see your delicious re-creations and feature them! As always, I love when you share your reviews in the comments below, and if you make any fun substitutions, let me know how it worked out below too.
No-Blend Vegan Cacio e Pepe (vegan, gluten free, wfpb)
- 8 oz pasta of choice I used gluten free
- 1/2 cup pasta cooking water reserved
- 3 tbsp creamy cashew butter no added ingredients
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tbsp white miso paste
- juice of half a lemon
- salt to taste
- 1-2 tsp freshly cracked black peppercorns
- grated vegan parmesan
- Prepare your pasta al dente according to package directions. Reserve a 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain pasta and set aside.
- In the same pot, or a small bowl, whisk together cashew paste, nutritional yeast, miso paste and lemon juice. Add 1/4 cup of water and whisk until completely smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- Return pasta to the pot and fold in the sauce until coated. If desired, add additional pasta water to help to coat. Serve with optional vegan parmesan to top and more pepper to taste.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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