Who else here loves a creamy, buttery, lemony pasta?! This Vegan Lemon Butter Pasta with Peas & Charred Leeks pairs fresh lemon juice with vegan butter for the best dairy-free lemon butter sauce. Get ready for your new favorite weeknight dinner recipe!
*Recipe originally shared April 2019 and updated August 2021*
My love affair with lemons runs DEEP. Between candying them, drying them to top my Vegan Lemon Cupcakes, or squeezing them into a Pomegranate Lemon Rosé Spritzer; the possibilities are truly endless.
What I love about this recipe is that lemon is truly the star of this dish. While this recipe only calls for 2 Tbsp of lemon juice and lemon zest, it is more than enough to flavor this vegan lemon cream!
- Almond Milk: Can be subbed for any other plant-based milk, though I find almond, soy, or oat milk all work best.
- Vegan butter: Any brand of vegan butter will work for this recipe, but I prefer Country Crock, Flora, or Miyokos plant butter!
- Nutritional Yeast: I used Bragg Nutritonal Yeast. It's what gives this vegan lemon pasta it's cheesy flavor!
How to make the best vegan lemon pasta
This lemon pasta is the perfect recipe to make in just 40 minutes for an easy weeknight dinner!
Cook the pasta
I have made this recipe using Ancient Harvest gluten-free spaghetti and using the basic linguine you see pictured. Really, any noodle will work for this recipe. Just cook until al dente, strain, and set aside for later.
Make the charred leeks
While the pasta is cooking, chop up the leeks and add them to a baking dish. Then, toss them with avocado oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chili flakes.
Add to the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes- stirring halfway through. If the leeks aren't super crispy at the 20-minute mark, switch the oven to broil and broil them for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Make the vegan lemon cream sauce
This lemon sauce without cream could not be easier to make! Just add the almond milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to a shallow pan. Then, cook the lemon butter sauce for 5-8 minutes until it is bubbling and beginning to thicken.
Keep in mind- this lemon butter sauce is relatively thin and light. However, once the pasta and peas are added in they hold onto the sauce really well. If for any reason you really want the sauce to be thicker, just add in 1 tsp of cornstarch to help thicken up this vegan lemon butter pasta.
Put it all together
Add in the cooked pasta and peas and cook another 5 minutes. Then, add in those crispy charred leeks, stir it all together, top with some fresh oregano, and serve this delicious dairy-free lemon pasta!
FAQ & Tips:
Yes! The sauce and vegetables in this recipe are naturally gluten-free, so the only thing you need to do is use gluten-free noodles. Ancient Harvest and Jovial are my two favorite gluten-free pasta brands.
Leftovers can be stored in a closed container in the fridge for 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
While I honestly think this pasta is good on its own, it also pairs great with my Spicy Lime Broccolini on the side or baked crispy tofu on top. I also love adding some grated vegan parmesan on top and recommend Violife brand.
All you need is 45 minutes to create this dreamy Vegan Lemon Butter Pasta with Peas & Charred Leeks tonight! This vegan lemon pasta is bound to be a new favorite amongst your go-to pasta recipes. Enjoy!
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Vegan Lemon Butter Pasta with Peas & Charred Leeks
Pasta Ingredients & Vegan Lemon Butter Sauce
- 12 oz linguine cook according to package instructions
- 1 cup unsweetened soy milk/ almond milk
- ¼ cup vegan butter
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon juiced)
- ½ tablespoon lemon zest zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup frozen peas (if fresh grams will vary)
- salt & pepper to taste
Crispy Charred Leeks
- 2 large leeks chopped into 1 inch circular slices, about 4 cups chopped
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon chili flakes optional, for more spice
- Begin by cooking your pasta according to the package instructions (this should take about 10-15 minutes). Once cooked, strain, & set aside for later.
- While the pasta is cooking, preheat your oven to 400F and chop your leeks.
- Add the chopped leeks to a large baking tray and top with the avocado oil, garlic powder, chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Then, use your hands or a spatula to mix until the leeks are evenly coated with the seasoning.
- Next, add the leeks to the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, making sure to stop and stir the leeks at the 8-minute mark. If the leeks aren't as crispy as desired at the 20-minute mark, you can also broil them for an additional 2-3 minutes. Once cooked, set aside.
- While the leeks are cooking, add your almond/soy milk, vegan butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, nutritional yeast, and garlic powder to a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Next, add in the cooked pasta and frozen/fresh peas and stir. Cook about 5 more minutes until the peas are warmed throughout and the pasta is evenly coated in sauce.
- As a final step, add the crispy leeks into the pan and mix them together.
- Remove from the heat and top with optional fresh oregano or vegan parmesan. Serve and enjoy!
- For vegan butter, I prefer Earth Balance, Miyokos, or CountryCrock plant butter for this recipe
- I prefer soy or almond milk for this recipe, but any plant-based milk works including coconut or oat milk
- To make this pasta gluten-free, just use a gluten-free noodle. The sauce itself is naturally gluten-free.
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days or in the freezer up to 1 month.
Can I sub olive oil for the vegan butter?
I don't really recommend it as the butter adds a lot of flavor to the sauce.
Have you made this without the charred leeks? I would like to avoid a trip to the store and wondered if the recipe will still be tasty without them.
It will still taste good without them but is definitely better with them- so totally up to you!
Wow this was a DELICIOUS meal, and easy to make. You can add to it and change it up. Next time I will add TVP to it. Thanks
That sounds like the perfect addition 🙂
Holy &$@! that was delicious!!!! Thank you for the recipe.
So happy you loved it!! 🙂
Loved! My husband even had seconds. Lol 😂 He isn’t vegan! I’m working on this!
That's amazing! So happy everyone could enjoy it 🙂
Jenna Price says
Delicious! I made it with oat milk because that was all I had and it tasted great. I was a little concerned because the sauce didn’t seem to be thickening but it didn’t need to-it coated the pasta perfectly. I would definitely make this again!
Love hearing it tasted just as good with oat milk 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
If I am not worried about making vegan use whole milk and skip the nutritional yeast
This dish was really made to be vegan so I would recommend finding a different recipe if you want to change two key ingredients.
I like how light this sauce was- I added grated cheese on top and it was delicious!
Megan Horowitch says
So glad you liked it 🙂