Cheesy Vegan Alfredo with Peas and Kale

I’ve never met a creamy, cheesy vegan sauce that I didn’t like. My predilection for “creamy, cheesy” dishes is even mentioned on my “recipes” page . If I ever become allergic to nutritional yeast (i.e. the cheesy part of vegan cheese sauces and cheeses), I think I would die. I kid.

Mostly.

Nutritional yeast – or “nooch”, has some seriously magical transforming powers. With a little vegan cooking science magic, this stuff can go from dry yellow flakes to rich, creamy-cheesy sauce.

cheesy vegan alfredo with peas and kale - Luminous Vegans

It also kicks-ass on it’s own. I may or may not be known to eat nutritional yeast straight from the container. A more um, “proper” way to eat it straight up is  to sprinkle some on freshly popped popcorn for a cheesy vegan snack. I buy our nutritional yeast in bulk at Sevenanda or in little tubs from our local farmer’s market.

For this dish, I mixed quite a bit of nutritional yeast with cashews and almond milk (and other stuff) and the result was a creamy-cheesy vegan alfredo-like sauce. It’s an easy sauce to blend up any night of the week and requires just a little heat to thicken it up. We had it with pasta and sautéed peas and kale because those are things we typically have on hand. There’s probably other delicious ways to use it though—drizzled over roasted veggies, just mixed with cooked spinach or kale…

cheesy vegan alfredo with peas and kale - Luminous Vegans

Cheesy Vegan Alfredo with Peas and Kale

serves 2

Ingredients

  • 8 oz of pasta
  • 1/2 cup of peas (I used frozen)
  • kale leaves from 4 large stalks (torn into smaller pieces)
  • 2 cloves of garlic clove (one should be minced, the other can be whole)
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews *
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbs of chicken-free broth concentrate (I used Better Than Bouillon)
  • salt and pepper

* I used a high speed blender to blend the sauce so I didn’t soak the cashews for this dish. Depending on the strength of your blender/food processor, you may need to soak the cashews in water for a couple of hours to help break them down and get them creamy.

Directions

Cook the pasta according to package. Now on to the peas and kale mixture. In a lightly oiled pan with a lid, sauté the minced garlic clove until soft on medium heat. Then add the kale leaves and stir in a couple of tablespoons of water or stock so that about a 1/4 inch of liquid sits in the pan. Add the frozen peas. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and then put the lid on and turn to medium-low until the liquid mostly evaporates. I let it simmer with the lid while I make the sauce. It’s good to check on it and give it a good stir adding more liquid if needed. You don’t want the kale sitting in the pan without liquid while it’s actively cooking.

cheesy vegan alfredo with peas and kale - Luminous Vegans

For the sauce put the almond milk, cashews, nutritional yeast, whole garlic clove, lemon juice, onion powder, chicken-free broth concentrate in a high speed blender or food processor and blend until very smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat the sauce in a pot large enough to hold everything (sauce, pasta, peas and kale) over medium-high heat. Make sure to stir/whisk the sauce constantly while heating. It should thicken up pretty quickly (~3 minutes). Remove from heat. Add the pasta, peas and kale. If there is extra liquid in the peas/kale mixture, make sure to drain it out before adding it to the pot. Salt and pepper everything to taste and then dig in!

What are some of your favorite ways to cook with or eat nutritional yeast?

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50 thoughts on “Cheesy Vegan Alfredo with Peas and Kale

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Awesome! I hope you like it. There are so many different recipes and ways to make creamy cheese sauces that I always wanna experiment. Three months from now I could have a slightly different version. :-) There’s just too many fun possibilities.

      Reply
  1. Cadry's Kitchen

    So lovely! What did we do before nutritional yeast? They must have been some very sad, dark times, especially for my cats. It’s one of their favorite treats. This dish looks so warming and cozy!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Thanks Katie! Yes, cashews seem to be just as magical as nutritional yeast. I like a back-to-basics nutritional yeast/flour cheesy mix but when cashews are added it just takes everything to that next level!

      Reply
  2. coconutandberries

    I really should make pasta dishes more often. This looks so gorgeous and so easy! I’m another fan of “creamy, cheesy” meals, strange as I disliked cream and cheese pre-vegan!
    I like noosh on salads :)

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      I’ve never thought of putting nooch on salads! That’s a great idea. I should just start carrying a shaker of nooch with me at all times. That and Sriracha, lol!

      Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Thanks! I totally agree, the two make a fab combo. I do love a good old fashioned nooch/flour/water.. cheesy mix, but something about cashews just makes it ah-mazing!

      Reply
  3. Mihl

    Before I went vegan I was addicted to pasta sauces made with lots of cream. But I have to say that I like the vegan versions even better! I love your idea of adding kale to this.

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Thanks so much! I was a big fan of creamy-cheese sauces too pre-vegan. I am so glad that it’s something I can have without animal products.

      Sometimes my meals all start to look the same color…beige or yellow…that’s when I know it’s time to throw in some color which is why I added the kale and peas here. :-)

      Reply
  4. Andrea

    Just seeing the photo makes me want your creamy pasta. I do exactly what you do with nutritional yeast — make cheesy sauces and put it on popcorn. Sometimes I just sprinkle it on top of whatever soup or casserole I’m eating. I add it to pudla and tofu scrambles, too.

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Yay, awesome! Actually, while putting the blog post together I got another hankering for it myself and had to make it again that night. 😛

      I had no idea what pudla was after reading your comment and had to look it up. Sounds good! And I imagine nooch going very well in it.

      Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Ha ha! I seem to be addicted to creamy cashew-y sauces on everything. I *think* this one might work in a non-vitamix since there is a lot of liquid. But I would be devastated if something happened to my Vitamix. I’d like to say I’m exaggerating but… 😛

      Reply
      1. Becky

        I just made cashew cream for the first time in my vitamix yesterday, and holy cow! It was so fast. In my old blender it took ages of blending, scraping, blending again.

        Reply
  5. chow vegan

    Yup, can’t live without nooch. At one point, I even considered carrying a small container of it in my purse to spice up bland restaurant vegan dishes. Luckily, I haven’t had to resort to that so far.

    Such a yummy looking dish! Thanks for the tip about soaking the cashews, I don’t have a high speed blender. Glad I can still make it. :-)

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Thanks! Let me know how it goes in a regular blender if you do make it. I haven’t made it in anything other than the vitamix but with the high liquid to cashew ratio, I think it should work fine in other blenders/food processors.

      I like the idea of portable nooch. Maybe we should start a kickstarter! lol :-)

      Reply
  6. rika@veganmiam

    I miss the nooch! It’s very hard to find them here in Buenos Aires, my dear friend Holly nearly want to send them over here, but mails get lost here easily, so it isn’t happening. I guess I can wait a little longer and get my nooch in November. Cheesy and creamy pasta dishes are my favorite, I’ve never used them with kale, but that dish sounds so good!

    I love making raw cheese, cheesy mac & cheese and alfredo pasta with the nooch.

    Have a great weekend, Ketty!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Oh noes! I can just imagine a package of nooch getting lost and some random person opening it and being like –what the heck is this?? lol.

      November is just around the corner and soon you will be able to eat all the nooch! I love creamy, cheesy dishes as well. I always think to myself, just put down the cashews Ketty, but I can’t stay away from them for too long :-)

      Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Awesome! I am so glad that you gave it a try. Any kind of stock should work, even a plain veggie stock. It just serves to add an extra dose of flavor as opposed to just adding plain water.

      Reply
  7. Kristen Kelley

    I love nooch and I love peas. Therefore I love this recipe lol. I can’t wait to try this out. I have a raw cashew Alfredo that my husband has decided he is tired of. This might be the next big thing :))

    Reply
  8. Julie

    I made this dish 2 times. I liked it the first time, but the last time I made it, I used 2 cups of soy milk and it was even more creamy! One of my favorite recipe since I went vegan! :)

    Reply
  9. Zo Zombify

    I made this tonight for dinner. The only differences i made was using soy milk instead of almond milk, and then i also added a tiny little bit of cayenne pepper. It’s delicious! I really love it. Will make it again :)

    Reply
  10. Becky

    Just made this for dinner tonight and everyone loved it! My 18 year old son said it was the best dinner I’ve ever made! Thanks so much!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      I’m so glad that you tried it out and enjoyed it! And thank you for sharing the comment from your son. That means a lot as I know how picky I was during my teenage years about food :-)

      Reply

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