Blog · Gluten Free · Recipes

Vegan Pesto Cream Sauce


When you grow your own basil, you’ll be making pesto-something every couple days. I just switched mine into a bigger pot, and cut it down after it started flowering, so in the last two weeks my basil has probably doubled in size. Do you ever just think about food that you’ve never had but must taste sooo good? Well, I have been dreaming about this sauce for probably a month now, and it came out just as dreamy as I’d hoped. You can put this on pasta, pizza, even sandwiches as a “cheesy” pesto sauce. I had mine over pasta with mushrooms and grilled chicken, but you could also top with cherry tomatoes, spinach or broccoli and I imagine it’d be just as tasty.

Ingredients (serves 5):

Pesto Cream Sauce-

1 box fettuccine noodles (I used DeBoles Organic Spinach Fettuccine noodles for an extra serving of veggies, use gluten free if needed)

1 small yellow onion, diced

4 medium cloves garlic, sliced

1 medium shallot, diced

1 cup raw, unsalted cashews

1/2 cup unsalted pine nuts

1-2 tbsp olive oil

tbsp water from boiled veggies

1 1/4 cup fresh basil, packed

1/2 cup + 1 tbsp vegetable broth

1/4 cup +1 tbsp unsweetened cashew milk

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/2-1 tbsp lemon juice

1-2 tsp salt, more to taste


1 1/2 cup baby portobello mushrooms, sliced

tbsp olive oil

tsp garlic powder

tsp oregano

1/4 tsp salt

Grilled Chicken-

4 Vegan Chicken tenders (I used Lightlife Smart Tenders savory chickens for a grilled chicken look)

tbsp olive oil

tsp garlic powder

tsp oregano

1/4 tsp salt

* The tenders I used were already seasoned a bit, if what you use is not I suggest adding lemon juice and Italian seasoning.



  1. Prep veggies and set 3 pots of salted water to boil.
  2. Add pine nuts and cashews to one pot, onion, shallot and garlic to a second pot, and pasta to third pot. Boil noodles according to directions, boil veggies and nuts about 8 minutes.* (see recipe notes)
  3. Drain noodles, let sit with salt and about a tsp of olive oil to keep from sticking. Let veggies and nuts sit off the heat. Scoop veggies from water with a slotted spoon into a blender. Mix nuts well, scoop with a slotted spoon and measure only 1 cup of the nut mix into blender. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, water from pot of boiled veggies, basil, 1/2 cup vegetable broth, 1/4 cup cashew milk, nutritional yeast, 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, salt to taste. (Save excess of ingredients if you want to change texture of your sauce)
  4. Blend all ingredients. Taste, and add more salt as needed. If sauce is too watery add rest of nuts and lemon juice. If this makes the taste too nutty, add more basil, olive oil, and vegetable broth.
  5. For Mushrooms: heat olive oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms then garlic powder, salt and oregano. Cook for about 7 minutes, flipping every minute or so to prevent burning, until water from mushrooms has cooked out.
  6. For Grilled Chicken: Heat olive oil over medium heat. place chicken in oil, with half of seasoning on upward facing side. Flip each after two minutes, top with rest of seasoning, cook for another two minutes. Remove when chicken is crispy, cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
  7. Serve sauce over pasta with mushrooms and chicken. When reheating, I suggest heating noodles with olive oil over the stove first, then adding sauce. Enjoy!

*note: you will get a lot more flavor our of the onion, shallot and garlic if you roast them in the oven (whole pieces). I use the boiling methods because it’s easiest but you do lose some flavor when the onions boil. If you want to try roasting, you may want to use a tbsp of pasta water instead of veggie water.

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