Plant Based Cacio e Pepe Pasta

Creamy, cheesy and thick this cacio e pepe sauce tastes like it came straight out of Italy! The ingredient list is simple, yet this recipe packs tons flavor. 

Plant Based Cacio e Pepe- Healthyish Foods

I served this pasta dish to my husband and he had no idea it was vegan. The texture of the sauce is so creamy and cheesy! I added extra sauce to my noodles, but you can keep it light too! Either way, I can guarantee your family will be reaching for more. 

What makes it Healthyish?

Here is a list of the health benefits that the two main ingredients in this recipe provide our bodies.

  • Cashews: cashews are rich in heart healthy fats, plus they have been known to boost our immune systems too.
  • Black peppercorn: High in antioxidants and help manage free radicals in our bodies. Plus, they are known to be anti-inflammatory too.    

So, let’s get this recipe started! 

Plant Based Cacio e Pepe- Healthyish Foods
Plant Based Cacio e Pepe- Healthyish Foods
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Plant Based Cacio e Pepe

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Vegan Pasta
Servings: 2 people


  • colander
  • pasta pot
  • saute pan


  • 1 tablespoon butter earth balance
  • 1 cup soaked raw cashews
  • 1 small sweet white onion
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 – 2 cups reserved pasta water
  • Pasta noodles


  • ** Soak 1 cup of raw, unsalted cashews overnight in water. **
  • Boil a pot of water and cook your pasta noodles. I like mine al dente but cook them any way you like. Drain off water and set noodles aside.
  • In a large sauté pan over medium heat add the plant-based butter and sliced sweet onion. Let the onion sweat and get translucent.
  • Add the cashews and crushed black peppercorns. Simmer over medium heat.
  • Add the cashew, onion mixture into a blender. Add the nutritional yeast and 1 cup of reserved pasta water, blend well.
  • Pour the creamy sauce back into the sauté pan and simmer over low heat. If the sauce is too thick, simply add more reserved pasta water and stir well.
  • Add the noodles and simmer everything together over low heat. You can add more crushed black pepper and a pinch of salt to taste if you desire.
  • Serve and enjoy!
Plant Based Cacio e Pepe- Healthyish Foods
Sarah Thomas-Drawbaugh

Author: Sarah Thomas-Drawbaugh

Sarah Thomas-Drawbaugh is a recipe developer and creator of the brand, Healthyish Foods®. Sarah makes plant-based, fish and chicken recipes that are simple and delicious. Her work can be seen in Healthy-ish by Bon Appetit and Bon Appetit Magazine (digital), Women’s Health Magazine (digital) and Mind Body Green. Sarah is a Pittsburgh, PA native but currently lives in Vail, Colorado with her husband, Dan and rescue dog, Graci!

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