Dairy Free,  Gluten Free,  Main Course,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

Creamy Zucchini Penne Pasta (Vegan+GF)

Oh my gosh, I’ve been getting my seasons so confused recently.

It’s technically still winter where I live but at the same time it’s summer where I’m at. Then there’s the fact that most of the recipes I’m working on right now are starting to be geared for autumn and the holidays because crazy people like me have to start planning these things months ahead.

Ha, and I used to think that seeing Halloween displays in stores anytime before October was pushing it. Then I’m also working on a project that’s for summer. I’m seriously going to lose my mind soon with all these seasons.

Gringa problems, ay ay ay! This, my friends, is what happens when you work online, primarily with the other side of the world. The dual beauty and curse that we all know as the internet.

Therefore, please forgive the fact that my recipes follow a very broad definition of “seasonal” and are entirely unpredictable. That’s why I love things like this pasta that are fairly multi-seasonal. Zucchini is a mid to late summer veggie but you can change it out with what’s in season and available to you locally. Although, we live in a modern age so it’s likely that you have access to fresh zucchini year-round, however, if you want to add asparagus in the springtime or butternut squash in the fall then that would be awesome too.

It’s a super easy meal to throw together and pretty economical too, for those of you searching for budget friendly meals. It makes a great weeknight dinner and, like I already said, it works for almost every season.  Enjoy the rest of your Spring……. I mean Winter……no Summer…..nevermind.


Creamy Zucchini Penne Pasta (Vegan+GF)

This pasta dish is about as simple as it gets combining a simple cream sauce and some fresh veggies.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 - 8 servings


  • 16 ounces uncooked penne noodles
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 3 medium zucchini chopped into small cubes
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch or cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 cups unflavored plant-based milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream *see note
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregeno
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast


  1. Cook the noodles according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and rinse; set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over low heat and add garlic, onion, and zucchini. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes until zucchini is softened, then turn off heat pour mixture into a separate dish.
  3. In the still warm pan, whisk in lemon, milk, and starch until smooth, then return to medium-low heat and slowly whisk until completely smooth with no lumps. Increase heat to medium and stir gently until it begins to thicken. Stir in coconut cream, cashew butter, nutritional yeast, oregeno, parsley, salt, and pepper then add to pan and stir until smoothly melted in.
  4. Reduce heat to low and add zucchini/garlic mixture. Cover and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes until warmed through, then add pasta and gently mix to coat in sauce.
  5. Serve hot topped with additional nutritional yeast if desired.

Recipe Notes

If you have trouble finding coconut cream at your local grocery store it's completely fine to use full-fat coconut milk and scrape the cream off of the top. Just be sure that it's cold enough to separate.

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