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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.