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Cacio e Pepe (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Author Samah Dada


Creamy Cacio e Pepe Cheese Sauce

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, flash soaked (flash soak cashews by soaking for an hour in boiling water)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 tbsp warm water
  • 1 box/8oz spaghetti

Vegan Parmesan

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste

To top

  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • flaky sea salt


  1. For the vegan parmesan, in a blender blitz together cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and salt to taste. I recommend you make the parmesan before the cream sauce so you don't have to wash your blender twice (and the parm is dry, the sauce is creamy, of course). 

  2. You won't be using all of the parmesan that is yielded for this pasta dish (you can of course if you like! But I use about 5 tbsp). Feel free to reserve the rest for another day.

  3. For the cream sauce, flash soak cashews by soaking for an hour in boiling water. Alternatively, you can soak them overnight. 

  4. To make the cream sauce, combine soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic cloves, pepper, and salt to taste in a blender. Add a bit of warm water to help the sauce thin slightly and move in the blender. Blend.

  5. Boil water for pasta and cook as directed. 

  6. Drain pasta. 

  7. Add all of the cream sauce on top of the pasta and combine until it is fully incorporated. 

  8. Now, spoon 5 tbsp (or more if you like!) of the vegan parmesan onto the pasta and mix to coat. 

  9. Garnish with black pepper and flaky sea salt.