Your standard creamy vegan pasta sauce recipe might include soaking cashews or blending cauliflower—both of which require some forward thinking and planning. So if you’ve ever found yourself in the mood for a satisfying vegan pasta dinner but short on time, I’ve got a game-changing trick for you.
In my fridge at any given time, there is always hummus. It’s perfect for snacking on with veggies, spreading on bread for the base of a sandwich, and now? For making the simplest creamy vegan pasta sauce you can imagine. Since there’s almost always a box of noodles in my pantry, this hack is the perfect solution for a simple weeknight dinner—no shopping required.
Why hummus is the perfect base for a creamy pasta sauce (and how to make it).
The idea for this dish is based on advice we first got from culinary and integrative dietitian Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, L.D., who told mbg the chickpea-based spread is the perfect texture for a creamy pasta sauce.
Her idea was echoed by certified nutritionist Serena Poon, C.N., who recommends thinning the hummus with olive oil or lemon juice, then mixing it with kelp or zucchini noodles for a dish that’s “healthy, cooling, and easy to make.” The other option for thinning out the hummus is slowly adding small amounts of your pasta water until it reaches the desired texture.
Of course, you can certainly stop there: a truly two-ingredient dish, that even has a little bit of protein thanks to the hummus. Or you can reach for another hero of the pantry dinner: your favorite frozen veggies. Personally, I always keep frozen leafy greens on hand, ready to add to any dinner that feels, frankly, a little too beige. However you decide to prep this simple meal, it can truly come together in minutes.
To take this dish to the next level, try this vegan fettuccine Alfredo. It uses a cup of hummus as the base for the sauce, with an additional kick from some herbs, spices, and a bit of nutritional yeast to make it cheesy.