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Creamy Plant Based Cacio e Pepe

Updated: Sep 14, 2020


How to Make Creamy Plant Based Pasta & Sauce (Easy & Quick Recipe)

When eating a plant-based diet, comfort food can still be a thing - yes, even cheese! While finding a yummy plant-based/vegan cheese can be a challenge, it's definitely worth the effort to find a local store in your area that carries some brands you love. I've found a few different brands of parmesan cheese that I truly can hardly tell the difference and this recipe is the perfect pairing - it's so easy to make, it's inexpensive and of course, it's DELICIOUS! I mean, how can you go wrong with cheese and pasta?

Tony and I started our marriage as broke college kids out in Australia and pasta was seemingly always on the menu. Nowadays, I try to stick to lots of wholesome veggies rather than a whole bowl of pasta but sometimes you've just gotta dig in. They do say it's not pasta that makes you fat, just how much you eat ;) This recipe is PACKED full of flavor with only a few ingredients that I usually already have around the house. I love to whip it out on lazy nights when I don't feel like cooking (yes, that happens) or when we have friends coming over that wouldn't normally be choosing something off the vegan menu.

I'll usually add in some salad or roasted veggies on the side, but I challenge you to get creative and ENJOY!


Plant Based Cacio e Pepe

Serves: 2 | Prep: 3 mins | Cook: 20 Mins | Ready: 23 Mins

Recipe PDF


1/2 lb Spaghetti Noodles

1/2 Tablespoon of Salt (approx)

1/2 Cup of Pasta Water (approx)

1/2 - 1 Cups of non-dairy Parmesan (Follow Your Heart brand is my favorite)

1/2 Tablespoon freshly ground pepper Tellicherry Peppercorns for best flavor


  1. Bring your water in a large pot to boil. Add a generous amount of salt to the water.

  2. Add pasta. Do not break apart, just gently fold noodles into the pot as they soften until fully immersed in water.

  3. Strain pasta when noodles are Al Dente (they have a slight bite to them but do not crunch). Set aside about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

  4. Add cooked pasta to hot skillet. Immediately add 2-4 Tablespoons of past water. Add pepper and parmesan and stir until combined. Add more pasta water if needed. The texture of the sauce should cling to the noodles but not be too thick or too watery.

  5. Serve and top with some more parmesan and fresh basil. YUM!


Let's Talk About Vegan Cheese

So...vegan cheese. There are SO many brands out there that I've tried and yes, some have been pretty nasty. I was one of those "I could never go plant-based because I love cheese too much" people. Follow Your Heart is by far the best brand of cheese I've found thus far. I try to grab their cheese whenever I can and their mayo is my favorite too!

I know not everyone might have access to this brand in town but it's worth the hunt. I personally snag the parmesan cheese for this recipe at Whole Foods, but have seen this brand at Walmart as well - although they only seem to have the cheese slices. I do love those as well, but for this recipe, we're after the shredded Parmesan.

What Else Can You Use to Replace Meat and Dairy in Recipes?

If you're after more cheese replacements or trying to figure out what to do for swapping dairy and meat in all your favorite recipes - I've put together a handy Plant Based Replacement Guide with all my favorite brands and go to's - check it out!

Do you have a favorite brand of plant-based cheese? Share it in the comments below!

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