This four ingredient vegan cacio e pepe dish is not only easy but shockingly delicious! Ready in just 15 minutes for a simple, but comforting family meal.
If this isn’t your first time visiting our website, then you know we LOVE quick and easy meals. This vegan cacio e pepe is one of the easiest that we’ve ever posted.
Oftentimes, many people assume that vegan meals are not only expensive but that they are also very time consuming. One of our goals is to show that veganism can be affordable and easy at the same time.
Sure there’s plenty of recipes that we make that take a long time (looking at you vegan brioche) or some that can be more on the expensive side (hello vegan cheesecake), but ultimately we love the quick, easy, and affordable recipes.
We think that you are going to love this 15 minute vegan cacio e pepe recipe so much!
What is cacio e pepe?
Cacio e Pepe is literally translated to cheese and pepper. It is a very traditional Italian recipe that dates back to the Roman Empire. While our vegan cacio e pepe is not going to be exactly traditional, we think the flavor and deliciousness of the dish will shine through if you are a vegan looking for something close to what you remember.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The ingredients that we need to look at here are the pasta, vegan butter, and vegan parmesan.
To start, you want to use a gluten free pasta. There are so many choices available now, so just use the one that you like the best.
For the vegan butter, ensure that it is soy free. We prefer earth balance soy free when it comes to this. It comes in a red tub.
And then we have the vegan parmesan cheese. We are use Violife in this recipe, which does contain coconut oil, but no other allergens. If you have a coconut allergen, you can use Follow Your Heart parmesan.
We also have a vegan parmesan on our site that you can make with sunflower seeds; however, it doesn’t melt well which is why we recommend using one of the store bought brands.
Yes you could. Coconut oil would be the best replacement and then another like olive or avocado oil. It will not have the same creaminess though.
The traditional cacio e pepe does not contain butter (oil), but instead uses the pasta water. We are adding butter for some richness, but you can omit it. There may be oil in the vegan parmesan as well, so you could click on the link above for our homemade version.
Tonnarelli is the traditional pasta that is used in cacio e pepe; however, that can be difficult to find which is why we are using spaghetti in our photos. Long noodles are traditional; however you can use whatever you have on hand.
Yes! We’d recommend letting this cool completely and then storing in an air tight container for up to 5 days. If you meal prep you can split this up into individual containers.
You may want to or feel like you need a splash or two of dairy free milk when reheating.
Can I add anything else to the dish besides the pasta and sauce?
Absolutely. Adding things like the list below helps stretch and make the meal go even further!
Making crispy roasted cauliflower is one of our favs to add.
Here’s some more ideas:
- vegan chicken strips
- crispy chickpeas
- crispy tofu pieces
- sautéed mushrooms
For the mushrooms, broccoli and asparagus, you could add in once your noodles start to soften.
For the remaining, you can either cook those in the skillet first and then set aside and add back in at the end or cook in another skillet while making the pasta.
WHAT SIDES TO SERVE WITH THIS VEGAN CREAMY PASTA DISH?
There are endless possibilities but a side salad and some bread are great starting points.
Here’s some bread ideas:
- Vegan Italian Cheesy Bread Rolls (photo shown above)
- Vegan Garlic Bread
- Easy Vegan Dinner Rolls
What other vegan pasta ideas could I make?
Who doesn’t love pasta? Especially in colder months, it can be a total comfort food. Here’s some more delicious vegan pasta dishes:
- Vegan Mac and Cheese Pasta
- Vegan Pumpkin Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Spinach
- The Best Vegan Lasagna
- Vegan Alfredo
- Vegan Cheesy Hamburger Helper Skillet
- The Best Vegan Mac and Cheese
- Spinach and Walnut Pesto Pasta
- Vegan Carbonara
- Vegan Creamy Broccoli and Chickpea Pasta
And if you are looking for some cold pasta ideas, try out:
Pin this vegan cacio e pepe for later!
Let’s see your creations!
Share to Instagram and tag us @makeitdairyfree so we can see and share it!
Vegan Cacio e Pepe
- 8 oz uncooked pasta, tonnarelli are traditional, but spaghetti works as well
- 2 tablespoon vegan butter
- ½ cup vegan parmesan cheese, very finely grated (more for garnish)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Salt water once boiling. Cook pasta according to package instructions to al dente.
- Drain pasta, reserving ⅔ cup of water.
- Pour pasta back into pot. Turn to low heat.
- Add pasta water and vegan butter together until Is melts. Add finely grated vegan parmesan and pepper and toss until a creamy sauce forms and cheese has melted.
- Top with more vegan parmesan if desired.
Simple but super delicious!
Oh my goodness! So easy, so fast! I added sun-dried tomatoes and decreased the pepper by 1/2. Previous attempt by my sister was pretty spicy with full pepper, and I like spicy. Thank you both for your amazing recipes! We’ve tried several and have been amazed at the flavors!
So glad that you enjoyed it!
Unbelievable! After reading all kinds of complex recipes for this dish, it turns out that the simple one I picked out of sheer laziness is the creamy cheesy pasta of my dreams. I used my favorite vegan parm by Follow Your Heart and followed the recipe exactly; it came out perfect! This went straight to the favorites folder. Thank you so so much! I haven’t had cheesy pasta this good since I went vegan in January 2019.
So glad that you loved it!