Creamy Vegan Shiitake & Kale Pasta

Creamy Vegan Shiitake & Kale Pasta in a skillet

Happy Monday, it’s pasta time! This is a spin on a recipe that has been a reader favorite (also one of my favorites) from our cookbook. In the book, this creamy miso pasta is made with brussels sprouts – have you tried it? If so, you’re going to love this version with shiitake mushrooms and kale. If you haven’t tried it, well now’s your chance 🙂

Creamy Vegan Shiitake & Kale Pasta Creamy Vegan Shiitake & Kale Pasta

The cashew cream has just 5 ingredients: cashews, miso paste, garlic, lemon, and black pepper. It’s so simple to make, yet it’s so hearty and delicious – especially with sautéed shiitake mushrooms. Shiitakes have such a wonderful umami flavor – I just love them here with this bright lemon-y sauce. There’s also some kale in here for good measure.

Creamy Vegan Shiitake & Kale Pasta

I used brown rice fusilli, but any short pasta cut (spirals, shells, etc) will work great in here to soak up the sauce.

Creamy Vegan Shiitake & Kale Pasta

5.0 from 4 reviews
Creamy Vegan Shiitake & Kale Pasta
Serves: serves 3-4
  • 8 ounces fusilli pasta (I used brown rice fusilli)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces destemmed and sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • ⅓ cup chopped scallions
  • juice of ½ a small lemon, more to taste
  • 5 to 6 kale leaves, sliced
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
  • shaved macadamia nut and/or parmesan cheese for garnish, optional
miso cashew lemon cream:
  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked at least 4 hours or overnight*
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. Make the miso cashew lemon cream sauce by blending together the cashews, water, miso paste, garlic, lemon juice and pinches of pepper in a high-speed blender until creamy. Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions, or until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta water before draining the pasta.
  3. While your pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shiitake mushrooms and sauté, stirring only occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the scallions and continue to cook another few minutes until the mushrooms are tender and browned. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, stir, and then add the kale. Cook until the kale is slightly wilted, add another squeeze of lemon juice, and stir. Add the pasta, toss again and drizzle with ½ the cream sauce. Season to taste with more salt, pepper and remaining cream sauce, as desired. If your sauce is too clumpy, stir in the reserved pasta water, as needed to create a creamy consistency.
  4. Serve hot garnished with shaved macadamia nuts, parmesan cheese and a pinch of red pepper flakes, if desired.
*The cashew sauce is best made in a high speed blender, such as a vitamix. If you're using a regular blender, soak the cashews for 24 hours and blend longer until the sauce is smooth. Add additional water if necessary.


If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.


  1. I love the combination of miso and shiitakes – so much umami in every bite! 🙂

  2. Izzy from on said:

    This looks delicious!
    Izzy | Pinch of delight

  3. Lindsay on said:

    The cookbook version is such a delicious vegan alfredo, became a quick favorite of mine! So excited to mix it up with kale and shitakes, thanks for the variation!

    • I’m so happy to hear that you’ve been liking the sauce (and the book!). Thank you!

  4. Nikky on said:

    I just made this tonight and I had to stop myself from inhaling the entire thing straight out of the skillet. Oh my goodness this is SO UNBELIEVABLY TASTY! That miso cashew lemon cream is to die for. I followed this recipe to the letter and wouldn’t change a thing – so so good, will def make again.

    Also, this recipe was so QUICK to throw together, which is great for me since I’m in med school and never have time. Thanks Jeanine!

    • Yay! This made my day to hear, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!

  5. Shilpa on said:

    You need to add scallions to the list of ingredients.

  6. Emily Chaboya on said:

    This looks amazing! Did you use red or white miso?

  7. Logan parker on said:

    Looks really delicious!looks colourful and healthy recipes. Its quite been easy to prepare. Best wishes Gamevillage

  8. Heidi on said:

    This looks amazing, but my husband is allergic to cashews. Any thoughts as to what I could sub in the sauce? Thanks’

    • Hi Heidi, you can use raw sunflower seeds!

      • Heidi on said:

        Awesome, thanks – I can’t wait to try it!

  9. Brittany on said:

    So yummy! My husband and I ate this in two servings, couldn’t get enough 🙂

  10. Mer on said:

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was scrumptious! The grated macadamia nut is brilliant! (I used a micro plane grater/zester). Didn’t have scallions so I used some baby Spring leeks sliced thinly…and also garnished the dish with toasted pine nuts. Wish I could find some pretty curly pasta like yours. So pretty. 🙂 Thanks for a delicious recipe!

    • Hi Mer, I’m so happy to hear that you liked it! The pasta I used was Tinkyada’s Brown Rice Fusilli (you can find it in the gluten free section of most grocery stores).

      • Mer on said:

        Thank you so much for generously sharing your pasta information…I use the Tinkyada spaghetti shape pasta all the time (for noodle dishes) and love them….I’ll definitely look for these beautiful spirals. And, an update. I’ve now had this gorgeous pasta recipe for 4 meals! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. FYI to other readers, the creamy sauce keeps really well if you make it ahead and refrigerate it and then bring it to room temp before using.

        • I’m so glad you’ve loved it 4 meals worth! So happy to hear that 🙂

  11. Rachel on said:

    Hi! This looks super easy and delicious. I’m curious, it’s not always easy for me to find miso paste, is there anything you could use as a substitute? Really want to make this!

    • Hi Rachel, you can skip it just be sure to salt enough (miso is very salty) – start with 1/2 teaspoon in the sauce and add more to taste. Hope that helps!

  12. Leah Favela on said:

    Hi Jeanine! Do you think this recipe would work with packaged dried shiitakes? They are my new favorite thing to cook with, I just throw them in a pot of boiling water for a bit to plump them back up.

    Also, I lived in Austin for 15 years and just moved down to New Zealand in December to live with my Kiwi boyfriend. I’ve been super homesick (especially for Mexican food and Bouldin Creek Cafe) and have absolutely loved following your blog! I can’t work yet, so I’m spending a ton of my free time in the kitchen playing with new recipes. And I’ve made several of yours that have been soooo good! Last week I made the lemon cake and it was light and lemony and my boyfriend and I ate it in less than 24 hours. We’re heading into winter here so I’m looking forward to making some of your soups.

    I love your blog. I love your recipes!! Say “good morning” to Austin for me. = )

    • Hi Leah, aw, thank you! I’m so glad you’ve been loving the recipes and the cake 🙂

      Yes, I think dried shiitakes would be just fine to substitute here :_

  13. liz on said:

    this is delicious! For some reason I found that I didn’t need nearly as much water when making the cream sauce. I’d suggest to start with 1/4c water and add more as needed. I then added some roasted chicken and it was so great! very comforting.

  14. Cilicia on said:

    Hi ! I was wondering if this could be made ahead and good the next day cold ? Thanks

    • Hi Cicilia – it’s best the first day, but I enjoyed it as leftovers the second day (I heated it though).

  15. Genevieve Richard on said:

    I made this with sunflower seeds instead of cashews and it turned out just incredible!

    Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Genevieve, I’m so so happy to hear that this worked well with sunflower seeds!

  16. Cathy from on said:

    Late to the game, but just wanted to say, this is a great recipe. I have acid reflux so left out the garlic and lemon, and it was still really good! Also used leeks instead of scallions. Tip: put crunchy homemade bread crumbs on tpp.

    • Cathy from on said:

      Oh also, I use an entire bunch of kale, not just eight leaves.

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