Creamy Vegan Shiitake & Kale Pasta

Creamy Vegan Shiitake & Kale Pasta - a healthy weeknight dinner coated in a simple, delicious 5-ingredient sauce made with miso and cashews.

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

If you love this vegan pasta recipe…

Try my vegan mac and cheese (or homemade mac and cheese), linguine, pesto pasta, penne pasta, or roasted vegetable pasta next!

5.0 from 6 reviews

Creamy Vegan Shiitake & Kale Pasta

Creamy Vegan Shiitake & Kale Pasta is a healthy weeknight dinner coated in a simple, delicious 5-ingredient sauce made with miso and cashews. You'll love this veggie-packed comfort food!
Recipe type: Dinner
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.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Amalynne

    When I saw lemon and shiitakes and kale, I was concerned that the flavors would clash. However, the reviews were so overwhelmingly positive, I thought I’d give it a go. I’m sorry to say, I’m not sure I understand the flavor profile of this dish. The rich flavor of the shiitakes somewhat clashes with the slight bitterness of the kale – the lemon does cut that bitterness but it’s very strange with the shiitake. However, the texture of this dish was lovely and the mouth-feel was nice too. One of the other issues is the recommendation of the lemon squeeze midway through the cooking of the shiitakes and the kale (you never want to add lemon juice to a cooking dish – always at the end or it will become extremely bitter).

  2. Jehan Marino

    New Meatless Monday addition!!! So delish!
    Made with baby shiitakes and all the rest the same!

  3. Virginia

    Absolutely fabulous! A keeper! The sauce is divine and compliments the buttery, smoky taste of the shiitake mushrooms. I made it with barley so it had a “Risotto” feel to it. I didn’t put the kale in it, instead served the dish alongside sautéed zucchini. I’m glad I did because the sauce stayed creamy and rich solo, and the flavor stayed focused on the mushrooms. I did add lots more lemon. I’ll make this for company, for sure. Thanks!

  4. Cathy from

    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

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

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Cathy, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Genevieve Richard

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

    Thank you 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio

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

  6. Cilicia

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

    • Jeanine Donofrio

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

  7. liz

    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.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe!

  8. Leah Favela

    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. = )

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      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 :_

  9. Rachel

    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!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      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!

  10. Mer

    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!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      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

        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.

        • Jeanine Donofrio

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

  11. Brittany

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

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you both enjoyed it!

  12. Heidi

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

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Heidi, you can use raw sunflower seeds!

      • Heidi

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

  13. Logan parker

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

  14. Emily Chaboya

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

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      thanks Emily! I used white miso.

  15. Shilpa

    You need to add scallions to the list of ingredients.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      thank you for catching that!

  16. Nikky

    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!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

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

  17. Lindsay

    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!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

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

  18. Izzy from

    This looks delicious!
    Izzy | Pinch of delight

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.