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Close up of Pasta with Saffron Cream

Pasta with Saffron Cream

  • Author: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 Minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean


This quick and easy Pasta with Saffron Cream is filled with plant goodness, hearty chickpeas, and tender pasta all bathed in an aromatic sauce. Whole Food Plant Based, vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients, and gluten free.




  • 1/8 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup yellow onions, fine dice
  • 2 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1– [ 8 oz. can ] tomato sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon reduced sodium tamari *
  • 1 Tablespoon white miso *
  • 1 cup vegetable broth *
  • 1 cup water (divided) (or broth)
  • ½ cup unsweetened plain plant milk
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)

Spice/Herb Ingredients:

  • ¼ teaspoon saffron
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 Tablespoons dried minced onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (+/-)
  • ¼ teaspoon Aleppo pepper (+/-) * (optional)

Other Ingredients:

  • 1 – [ 15.5 oz. can ] chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 10 oz. package frozen California Blend Vegetables
  • 10 oz. GF penne pasta (or pasta of choice) *

Optional Toppings:

  • Vegan Parmesan Cheese
  • Aleppo pepper


  1. Fill a large stock pot full of water. Add some sea salt to the water. Bring the water to a boil then add the pasta. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Boil the pasta until el dente, drain, rinse with cold water to remove any excess starch, shake well, set aside, then transfer the cooked pasta into the sauce in Step 9.
  2. In the meantime, place the saffron threads into a small bowl, add ¼ cup of boiling water and allow the saffron threads to bloom for 10 minutes.
  3. Place the raw cashews in a small bowl, cover with boiling water and set aside for 10 minutes.
  4. Place all the remaining Spice/Herb Ingredients in a small bowl, mix well, set aside.
  5. In a large ceramic/enamel lined skillet, Dutch oven, or non-stick skillet, add the diced onions, sauté over medium-high heat for 7 to 9 minutes to soften, then add the finely minced garlic and tomato paste and sauté over medium heat for several minutes.
  6. Add the remaining ¾ cup water, tamari, miso, nutritional yeast, tomato sauce, vegetable broth, then increase the heat to a boil, then immediately lower to a simmer, add the Spice/Herb ingredients and bloomed saffron (including the water that the saffron steeped in), simmer on low.
  7. Drain the cashews and place in a high-speed blender with the ½ cup plant milk, blend on high until smooth and emulsified, then add to the skillet.
  8. Add the chickpeas and frozen vegetables and increase the heat to cook the vegetables, then lower to a simmer.
  9. Add in the cooked and cooled pasta, heat the pasta through, then remove from the stove and allow the flavors to marry for a few minutes. Top with Vegan Parmesan Cheese and a sprinkle of Aleppo pepper.


*Vegetable Stock:   We use Pacific Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Stock. We love this brand because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, as it does not contain MSG, has no oil, and does not contain any highly-processed ingredients.

*Tamari: We used San J Tamari Soy Sauce, Gluten Free, Reduced Sodium.  You can substitute the tamari with reduced sodium soy sauce, Braggs Liquid Aminos, or Braggs Coconut Liquid Aminos.

*Miso:  We used Miso Master Organic Mellow White Premium Lite Miso, Certified Gluten Free.  Miso really lends itself to balancing flavors when you don’t use oil.  You can also use chickpea miso for a soy free version.

*Pasta: We love brown rice pastas as we feel they have a similar texture and taste to traditional pasta while being Whole Food Plant Based. We used Delallo Brown Rice Gluten Free Penne Pasta in this dish. You can use whichever pasta/band you prefer.

*Sauce thickness:  This sauce is not a thick sauce, but it is very creamy and delicious.  After you remove the skillet from the stove and allow it to sit to absorb flavors, it will slightly thicken.

*Aleppo Pepper:  We used Penzeys Aleppo Pepper. Aleppo pepper is used primarily in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines.  It has a mild to moderate heat level (dependent upon brand selected) and has an almost fruity and mildly earthy cumin-like undertones.  It is fairly mild, but its heat builds slowly over time on the palate that catches you on the backend.  It has been described as having an almost sweet raisin-like quality with a little kick. Most people use it similarly to how crushed red pepper flakes are used.

*Sea Salt:  Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.

*Serving:  4

*Storage:  Refrigerate and use within 5 days.