Vegan “Cheesesteak” Pasta Skillet! Inspiration with some vegan ingenuity, this comfort classic has been transformed into a fun, new *get-in-my-belly* dish.
The versatile cashews create a rich, velvety, tangy cheese sauce perfect for coating “meaty” lentils and tender, crisp bell peppers and onions in this ultimate Vegan “Cheesesteak” Pasta Skillet. Pasta, a comfort food must, is the pièce de résistance in this one-pot wonder. Grab your fork and get ready to dive into this 30-minute meal that will have the whole family doing a happy dance.
Whole Food Plant Based, Vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients and gluten free.
Hi there, Ameera here!
Waaaaaay back in the day, Mom used to make Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches for our family on occasion. It was a quick dinner that everyone enjoyed. Each sandwich was topped with sautéed onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms.
As a kid, I hated mushrooms so I always picked them out. Now, Dad always wanted the bell peppers and onions cooked to obliteration – suuuuuper soft, like melt-in-your mouth done. He loves well cooked vegetables. Me, on the other hand and largely dependent upon on the veggie, I’m more of an al dente veggie type of person.
First and foremost, allow me to get this out there – this dish will never taste like a traditional Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich. It is a Whole Food Plant Based dish that was inspired by the flavors and aspects of a Cheesesteak sandwich, and we think it is utterly delicious!
It is reminiscent of a pasta version of a Philly Cheesesteak. It has beautiful green and red bell peppers, onion strips, and hearty lentils all coated in a zippy, cheesy-like sauce. We absolutely devoured it!
The key here is to cook the peppers and onions to your desired tenderness before proceeding to the next step. Simply do a little taste test. It makes a big difference. Especially, if you like your veggies well done, once the sauce goes in, it doesn’t cook much longer after.
You can substitute mushrooms for the lentils if you prefer them. I am a lentil fanatic, and I felt the lentils gave the dish a meaty texture. Mushrooms can accomplish the same. You can also use both (lentils and mushrooms), just scale back on the lentils used or you’ll end up with a dry dish as there won’t be enough sauce as you are adding ingredients without adjusting the sauce.
This dish is sooooo yummy! We hope you give it a try!
I’ll let Mom tell you more!
Hi! Robin here.
Monkey has thee BEST ideas! She has endless ideas when it comes to creating recipes! I am just not that creative! There just aren’t enough days of the week to create all her ideas.
Our virtual white board started out as a simple idea to log recipe ideas, but it is now this massive virtual white board that we had to segregate into sections to try to stay organized. So many recipes, so little time. LOL
We would love for you to give this recipe a try! We just know you are going to love it.
- Large stock pot to cook the pasta
- Large non-stick skillet or similarly large skillet with a tight-fitting lid
- High-Speed Blender
Rich, velvety, and comforting, this one-pot Vegan “Cheesesteak” Pasta Skillet is pure deliciousness and ready in 30 minutes.
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced into strips
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced into strips
- 1 – [ 14 oz. can ] brown lentils, drained and rinsed *
- ¼ cup raw cashews *
- 2 teaspoons tahini *
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard *
- ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons water
- 2 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari *
- ¼ cup low-sodium vegetable broth *
- 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 Tablespoons dried minced onions
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ to ½ + big pinch teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
- 8 oz. to 10 oz. fusilli pasta (or pasta of choice) *
- Freshly chopped parsley
Pasta Boil Instructions
- 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 according to package directions, drain, rinse well with cold water, and set aside until ready to use.
- Place the cashews into a small bowl, cover with boiling water for 10 minutes, then drain and place the softened cashews into a high-speed blender with all the remaining Sauce Ingredients. Blend on high until smooth and emulsified. Set aside until ready to use.
- In the meantime, in a large ceramic/enamel lined skillet or similar nonstick skillet, add the sliced onions and bell peppers, sauté over medium-high heat for 7 to 11 minutes until the onions and peppers are tender. (If needed to prevent sticking or burning, add a splash of vegetable broth or water).
- Once tender, add the lentils, cook for a few minutes, then add Sauce Mixture, and the cooked pasta, still well, simmer for several minutes on low heat until everything is thoroughly heated through. Remove from the stove, cover with a tight-fitting lid and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Serve immediately with freshly chopped parsley.
*Tips for Success:
- Amount of Pasta: While it is very tempting to use a full pound of pasta, we strongly recommend using the ingredient amount listed, 8 oz. up to 10 oz. If you use more than the listed amount, you could end up with a drier pasta dish as the pasta really drinks up the sauce. If you enjoy a really saucy dish, use 8 oz.
- Tenderness of the Bell Peppers and Onions: Do not advance to the next step until the bell peppers and onions are sautéed to your desired level of tenderness as they will not cook much more after that point.
- Cashew Based Sauces: Cashew based sauces tend to thicken quickly once they are in the skillet and when they cool down. If needed, add a splash of water or broth (or a little distilled white vinegar) to loosen it up.
*Cashew Substitutions: You can try some of the traditional cashew substitutions like white beans, silken tofu, or other nuts/seeds with the understanding that the texture, richness, and flavor will change. We have not tested any substitutions.
*Tahini Substitutions: We have not tested any tahini substitutions. You can potentially leave it out with the understanding that the depth of flavor will change.
*Lentils: We used Delallo Imported Italian Lentils. They come in a 14 oz. can. Most grocery stores carry them in the specialty aisles. If using dry lentils, select lentils that hold their shape after cooking. Cook dry lentils separately, adjust time accordingly. If cooking dry lentils, use 1 2/3 cups of cooked lentils.
*Lentils Substitutions: You can substitute the lentils for 8 oz. of sautéed mushrooms (cremini mushrooms) or your favorite beans. If substituting the lentils for sautéed mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms in 1 Tablespoon of tamari for approximately 5 minutes to allow them to reduce in size, then remove them from the skillet (along with any leftover liquids) and set aside. Add the mushrooms (and any leftover liquids) back into the skillet when the sauce mixture is added.
*Dijon Mustard: We used Koop’s Dijon Mustard, feel free to use your favorite Dijon mustard. If you enjoy Dijon mustard, feel free to add more in to boost the flavor.
*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.
*Pasta of choice: We used Delallo Brown Rice Gluten Free Fusilli pasta. You can use your favorite pasta in this dish.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Storage: Refrigerate and use within 5 days.
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