clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon heart heart icon heart solid heart solid icon
Close up of Vegan “Cheesesteak” Pasta Skillet

Vegan “Cheesesteak” Pasta Skillet

  • Author: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Total Time: 30 Minutes (+Rest Time)
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


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 *

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 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 (+/-) *

Other Ingredients

  • 8 oz. to 10 oz. fusilli pasta (or pasta of choice) *

Optional Toppings:

  • Freshly chopped parsley


Pasta Boil Instructions

  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 according to package directions, drain, rinse well with cold water, and set aside until ready to use.


  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.

 *Notes Continued:

*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.

*Servings:  4

*Storage:  Refrigerate and use within 5 days.