Vegan Creamy Parmesan Orzo and Peas! When you want the best of both words: cozy, comfort food and bright, spring vibes, this hearty dish totally delivers.
Healthy and flavorful, this oil-free Vegan Creamy Parmesan Orzo and Peas dish is plant-based decadence with an almost risotto type dreaminess. Tender orzo pasta and sweet peas bath in a delicious vegan Parmesan cheesy sauce that is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.
Whole Food Plant Based, Vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients and gluten free.
Hi there, Ameera here!
This deliciousness had all of us high-fiving each other around the kitchen. It’s so creamy and delicious, we ate it all up. Dad thought it was a risotto dish at first. He devoured it. Yasmeen loved it too!
Our Vegan Parmesan Cheese really makes this dish scrumptious! If you haven’t tried it yet, then you are missing out. You gotta give this one a try!
Tips for Success:
- Flavor Profile: Traditional Italian Parmesan Orzo and Peas is made with generous amounts of Parmesan cheese. It is very creamy and thick, almost like a risotto. The Parmesan cheese dominates the flavor. This WFPB version is a nod to that recipe. It is creamy, rich, and very flavorful using our WFPB/Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- Sauce: Initially, the sauce will be very thin and watery. That is because we are only using 2 tablespoons of cashew butter. As the sauce and pasta sit for 10 minutes off the burner, the sauce will start to thicken as it slightly cools. The longer it sits, the thicker the sauce will become.
- Reserved Pasta Water: This is the water that is used to boil the pasta. It is a starchy water which helps the sauce stick to the pasta. Don’t forget to pull the pasta water off right before you drain the pasta.
- Cashew Butter Substitutes: You can try other nut or seed butters with the understanding that the texture and flavor will change accordingly. We feel cashew butter is superior to any alternatives for this recipe. We tried almond butter and the almond flavor was too strong. Cashew butter is a more neutral flavor.
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese: We used our Vegan Parmesan Cheese because it very flavorful and tastes delicious. Feel free to use your favorite WFPB Parmesan Cheese.
- Rinsing the Pasta: If using a gluten free pasta, rinse the pasta in cold water to remove any excess starches. Gluten free pasta tends to be excessively starchy. Rinsing also helps retain some of the pasta integrity as some gluten free pastas tend to be fragile. Most Italians would cringe at the thought of rinsing pasta, but it works perfectly when using GF pastas.
- Orzo Pasta: Please feel free to your favorite orzo pasta for this recipe. We do not recommend using other pastas as this recipe is designed to use orzo to create that creamy, almost risotto-like texture.
- Cooking the Pasta: Do not overcook the pasta, cook it right up to before it hits the al dente stage. It will finish cooking in the sauce.
Leftovers and Freezing:
Leftovers will generally keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Store in a covered container. Reheating can be done on the stovetop, or in the microwave.
This dish can be frozen; however, it is best if served immediately after making or after refrigerating leftovers. Pasta does tend to get a little mushy after freezing.
Pantry Products Used:
- 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.
- Cashew Butter: We used Artisana Organic Raw Vegan Cashew Butter. Feel free to use your favorite raw cashew butter in this recipe. Read the label, make sure the only ingredient is raw cashews. Do not use a salted or sweetened cashew butter.
Kitchen Products Used:
- Stock pot
We certainly hope you give this deliciousness a try.Print
Healthy and flavorful, this oil-free Vegan Creamy Parmesan Orzo and Peas dish is plant-based decadence with an almost risotto type dreaminess.
- 2 cups reserved hot pasta water *
- ¾ cup low-sodium vegetable broth *
- ¼ cup Vegan Parmesan Cheese *
- 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 Tablespoons [raw] cashew butter *
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- ¼ to 1 teaspoon sea salt *
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper (+/-)
- 12 oz. dry orzo pasta *
- 1 ½ cups frozen peas, thawed
- Freshly chopped parsley
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- Fill a stock pot full of water. Add a little sea salt to the water. Bring the water to a boil then add the orzo pasta. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Follow package directions, boil the orzo pasta until almost al dente.
- Remove 2 cups of hot pasta water, set aside.
- Drain the pasta, rinse with cold water to remove any excess starch (only if using gluten free pasta), shake well, set aside.
- Place the empty pasta cooking pot back on the stove. Then place all of the Sauce Mixture Ingredients (including the reserved 2 cups of hot pasta water) into the empty pot, and heat over medium-high heat until the sauce comes to a low boil, then immediately lower to a simmer whisking constantly until all the cashew butter has dissolved smoothly into the sauce. Simmer for several minutes.
- Next add the cooked orzo pasta and the thawed peas to the pot with the sauce. Gently stir the pasta over until all the pasta and peas are coated in the sauce. Simmer over low heat and continue to cook the orzo for several minutes until al dente.
- Remove from the pot from the heat and allow to sit and slightly cool for 10 minutes. Then serve with a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley, and Vegan Parmesan Cheese on individual servings.
*Please reference the blog post for Tips for Success, Pantry Items Used, Storage and Freezing, and Kitchen Products Used.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Servings: 4 to 5
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