Necessity is often the mother of invention. Sometimes it’s leftovers. Sometimes it’s having a block of silken tofu, or a bag of frozen cauliflower, instead of a cup of cashews. This recipe came about as a creative use of leftover “chipotle hollandaise” from my Vegan Chicken and Cornbread Waffle Benedict recipe. I just tossed some brown rice pasta with the sauce and topped it with some leftover canned fried onions, and the rest is history. But then I wanted to make it again, but I didn’t have cashews, so I used a block of silken tofu. And the rest of that was history. Then I tried it again one day, using a cauliflower cream sauce recipe, and history was made again.

Vegan Chipotle Cream Pasta with Three Cream Sauce Variations

Depending on your dietary necessities, you might want to use different ingredients to make a cream sauce. The three variations produce very similar results, and with the chipotle peppers removed, the cream sauce bases are a blank canvas for many other sauces.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Mexican
Author: Michael Monson
For the cashew cream version you will need:
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked
  • ¾ cup filtered water
For the tofu cream version you will need:
  • 1 package of Mori-Nu Firm Silken Tofu
For the cauliflower cream version, you will need:
  • 1 cup roughly chopped cauliflower, fresh or frozen
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup filtered water
And then the remaining ingredients for all variations:
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • juice of half of  a lemon, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste( or 1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon “No Chicken” flavor)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons roasted red bell pepper.
  • 2 tablespoons canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • Red pepper flake to taste
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • French fried onions (for topping)
To make the cashew and tofu cream versions:
  1. Add the onions to a pan with a bit of oil or vegan butter (optional), and saute until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 more minute.
  2. Add your cream sauce ingredients, the garlic and onions, and the remaining ingredients into a blender. Blend until all the grit is gone and you are left with a very creamy sauce. Add more liquid if it seems too thick. Season to taste. Make it punchy! Heat the sauce in a pan, and then toss with your favorite pasta. Top with fried onions.
To make the cauliflower cream version:
  1. Add all of the ingredients, except for the roasted red peppers and the chipotle peppers,  to an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker*. Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes, and then quick release. (if you Carefully pour the contents of the instant pot into a blender, add the chipotle peppers, and blend until creamy. Add more liquid if it seems too thick. Season to taste. Make it punchy!

  2. Toss with your favorite pasta, and top with fried onions.
Recipe Notes

*If you do not have an electric pressure cooker, just place the ingredients into a pot and loosely cover with a lid. Bring to a simmer, and allow to cook for about 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is very tender.