This vegan cacio e pepe style pasta is so satisfying and creamy, and you only need a few ingredients to make it! This rich and delicious pasta dish is made without any cheese or dairy for a satisfying plant-based pasta dish.

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What is Cacio e Pepe?

Cacio e pepe is a traditional Italian pasta dish that originated in Rome. The name “cacio e pepe” translates to “cheese and pepper” in English. The dish is made with spaghetti or bucatini pasta, Pecorino Romano cheese, black pepper, and a little bit of pasta cooking water. This is not a traditional cacio e pepe recipe, since we’re not using any cheese, but I think this pasta has a similar rich, satisfying, and peppery flavor. If you’re looking for a more traditional recipe, try this one from America’s Test Kitchen or make this bucatini cacio e pepe with broccoli!

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Pasta– This dish is traditionally made with spaghetti or bucatini pasta so I’d recommend using one of those! I like the Barilla Plus pasta, which has more protein and fiber than traditional pasta. Do not use gluten-free pasta for this recipe.
  • Olive oil– Be sure to use a high quality olive oil for the best flavor.
  • Miso paste– This adds a salty, umami flavor that helps replace the savory flavor that comes from cheese.
  • Nutritional yeast– This adds a cheesy flavor without any actual cheese.
  • Raw cashew butter– This helps create a creamy, smooth sauce. It’s important that you use smooth raw cashew butter. You do not want roasted cashew butter which has a stronger cashew flavor.
  • Pepper– Because pepper is an essential part of this dish, I highly recommend freshly ground black peppercorns.

How to Make Vegan Cacio e Pepe