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Vegan Taco Pasta

Skip the tacos on Taco Tuesday and make this 30-minute vegan taco pasta for dinner instead! This easy to make, family-friendly meal is loaded with fire-roasted red peppers, sweet corn, protein-packed black beans, fresh cilantro, and the creamiest taco-inspired sauce! Vegan + gluten-free options. 
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 417kcal
Author Stacey Eckert

Equipment

Ingredients

Taco Pasta Sauce -

Taco Pasta -

  • 2 Tbsp vegetable broth (or olive oil)
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • (1) 10 oz bag frozen fire-roasted diced red peppers (or 2 medium fresh bell peppers)
  • (1) 14 oz can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • (1) 14 oz bag frozen sweet corn (or (1) 14 oz can or 2 fresh ears)
  • 1 lb uncooked pasta of choice (use gluten-free noodles if necessary)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice (about half a medium lime + use the other half for garnish)
  • 1 small jalapeno (sliced and seeded for garnish)

Instructions

  • Boil the raw cashews in water for 10 minutes (or soak the cashews in cold water for 2-3 hours) and then drain them and set aside for later. 
  • Saute the diced onion in 2-3 tbsp of vegetable broth (or olive oil) in a large pan over medium heat until they’re soft, for about 8-10 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and the minced garlic. Let it cook for 2-3 more minutes. 
  • Once the onions have softened, add the frozen (or fresh) diced red pepper, frozen (or fresh) sweet corn, and (1) 14 oz can of rinsed and drained black beans (I like the organic canned black beans from Costco because they’re very low in sodium and the can is BPA-free) to the pan with the onions and garlic. 
  • While the vegetables are cooking, get a large pot of water boiling to cook the noodles and then make the taco pasta sauce. 
  • In a small blender (I used a Nutribullet and the medium-sized cup) add the boiled (cooled) raw cashews, unsweetened coconut milk (from a carton, not a can), green onions (just the green part) taco seasoning, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, sea salt, and fresh lime juice. Blend until the sauce is smooth an creamy.  
  • Let the vegetables and bean mixture cook for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables have softened to your taste. 
  • The vegetables should be ready by now. Pour all of the taco pasta sauce that you just made over the vegetables and stir it well. Reduce the heat to medium-low and leave the pan on the heat to warm up the sauce until the noodles are done cooking.
  • Drain the noodles and put them directly into the pan with the vegetables, beans, and taco pasta sauce. Toss it well to coat each noodle with sauce and then garnish with freshly chopped cilantro, sliced jalapenos, and lime slices. You can serve it right from the pan, it’s a really pretty presentation with all the garnishes! 

Notes

  • You don't want a sweet taco pasta sauce, so make sure that you use unsweetened plant milk. My favorite options are unsweetened coconut milk (from a carton), unsweetened almond milk, or unsweetened cashew milk. I would not use soy milk as it gives a sweet flavor to the sauce even if it's unsweetened.
  • You can use red, yellow, orange, or green bell peppers in this pasta. 
  • You can use fresh or frozen bell peppers and corn for this recipe. I've made it both ways and it really doesn't matter which option you use.
  • My favorite noodles to use are casarecce, cavatappi, shells, elbows, or penne. Pick a noodle that will catch and hold the sauce.    
  • Make sure to soak the cashews for 2-3 hours or boil them for 10 minutes before blending them so they are softer and easier for you to digest.
  • It's important that you use unsalted raw cashews for this taco pasta recipe. Roasted or salted cashews would change the flavor. 
  • If you saute with vegetable broth instead of oil (like I do), you may need to add more broth as you saute the onions and cook the vegetables if it gets too dry. 
  • When you boil the noodles, reserve one cup of the hot pasta water just in case you need it to thin out the taco pasta sauce to your desired consistency.  
  • Store the leftover taco pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. 

Nutrition

Calories: 417kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 181mg | Potassium: 380mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 410IU | Vitamin C: 8.1mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2.9mg