Vegan Lemon, Garlic and Thyme Pasta

Vegan Lemon, Garlic and Thyme Pasta

This delicious Vegan Lemon, Garlic and Thyme Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes is dairy-free, oil-free, gluten-free and full of a rich and creamy lemon sauce. Fresh herbs take this dish up a notch and make it a healthy plant-based dish for any night of the week!


To all my lemon lovers out there, I wish you could see the giddy movement of my fingers typing out this post, because this recipe is soooooo delicious! I mean, really delicious. I am a HUGE lemon lover, so I really wanted a strong lemon flavor here and it's so lemony that it gives that almost pucker reaction tasting it straight out of the blender, but it's total perfection mixed in with pasta.

I don't think it's any secret how much I love pasta, due to the high amount of pasta posts I have on my blog. They are some of my most popular recipes. Case in point, the #1 recipe of all-time here, the Best Vegan Garlic Alfredo. We eat pasta weekly around here. So, when Explore Cuisine reached out to me asking if I wanted to create a pasta dish using several fresh ingredients and it be a really simple and fast dish, it practically screamed my blog theme, haha. As you know, I rarely ever do any of these types of post, but hey, I love pasta, so I was all in.

I have tried all 3 pastas and I really liked the Red Lentil Penne the best. It had a really nice firm texture that did not turn mushy like many gluten-free pastas can do. It does not taste like wheat pasta, it has a slight grainy mouthfeel, but it's barely detectable in the finished product. All the delicious lemon sauce, crunchy pine nuts and fresh herbs and sweet tomatoes really compliment the pasta beautifully!

Besides, it's a gorgeous dish, right??

Things that I like about these Explore Cuisine Pastas:

  • they are great for those wanting healthy gluten-free options
  • they are packed high in protein, beans, lentils and/or chickpeas
  • high in fiber
  • organic and vegan
  • healthy, fresh and cooks super fast
  • different shapes and styles to suit your individual tastes
  • cooks within 10 minutes


I wanted something a little different, but lots of flavor and lots of freshness in every bite. They wanted me to use 5 or 6 fresh ingredients. So, I decided a lemon sauce really bold in lemon flavor would be amazing. Especially since it is still so warm here. But not just any lemon sauce. I added a twist of fresh thyme, fresh garlic, pine nuts for buttery-ness and lathered it all over their fresh Red Lentil Penne Pasta. Then I tossed it with fresh parsley and sweet, blistery roasted cherry tomatoes.

For this really fresh and easy recipe you will just need 7 simple main ingredients:

  • Explore Cuisine Red Lentil Penne Pasta
  • fresh lemon juice
  • raw pine nuts
  • garlic
  • fresh parsley
  • fresh thyme
  • fresh cherry or grape tomatoes

How is that for simple?? I'm telling you, this is easily one of my favorite pasta dishes now! The whole finished dish is a party in your mouth. It's so fresh, healthy and whole food and plant-based. Bonus that it is oil-free.

Thank you to Explore Cuisine for sponsoring this post! All opinions are completely my own.

Yields 2 cups of sauce

Vegan Lemon, Garlic and Thyme Pasta

This delicious Vegan Lemon, Garlic and Thyme Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes is dairy-free, oil-free, gluten-free and full of a rich and creamy lemon sauce. Fresh herbs take this dish up a notch and make it a healthy plant-based dish for any night of the week!

10 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

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5 based on 4 review(s)


  • Two 8 oz boxes Explore Cuisine Red Lentil Penne Pasta
  • Lemon Garlic Thyme Sauce
  • 1 cup (150g) raw pine nuts
  • 6 tablespoons (90g) fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons (90g) water
  • 4 large cloves garlic, peeled (16g)
  • 5 long sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Remaining ingredients
  • small handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (200g) fresh cherry or grape tomatoes, halved


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a pan with parchment paper.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Once boiling, salt the water well and add the pasta. Cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes. If you don't salt your water, the pasta will be bland.
  3. While waiting on the pasta, add the sliced tomatoes to the lined pan and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes. The tomatoes should be bubbling and the bottoms have a nice charred color. Both the tomatoes and pasta should be done about the same time.
  4. While the pasta and tomatoes are cooking, make the lemon sauce.
  5. Add all of the ingredients listed under "Lemon Garlic Thyme Sauce" to a Vitamix. The best way to remove thyme leaves is to slide them off in the opposite direction they are facing. They will slide right off this way. Blend the ingredients until smooth. You will need to scrape down the sides and lid a couple of times. Blend again until 100% smooth and no bits of nuts remain. It should taste creamy, buttery and a wonderful pucker of lemon!
  6. Once the pasta is done, drain and add to bowls with desired amount of lemon sauce. Toss with some of the fresh parsley (as much as desired) and garnish with the tomatoes and extra pine nuts. I chose to toast extra pine nuts since they add more flavor. Either briefly do this in a toaster oven or over low heat in a pan on the stove, stirring often on the stove. Watch closely as they toast quickly in a couple of minutes.




  1. Is it ok to substitute cashews for the pine nuts? And would you recommend this sauce recipe for a salad dressing? (I hope so!)
      Hi there, it will make the sauce thicker and sweeter but I imagine it would still be delicious! The pine nuts give a buttery taste and lovely texture but let me know what you think of the cashew version! And yes, it is totally delicious as a salad dressing, especially since the lemon flavor is so strong. I've used it on tacos too and it's amazing!
  2. Super recipe that checks all the boxes: delicious, easy, fast, flexible* (see note, below), comfort food.....overall awesomeness! * Flexible, how? Brandi’s done the hard stuff in the recipe design. But I had no thyme! So I swapped for basil. I also had no tomatoes, but I did have zucchini. This is the genius of thevegan8! The foundation is there, and with a bit of cooking knowledge, modifications can be made to suit. ❤️ I can’t wait to follow the recipe 100%.
      I'm so glad you loved it Anna, thank you for the lovely review! Basil would be yummy as well here! Thank you so much for making it so quickly!
  3. This looks super yummy! So fresh, easy and love that pasta for extra protein! Beautiful pics too as always!
      Thanks so much girl!
  4. This was fantastic! I made it just as written and it couldn’t have been better. Even my husband enjoyed it and he’s usually a meat and potatoes guy.
      Thank you so much Melissa for coming by to leave a review, I'm so happy you both loved it so much!!
  5. What a delicious and easy meal! We’ve eaten plant-based for over a year and I love your recipes. Simple. Delicious. Healthy!!
      Awesome, so glad you loved it and my recipes in general!!
  6. This looks like a really tasty pasta recipe! This is something my girlfriend would LOVE!
  7. Your recipes always look amazing. Are all or most of your recipes oil free? Thank You
      Yes! I never use oil as an ingredient in my recipes. I use nuts or Fruit or coconut instead of oil.
  8. Question: Is it okay to heat up (cook) or warm up the sauce before adding it to your pasta?
      Sure, you can if you like, but it’s not really necessary if you’re adding it directly to the warm pasta. The pasta heats it up perfectly. But for leftovers, yes, just gently heat it and stir during a couple of times so it doesn’t get clumpy.
  9. I’m loving it! I think I have way more sauce than I’ll need for the pasta. Any other suggestions for uses? I bought your book too, can’t wait to dive in!
      Hi Jessica, so glad to hear it! You could use it just on leftovers and make more pasta or even over yukon gold potatoes. I love to just cook up a bunch of potatoes in the oven and drizzle creamy sauce over the top. So simple and delicious!

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