This delicious Vegan Lemon, Garlic and Thyme Sauce with Pasta and 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 so 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, rather, it has a slight grainy mouthfeel. However, it’s barely detectable in the finished product.
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. 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.
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT EXPLORE CUISINE PASTA
- 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
HOW TO MAKE A VEGAN LEMON GARLIC SAUCE
First, you will need to gather these 7 simple main ingredients:
- Explore Cuisine Red Lentil Penne Pasta
- fresh lemon juice
- raw pine nuts
- fresh parsley
- fresh thyme
- fresh cherry or grape tomatoes
Thank you to Explore Cuisine for sponsoring this post! All opinions are completely my own.
Vegan Lemon, Garlic and Thyme Sauce
- Two 8 oz boxes Explore Cuisine Red Lentil Penne Pasta
LEMON GARLIC THYME SAUCE
- 1 cup (150g) raw pine nuts (make sure they are fresh and not old, as old pine nuts will taste very rancid/bitter)
- 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
- small handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 cup (200g) fresh cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a pan with parchment paper.
- 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.
- 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.
- While the pasta and tomatoes are cooking, make the lemon sauce.
- 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!
- 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.