This quick and easy vegan cacio e pepe is inspired by the classic Italian dish and is ready in just 15 minutes! Made with beans instead of cashews, this nut-free dairy free cacio e pepe is the perfect vegan pasta recipe for all eaters!

Creamy Vegan Cacio e Pepe (nut free)

What is cacio e pepe?

Cacio e pepe is one of our all time favorite Italian pasta dishes, and it’s going to be yours as well! This classic Italian pasta is simple and flavorful, and easy to make. It’s almost like Mac and cheese, but simpler (and honestly more flavorful in my opinion!).

This dish originated in Rome, and is now found and enjoyed throughout Italy. It typically uses  Pecorino Romano cheese but can sometimes be made with parmigiano reggiano (Parmesan) cheese and freshly cracked black pepper.

The BEST vegan cacio e pepe recipe

​Of course, traditional cacio e Pepe is not vegan, but we can actually easily make it vegan!

You could use store bought vegan cheeses, which are really quite good these days. However, they can still use a lot of ingredients. Like my 5 ingredient cherry tomato sauce and pasta con broccoli, I wanted to keep this dish really really minimal, just as cacio e Pepe was intended to be.

So we’re using beans instead of vegan cheese (and cashews! Many vegan cacio e Pepe recipes use cashews, and I wanted to offer up a new nut-free version), and adding in handful of ingredients to imitate that “cheesy” flavor.

The result? A simple yet flavorful dairy free cacio e Pepe that truly pays homage to the classic Italian dish. It’s also SUPER quick and easy to make: just 5 minutes start to finish for the sauce (no soaking!)! 

Honestly, it’s the best vegan pasta dish because of how delicious it is and how approachable and easy on a busy night!

bowl of vegan cacio e pep

 Simple ingredients 

For this quick and easy homemade cacio e pepe recipe, here’s all that you need:

  • White beans: You can use cannellini beans, cannelloni, or any white bean that you’d like! Using beans rather than cashews helps to make this vegan cacio e pepe nut-free, cashew-free and dairy free.
  • Nutritional yeast: Along with the miso pasta, nutritional yeast helps to provide a “cheesy” flavor without using cheese!
  • Miso paste: This is one of my favorite ingredients to use for that strong and pungent flavor, or umami, that parmesan cheese usually brings. Miso paste is in fact soy based; however, if you have a soy allergy, I have found a chickpea-based miso paste that I’ve linked down below in the recipe card!
  • Sea salt + black pepper: Of course, you can’t have cacio e pepe without the pepe! This vegan cacio e pepe tastes best with freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Pasta water: This is the KEY ingredient for your vegan cacio e pepe sauce. Make sure that when you cook your pasta, reserve some of the pasta water for the sauce. It makes the sauce super creamy and “gooey,” much like a traditional cacio e pepe sauce.
  • Pasta: As we mentioned above, cacio e pepe is traditionally made with spaghetti or bucatini pasta. However, you can use your favorite pasta shape! We even have a homemade vegan pasta recipe that you can easily make gluten free as well. 
  • Vegan parmesan: This one is optional, and just for garnish!
vegan cacio e pepe ingredients

How to make a nut-free vegan cacio e pepe recipe (overview)

For the full written instructions and ingredient measurements, see the bottom of this post in the recipe card. You can also hit the “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post! Here, we’ll go over a brief overview of the steps, along with providing visuals for a better understanding of the recipe.

Here’s how to make a quick and easy vegan cacio e pepe dish:

  1. First cook the pasta. 

    If you’re making homemade vegan pasta, you’ll follow the directions in the post. Make sure to cook the pasta just until al dente. And don’t forget to reserve the pasta water! When you drain the pasta as well, add a teaspoon of olive oil and toss together. This will help your pasta from sticking. cooking the pasta

  2. Next, make the sauce:

    The best part about this vegan cacio e pepe is that the sauce is literally made in less than 5 minutes. No need to soak cashews; just put everything into a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth! Make sure not to forget the reserved pasta water as well!

  3. Toss the cacio e pepe sauce with the pasta:

    Pour the pasta sauce onto the pasta, and toss and stir together until evenly coated. tossing the pasta

  4. Plate and serve!

    Crack fresh black pepper onto each dish, and top with vegan parmesan if desired! You can also add in some sautéed mushrooms for a more exciting cacio e pepe. vegan cacio e pepe

You’re just going to absolutely love this quick and easy vegan cacio e pepe! It’s one of our absolute favorite vegan pasta dishes and is a wonderful secretly vegan dinner recipe that all eaters love, vegan or not.

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

Creamy Vegan Cacio e Pepe (nut free)

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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Creamy Vegan Cacio e Pepe (nut free)

Creamy Nut-Free Vegan Cacio e Pepe Recipe

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  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan


This quick and easy vegan cacio e pepe is inspired by the classic Italian dish and is ready in just 15 minutes! Made with beans instead of cashews, this nut-free dairy free cacio e pepe is the perfect vegan pasta recipe for all eaters!


  • 1 16-ounce package spaghetti, linguine, bucatini, fettuccine or homemade vegan pasta *
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • Lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp miso paste (chickpea-based if soy-free)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pasta water, reserved from cooking the pasta
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Fresh black pepper to taste


  1. Prepare the pasta: Cook the pasta according to package directions (al dente), reserving about 1/3 cup of the pasta water for the sauce. After you’ve strained the pasta, drizzle about 1 tsp of olive oil onto the pasta, and toss together so that the pasta doesn’t stick together.
  2. Make the sauce: In a food processor, add in all of the remaining ingredients (except the pasta), and pulse together until smooth.
  3. Toss the pasta with the sauce: Pour the vegan cacio cheese sauce onto the pasta, and toss together until evenly coated.
  4. Plate and serve: Twirl the pasta onto a spoon and plate. Crack fresh pepper over each dish, and serve with freshly shaved vegan parmesan cheese if desired.


Gluten free: For gluten free, please use your favorite gluten free pasta.