Pasta with Cheezy Lentil Sauce

Everyone here loves pasta. But as delicious as it is, I can get bored making the same tomato sauce, beans, and greens variety all the time.

So I keep coming up with variations that are interesting and totally yummy, like this cashew-creamy, hearty-lentilly pasta dish of comfort for any family dinner.


  • 3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes or room temperature overnight for extra creaminess
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked brown or red lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp basil
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 28-oz can crushed tomatoes, blended for extra smoothness
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 lb green beans, 1 bunch broccolini, 1 red pepper, or any other veggies you can boil with your pasta
  • 1 lb of your favorite gluten-free pasta
  • Nutritional yeast as a garnish


Prepare your ingredients. Soak the cashews for at least 2 hours in water at room temperature (or in hot water for 10 minutes), then drain the water. This will make the cashews soft and easy to blend.

Cook the lentils according to package directions (I would usually use a 3:1 ratio: boil 1 1/2 cups of water for 1/2 cup dry lentils). Wash and trim your green beans, broccolini, peppers, or other veggies.

Blend the cashews and vegetable broth together in a blender until it’s very smooth with no chunks.

Make the sauce. In a large pan over medium high heat, cook the garlic, salt, oregano and basil together in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes until the garlic starts to brown. Next, add the lentils and mix well. Use a fork to mash up some of the lentils.

Add in the blended tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add in the cashew mixture and keep cooking for 3-5 minutes more until it’s as thick as you like. Taste and adjust for salt/sugar/pepper.

While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add in your pasta and veggies. Set a timer according to package directions for how long the pasta will need to boil.

Drain the pasta and veggies, then pour the sauce over it and give it a good through mixing. Grab yourself a bowl of comforting, nourishing deliciousness!


Here are Thich Nhat Hanh’s words on how to handle strong emotions:

‘I am more, I am much more than my emotion. I am form, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness. I am much more than one emotion. An emotion is something that comes, stays for some while, and will have to go away. I don’t have to die just because of one emotion. I know I can handle an emotion with the practice of mindful deep breathing. I have survived emotions before.

If you are having strong emotions today, I hope this brings you some comfort and I’m sending you a big hug.

Chef Maitri Carmichael brings a creative and peaceful energy to every plate. She grew up in Toronto with a British Grandma and an Italian Nonna who showed their love through food, then she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years, spending her free time at community farms and zen kitchens. Originally a scientist and biotech entrepreneur, she graduated from the Vegan Chef School in London (2021) and the Raw Food Culinary Academy in Vancouver (2023), and is now settled in Hawaii.

3 responses to “Pasta with Cheezy Lentil Sauce”

  1. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Family favorite for pasta night! 🙂

  2. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Facebook comment from Tessa-Marie: Mmmm delicious

  3. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Facebook comment from Nina: delicious!!!

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