Cauliflower and Walnut Crumb Pasta

This cauliflower and walnut crumb pasta is quick and simple to make. Vegan with a gluten-free option that doesn’t require the use of gluten-free breadcrumbs. Requiring only 10 ingredients and ready in 30 minutes this meal is perfect for a quick weeknight supper.

Cauliflower and walnut crumb pasta in a large cast iron skillet with a wooden serving spoon.

If you’re in need of a super quick and delicious weeknight meal grab a large skillet, get some water boiling and make this dinner tonight. All you need are 10 ingredients and about 30 minutes to prepare a family-friendly vegan and gluten-free supper.

Cauliflower and walnut crumb pasta on a grey bowl sprinkled with freshly chopped parsley.

Walnut Crumb

To create a crumb for coating the pasta and cauliflower I decided to use finely chopped walnuts and a blend of dried herbs. This adds and earthy flavor and crunchy texture to the pasta that cannot be matched by breadcrumbs. It also makes this crumb gluten-free!

Simply place the walnuts, herbs, and spices into a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles…you guessed it…breadcrumbs. To a hot skillet, add olive oil and sauté the walnut crumbs until their fragrant. About 4-5 minutes. Watch closely to prevent burning. Once done, remove from heat and set aside for later.

Feel free to use this walnut crumb in place of breadcrumbs in other recipes. It would be delicious on top of a macaroni and cheese, lasagna, or used between the fillo dough layers on my Vegan Spanakopita.

Cauliflower Pasta

To prepare the cauliflower pasta, begin by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. While the water is boiling, break up lasagna noodles into strips. Alternatively, use linguini noodles or any other long thin pasta shape. Be sure that your pasta is gluten-free in necessary. Cook pasta according to package directions.

While the water is boiling, heat olive oil over a large skillet. Once hot, add onions and garlic to the pan and sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Next, add cauliflower florets and optional red chili flakes. Allow the cauliflower to brown a bit for 4-5 minutes. Once the cauliflower has a nice golden color add 3/4 cup of water. The cauliflower should be allowed to steam for 10-15 minutes. If after 15 minutes the cauliflower is still hard, continue adding water a few tbsp at a time. When the cauliflower is tender, remove from heat.

When the pasta is done, drain and place in the skillet with the cooked cauliflower. Top with walnut crumb mixture and toss to combine. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.

Cauliflower and walnut crumb pasta  in a large cast iron skillet.

And that’s it! Quick and easy! This cauliflower and walnut crumb pasta is a simple recipe that is sure to become your family’s go-to weeknight dinner. So grab a fork and enjoy friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Cauliflower- fiber, vitamin C, biotin, folate, sulforaphane to block cancer-causing chemicals

Garlic-phytochemicals

Onion- antioxidants; fiber; vitamin C; folate

Walnuts- Omega 3s, thaimine, B6, folic acid, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, Vitamin E, polyphenols

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Cauliflower and Walnut Crumb Pasta

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: 30-minutes, cauliflower, easy, quick, simple, walnuts
Servings: 4 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

Walnut Crumb

  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp dried parsley
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Cauliflower Pasta

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • ¾-1½ cups water
  • red chili pepper flakes to taste
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
  • 8 lasagna noodles, broken into strips or pasta of choice
  • parsley for garnish

Instructions

Walnut Crumb

  • Place walnuts, herbs, and spices into a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles bread crumbs.
  • Add olive oil to a hot skillet and saute walnut crumb for 4-5 minutes until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside for later.

Cauliflower Pasta

  • Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  • While the pasta cooks, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot add onion and garlic and cook until onions are translucent. About 3-4 minutes.
  • Add cauliflower and chili pepper flakes to pan and saute for 4-5 minutes until slightly browned. Add ¾ cup water to the pan and allow to steam the cauliflower about 10-15 minutes. If the cauliflower is still hard, continue adding water ¼ cup at a time until the cauliflower is tender.
  • Add chopped walnuts and cooked pasta. Toss to coat. Serve warm and top with chopped parsley.
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Butternut Squash and Sage Pasta

A cozy bowl of butternut squash and fried sage pasta is just what you need on a crisp autumn evening. This dish can be ready in 30 minutes and only requires 10 simple, wholesome ingredients. As an added bonus, this pasta sauce is easily turned into a soup. Grab a fork (or a spoon) and dig in.

Fried sage and butternut squash pasta topped with cranberries and walnuts on a grey plate with another plate of pasta in the background.

Can we all just take a second to appreciate pasta? What about another second to appreciate the sauces that we serve them with? Ok. Now that we’ve taken care of that…you can start appreciating this amazing homage to autumn. My incredibly flavorful, insanely easy butternut squash and sage pasta. Oh, and did I mention this squash pasta sauce can double as a soup? Yeah. Two dinner options in one. You’re welcome.

Fried Sage

This is the real secret, behind the scenes, star of the show. Fried, fresh sage is one of the most amazing little additions you could make to any squash dish. It’s so easy and it adds such a subtle sweetness to this sauce. So how exactly do we do this?

Add enough olive oil to thinly coat the bottom of a small pan. Heat the oil over high heat to get it extremely hot. Test the oil by adding a small piece of torn sage leaf to the oil. If the leaf sizzles the temperature is perfect. If it doesn’t continue testing every 30 seconds or so until it’s hot enough.

Once the oil is hot enough, add the sage leaves to the oil and allow to cook about 2-3 minutes per side until crispy and fragrant. Watch the sage closely, making sure that it doesn’t burn. Remove the leaves from the oil and place on a towel to absorb the excess oil. Set the leaves aside until later and begin working on the sauce.

Fried sage and butternut squash pasta topped with cranberries and walnuts on a grey plate with fried sage on the side.

Butternut Squash Sauce

Now that the sage portion of the dish is ready, it’s time to start the sauce (or soup). To the heated oil that you used to fry the sage, add the diced onion and sauté until translucent. Add the butternut squash, herbs, and garlic. Cook on medium-high heat for 5 minutes stirring to prevent burning but allowing the butternut squash to get a bit of a char. Add the vegetable broth to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the butternut squash is tender.

Allow the squash to cool a bit before adding to a high speed blender. Puree the squash with some plant-based milk and vegan parmesan cheese until smooth. At this point your pasta sauce is ready to go! Cook your favorite pasta according to package directions and toss the al dente pasta with this sauce. Top with the crumbled fried sage, dried cranberries, and chopped walnuts.

Butternut Squash Soup

If you want to turn this sauce into a soup that’s totally doable and incredibly easy. When you’re blending the sauce simply add more vegetable broth to the blender and continue to blend until the sauce turns into your desired soup consistency. Top the soup with crumbled fried sage, dried cranberries, and chopped walnuts. If you really want to go over the top, serve this soup in a sour dough bread bowl. Totally drool-worthy.

I hope that you will try this recipe and that you love it as much as I do. Let me know what you think of this dish and if you prepare it as a pasta sauce or a soup.

Enjoy friends.

Fried sage and butternut squash pasta topped with cranberries and walnuts on a grey plate with fried sage leaves on the side.

Ingredient Health Benefits

Garlic-phytochemicals

Onion-antioxidants; fiber; vitamin C; folate

Rosemary-polyphenolic compounds

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Fried Sage and Butternut Squash Pasta

A cozy bowl of butternut squash and fried sage pasta is just what you need on a crisp autumn evening. This dish can be ready in 30 minutes and only requires 10 simple, wholesome ingredients.
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: 10-ingredients, butternut squash, dried cranberries, entree, fried sage, pasta, sage, vegan, vegan entree, vegan parmesan, vegan soup, walnuts
Servings: 6 people
Author: Erin

Equipment

  • Blender

Ingredients

  • 10-15 sage leaves
  • ½ cup yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 butternut squash, cubed about 8 cups
  • ¼ tsp dried sage
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 2-3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup plant-based milk
  • ¼ cup vegan parmesan cheese

Additional Toppings

  • dried cranberries
  • chopped walnuts

Instructions

  • To a large pan, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of oil. heat over high heat. Once hot, lower to medium-high and fry the fresh sage leaves. Fry for 2-3 minutes flipping half way watching closely to prevent burning. Remove sage from the oil and place on paper towels to remove excess oil. Reserve sage leaves for later.
  • In the sage olive oil, saute onions until translucent. Add garlic, butternut squash, sage, thyme, and nutmeg. Cook for 5-10 minutes until crispy.
  • Add 2 cups of vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until vegetable broth has cooked off and the butternut squash is tender. Continue to add vegetable broth as needed in order to cook and soften squash.
  • Allow to cool slightly and blend in a high-speed blender with plant-based milk & vegan parmesan cheese*.
  • Serve over your favorite al dente pasta and top with crumbled fried sage, dried cranberries, chopped walnuts and more vegan parmesan cheese**.

Notes

*If making a soup instead of a sauce, add more vegetable broth 1 cup at a time to thin the mixture to your preferred soup consistency.
**This is my absolute favorite vegan parmesan cheese recipe.
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