This pasta recipe with homemade dairy free sauce may leave you feeling better about going dairy free. It’s a creamy and flavorful pasta recipe that is easy to make. You can add in any veggies you like and feel good while enjoying this dish.
Pasta dishes are one of my absolute favorite dishes to make. I love the smells of the garlic and spices cooking on the stove. It’s a great way to get kids in the kitchen to help too. My husband loves all red sauces but I really enjoy a nice, creamy, white sauce from time to time.
There is something comforting about a creamy white sauce with pasta noodles. But I don’t like the way I feel after I eat a big bowl of it. Usually white sauces are filled with saturated fat and leave me feeling a little bloated and blah! But not this pasta recipe with homemade dairy free sauce.
I want to create dishes that my family enjoys but with a healthier twist all while still tasting yummy. I love to look up recipes on my favorite blogs or on pinterest then find out how I can make them “healthier”. When I say “healthier” I’m looking at taking out some of the oil, dairy, and other ingredients that may be processed or include animal proteins.
Why Go Dairy Free
You may be asking “so what’s so bad about dairy?” For years we heard “Milk does a body good” but that is farthest from the truth and actually that was a really marketing from the dairy industry. I can tell you that there is a lot of research out there showing how dairy contributes to cancer, specifically ovarian, prostate, and breast cancer.
I remember watching Forks Over Knives documentary and it explained The China Study completed by Dr. T Collin Campbell. If you haven’t seen this documentary, check it out on Netflix.
In this study, it showed how just how powerful dairy was with contributing to cancer growth. Scary! Plus, for my family, we have seen great results by going dairy free. Did you know that dairy is a big contributor to constipation?
One of my kids was on miralax (before I knew of better options) for 3.5 years. Removing dairy was a game changer for getting bowel movements going. Did you know that dairy is also a big contributor to ear infections? For my youngest, ear infections were a monthly thing her first year of life.
Removing dairy was also a game changer. She is about to start school now and we haven’t seen an ear infection in years. Can I get an AMEN! So many sweet babies I work with have difficulty with recurrent ear infections and when we work to get them off dairy, the ear infections typically start to clear up.
Who Should Go Dairy Free
- Everyone 🙂 But seriously, all those with the following conditions could benefit from going dairy free:
- Heart Disease
- Ear Infections
- Sinus Infections
- Leaky Gut
- Motor Tic Disorder/Tourettes
- Cancer or history of cancer in family
Tips For Going Dairy Free
- Always read ingredients and not labels. The food industry is sneaky sneaky. Many labels of foods leave you to believe it’s healthy and good for you. You may think a food is dairy free but make sure to actually look at the ingredients. Often, you will see milk as an ingredient or a hidden name for milk
- Try to change one thing at a time. For example, instead of using dairy coffee creamer, switch to a plant based coffee creamer made with coconut or almond milk. Maybe you buy almond milk to use in your smoothies instead of cow’s milk. It’s really easy to use a plant milk to bake with too.
- Keep snacks on hand so that you have other options such as dairy free yogurt, fruit, cut up veggies/hummus, nuts, homemade granola bars like these HERE.
- Go Cold Turkey. This one is pretty hard for the average joe but hey some of you can do it. Just quite. To do this you can find alternatives to use or you can make your favorite dishes to enjoy even without the cheese. I promise, you really don’t need cheese on those tacos especially if you have other yummy toppings on them.
- Find alternatives to use while making the transition. This is probably what works best for most people. There are so many alternatives to dairy cheese that surely you can find what you like. We love the VioLife brand mozzarella DF cheese for pizzas. We love the SILK brand for yogurt and so many brands are now making DF yogurts. Nutritional yeast is a flaky cheesy salty flavor without the cheese or salt but great to add to roasted potatoes, veggies, in sauces, and on popcorn.
What About Picky Eaters?
If you are thinking “but my kids won’t eat this pasta recipe with homemade dairy free sauce” just hold on a second. Don’t close this blog just yet. I want to give you some tips of how you could start making your own pasta dish a lil bit healthier.
First, depending on the type of eater your kid(s) are will depend on the direction you go in. If your kid is the type that would have a difficult time by seeing changes to a meal such as new veggies added to them then you may want to start with changing noodles first.
Most picky eaters are very visual and when they spot a new pea in their regularly made pasta then panic can set in. This can actually cause them to not want to eat that food again. So, think about what kind of eater you have and go from there.
If this is the case with your eater then I would start with your regular pasta dish that you make and change of the noodle. Change one thing at a time. If you are used to eating spaghetti noodles then try angel hair spaghetti noodles, then try a 100% whole wheat or gluten free spaghetti noodle. From there you can try veggie spaghetti noodles, lentil or chickpea noodles. Then different shapes of noodles all while keeping the sauce the same.
If your child is the type that doesn’t mind new foods entering their main dish then I would add one new veggie to the dish at a time. If your child is old enough you can offer them a choice of veggies to add “would you rather have peas or broccoli in the pasta tonight”. Pick a veggie that your child likes and prefers and start with adding that.
From there you can change up your sauce. Some changes could be to use a vegan butter instead of dairy butter. Rice milk makes for a great sauce for creamier pasta sauces. Veggie broth instead of chicken or beef broth is a better option. Nutritional yeast makes a great substitute for parmesan cheese.
Don’t forget to make that perfect summer time dessert too. This peach cobbler is amazing and so simple. We topped with dairy free cool whip! OMG! Delicious!
I hope you find some of these tips helpful. For more recipes and guidance to help you and your family eat more variety of fruits/veggies please follow me on my facebook page.
Pasta Recipe With Dairy Free Sauce
- 1 cup butternut squash cut up
- 1 cup mini sweet baby bell peppers chopped
- 1-2 cups mixed veggies of your choice I used onions, mushrooms, and broccoli
- 2 chopped garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4-1/2 cup soaked cashews
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 package pasta noodles See notes below
- Soak cashews for about 1-2 hours. If in a time crunch, boil them for about 10-15 minutes.
- Peel squash and cut into small pieces OR you can use frozen chopped butternut sqauash. That's what I used.
- Cut baby peppers
- Place butternut squash, peppers, and 1/2 cup water into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. You want veggies to be soft enough to puree.
- Meanwhile, saute veggies of your choice (broccoli, onions, garlic, mushrooms, etc) in a skillet with either water or veggie broth. If the veggies start to stick to the pan then add a little more liquid to help cook.
- Place water in a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add in your noodles until al dente.
- Place water, squash, peppers, garlic cloves, paprika, and cashews into a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and add sea salt and pepper to your liking.
- Once noodles are done cooking, drain water. Add in the veggies and sauce and heat in the pan to bring back up to temperature.