Vegan Beet Alfredo with Lemon-Basil Ricotta

A creamy and wholesome pasta dish made with fresh beets and a homemade lemon-basil ricotta sauce. Topped with sliced avocado for more creaminess, basil for a fresh flair, and pumpkin seeds for a crunch.

Are you looking for a healthy yet comforting pasta dish that’s fancy enough to serve at a dinner party? Or, are you just looking for a creative way to serve pasta that’s always Instagram-worthy? Either way, I have a hot pink pasta that’s creamy and cheesy that I think you’ll like.

I got the idea for this dish when I was at a restaurant last month and I ordered linguine as my main dish and had roasted beets on the side. I thought, wouldn’t it be great if I could just combine these two into one dish? I considered asking the chef to accommodate my bizarre request, but my dinner companions insist that I behave myself.

beet alfredo pasta - 2020 updated photos (3 of 5).jpg

So I came home and decided to experiment in the kitchen. Hence, this beet alfredo pasta, a combination of pasta and beets. Traditionally, an alfredo sauce is paired with fettuccine noodles, but my grocery store was sold out (the injustice!), so I used linguine noodles and it was just dandy.

The beets add a unique sweetness to this dish, not traditionally found in pasta dishes, but with the right amount of salt and lemon, the sweetness adds the right balance.

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What I love most about this dish is the hot pink color. Duh. But the next best thing is that this dish is relatively healthy for being a creamy pasta dish. First, beets are packed with tons of vitamins and minerals, fiber, beta-carotene, magnesium and antioxidants that support detoxification, fight inflammation, and ward off cancer. Second, the “ricotta” is made with protein-packed tofu and nutritional yeast.

And to make this dish even healthier, you can use whole-wheat pasta or even a bean-based pasta and serve it with a side of greens. I topped my dish with sliced avocado for more creaminess, basil for a light and fresh flair, and pumpkin seeds for a crunch.

I hope you enjoy this fancy, creamy hot pink pasta!

Vegan Beet Alfredo with Lemon-Basil Ricotta

Vegan, Gluten-Free Option

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews

  • 2 medium-sized beets, stems removed

  • 1/2 of a lemon, juiced

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • Freshly cracked black pepper

  • 1 cup “lite” coconut milk

  • 1 pound linguine or fettuccine noodles (can use whole-wheat or gluten-free)

  • Lemon-Basil Ricotta (recipe below)

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425°F or 220°C. Scrub the beets and pierce them several times with a fork to enable even cooking. Rub 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil over each beet and then wrap in aluminum foil. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until fork-tender. Let the beets cool slightly.

  2. While beets are cooking, prepare the tofu ricotta (recipe below) and cook the pasta.

  3. For the pasta, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous sprinkling of salt and the the linguine and cook according to package directions. Drain pasta and return it to the saucepan.

  4. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Once hot, add the onions and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened but not browned. Add the minced garlic and thyme and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.

  5. Rinse out the food processor after making the lemon-thyme ricotta.

  6. Transfer onion mixture to a food processor and add the cashews. Pulse until the cashews are a ground up and the onion mixture is finely minced. Add the beets, lemon juice, salt and pepper blend until you have a smooth sauce. With the motor running, stream in the coconut milk and blend until you have a thick and creamy sauce.

  7. Toss the cooked linguine with the beet alfredo sauce and dollop with the lemon-thyme ricotta.

Lemon-Basil Ricotta Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 14-ounce container of firm or extra-firm organic tofu

  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast

  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 large handful of fresh basil leaves

  • 1 lemon, half of the zest and all of the juice

Directions

1. Place the tofu on a cutting board or plate and slice into chunks. Cover with a few paper towels. Place a heavy can of beans or several books on top of the tofu to press out the excess water. Do this for at least 15 minutes, ideally 30 minutes.

2. Crumble the pressed tofu into large chunks and put in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until you have a creamy texture like ricotta cheese. Taste for salt, acidity, and cheesiness, adding more salt, lemon juice, or nutritional yeast, respectively, as needed.

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16 comments on Vegan Beet Alfredo with Lemon-Basil Ricotta

  1. Lil

    Oh my goodness, this dish is so good! I’ve always liked beets but this recipe gives me another reason to eat them. The color of this sauce is just beautiful. Thank you for creating this!!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Lil, we’re thrilled to hear you enjoyed this recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating alongside your review? Star ratings are big help to readers who are thinking of making the recipe. Thanks!

  2. Frost

    Is the coconut milk from a can or carton?

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi! "Lite" coconut milk refers to light or reduced-fat canned coconut milk. If you can’t find that, you can substitute carton coconut milk (it might be slightly less creamy but still good)!

  3. Heather

    Hey, I’m wondering how many servings this recipe creates?

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Heather,
      It serves 4-6. Just updated the recipe to reflect that :) Thank you!

  4. Kristin

    Hi! I’m making this tomorrow and I was just wondering if it tastes good. It certainly looks beautiful, but my dad is having some doubts and I want to reassure him. Thanks!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Kristin! Hehe your comment made me laugh. I think it’s very good, though I recognize that it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Seasoning the sauce well (salt, pepper, garlic, lemon) is key and then adding the ricotta on top definitely takes it to the next level. To balance out the creamy sauce and ricotta, I recommend adding some toasted nuts or seeds!

  5. Dee | Green Smoothie Gourmet

    I love how you bring so much color into our world Nisha, seriously! And that this food is also healthy and cruelty free makes you a true treasure to the blogesphere! Dee xx

    1. Nisha Vora

      You are just so sweet, Dee! Thank you for taking the time to leave your sweet and thoughtful comments, made my day!

  6. Noelle ~ Too Precious For Processed

    What a brilliant idea Nisha! I’m in love with this beautiful plate of pasta. As a beet lover, I’m always looking for new ways to enjoy them and this is next on my list!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Thank you, Noelle! Yes, i love beets too! The only thing I don’t love is scrubbing my fingers and nails haha. Need to remember to always wear gloves :)

  7. nadia

    Never thought pasta could look so pretty! Love the deep vibrant colour. So enticing :D

    1. Nisha Vora

      Aw thank you so much Nadia! I love the color of beets – always so vibrant and beautiful!

  8. Amy

    This is such a beautiful pasta, Nisha! I love your sense of humor too. I laughed out loud thinking about you asking the waiter to combine the pasta and the beets!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Amy! Thank you so much for your sweet comment. Haha I’m glad you found it funny :)

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