When I was a kid, I was obsessed with seafood. I lived in Florida and my dad went fishing all the time. We used to have blackened fish on a regular basis and it was my favorite. When I was thinking about how delicious vegan blackened cauliflower would be, my brain also decided it should go with another childhood favorite. Pesto. But not just any pesto. This vegan creamy pesto is incredible. Let me assure you, I was right. This blackened cauliflower with creamy pesto pasta is one of the greatest combinations of all time. Just like peanut butter and jelly. Blackened seasoning and creamy pesto are a winning combination.
What You Need For This Cauliflower and Pasta:
- Cauliflower: A large head of cauliflower, cut into florets.
- Olive Oil: For both the cauliflower and the pesto.
- Chili Powder, Smoked Paprika, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Cayenne, Salt ad Thyme: These create your blackened seasoning.
- Lemons: Also for the cauliflower and pesto.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic is tossed with the cauliflower and it also goes into the pesto.
- Fresh Basil, Pine nuts, Nutritional Yeast, Vegan Cheese, Raw Cashews and Non-Dairy Milk: These are for the creamy pesto. My favorite vegan Parmesan is Violife!
- Pasta: Your favorite pasta will work for this meal!
This vegan blackened cauliflower can be served with all kinds of different things. It is hearty and filling enough to be the main dish. And sides of your choosing can be added. However, I highly recommend making this vegan creamy pesto pasta to go with it. It is quick and easy to make and honestly, they are just so good together. I can’t think of anything better.
Why Should You Make This Spicy Dish?
- This cauliflower is so simple and delicous.
- The creamy pesto takes no time at all to throw together and it is highly addictive.
- Throw both of them together and you have the perfect meal.
- This whole meal is so good, it will haunt your dreams.
- The perfect way to get more veggies into your diet!
Vegan Blackened Cauliflower with Creamy Pesto Pasta
- 2 teaspoons Chili powder
- 1 teaspoon Smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Onion powder
- 1 teaspoon Thyme, dried
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- 1 Head of Cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1/4 Cup Olive oil
- 2 Lemons, divided
- 6 Cloves Garlic, chopped
Creamy Pesto Pasta
- 12 Ounces Pasta of choice, vegan
- 1/2 Cup Raw cashews, soaked*
- 1/2 Cup Non-dairy milk, unsweetened I used soy milk
- 2 Cup Fresh basil
- 1/2 Cup Pine nuts
- 2 Tablespoons Nutritional yeast
- 1/3 Cup Vegan Parmesan or Mozzarella
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon Lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
- 1/4 Cup Olive oil
- 1/4 Cup Vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees(F).
- Make the seasoning mix. In a small mixing bowl, combine the chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, salt and cayenne. Stir to combine.
- Put the cauliflower florets into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and the juice of one lemon. Then sprinkle the seasoning mix over the cauliflower.
- Toss to evenly coat all of the cauliflower.
- Sprinkle the fresh chopped garlic over the cauliflower and toss to combine.
- Spread the cauliflower evenly on a large sheet pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.
- Roast for 15 minutes. Take out of the oven, then cut the remaining lemon into wedges and add the lemon wedges to the sheet pan with the cauliflower. Toss the cauliflower.
- Roast for another 12-14 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and nice and brown.
- While the cauliflower roasts, make the pesto pasta.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain when al dente.
- Make the creamy pesto. Drain your cashews and add them to a blender.
- Then add the non-dairy milk and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend on high until completely smooth. It my take a minute depending on your blender.
- Then add the basil, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, vegan cheese, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, broth and a few more pinches of salt and pepper to the blender with the cashew cream.
- Blend again until your pesto is smooth and creamy.
- Once the cauliflower is done and you have drained your pasta, return the pasta to the pot, pour the pesto sauce on top of the pasta and toss to combine.
- Taste and adjust seasoning, you may need more salt and pepper.
- Serve a bowl of pesto pasta with blackened cauliflower and extra basil on top if desired.
Hi love to try this! What can I use in place of the vegan parmesan or mozzarella?
Omg, this was so delicious! I’ve never made vegan pesto before and it was so delicious and creamy… a week later I’m having random cravings for it haha. Will definitely make again!
SO GOOD! One of the best vegan pestos I’ve ever had and it worked great for leftovers.
This creamy pesto is officially going in my regular dinner rotation. I applied the blackening rub to Beyond Meat chicken tenders and all in all it was just about perfect (my partner dislikes cauliflower, for shame). So good, thanks!
Absolutely fabulous! The combination of the the spicy/citrusy cauliflower with the pesto pasta is DEVINE! I’ve shared the recipe with friends and I will definitely be making this again. Thank you so much for this recipe!
The whole family loved this! Even our two year old;) Thanks for sharing.
Wonderful! Great combination of spicy and creamy. Have already made it three times in 3 weeks. Thanks!
Yes! Such good flavor and nutrition in this recipe! I’m going to make this again and again! Next time, I’ll use spiralized sweet potatoes in place of pasta, just for fun.
Thanks so much for this winner!