Creamy Vegan Cabbage Pasta

(Last Updated On: 12 January 2021)

Cashews give this cabbage pasta recipe it’s creaminess, in a gorgeous sauce packed with wholegrain mustard, apples and garlic. We’re doing double carbs with this savoy cabbage recipe, and doing a bit of a Nigella, adding diced potato cubes to the mix. This simple, tasty, midweek meal requires just 20 minutes of active time.

Savoy Cabbage is in season right now. Its delicate crinkled leaves are perfect for getting all that cashew pasta sauce stuck in those crevices. Cashews are magical. You soak them for four to six hours, pop them in a blender with water and bam, you have a sauce. Today, that sauce has the added excitement of wholegrain mustard and a slight hint of savoury cheesiness owing to the added nutritional yeast.

Large pan of creamy cabbage pasta, on top of a large wooden chopping board. The vibrant green cabbage colour is popping in amongst the yellows of the pasta and sauce.

An ode to the Savoy Cabbage

The savoy cabbage is possibly the most attractive of them all, isn’t it? It’s deep green colour, with it’s loosely wrapped, crisp, crinkly outer leaves that don’t hug it’s body (unlike the rest of that cabbage family, all tightly wrapped like they’ve got something to hide!). I love this cabbage for the fact it retains it’s bite when cooked bringing texture to dishes.

Savoy cabbage, at least in the UK, is in season from September through to February but is at its best between December and February. It’s high in Vitamin’s A, C + C, and fiber and a whole host of important nutrients.

The leaves of this great cabbage are great for stuffing as an alternative to vine leaves – check out this recipe for leaves stuffed with rice and sumac. Having said that you could also eat the leaves raw – like in a kale + cabbage pesto, for example.

Close up shot of Savoy Cabbage sat amongst the remaining ingredients for this dish


The ingredient list for this savoy cabbage recipe is super easy, and hopefully, you’ll find everything you need in your local supermarket.

To make cabbage with pasta, you will need:

  • 100 grams of cashews – soaked for 4 – 6 hours before starting to cook.
  • 250ml of cold water
  • Half a teaspoon of salt – plus more to season
  • 2 tablespoons of wholegrain mustard – although dijon mustard would work a treat too.
  • One tablespoon of nutritional yeast – this one is optional but brings a savoury cheesiness to the sauce
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • One medium-sized leek – they are in peak season at the time of writing, if you can’t find a leek, you can use an onion instead.
  • Three cloves of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of apple sauce – store-bought is fine here, but you’re welcome to use homemade too, of course.
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 2 medium potatoes – you can omit these if you like, but I think they’re a great addition
  • 280 grams of pasta – preferably spaghetti or linguine
  • One Savoy cabbage – OF COURSE.
Ingredients to make this recipe laid out on a wooden board.

How To Make This Cabbage Pasta Recipe

Bar soaking the cashews in cold water, which you need to do for 4 – 6 hours before starting cooking, this vegan cabbage recipe is as simple as they come. That doesn’t mean it’s not delicious though – the mustard and apple sauce complement each other perfectly.

Start by dicing the potatoes into small cubes and adding to a large pan. The pan needs to be big enough for the cabbage and pasta, so bear that in mind. Fill the pan with water, salt well and bring the boil.

Finely slice the leek, and sauté in a pan with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until soft, and browning slightly. Stir occasionally. This will take 5 – 6 minutes.

While the leeks are cooking, remove the cabbage leaves from the core, wash thoroughly, and slice into big thick slices. Add the sliced cabbage and pasta to the pan with the potatoes and cook for 8 – 10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked to your liking.

Sliced savoy cabbage on a chopping board

It’s time to make our cashew sauce for our cabbage pasta – add the soaked cashews, wholegrain mustard, nutritional yeast, half a teaspoon of salt and 250ml of cold water to a blender, and blitz until smooth. That’s it. That’s the sauce.

Add the three, finely chopped, cloves of garlic to the leeks, and cook for another couple of minutes until fragrant. Turn the heat down to low, and add the cashew sauce. Stir in two tablespoons of apple sauce, and bring to a simmer before adding the juice of a lemon.

Add a ladle or two of the pasta cooking water to the leek pan to thin the sauce, then adjust seasoning to taste, I’d recommend a good few cracks of black pepper here. Transfer the cabbage, potatoes and boiled cabbage to the pan, toss thoroughly to coat the pasta in the sauce and serve.

Two white bowls containing cabbage pasta - shot from above. To the left is a cream linen.

Questions & Changes

I’m not following a vegan diet, can I use regular cream?

Absolutely. Make sure you use double cream (or heavy cream if you’re reading in the US). Skip the food processor altogether and add the cream, mustard and salt directly to the pan and stir to combine. If you’re using cream, you also may wish to switch the nutritional yeast for a small handful of parmesan.

I have a white cabbage, can I use that instead?

Absolutely – follow the recipe the same way, ignore the ode to the savoy cabbage up the top there. The cabbage you have is just as good.

Can I sauté the cabbage instead of boiling it?

Sure thing. In fact, I’ve made this recipe that way too – cook the cabbage with the leek in the beginning, otherwise follow the recipe the same way.

More Vegan Dinner Recipes

Cabbage Pasta Pin

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Creamy Cabbage Pasta

Blitzed cashews give this cabbage pasta it's creaminess, in a gorgeous sauce packed with wholegrain mustard, apples and garlic.
Servings 4 people
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins


Cashew Cream

  • 100 g cashews soaked in cold water for 6 hours
  • 250 ml water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tbsp nutrional yeast

Frying Pan

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium leek
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tbsp apple sauce
  • Juice of a lemon

Pasta Pan

  • 2 potatoes about 350g
  • 280 g spaghetti or linguine
  • 1 savoy cabbage


  • Soak Cashews in cold water for 4 – 6 hours.
  • Drain and rinse cashews and add to blender with 250ml water, wholegrain mustard, nurtional yeast and half a teaspoon of salt, bilitz on high speed until a smooth and creamy. Refridgerate until needed.
  • Chop potatoes into small cubes. Add to a large pot of well salted water, bring to the boil.
  • Chop shred cabbage, and add to the boiling water along with the pasta, cook for 8 – 10 minutes as per pasta cooking instructions.
  • Gently saute the leeks, and garlic, with olive oil over medium-low heat until softened. Add the cashew cream, juice of one lemon and apple sauce, and stir to combine.
  • Strain the pasta, cabbage and potato mixture, reserving about 200ml of the cooking water.
  • Add the reserved pasta water to the creamy leeks, and season well with salt and pepper.
  • Throughly toss the pasta, cabbage and potaotes through the creamy sauce, and serve immediately.
Calories: 627kcal
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Pasta
Keyword: budget friendly, Midweek Meals, Pasta
In Season: December, February, January, November, October, September
Special Diet: Dairy Free, Vegan


Calories: 627kcal | Carbohydrates: 97g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 459mg | Potassium: 1337mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 2621IU | Vitamin C: 94mg | Calcium: 133mg | Iron: 5mg

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