Gnocchi & Spring Peas with a Basil Cashew Cream Sauce (Vegan)

Indulge in the flavors of spring with this recipe for Gnocchi and Spring Peas with a Basil Cashew Cream Sauce that packs a flavorful and nutritional punch! This hearty dish can be assembled in less than 30 minutes and is a great option for a Meatless Monday.

On a recent trip to NYC, I took a cooking class at the Natural Gourmet Institute with Candice Kumai. It was so much fun and helped me dive even deeper into the world of plant-based cooking. All of the recipes for the night were from Candice’s book Clean Green Eats, and the meal was so incredibly delicious as we all sat down to enjoy our hard work at the end of the night.

candice kumai

Ever since this class, I couldn’t stop thinking about the Spring Pea & Mint Soup that we made. It was refreshing, creamy and featured an ingredient that I hadn’t thought of since childhood – peas.

natural gourmet institute

I knew I wanted to incorporate peas into a spring recipe to share with you all and wanted to use this soup as an inspiration. Even though spring typically means light and airy, I wanted to throw something together that was a little heartier that I knew my husband would love for a quick weeknight dinner.

So I thought, what’s more hearty and comforting than pasta?! But this recipe doesn’t use just any pasta, we’re cooking up gnocchi over here in this recipe with spring peas and a basil cashew cream sauce.

Spring Peas & Gnocchi with a Basil Cashew Cream Sauce {vegan} || FitLiving Eats

If you’ve never had gnocchi before, think of them as soft, pillows of potato dough that melt in your mouth with every bite. Yes, they are that delicious. Most brands of gnocchi that I have found are made without eggs and some brands are even gluten-free!

Back to what inspired this dish in the first place. The soup had a light, creamy texture that inspired the cashew cream sauce and instead of mint, I’m using basil. Peas, of course, are still the star ingredient!

The Nutritional Lowdown on Peas

Did you know the peas are technically classified as a fruit? They are also a great source of high-quality protein and are often a prominent ingredient in vegan protein powders.

health benefits of peas

Peas are high in fiber, meaning they help keep everything moving and promote weight management. They are also great for anti-aging, boosting the immune system and energy levels due to their high amounts of antioxidants.

Who knew peas were such a superfood?!

Now, let’s talk about our seasonal dish with the pillowy bites of gnocchi, the basil cashew cream sauce, the superfood peas and roasted tomatoes for some extra color, flavor and nutrients!

This gnocchi and spring peas with a basil cashew cream sauce is easy to assemble and can be made in less than 30 minutes. I usually keep a stash of pre-soaked cashews on hand in my fridge (since I’m digging cashew cream lately!), but if you don’t, no worries! Just soak them for at least an hour or overnight to soften the nuts and make them easier to digest.

Spring Peas & Gnocchi with a Basil Cashew Cream Sauce {vegan} || FitLiving Eats

This recipe is husband-approved, meaning it’s a great dish for vegans, plant-based eaters and even the meat lovers in your life. Oh, and that basil cashew cream sauce? You’ll never look at alfredo sauce twice after trying this healthier, more nutrient-dense (and dairy-free) version.

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Gnocchi & Spring Peas with a Basil Cashew Cream Sauce

  • Author: FitLiving Eats by Carly Paige
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Indulge in the flavors of spring with this recipe for Gnocchi and Spring Peas with a Basil Cashew Cream Sauce that packs a flavorful and nutritional punch! This hearty dish can be assembled in less than 30 minutes and is a great option for a Meatless Monday.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 package gnocchi (gluten-free varieties available)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes

Basil Cashew Cream Sauce:

  • 3/4 cups cashews, soaked
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves (plus more for garnish)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to a low broil.
  2. Place the grape tomatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast until blistered (the skin starts to crack) in the oven, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and gnocchi to the pan. Saute gnocchi for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until there is a nice golden crust on the exterior.
  4. Add the peas and saute for another 5 minutes.
  5. While the gnocchi and peas are sautéing, add all of the ingredients for the basil cashew cream sauce in a high speed blender and blend on HIGH until smooth and creamy (scraping down the sides with a spatula occasionally) for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the roasted tomatoes to the gnocchi and peas, take the pan off the heat and stir in the basil cashew cream sauce.
  7. Garnish with extra basil and enjoy!

Notes

  • Traditional gnocchi can be found in the pasta aisle or cauliflower gnocchi can be found in the freezer section. 
  • For the basil cream sauce, soaking the cashews helps the nuts break down into a silky smooth texture. Before adding to blender, rinse and drain the soaking liquid. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup gnocchi
  • Calories: 257
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 438mg
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 11g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 31g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 9g
  • Cholesterol: 9mg

Keywords: cashew sauce, dinner, gnocchi, meatless Monday, pasta, Spring recipe, vegan

The recipe is part of the Meatless Monday link up hosted by The Fit Foodie Mama and Running on Happy, as well as Meatless Monday hosted by Confessions of a Mother RunnerTina Muir and A Whisk and Two Wands.

What’s your favorite pasta dish? Did you like peas as a kid? Share with me in the comments below!

-Carly Paige

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Simply Swapped Everyday is your guide to elevating the everyday through mindful methods, ingredient swaps and over 75 plant-powered recipes. Cooking healthy foods at home has never been easier or more delicious!

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60 Responses

  1. So cool that you took a cooking class in NYC! #bucketlist. This looks amazing. I think my fiancé would approve of this as well!

    1. Cashew cream sauce is my life lately! I love the added basil… it adds a fresh twist to a classic 🙂

  2. I didn’t know peas were classified as a fruit! Your recipe looks yummy and I love that it can be made in less than 30 minutes.

    1. It’s my favorite part about this dish. You would think it would take much longer, so it’s a great dish to serve for company, too!

  3. I just pinned this!!! It looks SO delicious and really creative 🙂 not something I see all the time. Great pics and content!! Thanks for sharing, I want to make this for my husband!
    Danielle | AccordingtoD.com

  4. This looks absolutely delicious! This is not something I would ever think to put together, but it looks SO yummy! Bookmarked!

    xo Ashley

  5. OMG that looks soooo delicious, both vibrant and healthy! Never made pasta using cashew sauce, have got to make it ASAP, funny that I just made a paste of cashew to make dessert tomorrow, maybe time to make something else. Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe.
    xx, Kusum | http://www.sveeteskapes.com

  6. This recipe is totally up my alley! I love quick and healthy meals. Lately I haven’t been able to get enough gnocchi. This is a perfect recipe for our family. We grow peas each year and I always need different ideas on using them and we are a dairy free family so cashew cream is a staple in our home. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I never used to like peas, but now that I’m older, I like the added sweetness that it can add to a dish. Plus, it’s a great way for me to get a little green veggies into my kids too.