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Vegan Cacio E Pepe Pasta

Cacio E Pepe in Italian means cheese and pepper. This dish is like a stripped down Mac and Cheese with tons of cracked black pepper.

Happy Spring my friends! I wrote this blog a couple months ago and am just getting around to posting it. It was snowing when I created this so forgive me for the dated text! 

I just got home from 2 weeks in Mexico where I only had pasta once. The first day back I knew exactly what to do.  I had been craving CACIO E PEPE for months and was waiting for the right time to make it.  That time is NOW!

Cacio E Pepe in Italian means cheese and pepper. This dish is like a stripped down Mac and Cheese with tons of cracked black pepper. It is super simple to make and even simpler to eat.  It’s also very convenient because it doesn’t require many ingredients and takes almost no time to give the amount of mise en place you will need.

Once the pasta is ready you will want asses in seats.  Sorry for the language but when it comes to eating hot fresh pasta I don’t mess around.  Make sure your family or loved one is ready to sit down as soon as it hits the table.  It is that good and deserves our fullest attention.

The recipe below fed 2 hungry people with a little leftover.  Feel free to double the recipe for a larger group or serve this portion as a side dish.  If you have a different noodle preference then switch it up.  It will taste just as good all the same! 

Vegan Cacio E Pepe Pasta

Teri-Ann Carty
The vegan version of the traditional Cacio e Pepe pasta will have even your biggest critic wanting more.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 3


  • dutch oven


  • 400 gr spaghetti
  • 1 cup pasta water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch chili flakes
  • ½ onion (diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms (sliced)
  • 4 cremini mushrooms (sliced)
  • 3 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • ½ cup vegan parmesan (freshly grated if possible)
  • tons of pepper
  • sea salt


  • Cook pasta in heavily salted water. Reserve 1 cup for pasta water before you drain. I use gluten-free pasta so I rinse after cooking. If you are using normal pasta no need to drain.
  • Add oil and chili flakes to a Dutch oven. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add mushrooms and garlic. Add a splash of more oil if necessary. Cook until mushrooms start to soften. Transfer them to a bowl. Add butter into the pot. Add cooked pasta to the melted butter. Add miso to pasta and toss to combine with a splash of pasta water. Add mushrooms back to pasta and add cheese and tons of pepper. Add more pasta water to emulsify the sauce. Add salt to taste and garnish with more pepper and cheese when plating.
Keyword dairy free, gluten free, pasta, plant based, vegan

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