This dish involves minimal steps, minimal ingredients, and gives you a gorgeous plate of penne that is chalked full of nutrients. The sauce is comprised of roasted beets and garlic that are blended with non-dairy cream and vegan cheese to make a rich decadent sauce. The dish is finished with some homemade Shiitake bacon.

Penne in Creamy Beet Sauce With Shiitake Bacon [Vegan, Gluten-Free]



For the Penne:

  • 3 medium-sized beets, cleaned and cut into a small dice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup  vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 pound gluten-free penne pasta
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

For the Shiitake Bacon:

  • 1 packages of Shiitakes, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes


To Make the Shiitake Bacon:

  1. Slice the mushrooms, coat them with all the ingredients, and bake in the oven at 250°F for 30 minutes.
  2. Rotate the mushrooms in midway for an even cook. Mushrooms should be crispy, not hard. (coat in ingredients for however long you can)

To Make the Penne:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the rinsed and peeled beets in 1 tablespoon. oil.
  3. Season them with a good pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Wrap them in aluminum foil.
  5. Peel the garlic, and treat it as you did the beets.
  6. Roast the vegetables for 40 minutes. Check for doneness at the 30-minute mark.
  7. Transfer beets to a food processor.
  8. Soak cashews in hot water for a few minutes.
  9. Add the roasted garlic, cashews, nutritional yeast, half of the vegan parmesan cheese, and the two remaining tablespoons of oil.
  10. Pulse them until they're smooth.
  11. Transfer beet mixture to a small saucepan.
  12. Add the stock and almond milk and bring it to a light simmer.
  13. Add remaining cheese and another pinch of salt.
  14. Simmer it on low for about 2 minutes.
  15. Cook the penne until al dente.
  16. Drain it and return it to a skillet.
  17. Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss it to combine.
  18. Top it with additional cheese and shiitake bacon.