Creamy Sweet Corn Pasta
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Jeanine says, "My favorite thing about Chicago in the summer is that sweet corn is everywhere. There’s nothing like fresh, midwestern bicolored sweet corn, and I like to use it every day while it’s available during its relatively short season. In this pasta, the sweet, juicy corn kernels paired with the “milk” from the cobs become a perfect cream sauce without using actual cream. Cashews add richness, lemon (of course) adds some zing, and smoked paprika adds a smoky depth of flavor."

Permission to reprint by Jeanine Donofrio and Avery Books.

Course: Entree, Pasta
Cuisine: dairy free, egg free, gluten free, refined sugar free, vegan
Keyword: creamy vegetable pasta, pasta with corn, summer pasta
Servings: 4
Calories: 551 kcal
Author: Jeanine Donofrio
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
  • ½ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 5 ears corn (kernels cut from cobs, about 4 cups, divided)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • ¼ cup water (plus more if necessary)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 12 ounces pappardelle or pasta of choice
  • 2 scallions (finely sliced)
  • 3 packed cups fresh spinach
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup sliced fresh basil (for serving, optional)
  • microgreens (for serving, optional)
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add 1½ cups of corn kernels and the whole crushed garlic cloves and cook until tender, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to a blender with the cashews, water, lemon juice, smoked paprika, the ½ teaspoon of sea salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Blend until creamy, adding more water as needed to create a pourable consistency. Set aside.

  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare the pasta according to the instructions on the package, cooking until al dente. Reserve ½ cup of the hot pasta water, then drain.

  3. Meanwhile, wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the remaining 2½ cups of corn, the scallions, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach, hot pasta, the corn sauce, and ¼ to ½ cup of the reserved pasta water, as needed to create a creamy sauce. Season to taste and serve immediately with the sliced basil and microgreens, if using.

Recipe Notes

~Use gluten free pasta to make this recipe gluten free.


Nutrition Facts
Creamy Sweet Corn Pasta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 551 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Sodium 251mg11%
Potassium 321mg9%
Carbohydrates 93g31%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 17g34%
Vitamin A 2150IU43%
Vitamin C 16.5mg20%
Calcium 40mg4%
Iron 4.9mg27%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.