Indulge in the vibrant flavours of our dairy free lemon dill sauce for pasta. This zesty and refreshing creamy lemon dill sauce is the perfect accompaniment to elevate pasta, adding a burst of tangy citrus and aromatic dill, while still being free from the top 9 allergens, gluten free, and vegan.
- Why We Like This Recipe
- The Ingredient Low Down
- Instructions/ Directions and Tips
- Low Food Waste Tips
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- Substitutions, Variations, & Adaptations
- Storage and Reheating Instructions
- What To Serve With The Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce
- Other Recipes You May Enjoy
- Have You Made Our Dairy Free Lemon Dill Sauce? Please Leave a Comment Below.
- Rate our Recipe.
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Why We Like This Recipe
Years ago there was a restaurant that used to serve a creamy lemon dill sauce on lobster ravioli. It was what I always ordered from this restaurant. This was a time from before we had kids and before my own food issues started. The dish is no longer on the menu anymore of that restaurant. I haven’t stopped loving it. Instead, I made it at home in a way that was safe for our family.
The lobster filled pasta was replaced by fusilli and all the allergens were worked out of the dairy free lemon dill sauce. This is a meal that we make for a date night at home rather than with the kids. The kids aren’t super keen on the tang from the lemons. If you are looking for a great sauce with adults that is easy and will please guests this is one that does. It you are looking for one that kids will love – try the Tomato free pasta sauce instead.
- Dairy Free Spread
- Gluten Free Flour
- Salt & Pepper
- Pasta Water
- Dairy Free Milk
- Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
- Gluten Free Penne or Fusilli
See recipe card for quantities.
The Ingredient Low Down
Dairy Free Spread
Your safe dairy free spread will work. It can be either a tub or stick variety. We use either Earth Balance Soy Free or Melt Organics spreads.
Gluten Free Flour
This is used to thicken the dairy free lemon dill sauce and create a bit of a roux sauce base. Generally a one to one or all purpose gluten free flour blend can be used. It can have xanthan gum or not. Plain rice flour also works well but may not toast or change colour like a traditional roux does when cooked.
If the vegan lemon dill sauce isn't thickening do not add more flour. It will make the creamy lemon dill sauce taste like paste. Instead use the cooked pasta water to increase the starch and keep cooking the allergen friendly pasta sauce down until it is the desired consistency.
Part of the onion family that was often classified separately shallots have a much milder flavour than onions. They are smaller than an onion and usually available in the same area of the produce section as onions and garlic. If they are not readily available a more mild white or yellow onion can be substituted.
We use both the juice from the lemons and the zest. The zest is the peel, without the bitter white pith. Some citrus is coated with wax or other coatings to keep them longer. Inquire with your grocer as to what the coating is made from, if your allergies are severe and specific when using the zest.
Either way the lemons will need a good cleaning. For one method that may help to clean wax off the peel check out this article from Taste of Home.
The recipe for the dairy free pasta sauce is made for dried dill however fresh can be used. If using fresh dill be sure to increase the amount needed. The amount of fresh dill should be 3 times the dried amount the vegan lemon dill sauce recipe calls for.
Salt & Pepper
Salt is used in this dairy free lemon dill sauce to balance out the acidity. If the lemons used are very acidic add in a bit more salt after tasting the sauce as it cooks. The salt will help reduce the acid on the tongue.
Always check with the manufacturer that all the spices are free from cross contact with allergens in the packaging and manufacturing process. This includes the dried dill.
This is the water that the pasta was cooked with. It is to be kept after the pasta has been cooked in it. This will infuse the water with the starch that came off the pasta during the boiling process.
Set aside more than you think you’ll need. It is used to thin the creamy lemon dill sauce and thicken it without extra gluten free flour.
Dairy Free Milk
The milks that work best in this creamy lemon dill pasta sauce are gluten free oat milk or rice milk. Coconut milk will lend too strong a flavour to this sauce so it should be avoided. Other dairy free milk alternatives can be used, if preferred. The milk substitute should be unsweetened and unflavoured.
Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
The small tomatoes are the best in this sauce. Leaving them whole will give the best flavour. Cut tomatoes will increase the acid in the dairy free lemon dill sauce and should be avoided. Some of the tomatoes may burst but it should only be 1-2 as they warm up.
Gluten Free Pasta
Your favourite gluten free pasta can be used in this vegan lemon dill sauce recipe. The only ones we would recommend against using are the lentil based ones. The delicate taste of the sauce will be overwhelmed by the lentil noodle taste, avoid these ones if you can.
Fusilli or penne are the preferred kinds of pasta for this dairy free lemon dill sauce rather than long noodles, like spaghetti or spaghettini.
Instructions/ Directions and Tips
Prepare the pasta as per the box instructions. Reserve 1 cup of water the pasta cooked in for the sauce and set it aside.
In a medium pan over medium high heat melt the dairy free spread.
Sprinkle in the gluten free flour and whisk so lumps do not form. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes. It will change colours slightly and foam a bit but will be thick.
Add in the minced shallots, continue to whisk and cook for 2 minutes.
Reduce the burner temperature to low to medium heat. Pour in the lemon juice 1 tablespoon at a time and whisk while doing so until all the lemon juice is added.
Pour in the pasta water and keep whisking until smooth.
Add in the salt, pepper, and dill. Whisk to combine. Cook for 2 mins.
Pour in the dairy free milk and mix in with the whisk.
Stir in the lemon zest and grape tomatoes. Let cook for another 5 minutes. If the creamy lemon dill sauce thickens too much add 2 Tbsps of the extra water to thin and stir well to combine.
Taste to see if more salt is needed to cut any acidity down.
Add cooked pasta to the pan and mix to evenly coat the pasta.
Serve with a side salad.
Hint: Putting aside extra of the water the pasta was cooked in is the best way to thin the dairy free lemon dill sauce and keep it glossy. The starch in the sauce will help thicken the sauce without adding extra flour.
Low Food Waste Tips
Zest the lemons before juicing them to be able to get the most out of the produce. With the extra lemon zest from the second lemon, freeze it in a small airtight bag in the freezer for up to one month for other recipes.
If fresh dill is being used, the tender part of the stalk can also be finely chopped and added to the dairy free lemon dill sauce.
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Substitutions, Variations, & Adaptations
- Herbs - switch the dill out for thyme, rosemary, or basil for a bit of a twist on the sauce.
- Cheesy flavour- add a pinch of nutritional yeast or a handful of dairy free parmesan like shreds.
- Meaty version - Cooking up a bit of pork or chicken to add in to the pasta is a great way to add a bit of protein to the dish. The dairy free lemon dill sauce can also be served on a grilled chicken brest or pork chop.
- Veggie packed - more vegetables such as broccoli and sweet bell peppers can be added to the vegan lemon dill sauce recipe to make a pasta primavera.
A Saute Pan for making the sauce in. It needs to have deep enough sides that the pasta will fit in the pan without spilling the creamy lemon dill sauce everywhere when it is coated.
A Whisk and a Spatula to make the dairy free lemon dill sauce. If using a non-stick pan make sure to use silicone coated utensils that won't scratch the pan.
A Large Pot and a Strainer to boil the pasta in.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
In an airtight container the pasta will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. If possible, store the sauce separately from the pasta in the fridge for best results.
It is not recommended to freeze this dairy free lemon dill sauce.
It is best to reheat the dairy free lemon dill sauce separately from the pasta. Either way use a bit of water to thin the sauce out as it is reheated. Whisk the water into the lemon dill sauce without dairy in a small to medium pan. Heat the vegan lemon dill sauce over medium heat letting it come up to a simmer. Stir continuously for 5 minutes. Add extra water as needed.
What To Serve With The Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce
A fabulous side dish to serve with this dairy free lemon dill sauce is a garden salad. Gluten free garlic bread is another favourite with this dish. The vegan lemon dill sauce recipe is usually served with fusilli or penne pasta but could be served over a pan fried chicken breast or pork chop.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
Have You Made Our Dairy Free Lemon Dill Sauce? Please Leave a Comment Below.
Rate our Recipe.
We Love To Hear From You!
- Saute Pan
- Large Pot
- ¼ Cup Dairy Free Spread
- 2 Tbsps Gluten Free Flour 1 to 1 blend
- 1 Shallot minced
- 2 Lemons juice of
- 3 Tbsps Dill dried
- ½ teaspoon Salt see notes
- ¼ teaspoon Pepper
- ½ Cup Pasta Water put aside 1 cup in case more is needed to thin the sauce
- ½ Cup Dairy Free Milk rice or gluten free oat work best
- 1 Lemon the zest of
- 20 Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 box Gluten Free Penne or Fusilli
- Prepare the pasta as per the box instructions. Reserve 1 cup of water the pasta cooked in for the sauce and set it aside.
- In a medium pan over medium high heat melt the dairy free spread.
- Sprinkle in the gluten free flour and whisk so lumps do not form. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes. It will change colours slightly and foam a bit but will be thick.
- Add in the minced shallots, continue to whisk and cook for 2 minutes.
- Reduce the burner temperature to low to medium heat. Pour in the lemon juice 1 tablespoon at a time and whisk while doing so until all the lemon juice is added.
- Pour in the pasta water and keep whisking until smooth.
- Add in the salt, pepper, and dill. Whisk to combine. Cook for 2 mins.
- Pour in the dairy free milk and mix in with the whisk.
- Stir in the lemon zest and grape tomatoes. Let cook for another 5 minutes. If it thickens too much add 2 Tbsps of the extra water to thin and stir well to combine.
- Taste to see if more salt is needed to cut any acidity down.
- Add cooked pasta to the pan and mix to evenly coat the pasta.
- Serve with a side salad.
- Contact the manufacturer of products, regarding cross contact and ingredients, to ensure they are safe for you
- Always check ingredients for allergens
- Do not use the same utensils on allergen free food, that previously touched allergens
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove