Creamy Corn & Lemon Pasta with Thyme

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 5 votes

This creamy corn pasta recipe also features lemon and thyme. It’s an easy plant-based dinner and vegan pasta recipe with fresh, bold flavours that’ll blow your mind! Serve with chili flakes and a slice of fresh lemon, and dig in!

An overhead shot of a creamy, pale yellow pasta in a wide braiser pot over a weathered wood background. There is a pale yellow napkin nearby as well.
An overhead shot of creamy pasta in a matte, dark green bowl.
Thyme and rosemary plants are seen growing out of the edges of a pot.
An overhead shot of ingredients for a corn pasta over a weathered wood background.


Seven ingredients and some seasonal abundance will give you this warm and cozy corn and lemon pasta with thyme. It couldn’t be easier to make and the flavour will blow your mind. Think: the creamiest, super buttery, lightly sweet, and concentrated vegan corn chowder vibes PLUS pasta. It will knock you out seriously. It’s a champ among summery plant-based dinner recipes!

My original recipe concept for this was actually a corn chowder ravioli! I thought I would stuff fresh sheets of pasta with a heavily thickened and lightly pureed vegan corn chowder. I knew that I could get all the deliciousness out of that idea with an easy vegan pasta recipe that’s ready in 40 minutes!

Can you make this with fresh or frozen corn? Honestly both will work, but fresh, in season summer corn really is ideal for this warm pasta. We use lots of lemon and thyme in the sauce because they pair so perfectly with that fresh corn. If you’re out of the peak season, maybe some vegan pesto pasta instead?

I recommend serving this with some vegan “parmesan,” extra freshly ground black pepper, and chili flakes. This is a simple, pared down pasta that requires very little interference if you’re using peak summer corn. I try to not be exclusive about ingredients, but this is a recipe where the freshest, most in-season option pays off.

We use the starchy pasta water and the corn itself to create a super thick sauce. You could certainly add some chopped hearty greens (kale, chard) to the creamy corn and lemon pasta to fill it out. We enjoyed ours straight up, piping hot from the pan :).

An overhead shot of prepped ingredients in bowls over a worn wooden background.
A vegan “cream” is added to a braiser-style pot that has cooked corn inside.
An overhead shot of a creamy corn and lemon pasta in a wide braiser-style pot. There is a wooden spoon sticking out of the pot as well.
Image shows a 3/4 angle shot of a bowl of pasta on top of a worn wood background. The corn and lemon pasta is creamy and pale yellow, and garnished with a slice of lemon and bright red ground chili flecks.

Creamy Corn and Lemon Pasta with Thyme

This creamy corn pasta recipe also features lemon and thyme. It’s an easy plant-based dinner and vegan pasta recipe with fresh, bold flavours that’ll blow yourmind! Serve with chili flakes and a slice of fresh lemon, and dig in!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 8oz (226 grams) shaped pasta of choice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium shallots, small dice (about 1/2 cup diced shallot)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 4 cobs fresh corn, kernels removed (about 4 cups corn kernels total)
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup unsweetened non-dairy creamer of choice
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • For serving: vegan “parmesan,” extra black pepper, and chili flakes

Equipment

Notes

  • There are so few ingredients in this pasta, so the quality of each will really stand out. Fresh, summer corn really is best here.
  • I’ve been using the nutpods unsweetened oat creamer for savoury dishes lately and it’s really great! You could also quickly blend ¼ cup of raw cashews with ½ cup of water for some “cream” here.
  • I really recommend serving this pasta with some vegan “parmesan” (quick recipe here) and chili flakes.
  • Don’t forget to save at least one cup of pasta cooking water!

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the salted, starchy pasta water before draining.
  • Place a large skillet over medium heat. Pour in the olive oil and swirl it around. Add the shallots and stir. Keep sautéing and stirring the shallots until they are very soft, about 4 minutes. Add the thyme and cook for an additional minute, being careful to not allow the shallots to brown on the edges.
  • Add the corn kernels to the skillet and stir. Season the corn liberally with salt and pepper. Keep sautéing and stirring until the corn is tender and bright yellow, about 8 minutes.
  • Transfer half of the sautéed corn mixture to an upright blender. Pour in ½ cup of pasta cooking water, non-dairy creamer, nutritional yeast, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Blend this mixture on high until completely smooth and creamy.
  • Pour the pureed creamy corn mixture back into the skillet with the remaining corn. Add the drained pasta to the skillet as well, along with some more salt and pepper. Stir to evenly coat the pasta. Bring the pasta up to a strong simmer, adding more of the pasta cooking water if it seems to be drying out a bit. Taste the pasta to check for seasoning and add more salt, pepper, or lemon juice to your liking.
  • Serve the pasta hot with vegan “parmesan,” ground black pepper, and chili flakes. 
Image shows an overhead shot of a bowl of pasta on top of a worn wood background. The pasta is creamy and pale yellow, and garnished with a slice of lemon and bright red ground chili flecks.
29/07/2020 (Last Updated 16/08/2023)
Posted in: autumn, creamy, gluten free option, main course, nut free, pasta, quick, refined sugar-free, salty, side dish, summer, sweet, vegan

19 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Claudia

    5 stars
    Thrilled to have found this pasta recipe!!! Fresh summer flavors in a bowl of pasta. A handful of spinach or kale when warming this up is a great addition for a pop of green. Love every one of your recipes, Laura.

  • megh

    5 stars
    we love this recipe! we always add roasted zucchini or arugula (or both) to bulk it up… and occasionally parm-reg because we’re not vegan but this is SO satisfying, especially with a little yellow miso in the sauce. today we actually morphed it into a risotto for GF guest and it was still absolutely stellar. thank you so much for this!

    • Laura Wright

      Your risotto remix sounds incredible! Thank you for sharing this idea with us! :)
      -L

  • Anej

    5 stars
    Hey! Tried tonight and it’s a very good pasta recipe! Thank you for the idea!

  • K

    5 stars
    Delicious! I made it with canned corn (about 2 cans worth is the 4 cups for anyone in my situation) since my normal grocery didn’t have fresh ears in stock so I can only imagine how delicious it is with fresh. I topped it with a little bit of red pepper flakes and some dried basil just for a little extra flavor. Might add fresh basil at the end if (when) I make it again! Thanks for another great recipe, Laura!

  • Rachel Cowgill Cowgill

    Looks amazing — what do you think about trying gnocchi in this dish?

  • Kimmy Quillin

    Another hit for our household. I added roasted mushrooms and zucchini at the end. Never a miss with your recipes!

  • Leah

    This was super yummy and a big hit with our family. I used cashew cream and put in some spinach. Thanks so much for this recipe Laura!

  • Vegan4life

    O. M. G. Sweet. Salty. Spicy. Creamy. Carb-y. This was a winner! If I closed my eyes my kids sort of faded away and this dish could have been in a fancy restaurant. Just kidding but truly this was surprisingly extra delicious! I decided to make it because it was something I wouldn’t have thought up on my own and I’m glad I did because it’ll be repeated before summer’s corn bounty is over. Bonus that it’s easy enough for a week night. I used canned coconut cream- yum! Thanks again!

  • Sarah

    This was totally delicious! Made it for 4 other people, so doubled the recipe and added in extra thyme. Thank you for sharing!

  • Shannon Bell

    Hello! Having issues finding fresh thyme for some reason (been to three markets and nada!)… any tips on either substitutes or how to incorporate dried thyme?

    • Laura

      Hi Shannon!
      Just use half the amount of dried thyme!
      -L

  • Kim H

    Delicious! I made the recipe as is. Perfect use of fresh corn. Thank you!

  • Kristin

    My household loved this, thank you! I was really surprised at the depth of flavor with such simple ingredients. I’m sensitive to allium and subbed dried for fresh shallot successfully.

  • Jessica

    Thank you so much for this recipe, it was delicious! Five stars! I couldn’t find shallots so I used yellow onion and it turned out great.

  • Emmanuelle St-Jean

    This looks absolutely delicious!

    Quick question, yeast of any kind create an inflamatory reaction in my system. Can I skip it or do you have any replacement to suggest?

    • Laura

      Hi Emmanuelle!
      The nutritional yeast just provides a very savoury, almost cheesy flavour. You could substitute it with 2 teaspoons of a light miso and still get that deep savouriness. Or even a splash of soy sauce/coconut aminos would be great in its place.
      -L

  • Megan

    I just made this tonight and it was delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Derrick Dark

    I’m over the moon excited to try this recipe! As an American living in Ireland, corn isn’t utilized enough… I’m still showing everyone the wonders of cornbread. So this will be a lovely addition to the dinners!