Nutritional Yeast Sauce Pasta

A white bowl of fettuccine style pasta in a creamy yellow sauce

Much like my recipe for Easy Peanut Noodles, this pasta sauce is a versatile standby in my household. Enjoy it on pasta as-is or top it with whatever fresh, crunchy veggies you have on hand. Some great candidates to try are fresh arugula, sauteed sweet peppers, or stirfried broccoli.


If nutritional yeast is new to you, I highly recommend that you add it to your kitchen staples list. It has a deliciously cheesy, nutty flavor and is nutritious, affordable, and convenient. Keep a big jar of it in your cupboard and, in addition to making this sauce, you can sprinkle it on popcorn, baked potatoes, Cabbage & Pasta, and more.


The Big Picture

Making this sauce is a pretty quick process, but it requires a watchful eye and constant whisking. It’s helpful to measure out the ingredients ahead of time and set them aside so you don’t have to leave the stove. Set the flour in one cup and the nutritional yeast in another. You can combine the seasonings (tamari, garlic powder, salt, and turmeric powder) in one cup so they’re ready to add all together when the time comes. When you add the water, you’ll reserve ¼ cup so you have it on hand in case the sauce thickens too much. You may not use it. 

This recipe will yield two cups of sauce which is enough for 1 lb of pasta with a little leftover. If you divide it in half, it will also work well for two 12 oz packages of pasta. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or freeze in an airtight container. 

It’s best to try to avoid bringing nutritional yeast to a boil; when reheating, add a little water, oil, or both.


Ingredients (yields 2 cups of sauce)

1 lb pasta of your choice

 2 ¼ cups water

¼ cup  butter or vegan butter 

¼ cup all-purpose flour 

½ cup nutritional yeast

1 ½ T tamari 

¾ tsp garlic powder.

¼ tsp salt

heavy pinch turmeric powder

pinch of flaky or kosher salt for finishing (optional)



Cook the pasta according to the package. 


Separately, bring 2 ¼ cups of water to a boil and set it aside. 


In a large heavy-bottom saucepan or skillet, melt vegan butter on low heat and bring to a sizzle, whisking constantly.


Turn off the heat momentarily and sprinkle in the flour gradually, whisking constantly (turning off the heat helps to keep the flour from clumping).


Turn the heat back on to med-low, and whisk in 2 cups boiled water (keep ¼ cup in reserve)

Add the seasonings: tamari, garlic powder, salt, and turmeric powder.


Heat on med-low and bring to a gentle simmer for approx 2-3 minutes


Add yeast, whisking constantly. Continue on med-low heat for 1-2 minutes, but don’t allow to boil. 


As soon as the sauce is warmed through, it’s ready to be added to the pasta and stirred to combine. If the sauce seems too thick, add reserved ¼ cup water just before adding to the pasta. 


Season with a bit of flaky or kosher salt to taste. 

What is this vegetable and what do I do with it?!


Sometimes at the farmer’s market or in a CSA box you may come across a vegetable you’ve never seen before. Or perhaps you know the name of a vegetable but you’ve never cooked with it and aren’t sure what to do with it. That’s where our Veggie Gallery comes in handy! CLICK HERE to visit the gallery.

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