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  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 6 cups

This quick and easy vegan pasta dish delivers lots of flavor with minimal effort. Lemon juice and zest give the sauce a tangy lift. This recipe can also be made with dark green leek tops for more color and texture; just be sure to slice them very thin.

Vegan penne pasta tossed with artichokes and leeks on a white plate with black rim, sitting on a table in bright sunlight


  • 1 lemon
  • 8 oz. dry whole grain penne pasta
  • 2 cups thinly sliced leeks
  • 1 12-oz. bag frozen artichoke hearts, large pieces halved
  • 1 15-oz. can green lentils, rinsed and drained (1½ cups)
  • 2 Tbsp. tahini
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup chopped scallions (green onions)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boiling. Remove 4 strips peel from lemon. Add penne, leeks, and lemon peel; cook according to pasta package directions. Add artichoke hearts the last 5 minutes of cooking. Add lentils the last 1 minute of cooking.
  2. Squeeze 2 Tbsp. lemon juice into a small bowl. Whisk tahini, garlic, and cracked pepper into bowl with lemon juice. Drain pasta mixture, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Remove and discard lemon peel.
  3. Return pasta to the pot and stir in sauce, scallions, and parsley. Add ½ to 1 cup of the pasta cooking water to the mixture to help coat the pasta with sauce. Reheat gently if necessary. Season with salt and ground pepper.

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Blaine Stephens1 day ago
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Tastes amazing! Do you have a recommendation on how to warm it back up for leftovers?

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about the author

Mary Margaret Chappell

When Mary Margaret Chappell first started out in the plant-based food world as a writer, editor, and recipe developer, she was a bacon-loving former pastry chef who didn’t think she could ever cook without butter. Fourteen years, four cookbooks, dozens of cooking classes, and hundreds of recipes later, her favorite thing in the world is sharing the tips, techniques, and recipes that show just how easy and delicious whole-food, plant-based cooking can be. The former food editor of Vegetarian Times magazine has done away with her dependency on butter and is honing her skills at baking with natural sweeteners. 

Mary Margaret lives in France, where plant-based eating can often be a challenge, but the fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes available are simply amazing.

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