The Newcastle manager was full of praise for the French midfielder, who bagged two goals in the 3-1 win at Upton Park to end the Magpies' run of three straight league defeats.
Cabaye opened the scoring, slotting home after a delightful shimmy past Razvan Rat, before wrapping up the points with a free kick in the final minute of the game.
While Mike Williamson's own goal on the stroke of halftime made it 2-1 and led to a tense second half, Pardew was delighted with Cabaye's impact and said his side's first-half effort was vital in securing the win.
"[Cabaye] has an almost free role in the team in the number 10 [position]," the former West Ham manager told reporters. "I thought he was a class act all day really, he's added goals to his game.
"He has been a big player for us. He helped us get a nice rhythm in midfield, which worked well for us really."
Pardew added the only sour note of the afternoon was Williamson's own goal on the stroke of halftime but said he remained pleased with the showing after the break.
"The one regret was the final minute of the first half," he added. "To concede at that moment was really really bad. I really focused at halftime to get the team into a place where we could go and play like we did in the first half.
"It was difficult for us, we had to show the other side and dig in and win headers and win challenges. Really and truly, the first half was the platform for the victory."
The victory ended Newcastle's four-game losing streak in all competitions and ensured West Ham slipped back into the relegation zone.
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce cited defensive errors as the reason his side failed to register back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this season.
"It's very disappointing, having got three points away from home [at Cardiff], that we haven't got anything here," he told reporters. "From our point of view it was more about defensive lapses rather than the quality of Newcastle's play, even though they are two good finishes.
"We could have done better. The fighting spirit and the fightback was there but I was thinking, 'come on lads, do a Sunderland for me', because they fought back from two goals down (against Southampton earlier on Saturday) But chances were there and we missed them."