This easy Vegan Alfredo Sauce is ready in just 5 minutes! Pour the creamy cashew-based sauce over pasta, vegetables, potatoes, or anything else you like for a comforting and savory treat.
There’s nothing quite as comforting as a big bowl of vegan fettucini alfredo. So creamy and garlicky, every bite is just so delicious. The only issue is how you may feel after you’re done eating!
Luckily, this light and easy Vegan Pasta Alfredo will leave you feeling full, satisfied, and happy instead of heavy or tired. The homemade sauce blends up in seconds and is made from a cashew cream base and a handful of simple (and flexible) flavor enhancers. There’s no boiling, cooking, stirring, or sauteeing required for this sauce!
Just like my Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce, the bursts of savory flavors in this recipe pair perfectly with your favorite pasta noodles and even zoodles. Just pour, mix, and enjoy! Serve the vegan pasta alfredo with fresh bread, green salad, and roasted squash on the side for a complete, healthy, and crowd-pleasing meal.
Is this sauce healthy?
Traditional alfredo sauce is made with loads of dairy and garlic to give it a rich and creamy taste. I wanted to create a vegan version that’s just as delicious but with much lighter, healthier ingredients.
A batch of my vegan alfredo sauce has about 225 calories and is made with a handful of simple plant-based ingredients, like cashews, miso paste, and lemon juice. It also happens to be naturally oil-free, egg-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free. Compared to the classic recipe which can have anywhere from 430-530 calories, I’d say this vegan alternative is much healthier!
Does it really taste like traditional alfredo sauce?
It totally does! When I make this for family and friends, they’re always telling me how much they love it and how it tastes just like alfredo sauce with dairy.
Vegan alfredo sauce ingredients
- Raw cashews – Blended cashews turn into a creamy sauce in a pinch! Macadamia nuts are a great substitution if you don’t have cashews, or you can use sunflower seeds or hemp seeds as a nut free alternative (the taste will be slightly different).
- Lemon juice – The acidity from fresh lemon juice brings balance and brightness to the sauce.
- White miso paste – For a light umami flavor. If you can’t find miso, you can use gluten free tamari, coconut aminos, or soy sauce.
- Seasonings – A mix of nutritional yeast, onion powder, and garlic powder make this sauce taste savory and cheesy.
How to make vegan cashew alfredo sauce
This alfredo sauce couldn’t be easier to make. In just 3 simple steps and using only a blender, you’ll end up with creamy pasta sauce in minutes! Here’s how it’s done:
Step 1: Blend the sauce: Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
Step 2: Adjust: The sauce may be too thick at this point, so feel free to add a tablespoon of water at a time until it’s thin enough for your liking.
Step 3: Pour and enjoy: Pour the finished vegan alfredo over cooked pasta (like fettuccini), on top of vegetables, or anything else you like!
Creamy cashew sauce has a special ability to transform everyday dishes into delectable and comforting meals. These are my favorite ways to serve the vegan alfredo sauce:
- With pasta – Pour the sauce over your favorite cooked noodles, gluten free noodles, spaghetti squash, or zoodles.
- In casseroles – Like lasagna, pasta bakes, vegetable and rice bakes, or vegan scalloped potatoes.
- With grains – Spoon in some of this sauce into quinoa cooked brown rice to make a creamy dish (like a risotto)
- Over veggies – Roast your favorite veggies and pour the sauce over top, stir them into mashed potatoes, or use it to make vegan au gratin potatoes.
Tips for customizing
Serving vegan fettucini alfredo for dinner? Customize each bowl with fun add-ins or toppings! Use these tips to make the best bowl of vegan alfredo:
- Veggie add ins – Like roasted mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, asparagrus, broccoli, peas, garlic, or leafy greens.
- Vegan protein add ins – Stir grilled tofu steaks, marinated tofu, tempeh crumbles, tofu crumbles, soy curls, or vegan chicken into the fettucini alfredo.
- Toppings – Top each bowl with vegan parmesan, lemon zest, fresh basil or parsley, a dollop of vegan pesto, hemp hearts, red chili flakes, nutritional yeast, or pine nuts.
Frequently asked questions
Leftover dairy-free alfredo sauce stays fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days
Heat up the leftovers for 1 or 2 minutes in the microwave (stirring every 30 seconds) or in a pot over medium heat on the stove. You may need to stir in a little extra water to thin it out.
Yes! You can pour the blended sauce into an airtight container and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
If you can’t eat cashews, feel free to substitute the same amount of macadamia nuts. The sauce will still be nice and creamy.
If you’re nut-free, you can try subbing soaked sunflower seeds or raw hemp seeds, though the sauce will have a different flavor.
More creamy vegan pasta sauces to try
- Vodka Sauce – A classic Italian sauce that’s deliciously bold and ready in 20 minutes!
- Pumpkin Pasta Sauce – Rich and creamy fall-flavored pasta sauce.
- Red Pepper Sauce – A sweet, spicy, and savory change-up from classic tomato sauce.
- Cashew Cheese Sauce – Because it isn’t mac and cheese without ultra-creamy vegan cheese sauce!
Vegan Cashew Alfredo Sauce (gluten-free)
- High-Speed blender
- Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender (starting with ¼ cup of water) and blend until smooth. If your sauce is too thick, add more water a tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you’re looking for.
- Pour over cooked pasta (like fettuccini), potatoes, other veggies, or anything you want creamy.
Please Note: The nutritional information is a computer generated estimate so these numbers should be used only as a guide.
Mary Ellen Valverde MS, CNS, LDN is a Licensed Nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist who empowers vegans to feel confident in creating sustainable habits that align with their values and health goals. She shares easy gluten-free plant-powered food to nourish your body + satisfy your tastebuds. Mary Ellen’s recipes and nutrition info have been featured on Yahoo News, Parade, VegNews, LIVESTRONG, Dr. Axe, Greatist, LIVEKINDLY, Brit+Co, Well+Good, and more.