How To Make Vegan Alfredo Sauce (Easy!)

With just 5 pantry staple ingredients you make a rich and creamy sauce that’s perfect for tossing with your favorite pasta or pouring over steamed vegetables.

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No Dairy, No Kidding

If we said you can turn 5 pantry staples plus a little fresh lemon juice into a naturally gluten-free sauce that you’ll want to pour over everything you might not believe us. That’s why we’re showing you how to make vegan alfredo sauce, so you can taste it to believe it!

If alfredo sauce has been off the table for you, we’re about to change that. Soon you’ll be tossing, twisting, and twirling your way to healthy comfort food bliss without the dairy. You’ll never know there isn’t a lick of butter or cream in this Vegan Alfredo Sauce and neither will your guests.

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What you’ll need to make vegan alfredo sauce

Grab a bowl, the blender and these everyday staple ingredients:

  • Raw cashews – Whole, halves, or pieces will do
  • Boiling water – For soaking the cashews to make a silky smooth sauce
  • Nutritional yeast – Gives your vegan alfredo sauce a tangy cheese-y flavor
  • Garlic – Start with one garlic clove then decide if you want more garlic flavor. If so, add another clove and blend until smooth.
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Unsweetened almond milk Other unsweetened/unflavored non-dairy milks such as oat or cashew will also work
  • A blender – We love a high power blender like Vitamix, Blendtec, or KitchenAid when making creamy sauces but a food processor will also work but may require more blending and scraping.

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How to make vegan alfredo sauce

You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see just how little effort and hands on time it takes to make this insanely rich and silky sauce that’s perfect for tossing with your favorite pasta or tender strands of spaghetti squash.

  1. Place the cashews in a small bowl and cover with 3 cups (24 ounces) boiling water. Cover the bowl with a plate and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain the cashews and transfer them to a high power blender.
  3. Add the nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice, salt and almond milk.
  4. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed, until sauce is very smooth. Taste and adjust salt as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions: Vegan Alfredo Sauce

Can Vegan Alfredo Sauce Recipe be prepped ahead?

Yes! You can prepare the sauce according the recipe directions then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Can I freeze vegan alfredo sauce?

If you can’t enjoy all of the sauce within 5 days leftover sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight freezer-safe container. To thaw, place container in the refrigerator to thaw then gently reheat in a small saucepan over medium heat stirring occasionally to emulsify the sauce.

Can I make vegan alfredo sauce without cashews?

You can substitute macadamia nuts, blanched almonds, pine nuts, or raw sunflower seeds for the cashews with good results if you are allergic to cashews. Keep in mind that it won’t be exactly the same and the color may be darker with sunflower seeds. If you can only find roasted and salted macadamia nuts you may want to reduce the salt slightly before blending then taste and salt as needed.

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Ways to Enjoy Vegan Alfredo Sauce

While this sauce is good enough to eat right off the spoon we recommend using it this way:

  • Tossed with your favorite pasta like linguine or fettuccine 
  • Tossed with oven-baked spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles for a Whole30-compatible and grain-free take on vegan fettuccine alfredo. Try adding a sprinkle of vegan parmesan cheese for extra savory flavor.
    • Want to add some protein? Top with tofu (baked, sautéed, or fried) or if you don’t need the dish to be entirely plant-based, try adding chicken, salmon, or shrimp for a boost of protein.
  • Poured over steamed or roasted broccoli or cauliflower. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper and/or fresh cracked black pepper.
  • As a base for creamy casseroles like this Dairy-Free Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole or your other favorite pasta dishes that use cream sauce

Recipes Using Dairy-Free Alfredo Sauce

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Recipe

How To Make Vegan Alfredo Sauce (Easy!)

Pour this vegan alfredo sauce over your favorite pasta, serve it with steamed veggies, or toss it with strands of spaghetti squash for the ultimate comfort food dish.

Prep: 5 minsTotal: 40 mins

Servings: 1 ¾ cups 1x

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews (whole, halves, or pieces)
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt + more to taste
  • ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk of choice)

Instructions

  1. Place the cashews in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover the bowl with a plate and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain the cashews and transfer them to a high power blender.
  3. Add the nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice, salt and almond milk.
  4. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed, until sauce is very smooth. Taste and adjust salt as needed.

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Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Rachel of Half Acre House.

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