Vegan Alfredo Sauce

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This vegan alfredo sauce is incredibly rich and creamy. It’s a cashew-based, dairy-free alfredo sauce with a deliciously savory, cheesy-like flavor. Whether you’re vegan or not, you’re gonna love it!

Vegan alfredo sauce in a glass jar next to a spoon.

The Best Vegan Alfredo Sauce Recipe

I’m so excited about this alfredo sauce recipe that I don’t even know where to start. It’s a vegan alfredo sauce. A dairy-free alfredo sauce. And a deliciously rich and creamy alfredo sauce that you’ll love even if you’re not vegan or dairy-free. Are you with me?

I’m not vegan or dairy-free (I’m what you’d consider dairy-light) but I love to create recipe options for those of you who are. Because as a gluten-free gal I know a thing or two about food restrictions and how exciting it can be to enjoy a classic recipe. Even if it is slightly modified.

If you’ve been following this blog for a while you’re familiar with my affinity for cashews and their amazing ability to morph into creamy, dreamy, dairy-like recipes. My homemade Cashew Milk, Vegan Caramel Cheesecake, Vegan Tzatziki and Cashew Date Shake are just a few examples.

Well, let me introduce you a new creamy, dreamy, cheesy recipe (though it has no cheese) – my Vegan Alfredo Sauce.

Vegan Alfredo Sauce Recipe Video

This sauce is extremely easy to make in a high-powered blender. Watch how I make it in the quick video below!

How to Make This Vegan Alfredo Sauce

There’s just three simple steps to make this recipe:

  1. Soak the cashews overnight. They form the base of this alfredo sauce.
  2. Add the drained cashews into a high-powered blender along with garlic, lemon juice, onion, nutritional yeast and some herbs.
  3. Blend everything together on high until creamy and voila – a super simple and amazingly delicious vegan alfredo sauce.
Vegan alfredo sauce ingredients in a blender.
Making vegan alfredo sauce.

Nutritional Yeast is the Secret Ingredient

The ingredient that gives this alfredo sauce that wonderfully cheesy flavor (without any cheese) is nutritional yeast.

If you’ve never cooked with nutritional yeast before, it’s small little flakes (about the size of large sea salt flakes) of deactivated yeast which provides a nutty, cheese-like flavor. Nutritional yeast is also a significant source of B Vitamins.

How to Use This Sauce

So what do you do with this sauce? I’d start with topping it on every spiralized veggie imaginable. In fact, to get you started I’ve whipped up a Parsnip Noodle Chicken Alfredo and Whole30 Chicken Broccoli Casserole which both use this sauce. If you’re vegan, just replace the chicken with snap peas, mushrooms or another vegetable. You can also top this alfredo sauce on roasted vegetables or potatoes. So good.

How to Store It

You can store this sauce in the fridge up to 5 days. You can also freeze it for up to two months. I recommend freezing it in a silicone ice cube tray, so you can easily thaw individual portions.

I should mention that this sauce does thicken up as it’s stored in the fridge and sometimes while you’re cooking with it. If that happens and you want a thinner sauce, just add more water.

Vegan alfredo sauce in a glass jar with spoon, and blender in the background.

More Vegan Sauces and Dips

Give these other vegan favorites a try!

Vegan alfredo sauce in a glass jar with a spoon.

Best Vegan Alfredo Sauce

4.96 from 187 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

This vegan alfredo sauce is a cashew-based, dairy-free alfredo sauce with a deliciously savory, cheesy-like flavor. Add it to spiralized vegetable noodles, potatoes and many other dishes.

Video

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Instructions 

  • After the cashews have soaked overnight (or at least 6 hours), drain and rinse them.
  • Add the cashews and all other ingredients to a high-powered blend and blend until smooth.
  • Use immediately in a recipe or store in a sealed container in the fridge.

Lisa’s Tips

  • The recipe makes approximately 1 cup of sauce. 

Nutrition

Calories: 223.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 16.5g | Protein: 10.5g | Fat: 14.5g | Saturated Fat: 2.5g | Sodium: 597.3mg | Fiber: 3.6g | Sugar: 3.3g
Course: sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cashew Alfredo, Dairy free Alfredo Sauce, Vegan Alfredo Recipe, Vegan Alfredo Sauce
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally posted July 2017, but recently updated. 

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




501 Comments

  1. As an avid fettuccine Alfredo lover, and someone who just switched to a plant based diet, I really appreciate how delicious this recipe is. I made it with some high fiber pasta and it came out soooo good! I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes :)5 stars

  2. This is a fantastic WFPB alfredo recipe. I cut the salt by about 20% for my tastes. Also, if you have a high speed blender you can skip the soaking step, but you will need about double the water. My family loves it. I have to make more than I think we need because it gets scarfed up so quickly.5 stars

  3. This looks amazing, do you know if the calories are for the entire cup or what would be considered a serving?

  4. This sauce is amazing. I am so glad you have created this recipe. You wouldn’t even know there’s no dairy in it. I have used this sauce and added some vegan cheese sauce to it and made a delicious mac and cheese with it. Thank you Lisa. I also love your cookbook!5 stars

    1. Wonderful! So happy you loved the recipe, Nicky! And loved how you tweaked if for mac and cheese as well. :)

  5. This is my go-to Alfredo sauce for our family. I have many food allergies and sensitivities so I’m always going to your website for ideas on what to make for dinner. This Alfredo sauce is both easy to make and delicious—there’s never any leftover, sadly. I have sometimes substituted sunflower seeds in place of the cashews when my oldest daughter comes home from college since she has a nut allergy.5 stars

      1. This is SO amazingly good & very simple to make! I added it to Zoodles, with Rotisserie Chicken & steamed broccoli. Felt so indulgent but it’s so good for you! Probably the only thing I’d change is I’ll cut back to 1 clove garlic next time. (Just personal preference.)5 stars

    1. Heather, do you soakthe sunflower seeds beforehand?
      I also can’t eat cashews and would love to try this sauce.
      Thks!

  6. I love this recipe! If by chance you don ‘t have anyone to pass on your aged Vitamix to, please consider sending one to me. Thanks so much. Best wishes.5 stars

    1. I haven’t tried this yet but it is on my to do list very soon. For clarification the soaked cashews and water are added together or is nut milk made/strained and then added to the sauce? If it’s blended together without making the milk first, is it grainy due to the nut pulp being left in it?

  7. This sauce is AMAZING!
    My husband and I have been following a WFPB diet for a few months now and have been collecting recipes to ‘TEST’ so we could rebuild a collection of ‘go to’ meals. This recipe fits the bill. WOW, it is so delicious, and we can eat it without feeling uncomfortable from all the dairy. We appreciate your talent and valuable skills.
    Thank you, for sharing.5 stars

  8. Very good, quick and easy. I cut the salt in half and it was plenty for me. If you need to sub the onion, 1/2 tablespoon of onion powder works!

    Thanks for this easy, tasty, plant-based cheese recipe😊5 stars

  9. This was delicious!!! Made a double batch over some cheese tortellini and it was sooooo good. Off to check more of your recipes out! :-)5 stars

  10. I didn’t have a white onion so I used some of a purple onion and a little bit of the white part of chive to get to a half cup and ohhhh my gosh, what a happy accident because it was DELICIOUS!!!! I am not vegan but I can’t have cheese for health reasons so this dish hits all of the Alfredo needs… I actually like it more than the cheese version :D.. thank you!!!!! This is a keeper5 stars

  11. My cousin was raving about this recipe. I made it and it was delicious. The best I ever made! Thank you!5 stars

  12. So happy I found this website! This was delicious. Quick and simple. Very flavorful. Can’t wait to try more recipes. 5 stars

  13. Was skeptical, but I needed a vegan Alfredo sauce (doing my usual spring WFPB) for some really lovely asparagus I bought earlier in the week. I figured, what the heck, it’s a sauce recipe, even if it doesn’t end up tasting like Alfredo.

    Yep…tastes like Alfredo! Thanks muchly!5 stars

  14. Simply THE BEST!!! This is literally the best vegan sauce on the planet. I’m not even exaggerating. Soo freaking easy and delicious! I used hot water which helped to “cook” the onion and garlic some and helps their flavors marinate with the rest of the ingredients.

    try this recipe stat!5 stars

  15. This was tasty and my non-vegan spouse liked it as well. I found that the raw garlic and onion were too much for me after the fact. Any thoughts on using roasted onions and garlic instead?3 stars

  16. simple question…why should I soak the cashews? They always blend up nice and creamy if I don’t. Is there another health benefit I’m missing?5 stars

    1. They’re just extra creamy if you soak them. If you blend straight away, they can often have little flecks of cashews still in the sauce.

  17. Is there a nut that works in this recipe as a substitute for the cashews? Macadamia nuts? Brazil nuts?  On a very low carb diet, & cashews are high carb nuts. 

  18. This is my go to Alfredo. I’ve made it so many times it’s SO good. I haven’t found one that comes close! Sometimes I don’t have rosemary so I use thyme and oregano and it turns out just as good. Definitely a family favorite. 5 stars

  19. My kids have a garlic allergy. Will the sauce still be good if I omit garlic or should I substitute something? Thanks!

  20. I made this to go along with your chicken and broccoli recipe – WHAT A HIT!!! I can see this recipe being used for so many things in my kitchen’s future!5 stars

  21. Stumbling onto this site has leveled up my meal planning/preparing. This one takes a bit to ready and bring together but so worth it. Absolutely delicious! 5 stars

  22. I love making this sauce, I’ve made it many many times, it’s not only super easy but super tasty! I love freezing it in ice cube trays with lids as I live alone it just makes it so easy to come home after a busy day & pop a couple out to top some zucchini & carrot x
    Thankyou Lisa 5 stars

  23. This is the absolute best sauce. My husband who has no food restrictions loved this, and so do I!!! We both will be eating this again, and soon! Already have some in the freezer. Thank you!  5 stars

  24. I have no words ….this is SOOOOO GOOOOD!!!! Even my picky husband (who has zero food intolerances) LOVED it!! This recipe has brought back the ability to eat my favorite pasta dish and I could not be more grateful. This recipe however, is NOT just a decent substitute….I dare say it might even be better somehow than a traditional alfredo sauce! Sadly, far to many “alternative” recipes are ones we just have to learn to like and know that it does not compare to the original in any way. NOT this recipe – this one does not suffer in any way and provides an absolute delight in both taste and texture! I will probably make this at least once a week in the winter for sure! Thank you again for your delicious recipes that do not make me feel like I am sacrificing taste or texture in any way sans the ingredients that I should not be eating for my autoimmune disease!5 stars

  25. Outstanding! I’m not a huge fan of nutritional yeast so I cut that in half for this recipe. I used powdered garlic and onion for convenience and cut back on the salt to about half teaspoon. Increased the lemon to two tablespoons. Left out the Rosemary and the pepper. It makes the perfect alfredo sauce. I’m so happy because I cannot tolerate dairy but love a creamy savory pasta sauce. Thank you!5 stars

  26. This was so delicious and so easy to make! We tried it in the WHOLE30 CHICKEN BROCCOLI CASSEROLE recipe, but will definitely be making it again in a fettuccine this week. YUM!5 stars

  27. fantastic sauce! 1/2 tsp salt was plenty for me, but the balance of the rest of the ingredients was pretty darn perfect….and I’m Italian5 stars

  28. Hi! So made this last night and mine turned out gritty! I think maybe my cashews were too old? I was using a high power blender. The flavor was amazing and I still ate it haha but I wanted to get your thoughts. Still rated it 5 stars because I’ve yet to have a bad recipe from you. Thanks!5 stars

    1. Hi Ciera – grittiness usually means that the cashews haven’t been soaked enough or the blender isn’t quite powerful enough. But I’m glad you still loved it! :)

  29. Hi! Loveeee love the recipe. It’s incredibly rich and full of flavor. Not heavy either. Best part! I was wondering, how long does this keep in the fridge? What about in the freezer? Please let me know. Thank you! ^_^

  30. This was SO good and easy. Made the recipe as described. I used it for Lisa’s Chicken Broccoli Alfredo bake, which was very popular with my household. Thank you for putting together truly delicious, healthy recipes, Lisa!5 stars

    1. Do you have any ideas on a substitute for nutritional yeast? I can’t have yeast of any kind but I’d love to try this recipe…

      1. Hi, I’m trying your recipe to me but it’s not clear to me if I’m supposed to add 3/4 water I’m the blender as an ingredient or to soak?

  31. This recipe is SO good!!! My favorite vegan alfredo recipe! It is on my weekly meal prep schedule. I pretty much pour this on everything because it is so delicious!! Also, it is so good on Lisa’s broccoli chicken casserole! Yum. Thank you!!5 stars

  32. We are not dairy intolerant. What would be the measurement if we used parmesan cheese in this recipe? Thanks – We love your site. My son searches your recipes all the time :)

    1. Thanks Becky! Unfortunately, I haven’t tried this recipe with parmesan, so I’m not sure what the conversion would be.

    2. Hi Becky – I have made this recipe and used Parmesan in place of the nutritional yeast equal parts – you may want to omit the salt depending on the saltiness of your cheese. 

    1. You can store this sauce in the fridge up to 5 days. You can also freeze it for up to two months.

  33. I am Italian, I did not believe your comment that adding nutritional yeast would make the Alfredo taste like cheese… Why did you prove me wrong.

    Wow oh I am shocked. It is delicious and cannot wait to use this in more recipes.5 stars

  34. I’m not even a vegan and I’m OBSESSED with this. So much easier on your tummy than all the dairy. And really good with chicken on top!5 stars

  35. I added shredded Brussel sprouts and riced cauliflower to the veggies- my 10 yo son gobbles it up!   Thanks for this recipe!5 stars

  36. Wow!!! It blows my mind that a yummy sauce like this can be made from cashews!!! I was so skeptical making it and throwing all the ingredients into a blender, but it was delicious and turned out beautifully. My daughter is newly on a gluten and dairy free diet, so I’m grateful for a recipe like this. 5 stars