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Vegan Alfredo Sauce

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.

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.

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, Cashew Cream, Vegan Caramel Cheesecake, Cashew Date Shake and Macadamia Cashew Butter 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.

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.

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.

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.

How to Make this Vegan Alfredo Sauce

Cashews that have been soaked overnight form the base of this alfredo sauce. Just toss those in a high powered blender along with garlic, lemon juice, onion and some herbs. But the secret ingredient, the one that gives this alfredo sauce that wonderful cheesy flavor 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.

Blend everything together and voila – a super simple and amazingly delicious vegan alfredo sauce. 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.

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. If you’re vegan, just replace the chicken with snap peas or another vegetable. You can also top this alfredo sauce on roasted vegetables or potatoes. So good.


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.

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Vegan Alfredo Sauce

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.


  • 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


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

Lisa's Tips

This vegan alfredo sauce will last for up to 5 days in the fridge. You can also freeze it for up to 6 months.

If you’d like a thinner sauce, just add more water.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 1 cup, Serving Size: 1/4 cup

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 223.5
  • Total Fat: 14.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.5g
  • Sodium: 597.3mg
  • Carbohydrates: 16.5g
  • Fiber: 3.6g
  • Sugar: 3.3g
  • Protein: 10.5g
All images and text ©Lisa Bryan for Downshiftology

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158 comments on “Vegan Alfredo Sauce”

  1. When making this, is it possible to use a vegetable broth rather than the water? Have you tried that?

  2. I made this minus the nutritional yeast and lemon juice (because I didn’t have any) and it tasted amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  3. How much water should the cashew to soak in?

  4. What is the amount of water for soaking cashews?

  5. Omg so yummy!!

  6. This is SOOOOO delicious!! My dairy eating husband and my two toddlers asked for seconds! Hands down this is THE BEST VEGAN ALFREDO that I’ve made. I tossed it with some penne, sautéed mushrooms and steamed broccoli, and it could rival most Italian restaurant recipes!! Thank you so much!!

  7. Is the 3/4 cup water to soak the cashews in or is that added to the sauce in the blender? Thank you!

  8. Best alfredo sauce ever!! I love this recipe!

  9. Tips for reheating? Microwave vs in a sauce pan?

  10. Are there any other nuts you could use instead of cashews? This sounds amazing but husband and I are both allergic to cashews. 

  11. THIS IS HEAVEN. I am strictly dairy-free and have been searching for a creamy pasta sauce for so long. This is the answer. I made it with fresh rosemary and it is absolutely delicious, I could eat it with a spoon. I actually am eating it with a spoon…right out of the blender. Hopefully there’s enough left for dinner…

  12. Would using almond milk instead of the water make the alfredo taste creamier or better?

  13. Can I use almond milk instead of water?

  14. If I use almond milk instead of water will it affect the flavor of the dish? And is it necessary? Because other recipes use almond milk and I was wondering if it made it creamier or if water is fine too.

  15. Made this sauce too today, WOW, just the tastiest. I’ve had a full downshiftology cooking day today and have been thrilled with all the results. Your recipes, photos and videos just make it so clear Lisa. Thanks again. I cant get over how much you do and its all free. I would be happy to pay for a cookbook of yours. You are a star.

  16. Made this for the first time tonight, and wow!! Sooo good and simple to make. My kids loved it too, which is a big plus. No one even new it was vegan! Thank you for the recipe!

  17. Searched “best vegan alfedo” and this one came up. Was drawn to the picture, so, tried it. It really is the best! Had it on zoodles for dinner and breakfast fried sweet potatoes.
    Spaghetti and butternut squash in the oven. Then plans for cauliflower & cheese sauce. YUM!

    THANK YOU for sharing…followed some links. Love your photos too :)

  18. I make this at least once a week. It’s better than dairy-based alfredo sauce. It’s amazing!

    Rating: 5
  19. it’s good!

    Rating: 5
  20. For the cashews, do you use unsalted or salted? Or does it mater since they are soaked overnight?

  21. This was amazing!!! We loved it!! I can’t wait to serve it to my friends!

  22. Is there anything I could use I place of nutritional yeast that would make it taste maybe in the ball park of the original recipe? I can’t eat nutritional yeast unfortunately but have been needing an Alfredo sauce. 

    Rating: 5
    • Unfortunately, nothing else comes to mind that’s dairy-free. Sorry Emily!

    • I like to use miso in my vegan cream sauces as it lends a nice umami, cheesy flavor

    • I can second the miso suggestion. Get the white mellow kind and just taste it, it has a distinct cheesy flavor of its own. It is also very salty, so what I would suggest is replacing the salt in this recipe with it. 1/2 tsp of salt is about 1000mg of sodium, the mellow miso paste I can get locally has 350mg of sodium per tsp, so around 3 tsp of it would give the same amount of sodium. I make the best ranch dressing you could ever imagine using it and the combination of cashews, miso, lemon juice and white vinegar makes a super convincing buttermilk replacement. Happy cooking :)

  23. Ok so I’m very new to this whole30 and Paleo diet, so this may seem like an obvious question. I’m just trying not to mess it up. Do you just use plain water to soak the cashews or do you use something like an almond milk? Like question but seems important to not completely mess up the whole thing. Thanks for your time and look forward to hearing back soon.

  24. So delicious, whats the best way to reheat the sauce?

    Rating: 5
  25. Is there a Nobel prize for recipes? I nominate you! Outstanding!!

    Rating: 5
  26. Soooo I began making one bath of this recipe as above but after I blended it and tasted it, I had to quadruple it! lol So amazingly delicious! Everyone in my family and my guests loved it! This is definitely a make-again recipe! Thank you!

  27. I made the Parsnip Noodle Chicken Alfredo recipe on a day I had four, very picky, unadventurous eaters in my house–a husband, one of my daughters, and two of her children. (Hence their distinction as her children, not as grandchildren, because they come by the pickiness honestly via her kitchen menu.) My mouth waters when I see vegetables. So this was a given for me. But, I had each of them test a sample before filling their bowls. They LOVED it!! And, came back and filled up! There were no leftovers. My only variation was to cut back on the garlic, because it adds heat with a bite. I absolutely LOVED what the nutritional yeast added to the overall flavor. It was a surprisingly honest Alfredo sauce flavor! Great job, overall, with your website. Very impressed, and have shared it with many friends and family members. Just reading the recipes encourages me to keep pulling out my Paderno, Vitamix, Breville, etc., which I have used for years, and to stay focused on experimentation with the different healthy combinations. (My husband says I am the female version of Tim the Toolman when it comes to kitchen equipment. To which, I respond, “Whoot, whoot! How was your dinner tonight, dear?”)

    Rating: 5
  28. Hi! Can you make this in a food processor or is a blender absolutely necessary? I have a great food processor but a mediocre blender (Bella blender, the kind that only is big enough for smoothies). Looking forward to making this recipe! 

  29. I have been craving Alfredo sauce and decided to make this delicious and extremely easy recipe! I will make it again and again. I love being a vegan foodie. Thank you for this simple yet full of flavor recipe! I used vegetable stock instead of water. 

    Rating: 5
  30. This turned out great, thank you!!!!

    Rating: 5
  31. You don’t cook the garlic or onions before adding them in? I didn’t see if it says to cook them or not 

  32. This recipe was amazing! I’m not a huge fan of creamy sauces but this one has so much dimension and is delicious on everything! Will make again and again.

    Rating: 5
  33. Forgot the Rosemary, but it was still incredible and so simple to make! I also just soaked my cashews in boiling water for 10 minutes instead of over night, so it came together really quickly.

    Rating: 5
  34. After recently having to go dairy free I have found it extremely difficult to adjust to cutting out all of my favorite dairy recipes. I have tried several other vegan recipes for alfredo sauce and they were actually not edible. This is the first recipe that was really good and gave me hope with my dairy free diet! I used fresh basil instead of the rosemary and did not have enough onions so I used half of the listed amount of raw onions and a little bit of onion powder and it all came out really good! I froze the remaining sauce and warmed it up a couple days later and it was just as delicious as the day I made it :)

    Rating: 5
  35. I’ve made this and as a vegan I was pleasantly surprised how delish and versital it is 

    Rating: 5
  36. I’ve tried several and this has become my go to vegan Alfredo sauce. My whole family loves it.

    Rating: 5
  37. I’ve been searching google for a good cashew alfredo recipe, yours is fantastic!  I really like the rosemary.  So happy to find this!

  38. Hi!
    I’ve attempted this recipe twice. It’s delicious. However, each time it comes out quite grainy. Not at all creamy looking as in your pictures. I soak the cashews overnight. Is there something I’m missing?

  39. I didn’t soak the cashews. I boiled them for 5 minutes instead. Replaced rosemary with basil and threw it all in the blender. Holy crap this is good! I’m going to serve it tonight over chickpea pasta with my eggplant parmesan!

    Rating: 5
  40. I look forward to trying your recipe! I can’t stand the messy photos though 😳. I don’t understand why so many recipe photos show spilled food! Anyhow, Alfredo for dinner tonight, thank you 😃

  41. Yes, yes, and yes!! I made a huge batch of this (tripled) and added a few things to my personal taste. I added a 2 tablespoons of chicken bouillon paste (I’m allergic to dairy, not vegan), about 1.5 teaspoons of granulated garlic, and 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper.Instead of soaking the cashews overnight, I boiled some water and soaked them in that for about 15 minutes. After blending together and pouring over some gluten-free brown rice fettuccini, I topped everything with some vegan parmesan cheese, and called it a day. DELICIOUS.

    Rating: 5
  42. Girrrlll you have blown my mind with this recipe!! I made it exactly as described except with probably more garlic :) This was my first vegan “cheese” recipe. I put it on curly rainbow veggie pasta and garnished with basil and cherry tomatoes. So beautiful and tasty.

    Rating: 5
  43. Thank you, Lisa, for this new addition to my staple foods! This sauce is just amazing. The flavor is decadent and the texture is spot on in comparison to traditional alfredo. I like mine a smidge thicker so I added about another 1/4 C of soaked cashews. Perfecto!

    Rating: 5
  44. Wow! The flavor! I almost omitted the rosemary bc I didn’t have any, but I got some and I’m so glad I did. This is about to become a staple in my kitchen. Thank you for sharing it!

    Rating: 5
  45. This is actually really good. I sauteed mushrooms and spinach and then warmed up the sauce with them. Served over noodles. The sauce has lots of flavor and I will be making it again.

    Rating: 4
  46. Love this Lisa! So versatile. I’m having it for lunch on steamed broccoli with roasted almond slivers. Quick, easy, healthy. I actually froze some activated cashews so that I didn’t get stuck next time with the soaking :) Forewarned is forearmed!

    Rating: 5
  47. Does it make a difference if the cashews aren’t soaked? I want to try this recipe tonight but don’t have time to dish them six hours now

  48. It tasted amazing! I altered it a bit and added a few more seasonings (onion, a pinch of parsley, and thyme, red pepper flakes). It was soooooo good, can’t wait to make this again!

    Rating: 5
  49. WOW, just WOW. This recipe is amazing. My fiancé and I just started a gluten and dairy free diet and we’re surprised at how tasty this is. This is definitely going into the regular rotation. Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  50. Can this be made with a nut other then cashews or peanuts?  I love your cooking ideas.  Especially helpful for those of us eliminating grains, beans and dairy Thank you

    • I’ve seen some vegan alfredo sauces use cauliflower, but those would be entirely different recipes. I don’t know if you’d get the same creaminess on this recipe with another nut. But you could probably make a similar recipe with tahini. :)

  51. OMG, I just made this!! It is fabulous. I love it. Next time double batch!!!!

    Rating: 5
  52. Made it. Dynamite. Added some frozen kale to make it green.

    Rating: 5
  53. As an alfredo loving young woman who recently transitioned to being vegan (in the past few weeks lol), I had to come online to sing your praises. O literally just finished eating this. This sauce tastes SO much like alfredo sauce, it’s scary. BRAVO!!!It could totally fool dairy lovers.I tried another alfredo recipe online last week that I did not love, unfortunately, so I was a bit fearful to try again. I am so glad that I gave it another try.Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!! To everyone that is reading this, this is the REAL DEAL. SE-RI-OUS-LY. Definitely try it.

    Rating: 5
  54. This was a huge hit with my 5 sons ands two nephews (we 4x the recipe). This will be part of our new meal rotation. Thanks!

    Rating: 5
  55. This sauce is gold!! Made a batch yesterday evening and used it for supper today. Just quickly sautéed some mushrooms, peas, and spinach, with leftover roasted chicken, added a couple of dollops of this with a tiny bit of water to make it slightly thinner, and poured the whole thing over some chickpea pasta. It was amazing!! So creamy and comforting! 

  56. This is by far the best vegan alfredo sauce I’ve ever had! And it’s so easy! I will definitely make this again, probably over and over!

    Rating: 5
  57. I modified your recipe to make biscuits and gravy. It was amazing! If my oldest wasn’t just diagnosed with a high milk and peanut allergy I would have never even found this. The whole family thinks this is great! Thanks!

  58. So I’m confused do you have to cook it or no?

  59. Posting comments after you’ve tried it is very helpful. 13 out of the 16 I read were not that helpful because no one had tried it. 
    Thank you!

  60. Hi! I’ve recently gone vegan and this sauce looks like a great sauce both me and my boyfriend (not vegan) would love! I can’t find raw cashews anywhere though where I live, do you think roasted unsalted soaked would work? 

  61. Where can you buy the nutritional yeast? I live in the Boston area, the recipe sounds amazing!!!

  62. Wow. I’m happily surprised with this.

  63. Hmmmm…. Seems like something I should try next!!

  64. Hi, I like this sauce but I find it gets absorbed by pasta unlike the dairy version and becomes kind of dry, not saucy. Any advice?

  65. Hi Lisa! Sadly I can´t do yeast due to my (darn) histamineintolerance… do you have any ideas how to replace it?

    • Hey! Unfortunately I think that would be difficult in this recipe, as that’s what provides the dairy-free cheese flavor. You could omit the yeast altogether though, and just opt for a savory sauce – which would still be fab! :) x

    • I left out the yeast, as I didn’t have any and wanted to try the recipe. It’s still very good! The rosemary flavor comes out quite strongly, and it doesn’t taste much like true Alfredo, but still a very good cream sauce.

  66. Can’t wait to try this sauce ! Do you have an idea about how many calories it has ?

  67. Can cashew cream be warmed or baked in a dish??

  68. Well I just made a zucchini shrimp scampi last night after watching your spiral video. Now I have to try this alfredo sauce!

  69. Fabulous sauce!

  70. Hey! Thanks for the recipee! Is the nutritional yeast gluten free?

  71. Oh yes! I’m lactose unhappy so this is a blessing – thank you!
    Jane x

  72. Oh, yeah! This is absolutely going into my condiment arsenal. Thank you!

  73. Cashew is such an amazing nut for vegans. Non-vegans should enjoy the benefits too without having to sacrifice too much of the familiar flavors with recipes like this. A keeper!

  74. How delicious! I can imagine how creamy all that cashews will make of the sauce!

  75. Oh my gosh this sounds just amazing! I’ve never cooked with nutritional yeast but obviously that needs to change, your Alfredo Sauce looks so creamy and mouthwatering!

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