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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.

Enjoy!

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.

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

Directions

  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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81 comments on “Vegan Alfredo Sauce”

  1. 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?

  2. 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
  3. 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 😃

  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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

  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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. :)

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

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

    Rating: 5
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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! 

  19. 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
  20. 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!

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

  22. 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!

  23. 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? 

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

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

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

  27. 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?

  28. 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.

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

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

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

  32. Fabulous sauce!

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

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

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

  36. 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!

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

  38. 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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