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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. Whether you’re vegan or not, you’re gonna love it!

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.

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, 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.

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

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, nutritional yeast and some herbs.

Blend everything together on high until creamy 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.

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.

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.

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.
4.95 from 105 votes

Best Vegan Alfredo Sauce

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
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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

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: Appetizer, sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cashew Alfredo, Dairy free Alfredo Sauce, Vegan Alfredo Recipe, Vegan Alfredo Sauce
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
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291 comments on “Vegan Alfredo Sauce”

  1. Omg! So Kroger recently released a plant based alfredo sauce. To be nice, it is unpalatable. So I came here because I needed an alfredo sauce that I could stomach. Well this recipe hit the mark. Having a high power blends makes all of the difference with cashew cream sauces. I did add some Roasted Garlic Better Than Bouillon Paste. 

  2. I don’t have a Vitamix.  Will a Nutribullet or food processor work?

  3. Delicious and easy!  I served with sautéed mushrooms and fresh herbs for my family and it was a huge hit!  This recipe is a keeper!  Will make again and again!  Thank you!

    • Hi Lucy – That sounds amazing! I will definitely have to try it with some sauteed mushrooms next time :) But, glad to hear this recipe is a keeper now.

  4. Loved this! How long can this last in the fridge?

  5. I make this sauce literally every week. It’s so tasty and so easy to make. It doesn’t necessarily taste like traditional Alfredo sauce, made with dairy cheese, but it’s pretty close. 

  6. Oh my goodness, this stuff is so good it hurts my brain. I saw it all come together, but I still don’t understand how cashews turned into alfredo sauce. 

  7. Hi Lisa, 
    Just wondering if this would work with hemp hearts instead? I have family visiting this week and I really want to make your Whole30 Chicken and broccoli dish but my brother is allergic to any type of nuts!

    Keep up the fantastic work- 💖 your recipes!

    • Hi Melissa – that’s a good question, and unfortunately I haven’t tried it so I’m not sure how it would turn out. If you do try it, let us know how it turns out! :)

  8. This sauce is amazing 

  9. Another recipe that hit it out of the park, my dad was visiting and couldn’t believe this was vegan, I paired it with shrimp, broccoli and gluten free fettuccine! The left overs were served to my scrutinizing 18 year old last night and he also couldn’t believe it was vegan and so full of flavor (I’m the dairy intolerant one in the house and my boys are dairy-full, lol!)

  10. This stuff is liquid gold! Love, love, love! I’m lactose intolerant, so I’ve been missing creamy sauces. This is just as good if not better than regular Alfredo!

  11. I made this sauce with rutabaga noodles, shrimp, peas & baby tomatoes and it was glorious!!

  12. Hi , Re your serving sizes – I made the vegan Alfredo sauce ( which was delicious) the sizing was 1 cup and then the k/cals was 233. It said it serves 4. So I need to know what a serving size of it is? ( 1/4 cup) for instance per person? = 233 cals? ( per person)

    Thanks

  13. I made this and poured over our vegan lasagna and it is AMAZING!! I didn’t have time to soak the cashews, but I boil them in water for 10-15 mins and blended. So so good. This is our go to sauce for quick creaminess ❤

  14. I was very skeptical before making this. OMG!! It tastes so delicious and cheesy! I’m pouring it over some broccoli for a quick lunch. This will be a staple! 

  15. Does this sauce freeze well?

  16. So I made your chicken and broccoli casserole using this sauce…it was almost bitter…is the onion supposed to be raw when making this sauce or sautéd? I added them in raw. Maybe I over blended in vitamix? Only other thing that I did differently was I didn’t soak nuts over night just for a few hour. Any thoughts or tips?? 

  17. Hi Lisa- so glad I came across this recipe and your link to the nutritional yeast. Every other version I have found had folic acid which is big no-no for me. Thank you. I’ve only been following you for a short time and I think you are a breath of fresh air and very inspirational.

  18. I made this yesterday and it was really grainy…is there anything I can do to fix it before I try serving it to my family? My bf said the flavour is good, but didn’t like the texture. I can’t eat raw onions so will to cook it off before we add it to pasta. Help!!

    • Hi Eryn – It’s not grainy when I make it, so you might need to soak the cashews longer or use a higher-powered blender. It’s super creamy when poured out of my Vitamix. :)

  19. Do you soak the cashews  in 3/4 cup of water or do you add 3/4 of water to the blender? 

  20. Loved it over noodles. Can im now thinking can it be served as a warm dip?

    • Hi Kathy – I haven’t tried it as a warm dip, but wouldn’t be opposed to the idea! Let me know how it goes :)

  21. This was delicious. I put it on all sorts of things all week long including a baked potato. It’s definitely my new go-to cheese sauce. Also I used some shallot since I didn’t have enough regular onion and it turned out great. Other than that followed the recipe EXACTLY. 

    • Hi Tonya – I’m so glad you’re loving this alfredo sauce :) It’s such a great sauce to use not just for my parsnip noodles, but for many other things.

  22. I love this recipe! My non-vegan family & boyfriend love it as well! Sometimes I’ll lightly sauté the onions and garlic so it isn’t as “sharp”, but we enjoy it either way. 

  23. I ended up adding a bit more water as it was cooking, seemed to be a bit thick but tasted delicious! Recommend!! 

  24. Hi, best sauce ever!! But what is the serving size for your nutrition info?

  25. Can I use roasted cashews for the sauce and soak or do I HAVE to have the raw cashews? I couldn’t find any raw cashews when I went to the store. 

  26. Just made it super good I did use sunflower seeds as a substitute to the cashews with doing this I added 1/2 cup of water and 1/4 of almond milk to keep the creamy smooth sauce that the cashews give. Thank you for the recipe.

  27. Hi Lisa, I’m so excited to try this. I don’t have just raw cashews in hand but I do have a raw cashew, macadamia, and walnut mix on hand. Do you think I could substitute that for the cashews? How much would it change the flavor or consistency?

  28. Lisa, many times you are my ‘go to resource. Searched for Cashew cream & your suggested savory seasonings & the cashews came together perfectly for an alfredo sauce with spinach and chickpeas. Topping Nutritional yeast over most savory dishes makes them rich in flavor and color. Thanks for making you website so useful!

    • Hi Mary – I’m so glad the Vegan Alfredo Sauce worked out for you! I always try to provide new information for every recipe :)

  29. Tried a few other sauces and and this is the best! So fast and easy and no stove top stirring to thicken it up.  I soaked the cashews in boiling water for 20-25 minutes and they’re ready.  I’m the meantime, I put everything else in the blender (water and onions etc) and just wait. Didn’t have rosemary (used savoury) and that is your secret flavouring. We use it on pasta, as a dip with fries, in Buddha bowls, as a sauce in burritos and much more. Great recipe! 

  30. Do you have any suggestions for a replacement of the soaked cashews? I’m on AIP and need to eliminate them.

    I have made this recipe before and it’s SOOOOO good. I even passed along to my friend who has three picky little eaters. She said they couldn’t get enough of it and asked for more.

  31. This sauce is delicious! My husband didn’t even realize it was vegan. I will definitely make it again.

  32. Is the 3/4 cup water to soak with or is that what you add to the blender with the drained and rinsed cashews?  Making this recipe tomorrow.  Thank you. 

    • Hi Minda – the 3/4 cup of water is used to blend in with the rest of the ingredients! Can’t wait for you to try this recipe.

  33. Hi Lisa! I recently found your blog and LOVE all your recipes, hints, step by step photos and videos. I like how easy they are to put together and how healthy they are, but most of all I love how they taste (I even got a thumbs up from my boys who are very picky eaters!)

    When soaking the cashews, do you put them in the refrigerator or leave them out at room temperature?

    Thanks in advance,
    Pam

    • Hi Pam – I am so happy you discovered Downshiftology! I hope my recipes and posts can provide new information, as well as healthy, delicious foods. As for the Alfredo Sauce, you can soak the cashews either at room temperature or in the fridge :)

  34. This recipe was really good! My husband and son are big cheese heads so they love my regular alfredo sauce which has loads of Parmesan cheese in it. I prepared this recipe instead and they cleaned their plates. Score 1 for the vegan alternative! I will make one MAJOR adjustment the next time I try this recipe. I’m going to sauté the onions and garlic first. I’ve been dealing with the repercussions of having consumed raw onion all night! Otherwise, great recipe. Thanks!

    • Hi Michele – So happy to hear you and your son loved this recipe :) Vegan alternatives aren’t always that bad! Hahah

  35. I’ve tried quite a few different cashew based Alfredo sauces and this is by far the BEST! I think the rosemary makes a big difference. This was absolutely delicious. Great recipe!

    • Hi Amanda – I’m so glad you loved this recipe! The rosemary definitely is the finishing touch here :)

  36. Can you make this with premade almond milk instead of the homemade cashew milk?

  37. Excellent recipe.  I made it with freshly steamed zucchini and mushrooms

  38. Hi there! How long does the sauce last for in the fridge?

    • Hi Kimberly – I would say keep it in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, and after that freeze it!

      • Thank you so very much! This is one of my favorite recipes now!!

      • Hi Kimberly – So glad you love this alfredo sauce! Would love for you to share you creations with this sauce in our Downshiftology community Facebook group :)

  39. This. Is. Awesome. I’ve made a few variations of this, from one pots to other cashew recipes. This one nailed it. I was practically licking the blender blade it was so good! (Not really of course)  My wife thought it was killer too. I added an extra clove of garlic because that is what i do with everything. I think the rosemary is what helps set this one apart. Stellar sauce!

    • Hi Nathan – I’m so happy to hear that you and your wife loved this recipe! I agree, the Rosemary does give this sauce a unique taste :)

  40. Is there a substitute for nutritional yeast that you would recommend?