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

4.95 from 180 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


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


  • 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. 


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


  1. 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! 

    1. Yes, you could use a food processor. It may not turn out quite as creamy, but definitely do-able! :)

  2. 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. 5 stars

    1. So glad you enjoyed the recipe Corissa! And vegetable stock definitely adds a smidge more flavor. Happy you loved it!

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

    1. I don’t, but you can certainly do that if you are more sensitive to raw garlic and onions.

  4. 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.5 stars

  5. 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.5 stars

    1. Awesome! So glad you enjoyed the recipe Jordyn. And yes, that definitely works with the cashews as well. :)

  6. 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 :)5 stars

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

  8. 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?

    1. Hi Crystal – are you using a high-powered blender like a Vitamix? Or a standard blender? If you’re using a standard blender that could be why. I’m using a Vitamix and it makes everything ultra creamy.

  9. 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!5 stars

  10. 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 ?

  11. 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.5 stars

  12. 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.5 stars

    1. Yay! So happy you loved it Chloe. And I’m sure it was delicious with the pasta, basil and tomatoes. :) x

  13. 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!5 stars

  14. 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!5 stars

  15. 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.4 stars

  16. 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!5 stars

    1. So glad you loved it Wendy! And yes, it’s amazing on broccoli and tons of other veggies. That’s awesome you’re ready to go for the next batch. Well done! :) x

  17. 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

    1. Yes, you need to soak the cashews so that they absorb the water and become very creamy when blended. You could soak them for less time, but I’d recommend at least 4 hours.

  18. 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!5 stars

  19. 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!5 stars

  20. 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

    1. 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. :)

  21. 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.5 stars

    1. Thanks so much for your lovely comment and feedback Tamish! I’m thrilled to hear you loved this recipe and so glad my version lived up to your alfredo loving standards. ;) x

  22. 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!5 stars

  23. 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! 

    1. So glad you loved the alfredo sauce! And your recipe sounds amazing. I’m definitely gonna have to whip that up myself! :) x

  24. 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!5 stars

  25. 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!

    1. Wonderful! So happy you love the recipe Jack and I’m thrilled the whole family can enjoy it! :)

    1. Hi Shelby – no, you don’t have to cook the sauce. You just add all the ingredients to a blender and mix it up! :)

  26. 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!

    1. Yes, sometimes readers get so excited about the recipe before they’ve even made it. Haha. And I love that! I hope you enjoy the recipe Brenda. :)

  27. 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? 

    1. I haven’t tried it with roasted cashews, but they’d probably work fine. Maybe just change the flavor a little. :)

    2. Hello, I ran out of nutritional yeast and didn’t notice and I have to order it online. 
      As of a last minute resource, Is there anything I can replace it with? 
      Can’t wait to try it! 

      1. Hi Mariana – unfortunately, I’m not aware of any substitutes for nutritional yeast (other than real cheese, for that cheese flavor).

  28. 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?

    1. I would add a bit more water to thin it out and keep it saucy. I like mine a bit on the thinner side as well. :)

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

    1. 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

    2. 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.

    1. Unfortunately I don’t (as I don’t usually count calories). But I’m currently undergoing a website redesign and when it launches, there will be nutritional info on all recipes. So stay tuned! :) x

    1. Yes, no problem. It may thicken up a bit and if that happens, just add a little more water and stir. :)

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

  31. 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!

    1. Agree 100%! Raw vegan cheesecakes made me a convert and now I love experimenting with cashew-based options for all my recipe favorites. :) x

  32. 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!

    1. I hadn’t until recently as well and it’s a game changer! Love the savory and cheesy flavor it adds to recipes. Definitely try it! :) x