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


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. This sauce is amazing! I used it in a chicken broccoli casserole and it provided all the flavor and creaminess that a cheese sauce would have. If you are looking for a dairy free sauce, definitely give this a try. 5 stars

  2. It was really strong, with the onion and garlic. It stung my mouth to taste… and I’ve never been overly sensitive to a garlic alfredo sauce before. Even diluting it could not save it. It could be the onion or garlic was much fresher than was anticipated by the recipe. I did follow the specified proportions: 3/4 cup water to 1 cup cashews, 2 cloves (yes cloves, not heads) of garlic, and 1/2 cup onion. This is just my review of following the recipe. I’d like to try again, as the flavor had potential, but will be weary of the garlic and onion requirements, dialing down quite a bit, to find something more mild.2 stars

    1. Fresh garlic is definitely stronger and if your cloves were quite large, that could make a difference as well. The great thing is this recipe is adaptable, so feel free to tweak the quantities of garlic and onion to your liking. :)

  3. Hello! I’m really interested in making this as I’ve cut dairy out of my diet recently due to stomach issues and it’s been interfering with my skin. I noticed that you listed “raw” cashews, but is it possible to make this recipe with regular cashews? I’ve noticed raw cashews are more expensive, and I’m a college student so I’m trying to save money. Please let me know if you can, and thank you for posting this it looks really good! (:5 stars

    1. You can make it with any cashews, but I prefer raw as they don’t have any additional oil. If you use roasted cashews, some of that flavor can come through into the alfredo sauce. Just make sure to double check the ingredients and look for a brand that’s just plain cashews. :)

  4. I am new to your site. Let me just say I haven’t eaten pasta with alfredo sauce in over a year. This was amazing!!! I didn’t have rosemary so I substituted with Basil. I doubled the recipe for a pound of cooked penne. I added broccoli florets too. I am in love! Thank you, Thank you.5 stars

    1. Oh wonderful! I’m thrilled you loved the recipe. And I’m sure it was just as delicious with basil. Enjoy!

  5. I didn’t have rosemary so I added thyme on top to see if it would be good and I really liked it, the next time I make it I’ll make sure to have rosemary.5 stars

  6. this is the best alfredo sauce ever!!! I just made it for the first time the other day and it’s amazing! how long will it last in the fridge? thanks!5 stars

    1. Yay, I’m happy you love the recipe Gracie! It will last for a few days in the fridge, but you could freeze it as well. :)

  7. Can you substitute cashew butter? I want to make this tonight, but haven’t planned ahead to soak cashews!

    1. Hi Murika – Cashew butter is made from blended raw (unsoaked) cashews. The importance of soaking the cashews is make them soft and bring out the nuts natural creaminess. If you soak the cashews in hot water or even boiling water for 1-2 hours you may be able to speed up the soaking process. But my recommendation is to follow the recipe for best results.

  8. Great base recipe. I work with cashew sauces daily at work so I did it a little different. Because cashews thicken so much when heated, I doubled all of the seasonings and added 1.5 more cups water. Also substituted .5tsp kala namak for equal amount of salt. I used white pepper instead of black to help keep the sauce monochromatic. And finally I did process the rosemary in spice grinder to a powder before adding. After processing all the ingredients in my blender, I heated the sauce up over medium heat adding the the extra water a 1/4 cup at a time until the sauce was hot and the consistency I wanted.
    Next time I may triple the seasonings and keep in mind that with the added water you will yield a lot more sauce then the recipe states.

  9. OMG this sauce is amazing. I didnt have rosemary so i used thyme and left out the yeast. The sauce was creamy and thick since i added a litte less water. Thank you so much for this recipe.5 stars

  10. I’ve been on a quest to find my trigger foods because I have a lot of stomach issues, and at present I’m avoiding onion to see if that helps. Can I leave the onion out altogether, would it taste the same? I really want to make your WHOLE30 CHICKEN BROCCOLI CASSEROLE (PALEO) but don’t know if it will taste the same without the onions in the sauce. Any thoughts?

    1. The sauce will definitely have a different flavor without the onion, but it’s always most important that you do what’s best for your body first. :)

  11. So yummy and healthy!!! I am vegan and was looking for a vegan Alfredo sauce and saw this recipe. Tried it and everyone in my house just loved it.5 stars

    1. Hi Kara – this recipe should be fine in any blender or food processor. It just gets extra smooth in a high-powered blender. :)

  12. I was skeptical but let me tell you this is the most delicious sauce ever! Way better than a regular Alfredo, so much flavour! I’ve sent it to everyone I know haha5 stars

    1. Thanks so much Abbey! I’m thrilled you loved it! And thank you for sharing the recipe with your friends – I really appreciate that. :)

  13. Amazing sauce, totally perfect. I sent to a friend and she said “OMG drool”, I said “just check out her whole site and subscribe to her YouTube, it’s amazing” :)5 stars

    1. Oh, thanks so much Michelle! I really appreciate the support and you spreading the word about Downshiftology. :) x

  14. I don’t know what I did wrong but this turned out terrible for me. It was a runny mess and tasted just like onions and garlic. And I don’t kknow how yours turned out white because mine had a yellow-ish color from the nutritional yeast. Any suggestions? 

    1. Unfortunately, I don’t know what you did either but as you can see from the reviews below it’s one of my top recipes. Perhaps you want to double check the ingredients and quantities to make sure it wasn’t a simple error. :)

    2. Hi!   I just made this for the first time.  It has a slightly yellow hue but that lessened when I blended it longer.  In terms of the runny texture, did you use raw cashews and soak them overnight, then drain and rinse really well?  If so, maybe try adding the water a little at a time after starting to blend the other ingredients.   It’s always disappointing when you look forward to a recipe and it doesn’t turn out.  Good luck!

  15. This pasta sauce is a gem I made some for my family over penne with spinach and mushrooms they absolutely loved it! I just added a little more water, used fresh rosemary, and an extra garlic clove(we love garlic) and it was excellent 5 stars

    1. Thanks so much Kim! I’m happy you loved it and that sounds delish with the spinach and mushrooms. Yum!

  16. Hi! When you let the cashews soak, do you leave it out on the counter or put it in the fridge as it soaks overnight?

  17. This is by far the best Alfredo sauce, dairy or no dairy. My husband loves Alfredo but has a dairy intolerance he often ignores in order to enjoy it. He couldn’t believe how rich, creamy, and true to flavor this vegan version was. I plan to make a huge batch and freeze as we love Alfredo on pizza, pasta, zoodles, and so on. I’m not going to lie, I could have eaten the whole thing with a spoon. It is THAT good. 5 stars

    1. Awesome! I’m so happy you both loved the recipe! It’s amazing the things you can do with cashews and I love fooling folks with this dairy-free, vegan alfredo sauce. Haha. ;) x

  18. 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!5 stars

  19. 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!!

    1. Oh yay! I’m so thrilled you love the recipe Melissa! Thanks so much for your positive feedback. :) x

    1. That is added to the sauce in the blender. You will discard the water that you soaked them in. :)

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

    1. I don’t think other nuts would give it that same level of creaminess. But I know there are vegan alfredo sauces online that use coconut milk, so you might want to look for those. :)

  21. 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…

  22. 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.

    1. I don’t think it’s necessary to use almond milk. The cashews are super creamy all on their own. :)

  23. 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.

    1. Yay! So glad you enjoyed it. And love that you had a full Downshiftology menu today – woot! I so appreciate your kindness and you never know, I may have a cookbook one day. I’ll be sure to let you know when I do! ;) x

  24. 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!

  25. 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 :)

    1. Wonderful! I’m so happy you tried it and loved it! And thanks for your compliment on my photos. :)

  26. 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. 5 stars

    1. 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 :)

  27. 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.

  28. 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!

    1. Awesome! So happy you enjoyed the recipe Wilma. And I agree, it’s definitely a great recipe to have on hand (or in the freezer). :)

  29. 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?”)5 stars

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Mendi and I’m so thrilled you and your family (especially the picky eaters) loved this recipe. A definitely win! :) x