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. Unbelievable. Did not think this would mimic the traditional alfredo sauce but it DID. Texture, taste, richness – YES! Shocking indeed that I achieved this using cashews. A million thanks to you Lisa! A must try. 5 stars

    1. It took lots of testing, but it is possible! I’m glad you loved this alfredo sauce and I can’t wait to see how you use it for different recipes :)

  2. Thank you for this recipe! I made it to go on my zucchini noodles and it was delicious 😋 definitely a keeper!!5 stars

  3. I made this last night and it was really good but the onion was definitely way too overpowering, so I will use the rest on pizza and next time I will cook the onion with the garlic in vegetable broth before adding to the blender.  I had not soaked my cashews but I boiled them for about an hour and it was very creamy.  Also I did not have rosemary so I had to substitute thyme but it worked.  I will have to get some rosemary for next time.  Thank you for your recipe!5 stars

    1. Hi Terri – The onion flavor is definitely based on preference, but I’m glad you found a way to make it work!

  4. Wow this is absolutely delicious and tastes like real Alfredo sauce! I have eliminated some things from my diet to heal my gut so I can get off of my reflux meds of 20 years. Finding recipes like this, makes it very easy to stay the path, especially when you are really missing dairy! Thank you!5 stars

    1. Hi Allie – Excluding dairy can seem a bit difficult at first, but you’ll learn that there are so many delicious alternatives! Glad you enjoyed this recipe :)

  5. This truly is the Best Vegan Alfredo sauce ever!!! Thank you Lisa! I didn’t have any cashews soaking and wanted it for dinner, so I boiled some water in the kettle and soaked them for about an hour and a half. I added it to some pasta with tuna and peas. 5 stars

  6. Yum! The best dairy free alfredo sauce I’ve come across yet and I don’t think I’ll be looking anymore. The closest tasting sauce I’ve tried and I’m pumped about it! I used this recipe for a chicken Alfredo pizza I made and it was delicious. I can’t wait to use this in other recipes. I’m starting to think that what Lisa labels a recipe “The Best” I believe her.5 stars

    1. Hi Felishia – So excited you loved this recipe! This sounds amazing on a chicken pizza. I have yet to try that on my cauliflower pizza.

  7. It looks delicious 😋. Thanks!
    I’m excited because I’ll get to use the nutritional yeast! (I have two full jars). Do you have more suggestions or recipes on how to use nutritional yeast?5 stars

    1. Hi Cintya – nutritional yeast is great in a variety of sauces to give that savory, cheesy flavor. But you can sprinkle it on salads and roasted veggies as well!

  8. Hello and thank you for your amazing recipes. I was wondering if i can use raw cashew butter for the sauce.

    1. Hi Janine – I haven’t tried that, but it’s worth giving a try! If you do make it with cashew butter, let me know how it turns out. :)

  9. Would I be able to use store bought cashew milk instead of soaking and blending raw cashews? With just adding the garlic, onion, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and spices to cashew milk? And if so how much? I would love to make this but not sure if my food processor can handle cashews. 

  10. 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. 5 stars

  11. 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!5 stars

    1. 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.

    1. Hi Kate – Happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe! This sauce can last for up to 5 days in the fridge :)

  12. 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. 5 stars

  13. 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. 5 stars

  14. 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!

    1. 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! :)

  15. 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!)5 stars

    1. Hi Annette – This recipe really does taste like the real thing :) So glad you all enjoyed this recipe!

  16. 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!5 stars

    1. Hi Julie – I’m so glad you enjoyed this sauce in a new and different recipe :) Sounds delicious!

  17. 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)

    Thanks5 stars

  18. 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 ❤5 stars

  19. 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! 5 stars

    1. Hi Audrey – So glad you love this sauce! It’s such a multi-purpose dressing that can be used for so many dishes.

  20. 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?? 

    1. Hi Lindsay – yes, the onion is raw, though you could always saute if you prefer. And I’d definitely recommend soaking the cashews overnight for the creamiest texture.

    2. Can I just use almond milk instead of soaking the almonds and blending them with water? If so what would that look like as far as in measurements

  21. 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.5 stars

    1. Hi Kay – I’m happy that you came across my channel as well and welcome to the Downshiftology community :)

  22. 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!!

    1. 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. :)

    1. 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 :)

  23. 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. 5 stars

    1. 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.

  24. 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. 5 stars

  25. I ended up adding a bit more water as it was cooking, seemed to be a bit thick but tasted delicious! Recommend!! 5 stars

  26. 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. 

  27. 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.5 stars

  28. 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?

    1. Hi Sarah – it would change the flavor a bit, but I think it could be an interesting change. I say give it a try!

  29. 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!5 stars

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

  30. 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! 5 stars

    1. Hi Mike – So glad you loved this sauce! I love your different uses for this sauce, especially in a buddha bowl :)

  31. 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.

    1. Hi Diane – unfortunately I don’t have a replacement for the soaked cashews. But I have seen other recipes use coconut milk as a base for a dairy-free alfredo sauce. You’d have to search online for those. :)

  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. 

    1. 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,
    Pam5 stars

    1. 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!4 stars

    1. 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!5 stars

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

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

      1. 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 :)

  36. 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!5 stars

    1. 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 :)