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 188 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. Oh my goodness I love it. My children asked for seconds. The flavor is exceptional and I made it in my own kitchen. Thank you for this recipe.5 stars

  2. Best vegan Alfredo sauce ever, and I tried many. Made it exactly as the recipe said with soaking the cashews 1 hour prior and it turned out beautiful.
    This will be my to go to Alfredo sauce from now on. Very tasty !5 stars

  3. Awesome sauce! It is also good with lime instead of lemon or basil instead of rosemary! So tweak it as needed !5 stars

  4. I’m leaving four stars because I had to cook it a little bit to make the onion taste better. I wasn’t sure if putting it on my cooked pasta would have nearly the same effect. The recipe is great though, I highly recommend it. Thank you so much!4 stars

  5. I didn’t take a photo, but this recipe is delicious! I used about 5 -6 cloves of garlic and Italian seasoning! Yum!5 stars

  6. This sauce is really great. I’ve made it twice. The first time was when I veganized Lisa’s whole30 chicken broccoli casserole. That was tasty. Second time I made it as a sauce to pour over zoodles & sautéed veggies. It’s nice to discover vegan options that don’t make you miss the dairy version. The only thing with vegan sauces is that they have a little texture issue when reheating so I find it’s best to heat on the stovetop versus microwave.5 stars

  7. ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!! I’ve been searching for the perfect alfredo sauce recipe for 9 years. My search is over! My whole family agreed it was super good. I doubled the recipe and tossed it with a pound of fettuccini pasta, it was the perfect amount of sauce. I will definitely make this again (and again and again)!5 stars

  8. I was both impressed with this and disappointed with it! The sauce came out really creamy, which was super cool! But after baking it in the chicken casserole recipe, most of the flavor seemed to cook out.5 stars

  9. Oh man! Made this last night for your chicken and broccoli casserole and it was ok good! Kids ate it up and finished the pan! One question – the raw cashews I bought from the local supermarket weren’t the freshest and tasted a bit old/musty. Didn’t affect recipe but not ideal. Where do you buy fresh, raw almonds? Any dependable online sources? Thanks! 5 stars

    1. Hi Christina – I’m glad you enjoyed the casserole recipe! You can find the raw cashews I use linked on the Shop page on my website.

    2. You can buy fresh and raw cashews at Sprouts. They have discounts for nuts like cashews and almonds occasionally. I highly recommend download their app and look out for their weekly flyer, you can save a lot of money from that.

  10. Hi!  I’ve made this recipe once before and it was amazing! I’m trying to make it again and now I’m drawing a blank…is the 3/4 cup of water used to soak the cashews or is it added after cashews are soaked and drained? I can’t remember what I did last time. 
    Thanks so much! Looking forward to this sauce again!

  11. This is absolutely AMAZING!!!! Thank you so much for this recipe Lisa!! I roasted the garlic before adding it to the sauce and OMG!!! Thank you again5 stars

  12. I’ve made this so many times and it is so so good. One of my favorite things to make. I use it as a salad dressing, dip veggies in, on casseroles. So good!!5 stars

  13. I have made this recipe so many times. We love it!! It is delicious on pasta as we all know. I have also used it for scalloped potatoes and spinach/artichoke dip. Thank you thank you, thank you!!5 stars

    1. Hi Ines – unfortunately, I’ve only tried this sauce with cashews. I’m not sure how other nuts would perform.

  14. Made this today and it was awesome! Didn’t have rosemary so subbed with Herbs de Provence. Going to put the sauce on top of zoodles and grilled shrimp. Thanks for the great recipe!5 stars

  15. This was great. I can’t believe how much the nutritional yeast tastes like cheese. I would definitely put it on popcorn. I made it with penne pasta, tossed in some spinach and some spicy herbed chicken. Made extra and froze it. I can’t wait to share it with a co-worker who’s kid can’t have dairy.5 stars

  16. Amazing! 

    Truly flavorful! Just made this sauce to accompany a dish…. Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli Vegan Alfredo sauce.  I wasn’t too sure about the flavors at first, as I’m not yet a fully committed Vegan. But I was pleasantly surprised.  How long is the sauce good for in the fridge Lisa? I used Dr. Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast Seasoning.  Couldn’t find any other in the store. Mine came out to 2 1/2 cups. Did I blend too much? Used the same measurements in your recipe. Thank You! Haven’t had Alfredo Sauce un a long time because if it’s caloric content. Thankful for this recipe.! I love all your recipes! 5 stars

    1. Hi Carla – I’m so happy you loved this recipe and gave it a try! You can store the sauce for about 4-5 days in the fridge. But you can freeze it for months, if you’d like to store it longer.

  17. Can you soak the cashews is Luke warm water for a Shorter time like 3 hours if you don’t have the 6 hour soaking time?? 

    1. Yes, you can, though it might not turn out quite as creamy. And I’d also recommend hot water, to try and get them as soft as possible.

  18. Hi Lisa!
    Thank you for all your lovely, healthy recipes!! I am enjoying going through and trying different things. I’ve been eyeing this cashew sauce for a while now and really wanted to love it, but somehow it didn’t turn out for me :( It has cashew lumps in it…not creamy like yours. I don’t know what I did wrong. Please let me know if you have any suggestions? I would really like to figure it out so I can make it just as good as yours. I have a pretty good Ninja blender, so I don’t think that is the problem. I did, however, double the recipe and I could have gotten the ratio wrong somehow.

    1. Hi Emily – I’m glad you love all my recipes! If this alfredo sauce had lumps in it, it sounds like the cashews weren’t soaked long enough (and make sure you used raw, not roasted cashews). Once the cashews are soaked properly they should be soft, to the point you can easily smush them between your fingers. If they are, you should end up with a super creamy sauce. And yes, double check your ratios if you doubled as well. Hope your next try turns out better! :)

  19. I was skeptical but willing to try it out… it is shockingly good! Cannot wait to use this in So many ways. 5 stars

  20. Hi there, I am VERY excited to try this recipe as I am always searching for dairy-free alternatives! I am wanting to make this a few days in advance, how long do you think it stays good in the fridge?

    Thanks and love your recipes!

  21. Hi! Have been really enjoying perusing your site today and I just signed up for the weekly emails! :-) Quick question about the garlic in the recipe. What are your best suggestions for a replacement? I recently found out I have a garlic sensitivity, so I am removing garlic from my diet for a while to reset. Praying to be able to reintroduce it with no issues. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Sheri – I’m glad you’re enjoying my website and recipes! You could try adding some garlic chives, to still get a hint of that flavor. And celery can add a nice touch of flavor as well. Hope that helps!

  22. This was easy and delicious. I had it with zoodles and my husband had it with real pasta. We both loved it. Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

  23. I’ve just discovered you and your blog, and am so excited! In January, I started a modified Keto way of eating and have lost 50 pounds so far. I’m hoping I can incorporate some of your fresh foods into my rotations! My question is, do you buy raw cashews in bulk from a whole foods type store?

    1. Hi Marianne- Yes, I normally buy in bulk where I can find them as I use a lot of cashews :)

  24. Love, love this recipe Lisa! I am doing a dairy free regime at the moment because of digestive issues, and gluten free as well. This recipe fits the bill for me when I want something creamy. I use less garlic as I’m sensitive to too much. I am now a firm believer in using cashews! I make your cashew milk and cream as well. I tell you, my life changed when I bought a Vitamix! I know they are an expensive item but really, you can make everything, from soup to nuts, as the expression goes. I wish I had had this machine when I was rearing my daughter. It’s great for making baby food! X5 stars

    1. Hi Shannon- Yes! Cashews are seriously a magic ingredient for all things creamy. And I’m so glad you’re enjoying your Vitamix as much as I am :)

  25. It looks really yummy!!  I’m not sure about the nutritional yeast as I heard it can be hard to digest if you’re not used to it..  Maybe I’d start with a 50/50 parmesan/yeast..  Also would it work if I already have cashew milk in the fridge?  I could take approximately 1 cup of cashew milk and add the garlic, yeast/parmesan, lemon juice and spices..  Would it be as good?  

    Thank you for all your great recipes!  You’re making me eat the healthiest I ever did! :)5 stars

  26. This is by far the very best Alfredo sauce I have ever tasted, hands down. It’s velvety texture, taste & the few wonderful, wholesome ingredients are a 10*+++! This sauce deserves an award!5 stars

  27. My son has a tree nut allergy. Do you have any suggested substitution for the cashews?  Thank you!!

    1. Hi Sharon – unfortunately, you really need the cashews for this version. I’d recommend finding a coconut or cauliflower-based alfredo sauce instead.

  28. I’d love to make this recipe but I’m extremely allergic to cashews! ☹️ Is there an alternative nut you think would be a good replacement that won’t impact the taste or texture too much??

    1. Unfortunately, the cashews are needed in this version. But you can find other versions online that use coconut as the base.

  29. Just made this. Surprisingly good, a very good imitation. I added a bit more salt as parmesean is quite salty also I pan tossed the noodles and sauce with a tbsp of vegan butter to creamy it up a bit. Overall very good, will make it again.5 stars

    1. Glad you loved this vegan version of alfredo sauce! And yes, you can always add a bit more salt as needed :)

  30. This is such an easy, yummy recipe! Question – how do you recommend heating it up? I just used it cold over a few days. i wasn’t sure if heating it would ruin the flavours somehow. Also, have you tried it with sauteed onions?5 stars

    1. Hi Nicole- You can just simply re-heat in the microwave, it won’t ruin the flavors. As for suateed onions, I haven’t but that sounds so delicious! I’ll have to try that sometime.

  31. Holy Toledo! This recipe rocks! I ended up sauteeing mushrooms in butter, and adding leftover broccoli to warm, before tossing in cooked linguine and pouring in the SAUCE FROM THE GODS. So delicious. Thank you for sharing :)5 stars

  32. This is my third-try with a Vegan Alfredo sauce recipe. Third time is a charm! I like how easy and fast it is to make. Also how it doesn’t use oil.5 stars

      1. Hi Lisa,

        I looooove your recipes!
        I don’t have nutritional yeast for this recipe. What’s a good alternative?


  33. I used organic raw cashews truffle salt and smoked Pepper for it and put an extra clove of garlic in it it was so delicious I couldn’t stop spooning it out of the blender and just eating it!😀👍5 stars

    1. Wow! I love the addition of truffle salt and smoked pepper! I’ll definitely need to try that next time :)

  34. Such a big fan of this Cashew Alfredo sauce! 
    It was amazing, like the real deal! My husband who is extremely picky couldn’t tell the difference. New staple in our house hold! Thank you! 5 stars

    1. I don’t have raw cashews but roasted unsalted ones. Would they still work, as long as I soak them overnight?

  35. This vegan Alfredo sauce is amazing!! I was skeptical that it was not going to be flavorful enough, but it is soooo good. I’ve made it two days in a row and I put it on my Trader Joe’s vegan protein burger today, so good!!5 stars

  36. This recipe is absolutely amazing!!
    One of my favorite ways to use cashew nuts.
    The video was very helpfull too for me when making this recipe for the first time!5 stars

  37. This was amazing! So easy! I soaked the cashews in boiling water for an hour instead instead overnight and it worked great! Just boil the water, take off heat and add cashews then wait an hour! 5 stars

    1. Hi Caroline- Good to know the boiling method worked out for you! I’ll keep that in mind for anyone who doesn’t want to wait to soak it :)

    2. This sauce was perfect and so easy to make.
      I also boiled water and used the cashews about 2hrs later. The sauce was smooth as silk:).
      We were looking for a sauce to make “chicken” spinach alfredo pizza. It was delicious 😋. Can’t wait to try it with spaghetti squash or zoodles!
      Thank-You for the wonderful recipe.5 stars

      1. Hi Diana- I’m so glad you found this sauce delicious and used it for a pizza dish! You’re gonna love it over zoodles as well :)

  38. SO DELICIOUS! Even my family (who would never choose to eat vegan foods) loved this sauce. It’s so easy to make. I make a double batch and pour it on everything: roasted veggies, chicken, fried tofu bites, potatoes (sweet and baby rainbow), pasta, rice–even on salad as as salad dressing.5 stars

    1. Hi Beth- I’m so glad you and your family loved this sauce! It took quite a bit of testing, but I tried to make it taste as similar as possible to the real thing. And I love how you’re using it over so many dishes :)