This cashew-based vegan alfredo sauce has a rich creamy flavor that is delicious on pasta, baked potatoes, and even roasted vegetables. Amazingly, it can be made in only 10-minutes flat!
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Pasta is truly comfort food for me, and I love the cheesy creamy sauces even more than the ones that are tomato-based and more like a marinara.
There’s just something about the rich silky texture and flavor that makes my taste buds dance.
Traditional alfredo is loaded with cheese, milk, and butter, so we all understand that it’s not a healthy option. But, this dairy-free cashew-based version is the perfect substitution.
Inspired by my homemade Parmesan recipe, I’m confident that this vegan alfredo sauce is going to be a new family dinner favorite!
How to make vegan alfredo sauce
This cashew alfredo sauce is so simple to make with a handful of ingredients, and it can be ready in only 10-minutes. Even the kids can help with this one.
A full list of ingredients, measurements, instructions, and a print button can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
Ingredients in this dairy-free sauce
Begin by gathering all of the ingredients that will be needed for this recipe.
- raw cashews
- nutritional yeast
- garlic cloves
- plant milk such as almond, soy, rice
- thickener such as cornstarch or arrowroot
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- white wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
- salt & pepper
Two methods for cooking this homemade alfredo sauce
This sauce only needs to be blended together and thickened up and, believe it or not, both can be accomplished in a Vitamix blender at the same time.
I’m not going to kid you, I love my Vitamix blender and use it every single day for making homemade vegan mayo, hummus, smoothie bowls, dips, sauces, and more. The reason I like it so much is that it can blend up just about anything.
If using the Vitamix cooking method for this recipe, there is no need to soak the cashews before using them.
For this alfredo sauce, my Vitamix actually blends and cooks the sauce at the same time. Simply add all of the ingredients to the Vitamix, slowly turn it up to the highest setting, and allow it to blend and cook to thicken this sauce. It will need to blend for approximately 2-minutes to thicken up.
Make sure to watch it closely after the 1-minute mark because if it’s left too long, the sauce will become too thick. If this happens, simply add a little more plant milk and allow it to blend for just a few more seconds.
Blender and stovetop method
Most likely, if your blender isn’t high powered, you’ll need to soak the cashews in warm water for about 30 minutes or more to soften them up. This will help the sauce become nice and creamy.
After soaking, drain the water and add all of the sauce ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Then, transfer the blender contents to a saucepan and cook on the stovetop on medium-high heat for approximately 5-minutes until it has thickened up to the desired consistency.
Tips for making this alfredo sauce
For those avoiding cashews, almonds and sunflower seeds can be substituted. These do change the flavor a bit but are still quite good.
Remove the sauce from the heat source immediately after reaching the consistency and creaminess desired. If left on the heat, it will continue to thicken.
If the sauce becomes too thick, using either cooking method, simply add a little plant milk and it will thin right out.
Your Questions Answered:
Q: Does it taste like regular alfredo?
A: Believe it or not, this vegan alfredo sauce does taste very similar to traditional alfredo. My husband and I were both surprised and pleased with both the creaminess and flavor. The best thing is that this version is completely vegan and dairy-free without a drop of oil!
Q: Do I have to soak the cashews?
A: Soaking the cashews is only necessary if not using a powerful blender, but don’t skip this step with a less-powerful one because the sauce will be gritty.
Q: What to serve vegan alfredo sauce with
A: The most popular way to serve alfredo sauce is over pasta, and there are so many different types you can choose from. Some are even gluten-free.
As you can see from the photos, I used a number of different types including whole wheat, spiral pasta, and whole wheat fettuccini.
Other great ways to serve this sauce are over a baked potato, as a white sauce on veggie pizza, and drizzled over roasted veggies. I’m betting you can think of even more great ideas!
I love to add sauteed mushrooms and green peas to this sauce no matter how it is served. It is a great way to sneak in some extra veggies with dinner.
Q: How long will this keep?
A: This keeps in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 7-days. It freezes well too.
Other vegan pasta recipes
- If using this method, there is no need to soak the cashews first. Simply place all of the ingredients into your Vitamix blender (or another powerful blender) and allow it to blend and cook the sauce at the same time. Gradually turn it up to the highest setting, and allow it to blend and cook to thicken this sauce. It will need to blend for approximately 2-minutes to thicken up.
Blender & Stovetop Method
- Most likely if your blender isn’t high powered, you’ll need to soak the cashews in warm water for about 30 minutes or more to soften them up. This will help the sauce be nice and creamy.
- After soaking, drain the water and add all of the sauce ingredients to a blender and process until nice and smooth.
- Then transfer the blender contents to a saucepan and cook on the stovetop on medium-high heat for approximately 5-minutes until it has thickened up to the desired consistency.
See more cooking tips above. Serve this sauce over pasta, baked potatoes, or roasted veggies. It even makes a nice white pizza sauce.
Detailed instructions,in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above. Be sure to check out the video as well.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 185Total Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gSodium: 334mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 9g
To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.