Easy Vegan Alfredo Sauce (in 10-Minutes)

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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!

pasta with vegan alfredo swirled on a fork with green peas

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.

overhead photo of alfredo sauce in brown bowl on wooden cutting board and surrounded by cooked spiral pasta

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 cashew parmesan recipe, I’m confident that this vegan alfredo sauce is going to be a new family dinner favorite!

homemade vegan alfredo being poured from a measuring cup into a bright yellow bowl of fettuchini

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.

ingredients plant milk, cashews, spices on wooden board

The recipe card at the bottom of the page has the full list of ingredients with measurements and instructions.

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
  • Thickeners such as cornstarch or arrowroot
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • White wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • Salt & pepper
dairy free alfredo sauce over spiral pasta in white oval dish

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.

Vitamix method

I’m not going to kid you, I love my Vitamix blender and use it every single day for making homemade vegan mayo, oil-free hummus, smoothie bowls, vegan 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.

vitamix with vegan alfredo sauce overhead

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. I used this method to make it on Facebook LIVE not too long ago.

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.

fettuccini noodles topped with vegan alfredo and green peas in brown plate

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.
  • Check out this post about more terrific Vitamix blender recipes.

Your Questions Answered:

  • Q: Does it taste like regular alfredo? 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? 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: 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.
  • Q: How long will this keep? This keeps in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 7 days. It freezes well too.
whole wheat spiral pasta cooked in stainless saucepan

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.

spiral pasta topped with vegan alfredo sauce and green peas in blue round dish

Check out all my Vegan Sauces to liven up those healthy meals.

Other vegan pasta recipes

For those of you new to the whole food plant-based lifestyle, we’ve created a FREE 7-Day Plant-Based Menu Planner to help you get started!

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close up of vegan fettuccine alfredo on gold spoon with wooden handle
4.54 from 15 votes

Easy Vegan Alfredo Sauce in 10-Minutes

Author: Terri Edwards
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!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 cups

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup plant milk such as almond
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspooon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch or other thickener
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • pepper to taste

Instructions

Vitamix Method

  • 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.

Video

Notes

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.
Tips for making this alfredo sauce
  1. For those avoiding cashews, almonds and sunflower seeds can be substituted. These do change the flavor a bit but are still quite good.
  2. 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.
  3. If the sauce becomes too thick, using either cooking method, simply add a little plant milk and it will thin right out.
  4. Check out this post about more terrific Vitamix blender recipes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 185kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 334mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g

Disclaimer

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.

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About Terri Edwards

Hi guys! I am the content creator behind EatPlant-Based and a licensed Food for Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. I am passionate about sharing healthy recipes and tips to empower others to get healthy.  I’m so glad you’re here! Read More…

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15 Comments

  1. This is absolutely delicious and so easy to make! I added 1 cup of frozen green peas to the boiling pasta for the last minute and used 8 ounces of bow-tie pasta. I also added a small can of stems and pieces mushrooms (drained) to the sauce after heating it up. Yummy, yummy.

    1. Yes, it can. Once it’s defrosted, it will need to be run through the blender again to get the consistency back, and you’ll likely need a little more plant milk too. It will still be great.

  2. It says raw cashews, but the link to the ones you posted are organic but not raw, so does it matter? Raw or regular?

    1. Hi Judith- Thank you for letting me know. I’ve corrected the link to point to raw cashews now. In the past, I’ve made this with both raw and roasted, and it turns out full of flavor either way. Hope you like it too.

    1. Hi Stephany- I haven’t subbed it out before, but my understanding is that when substituting cashew butter for soaked cashews, you should reduce the amount called for by half. So instead of using 1/2 cup cashews, you would use 1/4 cup cashew butter. Good luck!

    1. Hi Char- I haven’t made this with white beans but feel it would be worth a try. It will certainly change the texture and flavorsome but should still be quite good, I would think.

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