Vegan Alfredo Sauce Recipe - Love and Lemons

How to make Vegan Alfredo Sauce

Alfredo sauce is a classic Italian pasta sauce traditionally made with heavy cream, butter, and Parmesan cheese. However, vegan Alfredo sauce substitutes these dairy ingredients with plant-based alternatives to create a similarly rich and creamy sauce that aligns with a vegan diet, which excludes all animal products.

To replicate the texture and flavor profile of classic Alfredo sauce, vegan recipes usually incorporate ingredients such as raw cashews (soaked and blended for creaminess), non-dairy milk (like almond, soy, or oat milk), nutritional yeast (for a cheesy flavor), and sometimes tofu or cauliflower for additional body. Garlic, salt, and pepper are added for seasoning, and some variations may include lemon juice for brightness, miso paste for umami, or vegan cheese for extra richness.

The origins of Alfredo sauce trace back to Rome in the early 20th century, with a dish simply consisting of pasta tossed with butter and Parmesan cheese. Over time, it evolved, particularly in the United States, into a richer sauce incorporating heavy cream. The shift towards veganism and plant-based diets has inspired the adaptation of many traditional dishes to fit new dietary preferences without sacrificing familiarity or indulgence, thus giving rise to vegan Alfredo sauce variations.

Vegan Alfredo Sauce Recipe

Vegan Alfredo Sauce Recipe - Love and Lemons

Vegan Alfredo Sauce

Vegan Alfredo sauce is a plant-based version of the classic Italian pasta sauce, tailored to fit a vegan diet by substituting dairy products with alternative ingredients. Traditional Alfredo sauce is known for its creamy texture and rich flavor, stemming from a combination of heavy cream, butter, and Parmesan cheese. In vegan Alfredo sauces, these elements are replaced with plant-based ingredients such as soaked and blended raw cashews, non-dairy milk alternatives (almond, soy, or oat milk), and nutritional yeast to mimic the cheesy flavor.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 serving
Calories 190 kcal


  • 1 large saucepan
  • 1 blender


  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 4 garlic cloves Minced
  • 6 cup cauliflower florets about1 small head cauliflower finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • Heat the oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add the cashew and cauliflower to the pan and cook until slightly brown, for about 4 minutes.
  • Add the mince garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the onion powder, vegetable broth, nutmeg, onion powder, 1/2 tsp kosher salt and pepper to the pan.
  • Reduce the heat to low heat, cover and bring to a simmer until cauliflower is softened, for about 7 minutes.
  • Transfer to a blender and add the rest of the ingredients including the remaining tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of black pepper and blend until very smooth.
  • Serve immediately as you want and store the leftover in an air tight container and keep in the fridge. Use within a week.
Keyword cauliflower florets, raw unsalted cashews

Cooking Tips about Vegan Alfredo Sauce

Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo (No Cashews) - From The Comfort Of My Bowl

  • Soaking Nuts: If you’re using raw cashews as your base, soak them in water for a few hours or overnight. This softens them and ensures a smooth, creamy blend without any gritty bits.
  • Blending: Use a high-speed blender to achieve the silkiest texture possible. Blend until the sauce is completely smooth; this could take a couple of minutes depending on the power of your blender.
  • Heat Gently: Once blended, warm the sauce gently over low to medium heat if you are serving it with pasta or other warm dishes. Stir continuously to prevent sticking and maintain a smooth consistency.
  • Flavor Balancing: Adjust the flavor by adding a little more nutritional yeast for cheesiness, lemon juice for brightness, or salt and pepper for overall seasoning. Miso paste can add depth and a touch of umami, so feel free to experiment with a small amount.
  • Thicken or Thin: Depending on personal preference, or how you plan to use the sauce, you can adjust the thickness by adding more non-dairy milk to thin it or more cashews to thicken it. Other thickeners like arrowroot powder or tapioca starch can also be used.
  • Seasoning Variations: Don’t hesitate to include different seasonings. Garlic adds a traditional flavor, but onion powder, smoked paprika, or white pepper can offer interesting twists.
  • Nut-Free Options: For a nut-free version, consider using silken tofu or cauliflower as the base. When using tofu, make sure it’s drained and blending thoroughly to avoid any lumps.
  • Pasta Water Magic: If you’re serving the sauce with pasta, reserve some of the pasta cooking water. The starchy water can help thin the sauce if it becomes too thick upon mixing with the pasta and can help with achieving the perfect consistency.
  • Fresh Herbs Finish: Garnish the finished dish with fresh herbs such as parsley or basil for additional flavor and visual appeal.
  • Storage Tips: Vegan Alfredo sauce can be stored in the fridge for a few days. Reheat on the stove and add a bit of non-dairy milk if needed to bring back its creamy texture.

Serving suggestions about Vegan Alfredo Sauce

Fettuccine Alfredo

  • Classic Pasta Dish: Toss vegan Alfredo sauce with cooked pasta such as fettuccine, penne, or spaghetti. Garnish with fresh herbs like parsley, and add steamed vegetables like broccoli or peas for extra nutrition.
  • Gourmet Pizza: Use vegan Alfredo sauce as a pizza base in place of tomato sauce. Top with an array of veggies and a sprinkle of vegan cheese before baking.
  • Creamy Risotto: Stir the Vegan Alfredo sauce into a risotto to create a rich and luxurious texture. Finish with sautéed mushrooms, roasted garlic, and fresh thyme.
  • Casserole Ingredient: Include it in a layered casserole with vegetables, vegan protein such as seitan or tofu, and grains like quinoa or rice. Bake until bubbly and golden.
  • Dipping Sauce: Thinned slightly with some non-dairy milk, the sauce can make a decadent dip for breadsticks, vegetable crudités, or roasted potato wedges.
  • Sauce for Vegetables: Pour it over steamed or roasted veggies, such as asparagus, cauliflower, or brussels sprouts, for a comforting and creamy side dish.
  • Enrich Soup: Add a dollop of vegan Alfredo sauce to soups to give them a creamy twist. It works nicely in potato, mushroom, or vegetable soup.

Top 5 FAQs about Vegan Alfredo Sauce

Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo - Make It Dairy Free

  • What makes Alfredo sauce vegan? Vegan Alfredo sauce avoids traditional ingredients such as butter, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese, which are derived from dairy. Instead, it uses plant-based substitutes like blended soaked cashews, non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast, and sometimes tofu or cauliflower to achieve a similar creamy texture and rich taste that adheres to vegan dietary principles.
  • How do you achieve the creamy texture in vegan Alfredo sauce? The creaminess in vegan Alfredo sauce is often attained by using raw cashews that have been soaked and then blended until smooth. Other methods include using silken tofu, non-dairy milk alternatives like almond or soy milk, and even cooked and pureed cauliflower. These ingredients provide the sauce with a creamy consistency naturally without any dairy.
  • Can vegan Alfredo sauce be heated like traditional Alfredo sauce? Yes, vegan Alfredo sauce can be gently heated over low to medium heat while stirring continuously to prevent sticking and to maintain a smooth consistency. It’s important not to overheat, as some plant-based ingredients may separate or become too thick. Adding a bit of non-dairy milk can help adjust it back to the right texture.
  • Is vegan Alfredo sauce healthier than regular Alfredo sauce? Vegan Alfredo sauce can be considered healthier than traditional Alfredo sauce in several ways. It typically contains less saturated fat and cholesterol since it’s dairy-free, and often has additional nutrients from the plant-based ingredients used, such as vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats from nuts or seeds. However, it’s still important to enjoy it in moderation as it can be calorie-dense due to the nuts and oils it may contain.
  • How can I store vegan Alfredo sauce, and how long will it last? Vegan Alfredo sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days, usually around 3-5 days. When reheating, you may need to add a little non-dairy milk to thin it out and restore its creamy texture. It’s also possible to freeze vegan Alfredo sauce, although it may require blending after thawing to ensure the right consistency is achieved.

With that said, the landscape of vegan cuisine is continually evolving, and innovations post-early 2023 may have brought about new variations or improvements to vegan Alfredo sauce. From refined recipes to commercial products making their way to the shelves, there’s always scope for advancements influenced by nutrition science, sustainable practices, and global flavor trends. To stay current on these topics, directed research into the latest vegan food products, recipes, and consumer preferences would be beneficial.


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