Dinner in 20 minutes or less! Meet the creamiest alfredo sauce, made with cauliflower, a little bit of cashews and a LOT of garlic. Serve with fettuccine and steamed broccoli for a quick, amazing meal that won’t weigh you down!
This Instant Pot Vegan Alfredo is super simple and quick to make. It’s made with a blend of cooked cauliflower and raw cashews, creating a creamy but light sauce. For the ultimate creamy dairy free alfredo, make sure to check out my Vegan Alfredo, made with all cashews and no cauliflower.
I hope you love this Alfredo Sauce as much as I do. It’s:
- “Lick the blender” tasty!
- Full of whole plant foods
- Rich and creamy, but won’t leave you feeling weighed down
- Quick & Easy (Instant Pot)
- JUST 5 ingredients!
If you don’t have an Instant Pot, don’t worry. You can still make this recipe, almost as quickly. I’ve included both Instant Pot and regular instructions.
Want more creamy vegan pasta dishes?
- The Best Vegan Alfredo Sauce
- Creamy Vegan Carbonara
- The Best Vegan Mac and Cheese
- Tuscan Vegan Gnocchi
Instant Pot Vegan Alfredo Sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups cauliflower florets (fresh or frozen)
- 3/4 cup raw cashews
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2-1 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 1 pound (16-oz) cooked fettuccine pasta (whole grain or gluten free if needed)
- Optional: steamed broccoli, kale or green peas
Instant Pot Instructions:
- Push the saute feature on the Instant Pot. Add the olive oil and minced garlic and cook for a minute or two, until fragrant, but be careful not to burn.
- Now turn off the saute, and add the cauliflower, cashews and vegetable broth. Cook in the Instant Pot on high manual pressure for 3 minutes, making sure it's sealed so the pressure can build.
- Once it beeps and is done, carefully release the pressure. I always use a towel to protect from burning, so be careful. (If you have time, you can let the pressure come down naturally)
- Transfer to a blender, add salt and blend until very smooth. Pour over pasta and stir. If the sauce is a bit thick, simply add in a few tablespoons of water, a little at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately with steamed broccoli, kale or peas if desired.
Regular (Non-Instant Pot) Instructions:
- In a large pot, saute the garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the cauliflower, cashews and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the pot, add salt to taste and serve.
- This sauce freezes well. I freeze sauces like this in small glass or BPA free plastic containers. Leave an inch or so of room for expansion. Re-heat in the microwave, stove top or even your Instant Pot.
- Use Gluten Free pasta if needed. This sauce is good on all sorts of pasta, and makes a great topping for baked potatoes as well.
- You may leave out the cashews if necessary, such as if you have a nut allergy or don't want the fat. It will still be good but not quite as creamy and you will need to use less vegetable broth. You could also try replacing the cashews with white navy beans.
- I love this sauce with pasta and steamed broccoli or cooked kale.
- Nutritional information is only for the sauce. It will change depending on what kind of pasta and vegetables you use.
I’ve noticed many of the new, popular vegan blogs seem more invested in their own marketing than providing diverse, quality recipes.
Yet again, Nora Cooks remains the only vegan recipe blog I have 100% faith in. Variety, simple ingredients, and amazing flavor every time.
Thank you so much for all you do, and especially for sharing it with us. <3 🙂
Hi Brenda. Thank you for your kind words about my blog and my recipes! They mean a lot to me! I’m so glad you are loving my recipes! I appreciate your great feedback!
We love this recipe so much! I love that you include the nutrition facts. Wondering how big one serving is though? 1 cup?
I’m so glad you love the recipe! Thank you! I’m not exactly sure what the serving size is. This recipe makes 6 servings, so you would need to divide it by six to know for sure. Probably 1 to 1.5 cups. I appreciate you sharing your review!
This was awesome. I made it for meatless Mondays and this received a 9 our of 10 stars from my meat-eater husband!
Hi Rochelle! I’m glad the Alfredo sauce was a hit! Thank you for sharing your great review!
I have made about a thousand different “creamy” vegan sauces and this was the best one I’ve tried so far as far as the smooth creamy texture! I topped it with your chicken seitan and sautéed asparagus and it was so yummy! Thank you for this recipe!
Thank you for sharing your wonderful review, Alyssa! I’m glad you love the Alfredo sauce! Thank you for using my recipe!
Excellent! Very yummy.
Hi Danielle. Glad you loved the recipe! Thank you!
I didn’t use an instant pot, just a regular stove but that shouldn’t have negatively affected anything. The texture was amazing, very creamy, velvety and smooth (although this is probably more likely due to the vitamix than the actual recipe) sauce but there was almost no taste at all, just tasted like watery cauliflower with notes of garlic. I think 6 cups of cauliflower is way too much for 3/4 a cup of cashews. I ended up adding lots to this – onion powder, nutritional yeast, more salt, lemon juice, etc. and it tasted better but after all was said and done, it was almost like an entirely different recipe. I see that some of the reviews rave about this but as is, I personally didn’t find it very tasty.
Hi Marge. I’m sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy this sauce. Many people have made it (see the other comments and ratings below) and loved it, so I do wonder if something went wrong. You didn’t forget the cashews by chance, did you? Because then it would definitely taste more like cauliflower. Also, depending on the broth you used, you might have needed to add more salt for taste. In the Instant Pot, the cauliflower cooks down a ton by the time you blend it, and I don’t find it too much. You might prefer my other Vegan Alfredo Sauce, which has no cauliflower. Anyhow, sorry you didn’t enjoy it!
Love this recipe! I’ve made it so many times for family, friends, and lunch meal prep. I have to reduce the garlic for acid reflux and it’s still delicious.
This was very easy and quite good. We did find it a bit bland and will add some more spices the next time I make it. We served it with oven roasted Brussels sprouts which I highly recommend.
Is there a reason to add the salt after cooking? Also, should the veg. broth be salted / low-salt or no salt?
Just so you can add it to taste. The vegetable broth can be low sodium or salted.
This is an incredible recipe! Super easy and delicious. I ended up sautéing onions before adding the garlic. Being vegan, it is sometimes tricky finding meals my dairy and meat eating boyfriend will enjoy, but this one did it! He was shocked how much like regular alfredo it was. Thank you so much!
You’re so welcome!
My mother was vegan and in the end stages of cancer when she asked me to make this for her. It was one of the last things she ate more than a tablespoon of. She loved it!
Thank you so much for the good memory. She died April 6, 2020.
I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for leaving a comment to let me know, that means a lot to me.
Do you really use this much garlic: 14.67 cloves garlic, minced?
I don’t understand where you see this, the recipe calls for 8 cloves of garlic, minced. I wonder if you accidentally changed the serving size?
Can you use water instead of vegetable broth?
You could, you just may need to add more salt if there isn’t enough flavor.
Could this sauce be frozen for later use?
Yes, I freeze it sometimes and it works great.
Exceeded expectations! Lovely
If using frozen cauliflower florets, would you thaw them first or just throw them in frozen?
I just throw them in frozen.
Oh my Nora you’ve done it again! I had no idea about the cashes to make the sauce a little bit thicker! 🙂 I’m heading to the store in a bit to get some ingredients to make this! 🙂 Thanks so much…love a healthier alternative to a meal I already love 🙂
You’re welcome! Happy cooking!
If using frozen riced cauliflower, how many cups should be used?
I would use 5-6 cups of riced cauliflower.
This is the BEST alfredo sauce we have ever had! It beats non vegan alfredo every time!
This is so easy and delicious! And so smooth! Poured over zucchini noodles, added sautéd mushrooms and peppers… Meal prep, done!
We LOVE this recipe! Could you tell me what the serving size is for the calorie count? Thank you!
I’m so glad you love it! The calorie count is for 1/6th of the sauce. Thank you!
This was a great substitute for alfredo sauce, I really enjoyed it, and especially enjoyed feeling satisfied but not heavy! Thank you!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks.