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!

vegan alfredo fettucine on two plates

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.

vegan alfredo sauce with fettucine on a fork

I hope you love this Alfredo Sauce as much as I do. It’s:

  • “Lick the blender” tasty!
  • Kid-friendly
  • 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.

vegan alfredo sauce being poured in a pot of fettucine noodles

Want more creamy vegan pasta dishes?

vegan alfredo with fettucine on two plates

vegan alfredo fettucine on two plates
4.57 stars (32 ratings)

Instant Pot Vegan Alfredo Sauce

Made in the Instant Pot (or not), this Vegan Alfredo Sauce will have you licking the blender clean! It's rich, creamy and made with whole food plant ingredients.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 3 minutes
Total: 13 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 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.


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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. I love this sauce with pasta and steamed broccoli or cooked kale.
  5. Nutritional information is only for the sauce. It will change depending on what kind of pasta and vegetables you use.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 696mg | Potassium: 421mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 250IU | Vitamin C: 49mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!


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  1. This is surprisingly, stupidly good! I had to adjust the proportions because I didn’t have quite enough cauliflower. The result came out a little too thick, so I added almond milk in the blender and OMG I thnk that’s actually a terrific addition! (Also threw in some nutritional yest cause we’re getting hooked on it).

    As others have said, this is a keeper. Thank you for sharing it!

  2. This was soooo good! Mine was orange because of the broth, but it tasted great! You are a master of vegan food. Everything I’ve tried from you has been delicious. Thank you for what you do!

  3. This was phenomenal! I was not expecting it to be. I’m so pleased with the result. I added onion powder, garlic powder, white pepper and steamed broccoli. Definitely a keeper.

  4. I have made this several times ( because it is so delicious and easy), and everyone loves it. It was the first thing I made in my InstaPot. I usually serve over spiraled veggie noodles, like celery root or zucchini. Because we are in New Mexico, I Have added chopped green chili. YUM!!! Thank you so much!

  5. This sauce turned out amazing!! made mine with whole wheat pasta and green peas for a weekly meal prep and I am going to be so excited for lunch everyday!! Also have some left over sauce that I’m excited to pour over EVERYTHING!!

    Thank you for sharing this!!

  6. Seriously amazing!!! I just got an instant pot for Christmas and in searching for new recipes I found this one and made it for dinner tonight…. incredible! My very first instant pot dish too 😉

  7. just made this. so yummy!!!! after I blended it, I added a bit of ginger to it and some paprika and a dash of maple syrup.

  8. How much cauliflower is 6 cups of florets? 6 cups sounds like 3 heads. I have one head and once the florets are all separated it weighs 1 pound. How many heads did you use?

    1. I usually use frozen cauliflower florets, but if I use fresh or frozen, I simply measure out 6 cups of the florets in a measuring cup. It will largely depend on how big or small the head of cauliflower. Usually 1 large head of cauliflower is enough for me, but it depends on the size. Use a measuring cup to get approximately 6 cups of florets.

  9. Mine is not white, due to the veg broth. Also it just tastes like pureed cauliflower. I followed the instructions exactly. What a bummer.

    1. I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you. Something must have gone wrong though; I’ve made this countless times and it’s always very white and creamy. You can even see it being made in the video, it’s very white and creamy every time! Many others have made this with good results. It almost sounds like you forgot the cashews or something, though you say you followed the instructions exactly.

  10. WOW!!! I’ve got to say I had kind of low expectations. “How can it be this simple and still taste good? Is that really enough ingredients?” But, I was pressed for time, with a hungry group of boys, and had everything on hand. Boy was I surprised!! I used my immersion blender, and had dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes. I added diced broccoli to my pasta when it was about 4 minutes till done, and watched my family inhale. Thank you for keeping it simple, and super delicious:)

    1. Thanks so much! I’m happy the whole family enjoyed this alfredo pasta. My kids LOVE LOVE LOVE this dinner. All 3 of them, which rarely happens! Thanks for the feedback. 🙂

  11. Delicious!!! One question though…mine came out a little gritty and not smooth like in the pictures…maybe I dont have strong enough blender? Want to make again so any tips would be great!

  12. I was really skeptical, having just starting to try eat vegan/vegetarian. I have tried many cauliflower dishes as a substitute for something else and they never seem to satisfy. That being said, this meal was absolutely delicious. The texture is surprisingly creamy! I ate it the day before and the day after and it was great both times. I added a little lemon pepper when I served it and it gave it a great flavour. Thanks for the recipe! I will definitely try this again in the future.

    1. I’m so happy to hear this Ryan, that’s awesome! I couldn’t believe how delicious this was when I first made it; it’s a regular at my house. Lemon pepper sounds like a great addition.

  13. I really enjoyed this recipe. It was soooo easy to make & healthy, too! It was light but filling. I did add a lot of pepper to the sauce and my kids and husband added Parmesan cheese…but 2 out of 3 kids asked for 3rds. My 7 yr old immediately wanted to know what was in it but I didn’t say. She finished her serving and kindly let me know she didn’t really care for it. (I don’t think she’s much of an Alfredo fan, though). My husband didn’t say anything so I know what that means. But overall, I’d call it a win for me and 2 of my kids.

  14. Okay, I have to admit I was super skeptical. I recently had to switch to a new diet because of food sensitivities, but I was scarred by my attempts at paleo before. Most every recipe I tried didn’t turn out very well, so I stuck to tried and true ones… but I wanted something creamy so badly that I decided to try this one. I’m an unmitigated disaster in the kitchen, so I was feeling disappointed right after starting–I couldn’t remember how to use the instant pot very well, I couldn’t see how the ingredients could come together, it kind of smelled like feet… so I was prepared for it to just be disgusting. But lo and behold, it was not! I’m so happy I made this . I’m eating a big bowl of spaghetti with it right now and storing the rest for later. Thank you!!

    1. haha!! You actually describe this recipe so well! It doesn’t look great until they very end when you blend everything up, and then the magic happens. 🙂 I am SO glad you made and enjoyed this recipe, thanks so much for the kind comment and letting me know! It’s hard to change your diet for food sensitivity reasons. I hope you can find some more easy recipes that you actually like. 🙂

  15. Hi Nora!! Do you think I can substitute raw almonds for the cashews? I will soak them a bit to remove the skins. Thank you!

  16. It’s way too much liquid if using frozen cauliflower. I used two bags (8 cups) cauliflower and it was too runny to use. Try cutting the liquid in half.

    1. I’m sorry it was too runny to use. I will do some testing and adjust the recipe if using frozen. I have found that I like the sauce pretty runny, because when you mix it with the pasta it thickens considerably. It’s not supposed to be a thick sauce. But I will test it out, thanks!

      1. Hi! I just made it with frozen cauliflower using the updated instructions, and the consistency was just right. This was so good!

        1. Oh great Holly! Thanks for sharing. I’ve been eating the leftovers for a few days and loving it! Glad you enjoyed. 🙂

    1. For this recipe, I don’t soak the cashews because they are cooked right alongside the cauliflower so they get soft that way. For the butternut squash cheese sauce, I do soak them.

  17. Do you have a recipe for cauliflower soup? vegan of coarse! there is one i love at Cafe Zupas but its not vegan 🙁

      1. Can’t wait to try this recipe! It’s been over 20 years since I’ve had Alfredo sauce… As much as I love it the feeling after having it just wasn’t worth having. Thanks for the alternative.

  18. I just made this dish and was amazing, I did add xtra garlic and a large onion and had some died mushrooms which I did hydrate and added them at the end in the sauce. I did not have gluten free fettuccini so I used brown rice pad Thai noodles instead. This recipe is a keeper. My husband who is very picky loved this dish. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

    1. Yes! You could use white navy beans in place of the cashews. 🙂 I would use a little less vegetable broth that way though, maybe 4-5 cups instead of 6.

  19. Just made this tonight and I really enjoyed it! Thank you so much for this easy and yummy recipe! I added asparagus and it was divine!! Unfortunately, my 4 y.o. Nico wouldn’t bite! Better luck next time :).

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!! I literally can not get enough of this sauce. Bummer your little one wouldn’t try it, kids can be so finicky with their food choices. 🙂

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