This is the best Vegan Alfredo Sauce ever! Easy to make with just a handful of ingredients and ready in 15 minutes or less. No one will know it’s vegan!

fork holding creamy vegan alfredo sauce on fettuccine

This vegan cashew Alfredo sauce is ultra creamy and flavorful with NO cheese, heavy cream or butter!

Cashews form the base of this easy vegan Alfredo sauce. Cashews are such a magical vegan ingredient, creating rich and creamy dairy free delights. A few of my all-time favorite recipes using cashews include Vegan Scalloped Potatoes, The Best Vegan Mac and Cheese and 5 Ingredient Vegan Queso.

If you can’t have cashews or nuts, go make this Dairy Free Alfredo Sauce with NO nuts. It’s equally incredible.

You might also like this Instant Pot Vegan Alfredo made from a combination of cauliflower and cashews.

What you need for the best, easy vegan Alfredo sauce

  • Raw cashews – They are the base for the delicious creamy sauce. You can try using slivered almonds or sunflower seeds instead, but it won’t quite be the same.
  • Olive oil – For sautéing the onions and garlic.
  • Onion – Adds incredible flavor!
  • Garlic – Again, for that garlicky classic Alfredo flavor.
  • Unsweetened almond milk – May also use water or another unsweetened, unflavored plant milk.
  • Nutritional yeast – For a cheesy taste. May omit if you don’t like it.
  • Lemon juice – To brighten up the flavors a bit.
  • Salt, to taste
  • A high powered blender for best results – I highly recommend a Vitamix or other powerful blender. A regular blender can possibly be used, but the sauce won’t get as creamy.
white plate with alfredo fettuccine, sprinkled with parsley and grey towel in background

How to make vegan alfredo sauce

This is an overview with photos of the process. For the complete, printable recipe, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom.

If you plan on serving the sauce with pasta, cook the noodles now. Drain when cooked and add back to the pot for mixing with the sauce.

Soak the cashews for 5 minutes in hot water. I simply use my tea kettle to boil water, and pour it over the cashews in a glass measuring cup.

Sauté 1/2 an onion and 6 cloves of garlic in a small pan for 5 minutes.

onions and garlic sauteed in a pan

Add the drained cashews, onion/garlic, almond milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and salt to a high powered blender and blend until creamy and smooth.

blender full of creamy blended sauce

Add sauce to pasta, mix and warm if needed. That’s it!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I make it without cashews? I recommend you try my Dairy Free Alfredo Sauce, which is nut free. You can also try substituting sunflower seeds or raw slivered almonds for varied results.
  2. What if I don’t have a high powered blender? It’s possible to make the sauce in a regular blender or food processor, just know it won’t be as creamy as the photos. Try soaking the cashews for a half hour at least in hot water to make them extra soft for blending.
  3. How long will the sauce keep in the refrigerator? Store in a covered container for 4-5 days.
  4. Can you freeze vegan Alfredo sauce? Yes, it freezes well. Freeze sauce separate from pasta. Pour into freezer friendly containers, leaving a little room for expansion. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight is possible and rewarm in the microwave or stovetop.

Variations

  • “Chicken” Alfredo – I often cook up some vegan chicken or simply Gardein nuggets. Slice and serve with the fettuccine Alfredo.
  • Add some heat – I almost always sprinkle a good amount of red chili flakes on my Alfredo pasta. So good!
  • Mix in some vegetables – Serve a veggie on the side, or mix them right in! My favorites are steamed or roasted broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cooked kale, green peas or asparagus.
white sauce being poured over cooked noodles on white plate

Want more creamy vegan pasta recipes?

fork holding lots of pasta with white sauce
4.87 stars (95 ratings)

Vegan Alfredo Sauce

This is the best vegan alfredo sauce ever! Easy to make with just a handful of ingredients and ready in 15 minutes or less. No one will know it's vegan! Makes about 4 cups of sauce.
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 
 

  • 12 ounces fettuccine pasta, optional
  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk*
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Instructions 

Cook the pasta, if using

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add the pasta and cook according to package instructions. Drain, then add it back to the pot and cover until the sauce is done.

Make the sauce

  • Bring 4 cups of water to a boil (I use my tea kettle). Pour the hot water over the cashews and let soak for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the chopped onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes until fragrant and the onion is translucent. Remove from heat.
  • Drain the cashews and discard the soaking water. Add them to a high powered blender along with onions/garlic, unsweetened almond milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and salt. Blend until very smooth.

Serve

  • Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir. If the noodles are still hot, you may not need to cook it any more. If you want, heat the pasta with the alfredo sauce on low heat until warm. If it becomes too thick, add a bit of water to thin out the sauce. Serve immediately.

Video

Notes

  1. Gluten Free: Use gluten free pasta.
  2. Cashew Free: Use raw slivered almonds instead of cashews, or even sunflower seeds. Cashews give the sauce the best buttery and cheesy taste though.
  3. May use water instead of almond milk. Other plant milks work as well – soy, cashew or coconut. Just make sure the milk you use is both unsweetened and unflavored.
  4. “Chicken” Alfredo: Cook up some vegan chicken nuggets (my favorite is Gardein brand), slice and serve on top of the pasta!
  5. To Freeze: The sauce freezes well! Freeze in small freezer-friendly containers. Leave an inch or so of room for expansion. Re-heat in the microwave or stove top until warm.
  6. If you don’t care for nutritional yeast, it is okay to omit it.
  7. Alfredo sauce is also wonderful drizzled on baked potatoes, on pizza, spaghetti squash, cooked vegetables and more.
  8. Calories are for 1/6th of the sauce, and does not include pasta.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 437kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 504mg | Potassium: 401mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian-inspired
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

This recipe was first published in September of 2019. The recipe is the same, but the writing is updated to provide answer to frequent questions and variations/options.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Read my full disclosure here.

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Comments

  1. Thankyou so much for including a link to buy cashews. I was having so much trouble finding nuts that were not made in factories that have soy or eggs. Those were so perfect and I went on to not only do this recipe but also your delicious Lasagna. It still taste great without the lemon juice.

  2. Hello, do you have to include lemon juice? Looks like a fabulous recipe I would like to try but my child is allergic to citrus.

    1. The lemon juice can be left out, if needed. The sauce will still be good, lemon juice just helps bring out the flavors a bit. Happy cooking!

  3. Made this for dinner. Let me say first of all very easy recipe with easy to get ingredients. And the taste was amazing! Thanks for all your recipes . 

    1. Hi Jennifer! Thank you for taking your time share your review and comments! I’m glad you loved the recipe! Thank you for using my recipes!

  4. I made the mistake of using oat milk.  Too brown, too oaty, too liquidy.  🙁  will try again with a different plant milk an less of it. 

    1. Hopefully you didn’t forget the 1 1/2 cups of raw cashews, because even using oat milk it shouldn’t be watery, especially after it’s mixed with the hot drained noodles. My favorite here is probably unsweetened almond or cashew milk.

  5. So nourishing and satisfying! I love this sauce I could eat it straight with a spoon. It’s better than the non-vegan alternative because it’s creamier but lighter. YUM!

    1. Hi Lauren! Thanks very much for sharing your great review ad comments! I’m glad you love the Alfredo sauce…it is one of my favorites!

  6. This is so delicious. The first time I made it, I poured it over pasta shells, and topped with sautéed onion, garlic, and mushroom. Ssoooo good. A couple days later to use up the rest, I blended it with some roasted red peppers and used it to top my linguini. Oh. My. Heck. It was insane. I will be making this sauce again and again. Thank you!

  7. Your blog is now my go-to for great recipes! So many of these recipes I’ve tried have turned out great. However, I found this sauce to be a little bland. And I even doubled the lemon juice, salt, and nooch. I added other spices too, but still found it lacking flavor. Are there any additional suggestions for spicing this up? Thanks so much!

    1. Thank you Amy, I’m glad you enjoy the recipes here. 🙂 I’m not sure what you are looking for in a vegan alfredo sauce, but I find it just perfect. It’s a mellow, garlicky, creamy sauce for pasta. Alfredo sauce shouldn’t be spicy in my opinion, but I suppose you could add some spices, they just aren’t usually there in alfredo so I’m not sure what to use. You could grate up some vegan parmesan (I love Violife) and add it to the sauce with the pasta. I do that sometimes! Hope that helps.

  8. I’m Italian and we don’t actually have “Alfredo pasta” in our tradition (it’s a false belief that it’s an Italian dish), but I tried this and was really good! I added just a little bit of miso paste and was great ?

    1. I added miso paste too! I learned that when I took a vegan cooking class in Rome.  Excellent sauce!

  9. Thank you for this! I’ve used this recipe more than 10 times, with some edamame spaghetti noodles. It’s become a big part of my diet.

    1. I also love the flavor and ease of the recipe! I’m glad you are loving it! Thanks for sharing your review and comments!

  10. Amazing.  I have been wanting to try a vegan Alfredo sauce and was happy to see you had a recipe because I trust your food!!! Was not disappointed at all.  So easy and delicious!!! 

    1. It means a lot to me that you trust my recipes! Thank you for sharing your great review! I’m glad you love the Alfredo sauce!

  11. Love this Alfredo sauce. I cook put some chopped broccoli in with the boiling pasta the last 5 minutes. 

    1. Hi Julie. I also love broccoli with this meal! Thanks for sharing your review! I’m glad you loved it!

  12. This is delicious! I am new to cooking vegan and I was so happy with how easy this was to make. I used it in a vegan white lasagna and it was really good. 

    1. I’m so glad you love it! Mmmm, vegan white lasagna sounds good! Thank you for taking your time to share your review!

  13. Yum yum!! I made this as written with a couple of additions. Freshly ground black pepper, maybe just under a tsp of thyme, about a tsp more lemon juice (bottled), and I used a shallot instead of onion. Melted about 2-2.5 Tbls vegan butter in a saucepan, added the sauce to it to heat up. Served with chickpea meatless balls and topped with vegan parmesan. Oh man, this turned out so good! 

  14. Wonderful recipe! I’m a baby vegan so I’m just starting to learn how to made delicious plant based food. Thank you for this recipe. It tastes great. It also a good base to build on a bit with other flavours. I added a little thyme and pepper. I don’t have a high speed blender so it didn’t come out extremely smooth however I like the texture because I think it would be a good sandwich spread with veggies as well!

  15. Hi Nora!

    This is one of my favorites but I just had a friend reach out to me about a good Alfredo sauce, however her son is allergic to lemon. Do you know of a substitute for the lemon juice in this recipe?

    Thanks so much 

    1. Thanks for sharing your wonderful review, Niki! The lemon juice can be left out, if needed. The sauce will still be good, lemon juice just helps bring out the flavors a bit. Happy cooking!

  16. This was sooo good!! I used 1 cup of cashews and 1 1/4 of almond milk and it turned put really creamy and delicious!!

  17. It was perfect as is.  My husband loved it!  Although, next time I’ll cook the whole 16 ounces of fettuccine as there was plenty enough sauce for that. Thanks for another lovely recipe Nora!

    1. You are welcome, Luanne! Thank you for using my recipes and for sharing your review! I’m glad you guys loved the Alfredo sauce!

  18. Thank you for the excellent recipe! I added ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg, at least another 1/8-¼ teaspoon salt, approximately the same amount of pepper, and another dash of nutritional yeast to bump up the flavor. I also boiled ½ bag of frozen peas and sautéed ¼ bag of frozen mushrooms in the olive oil used for the onions and garlic and stirred those in as a final step – I recommend both!

    1. Your additions sound delicious! Thank you for sharing your review and comments! I’m glad you l love the sauce!

  19. The only reason why I am giving this recipe four stars is I had to season it a little to taste. I added a little bit of Mccay’s Chicken seasoning and Agave nectar. I also added oat flour to thicken the sauce up a little. Indo plan to use this recipe again.

    1. To get a truly creamy and smooth sauce, a high powered blender works best. If you are using a regular blender I would soak the cashews overnight or at least for several hours first. Thanks!

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