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!
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.
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.
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.
Add sauce to pasta, mix and warm if needed. That’s it!
Frequently Asked Questions
- 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.
- 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.
- How long will the sauce keep in the refrigerator? Store in a covered container for 4-5 days.
- 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.
- “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.
Want more creamy vegan pasta recipes?
- Creamy Vegan Carbonara
- Dairy Free Mac and Cheese
- The Best Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff
- Tuscan Vegan Gnocchi
Vegan Alfredo Sauce
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.
- 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.
- Gluten Free: Use gluten free pasta.
- Cashew Free: Use raw slivered almonds instead of cashews, or even sunflower seeds. Cashews give the sauce the best buttery and cheesy taste though.
- 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.
- “Chicken” Alfredo: Cook up some vegan chicken nuggets (my favorite is Gardein brand), slice and serve on top of the pasta!
- 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.
- If you don’t care for nutritional yeast, it is okay to omit it.
- Alfredo sauce is also wonderful drizzled on baked potatoes, on pizza, spaghetti squash, cooked vegetables and more.
- Calories are for 1/6th of the sauce, and does not include pasta.
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.