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 (94 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.

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Comments

  1. I recommend avoiding soy milk in this recipe… it was unsweetened and unflavored but it tasted way too sweet and almost vanilla flavored?

    1. Are you SURE there is no vanilla listed in the soy milk ingredients? I recently had this happened with what looked like plain and unsweetened soy milk (I think it was from Whole Foods) but in fact there was vanilla in the ingredients list! So frustrating.

  2. This was honestly so good I’m blown away. We halved the recipe for 2 because it makes quite a bit. Added broccoli to the boiling pasta water during the last 3 minutes of boil and added a handful of spinach at the end. Served with cracked pepper and follow your heart parmesan. It’ll be a part of the regular rotation, thank you!!!!

    1. Hi Kat. You are welcome! I’m so glad that you’ll be adding my recipe to your meal rotation! Your meal sounds so delicious! Thank you for your wonderful feedback, it means a lot to me! Happy cooking!

  3. Another perfect recipe! Cooked it just as written but served with sautéed mushrooms, steamed broccoli and vegan chicken. Even my toddler couldn’t get enough. Thanks Nora 

    1. Hi Sonya. Yum, your meal sounds delicious! I’m so glad the Alfredo sauce was a hit! Thanks for your great feedback and review!

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