This easy vegan alfredo pasta sauce is finger-licking delicious and uses just a few common pantry staples. Even though it's dairy free, it's enjoyed by vegans and non-vegans alike!
Conventional alfredo sauce
Traditional alfredo sauce consists of butter, cheese and sometimes cream. Basically the most un-vegan ingredients you can think of!
If you wanna be REAL, I associate alfredo pasta with a convenient packet mix. All you need to do is pour, stir and heat. As a child, I used to inhale alfredo pasta soo quickly that I'd get indigestion.
This recipe for vegan alfredo is on par with all my childhood memories.
What does vegan alfredo pasta taste like?
I was sceptical about how vegan alfredo would taste. However, I was so extremely surprised when I first made it. This alfredo sauce is:
- CREAMY and smooth
- Hard to stop at one bite
- Easy to make
Simple ingredients you'll need
Raw cashews provide an excellent base for the sauce as they have a subtle flavour and provide a satiating creaminess and fattiness.
The onion and garlic impart a fragrant umami flavor in the vegan alfredo sauce. If you don't have fresh onion and garlic, you can use powdered onion and garlic.
Nutritional yeast adds a touch of cheesiness and dose of B12 that all vegans need!
Plant-based milk gives the sauce moisture and that slurpy goodness.
Salt adds flavour to the alfredo sauce and brings out the flavour of the onion and garlic.
A complete list of ingredients, quantities and instructions are in the gray recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How to make vegan alfredo pasta sauce
All you need to do is:
- Soak the cashews in hot water.
- Saute the onion and garlic.
- Drain the cashews. Add all the sauce ingredients into a high-powered blender.
- Blend until smooth and mix with the cooked pasta!
With the help of a high-powered blender, you can make whole cashews into a decadent creamy sauce.
It's simple, easy and quick!
Customising the vegan alfredo sauce
I sauteed some mushrooms and spinach and added them to my pasta. They are delicious and a sneaky way to get in more vegetables!
You can bulk up your pasta with other ingredients such as:
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Roasted tomatoes, eggplant or zuchinni
- Pine nuts
If you'd like a cheesier sauce, feel free to add ¼ cup of grated vegan cheese.
Or you can give the sauce a whole new flavour! When you put the sauce ingredients in the blender, you can also add:
- Basil for an alfredo pesto sauce. Or check out my Basil Alfredo Pasta recipe.
- Roasted capsicum
- Roasted tomatoes
What type of pasta can I use?
I've used spaghetti, fettuccine and basically all types of pasta for this alfredo recipe and they all worked really well!
Here are a few examples of what you can use
- Any short pasta such as macaroni
- Wholegrain pasta
- Gluten-free pasta
- Zuchinni noodles (zoodles)
More vegan comfort food
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Easy vegan alfredo pasta
- 4 servings of pasta of choice
- Dash of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon of vegan butter or water
- 1 medium-size brown onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 cup (130g) raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours*
- 1 cup (250mL) dairy-free milk
- ¼ cup (12g) nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¼ cup (25g) vegan cheese, grated (optional)
- ½ cup (~35g) mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup (~30g) baby spinach
- Fill a medium-size pot with water and cook the pasta according to its packet directions. Skip this step if you are using zoodles.
- In a large frypan over high heat, add the onion and oil. Saute for 3 minutes or until slightly softened. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the sauteed onion and garlic to a high-powered blender.
- Drain the cashews and add them to the blender with the milk, nutritional yeast, salt and cheese if using. Blend until the mixture is as smooth as possible.
- If you're using any of the optional add ins: In the large frypan, saute the mushrooms in a dash of oil until golden brown. Add the spinach and saute for 1 minute or until wilted.
- Add the creamy sauce to the frypan and heat through. If you used cheese, make sure it has completely melted. Add the pasta and mix until well combined.
- Divide the pasta between 4 plates and enjoy! The pre-prepared pasta can be stored separately from the sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
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I put in a dash or two of nutmeg for the final touch! It’s very good. 😁
So glad you enjoyed this recipe!
This sounds great but my son is allergic to cashews (and other tree nuts)...can you recommend an alternative? Thank you.
Ooh, maybe try cannellini or lima beans mixed with either boiled cauliflower or potato. I hope that helps!
My daughter whipped this up for dinner tonight. It was excellent , she made it with mushrooms .
Aw so glad you all enjoyed this for dinner!
This was fantastic!!! I added about a tablespoon of dried italian seasoning and about 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, and that really put this over the top. My husband couldn't tell a difference! I used chao shredded
Ooh love the herbs that you used! Thanks so much for your feedback x
This was delicious! However, it made a lot more sauce than I was expecting. Do you know if the sauce can be frozen?
So glad to hear! Yes, the sauce can be frozen. It *may* seperate when you defrost it but if you just warm it up on the stove (or microwave) and mix it again, it'll be creamy again!
Look so tasty. Thanks for the recipe.
My pleasure! I hope you enjoy it if you make it!
Just had this for my dinner for the second night running (recipe makes loads of sauce) Absolutely delicious, surprisingly filling, versatile AND quick to make! This will make a regular appearance on my menu from now on 🙂
That's amazing to hear!! Who knew that cashews would be so delish!
hi this looks interesting but would other nuts work? I'm not a cashew fan!
Hey, you could try blanched almonds but they are a harder nut so you will have to soak them for longer. Macadamias would work too!
seth h says
Trying this tonight!1 Can't wait! I obviously have not been soaking cashews for hours today as I just came across this... but i saw online if you bring water to ALMOST a boil and let them sit in that for 15 minutes it helps a lot. Have you ever had to do this technique? And did it work? Here's to giving it a go!!
Thank you!! 🙂
Hi Seth! That's great! Yes feel free to soak the cashews in hot water beforehand! I do this every now and then and it's fine. If you have a high powered blender, you probably won't even have to soak them. Let me know how it goes!
SO! This was a hit in my opinion. I DID use regular cheddar cheese as I've never been a vegan cheese guy. And Im not vegan nor vegetarian for that matter... but trying to explore other dishes. 🙂
The best part about it was making it last night and while eating it, thinking about what I could do to build on it. For instance I definitely want to add some sundried tomatoes to it next time. But honestly was great as is.
On to the next dish! 🙂
I'm sooo glad to hear that! It's great that, even as a non-vegan, you enjoyed it.
And you could absolutely add onto it! The recipe was just a foundation recipe. I'm definitely all up for adding delicious things to any recipe I find on the internet. Sundried tomatoes would be amazing!
What kind of cashews should be used?
What kind of cheese do you think works the best for this recipe?
I use BioLife here in Australia. I would recommend any cheddar-tasting cheese 🙂
I just made this amazing vegan dish - OMG so delicious . I did the version with zucchini and portabella mushrooms. Thank you again.
Aw, I'm soo glad that you enjoyed it! Thank you for popping by 🙂
Hello Anthea, your website is awesome with amazing recipes and great photography !
I will definetly try this vegan pasta recipe.
For readers who want to become vegan or have friends that have that goal there is a good guide to read :
Please share it !
James | Thyme to Mango says
When I first read "vegan alfredo" I was - I admit - a little skpetical but then I read your post and saw your photos... those zoodles looks so creamy and delicious, I just want to eat an entire bowl of them right now! I'm a bit late to the zoodle party, and only just discovering how great and versatile they are so this is definitely jumping on the zoodle *to make* list.
Haha, and you know what?! I was exactly the same before I tried to recipe. I never knew that when you blend up cashews really well and add a few savoury seasonings, it makes the perfect cream!
Izzy Bruning says
This looks soooo good!!!!
Izzy | Pinch of delight