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Vegan Alfredo Sauce Shopping Tips
A great sauce is all about flavor. Be sure to get fresh and bold flavors to add to your sauces based on what looks good at the store.
Vegan Alfredo Sauce Cooking Tips
When reducing a sauce to concentrate the flavors be sure to keep an eye out and not let it burn. For extra shine in your sauce, add a pat of butter at the end.
Vegan Alfredo Sauce
Imagine a classic vegan Alfredo recipe so luxuriously rich and smooth, you’ll want to pour it over absolutely everything.
I’ve served the recipe to both vegetarians and omnivores, always with rave reviews and expressions of complete disbelief that something this deliciously creamy could possibly be made without any heavy cream at all.
Also be sure to try this Vegan Cheesecake
The best vegan Alfredo sauce
It’s perfect for serving over your favorite pasta, such as fettuccine, linguine, tortellini, spaghetti, rigatoni, penne, rotini, macaroni, or ravioli.
Or if you want to try something other than pastas, the dairy free Alfredo is also great with broccoli or roasted vegetables, gnocchi, rice, stuffed shells, lasagna, low carb zucchini noodles (zoodles), baked potatoes, or spaghetti squash (see How to cook spaghetti squash).
You can even use it as a vegan white sauce for an Alfredo-style Vegan Pizza!
More vegan pasta recipes
I’ve also included my cauliflower Alfredo recipe below, or if you’re looking for a homemade Alfredo sauce with cashews, try this Creamy Vegan Garlic Pasta.
Healthy Alfredo ingredients
Milk of choice: Feel free to use whatever milk you have on hand. I recommend choosing an unsweetened variety, such as almond milk or soy milk, or it’s especially rich and creamy if you use nondairy creamer or canned coconut milk.
For garlic Alfredo: Add 2-3 tsp minced garlic to the saucepan at the same time as the salt, before bringing the mixture to a boil.
For the cheese: The recipe works with either Parmesan cheese (such as dairy free Violife or Follow Your Heart) or nutritional yeast. The two ingredients have different flavors but are both good here in their own right.
Or you can sub your favorite shredded vegan cheddar, pepper jack, or mozzarella cheese. Add this in at the very end when you turn off the heat, then stir until it melts.
Oil free Alfredo: While the recipe below does call for oil or butter (try Earth Balance or Miyokos vegan butter, or Smart Balance Light for low calorie Alfredo sauce), I substituted an equal amount of tahini once with great results.
Add-ins: Make it a meal by throwing in a handful of spinach or kale, some roasted mushrooms, peas, vegan bacon (for carbonara), or a protein like baked tofu or tempeh.
This vegan pasta sauce is super quick and easy to make, but if you’re looking for something even easier, then there are a bunch of boxed or jarred Alfredo brands on the market, including Primal Kitchen, Daiya Cheeze Sauce, Victoria Vegan, and Simple Truth Plant Based Alfredo.
For dessert, try these Homemade Chocolate Bars
How to make vegan alfredo pasta
To make the recipe, start by gathering all of your ingredients.
In a saucepan, whisk the cornstarch into the milk or creamer until it’s completely dissolved, with no lumps.
Whisk in the salt and oil or vegan butter spread. If desired, also add 2 tsp minced garlic.
Over low-medium heat, slowly bring this mixture to a boil. Stir occasionally at first, then constantly once it begins to thicken. The whole process should take under 10 minutes.
Once thick, turn off the heat and whisk in the nutritional yeast or vegan Parmesan until it melts. Taste the sauce, and season with salt and pepper as desired.
How To Make Vegan Alfredo
For this vegan alfredo recipe we decided to go with a cheesy garlic alfredo sauce made with coconut milk, fresh garlic and vegan butter for a crazily rich, crazily delicious sauce and some added nutritional yeast and dijon mustard for the cheesy flavor.
This is served with fettucine, lots of black pepper and some fresh parsley.
It’s so simple, so quick and seriously delicious.
You can have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes with this meal. It’s really that quick.
How To Make Vegan Alfredo Sauce
The best vegan alfredo sauce you can make, it is rich and creamy, loved by young and old. It is very easy to make vegan alfredo sauce.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. For the last 3 minutes add asparagus, bell pepper, and green peas to boiling water and cook for 2 minutes.
- Drain pasta and rinse with cold water.
- Place cashews that have been soaked, water, onion, garlic, yeast flakes, and salt in a blender.
- Process until smooth, scraping downsides.
- Add the sauce to the cooked pasta and veggies.
- For gluten-free pasta, my go-to is Trader Joes’ Brown Rice Penne – economical and uses whole grain.
Other ways to use this vegan sauce
This is a great sauce to mix with any roasted or steamed vegetables. It goes great in a buddah bowl mixed into vegetables, topped over a whole grain and then sprinkle some red pepper flakes or your favorite seasoning on top.
This is also a great replacement for any mac and cheese dish. I haven’t yet made a “cheese” sauce that I enjoy, so for now we are rocking this alfredo recipe all the time and make it instead of mac and cheese.
How much does this vegan alfredo sauce make?
This vegan alfredo sauce makes 6 cups total. Alex and I measured, and for our taste we liked using about 5 cups of alfredo sauce for 1 pound of pasta. So, if you make fettuccine alfredo with a pound you’ll have about 1 cup left over. Usually we calculate that 1 pound of pasta is 8 modest servings, so that would be just over 1/2 cup sauce per serving of pasta. Of course, you can use as much as you’d like on a serving!
Step One &ndash Make the Fettuccine
Begin by cooking the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water. Make sure your pot is large enough to allow the pasta to cook without sticking together. Cook it for about 12 minutes, stirring frequently.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain it through a colander and toss it with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. This prevents the pasta from clumping together as it cools.
Step Two &ndash Make the Sauce
Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until the onions become translucent and fragrant. Remove from heat.
Add the onions and garlic, along with the non-dairy milk, vegetable broth, hemp hearts, nutritional yeast, vegan parmesan salt, and pepper, to a blender. Blend for 1-2 minutes until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings and set aside.
Step Three &ndash Sauté the Veggies
Trim the edges of the Brussels sprouts and cut them in half. Chop the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 4-5 minutes, until they start to brown on the edges. Add the shiitake mushrooms and sauté for an additional 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are dark golden brown and have shriveled in size.
Step Four &ndash Add Sauce and Pasta
Add the prepared sauce and strained pasta to the vegetables and stir to combine. Let the sauce cooked down for a few minutes to allow it to thicken.
Pro Tip: If your sauce is too thick, add an additional 1/4 cup of non-dairy milk or vegetable broth to loosen it up.
How to Make Vegan Alfredo Sauce
This vegan Alfredo sauce recipe is super easy to make! Here’s how it goes:
First, cook the cauliflower and the cashews. Yep, you read that right! I like to boil the cashews with the cauliflower so that they’re easy to blend. It has the same effect that soaking the cashews would, but it’s way quicker.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the cauliflower and cashews, and boil for about 8 minutes. When the cauliflower is tender, drain the cashews and cauliflower and place them in a high-speed blender.
Next, blend! Add the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper to the blender. Pour in 1/2 cup water, and blend until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
Finally, serve! Cook a pound of fettuccine (or any pasta you like) in a large pot of salted boiling water. When the pasta is al dente, drain it, reserving 1 cup of the starchy pasta water.
Transfer the pasta back to the pot, pour in the sauce, and stir to coat. Add the pasta water, as needed, to thin the sauce to a smooth, silky consistency. Season to taste, and enjoy!
Dairy-Free Fruity Froyo Shakes make Plant-Based Celebrations Simple
Alisa, this is delicious! There’s a faint coconut flavor, which I really liked. It paired well with angel hair pasta and spinach with grated nutmeg on top. Reduced the liquid by about a half cup to keep it nice and thick. And I used turkey stock (not vegan, I realize) instead of water and bouillon. My Vitamix soup preset made quick, hot work of this. Thanks for the inspiration!
Oh also – I’m sure tahini(sesame seeds) instead of cashews or sunflowers would work for nut-free.
I have been making a very similar dish for the last year and LOVE it. Don’t use the cashews or bullion cube but I’m gonna try them in it tonight.
Also – I love adding nutritional yeast (It gives it an extra ‘cheese’ like flavour)
How big a can of coconut milk? The recipe calls for half, but do the cans come in multiple sizes? Can you make this without the vegetable bouillon cube?
Coconut milk has pretty standard can sizing – 14 to 15 ounces. Thai Kitchen also sells a half-can size, but other than that, they are all pretty much the size of a can of beans.
Would this be thick enough to use it as a pizza sauce?
Karli, reduce the water, adding only as much as you need for a thicker consistency.
I was looking for a quick and easy Alfredo sauce since I didn’t have all the ingredients for my original. So glad I found this. Thank You!
I made more sauce than I needed is it okay to freeze or refrigerate?
It should keep for a day or two in the refrigerator and freeze just fine. One benefit of many dairy-free foods is that they freeze pretty well.
Can you suggest any substitutes for the vegetable bouillon cube? My son can’t have any yeast.
Barbara, seek out yeast-free brands like Go Bio and Marigold, or season to taste.
Instead of whole cashews, can you substitute cashew butter? My daughter has a newly discovered dairy allergy but she LOVES Alfredo and I want to try this recipe.
Definitely Shannon! 1-1/2 cups cashews is about 7.5oz or 210g – so the equivalent amount of cashew butter (if my math serves me correctly, somewhere around 7/8 cup).
Alisa, can this recipe be done without the cashews or is there a nut-free substitute? My sister is severly allergic to all nuts but I would love to make this recipe for her.
I can’t say for certain Camila as I haven’t tested it without nuts. If you went all coconut, it would definitely have a more coconut vibe. If nut-safe sunflower seeds work, they make a good swap for cashews – though sunflower seeds are more bitter than cashews, so the seasoning of the recipe may need to be adjusted.
Just changed over to a non-dairy diet and this was one of my first recipes to look up because pasta alfredo is my favorite dish. I’m confused about the cashews and what they add to the sauce. Are they whole or crushed? I love cashews, I just didn’t imagine sauce with big chunks of nut in it.
Hi Bonnie, See the instructions – they’re blended so you shouldn’t have any nut chunks left.
Alisa, my reaction to your Alfredo recipe is, “WOW!” Some time back, when I chose a low-fat diet, I felt very sad believing I would never be able to enjoy Alfredo again, which happens to be one of my favorite sauces. You changed that assumption by providing a very creative and sound alternative.
The coconut milk provides the fat and thickening properties. The cashews add the hint of sweetness that comes from the heavy cream ingredient. And, surprisingly, the recipe does not need the Parmesan cheese.
The only additions I made according to my taste, were to add more garlic and some Country Crock (butter substitute) to make it even more decadently yummy.
When I say “Thank you!” for your fabulous recipe, I mean it sincerely and not as flattery. You made me sooooooooo happy today! : )
How to make it
- Make the pasta according to package instructions, drain and add back to the pot you cooked it in. We will add the sauce when it’s done.
- Soak the cashews for 5 minutes in hot water.
- Saute 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 blender and blend until creamy and smooth.
- Add sauce to pasta, mix and warm. Serve!