The Best Vegan Alfredo

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This Vegan Alfredo features a delicious dairy-free sauce, made with a handful of simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. You won’t believe how creamy and decadent it tastes!

vegan alfredo pasta on plate with fork

Ingredients You’ll Need

How do you make a Vegan Alfredo sauce from scratch? This dairy-free Alfredo sauce gets its creaminess from cashews!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cashews (look for ones that are NOT roasted or salted)
  • Lemon juice
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Salt & pepper
  • Garlic

I also like to add a bit of sautéed onion in there for extra flavor, but it’s amazing how the tart combination of lemon juice + vinegar, plus the salt and pepper really bring out the classic flavor of Alfredo.

You’ll just have to trust me and try it!

How to Make It

This recipe comes together fast, so start by cooking the noodles. You can use regular fettuccine noodles, or try chickpea or brown rice noodles to keep this recipe gluten-free.

noodles cooked for alfredo sauce

While the noodles are cooking, sauté the onion in a separate skillet. When it looks tender, stir in the garlic briefly, just until fragrant.

sauteed onions in cast iron skillet

In a blender, combine the cashews, water, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Then add in the sautéed onions and garlic, too.

Blend until the sauce is very smooth. If you don’t have a high-speed blender, you might want to try grinding the cashews into a powder first, before you add in everything else.

cashew alfredo sauce in blender

When the pasta is done cooking, drain the noodles, then return them to the large pot. Pour the creamy Alfredo sauce over the top, and toss well.

At this point, you can taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.

sauce poured over noodles in pan

I usually add more salt and black pepper, to really make the flavor pop! If it doesn’t taste like Alfredo yet, you probably haven’t used enough salt.

Remember, Parmesan cheese is very salty, so we’re trying to mimic that here.

alfredo sauce tossed with pasta in pan

Substitutions

How else can you make food creamy without dairy? If you need to avoid cashews, try my Cauliflower Alfredo sauce as a nut-free alternative. It’s ultra-creamy, and is a great way to sneak more veggies into your day!

My Butternut Squash Pasta is also very creamy, without using dairy, if you’d like to try that version.

I’ve had readers report swapping macadamia nuts for cashews in my Vegan Mac n’ Cheese recipe, so that’s a possibility, too. But, I haven’t tested that myself. It would definitely be more expensive than this cashew-based sauce.

Toppings to Try

If you’d like to add some extra veggies to this pasta dish, you can replace up to half of the pasta in this recipe with cooked spaghetti squash or spiralized zucchini.

I also love it with roasted broccoli or roasted cauliflower stirred in!

Or try adding in some shredded cabbage, like I do in my Vegan Pad Thai or Peanut Noodles! You really can’t tell it’s there, after you add a delicious sauce.

Want more of a Vegan Carbonara? Try topping this creamy pasta with my crispy Mushroom Bacon. It’s life-changing.

roasted broccoli and mushrooms on pasta
alfredo sauce tossed with pasta in pan
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4.92 from 12 votes

Best Vegan Alfredo

This Vegan Alfredo Sauce is naturally dairy-free, calling for a few simple ingredients that you probably already have at home. It tastes remarkably authentic!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword vegan alfredo
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 426kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fettuccine noodles (use chickpea or brown rice to keep it gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (11 grams)
  • 1/2 yellow onion , chopped (118 grams; ~1 cup)
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves , minced (16 grams; about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup whole cashews (145 grams; not roasted or salted)
  • 1 cup water (8 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (17 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (6 grams)
  • 1.5 teaspoons fine sea salt (8 grams; I use Real Salt brand)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper , plus more to taste

Instructions

  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then cook the pasta according to the package directions.
    noodles cooked for alfredo sauce
  • While the noodles are cooking, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and saute the onion until it's soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 more minute. Remove from the heat.
    sauteed onions in cast iron skillet
  • In a high-speed blender, combine the cashews, water, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add in the sauteed onions and garlic, then blend until very smooth. The sauce should look creamy, without any visible chunks of cashews.
    cashew alfredo sauce in blender
  • Drain the pasta and return it to the large pot. Pour the creamy cashew sauce over the top, and toss well to make sure the noodles are coated. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Serve warm, with fresh parsley on top, if desired.
    sauce poured over noodles in pan

Video

Notes

Nutrition information is for 1 of 6 servings. This is just an estimate and not a guarantee. The information will change drastically based on the type of pasta you use. 
See the post above for substitution suggestions. 

Nutrition

Calories: 426kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 591mg | Potassium: 331mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 2mg

More Pasta Recipes

Need more vegan pasta ideas? Try one of these!

If you try this Vegan Alfredo recipe, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like it! And if you make any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too. We can all benefit from your experience!

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite pasta topping?

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Comments

Ayla

Yasha actually does look a bit like a cartoon character! So adorable though. 🙂

I had my first real green juice today.. and I loved it! At first I was kind of wary but the taste was totally fine and it was extremely refreshing. Definitely need to start having them more.

    Megan

    Yay for green juice! So glad you liked it! It took a while for them to grow on me… but now I’m hooked. 😉

JodyLynn

That Alfredo Sauce is a must try for me. I never liked “real” alfredo sauce but with these ingredients I think I would. Thanks for sharing your “adult” version. 🙂 That’s wild about the flush you experienced with the Niacin. Glad it past! Hope you enjoyed the rest of your Sunday…glad Yasha was there to assist you with a lazy day attitude. 🙂 So cute!

Red Deception

My Dad and I love to watch Dexter. It is dark and twister, but it’s so interesting!

Every time I hear about colon cleansing I shudder a little. Not for me!

    Megan

    I used to feel that way about colon cleansing when I first read about it– but that was nearly 8 years ago, so you never know what may change! 😉

    I’m totally hooked on Dexter now! I dove straight into Season 2!!

Mindy

omg that sauce sounds so good! Ever since I’ve reduced dairy and have been thinking about going vegan, I remember all the things I would be missing, like alfredo sauce. But I can’t wait to try this recipe!

Becki @ Bites 'n Brews

If you think the show Dexter is dark, don’t read the books – they’re really, REALLY dark and gory. Your “pasta” looks delicious!

hihorosie

ha! funny today I was just saying I wanted fettucine alfredo but of course something healthy and vegan…you heard my thought. 🙂

Holly @ couchpotatoathlete

I love Dexter! I started watching it last summer and it took me a few days to get through the first season. I was hooked!

Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn

J’adore. Especially the green juice – Lisa just gave me a juicer!:)

Morgan Torres

Ahem. My zucchini noodles look nothing like yours. What attachment are you using? Mine look like mushy slaw!

    Megan

    Are you using the Joyce Chen spiralizer? I used to own that one and got kinda mushy noodles… I ended up replacing mine with the Paderno Spiral Slicer— it makes the best noodles!!

Alexandra

OH wow- just had this over steamed kale. Soooo good 🙂

Brittany

Does this make just 1 serving?

    Megan

    I ended up using this sauce for a couple nights in a row– it just depends on how much sauce you like to use on your noodles!

Julie Soule

What could i use instead of cashews for this recipe? I am very allergic to cashews.

Thanks!

Joanna

What if you accidentally got roasted cashews? Will they work?

Marie

This Alfredo recipe is absolutely delicious!!

CAssie

Megan, <3<3<3 the raw Alfredo sauce! I've been making it for few years. It is absolutely delicious, super healthy and you're right "the options are endless"!! I prefer subbing 1/2 sm-med (peeled) zucchini for 1/2 the cashews, gives more neutral base and less cashewy taste. (Adding zucchini replaces most of the water for mixing.)

Here are other yummy options: unsweetened homemade almond milk instead of water for mixing adds incredible creaminess, 1teaspoon Herbes de Provence, 1-2T nutritional yeast, and raw apple cider vinegar can easily replace the lemon if wanted for different tang. Oh and sprinkle on raw almond or Brazil nut Parmesan. Love<3<3<3 this raw alfredo sauce<3 OMG delicious 🙂

Romunda

This was amazingly delicious. Surprised that hubby cleaned his plate.

Anna Nevin

I have to try this. You’ve made me want to invest in a vitamix. Is there a particular model you recommend- I live alone. Thank you again for your wonderful accessible recipes.

Hilary

Delicious! Easy and definitely filled the craving I’ve had for Alfredo without the heavy dairy.

Rachel

This was SO good! We added a basic chicken to the top of it (instant pot) and asparagus. This was quick and easy to make. We will make this again and again!

Natasha

This is amazing! Thank you! Can I freeze the sauce!?

Ellen

I read this and was skeptical. The cashews weren’t soaked and there was no nutritional yeast. But you said it’s been one of your go-tos, so I tried it. And wow, it is AMAZING! And could not be easier to make. Looking forward to making it again soon.

Luisa

This Alfredo sauce is so delicious and so easy. Yum! Yum! Yum! I tossed in some pea shoots right before serving, and placed some walnut Parmesan on the table for each person to use as desired. Next time I want to try it with mushroom bacon, as you suggest. We love mushroom bacon, and I’m sure it will be wonderful with this sauce. Thank you for another amazing recipe.

Brenda

Delicious Megan! Your recipes never disappoint including this one! My non vegan husband said it was the best Alfredo he ever had! Adding it to our favorite recipe list along with many other of your recipes! Made it brown rice noodles! Added chicken as well.

    Megan Gilmore

    Yay!! I’m so happy to hear that!! Glad you both enjoyed it, and thank you for letting me know. 🙂

Tomena Reed

Megan does it again! A few simple ingredients and it tastes like real Alfredo. My kids had no complaints.

Christina

Delicious recipe I make this for my mom
Since
She can’t have
Milk products. We add broccoli or zucchini or whatever vegetables is in the fridge and I leave
Out the black pepper because of my own dietary restrictions. It’s a fast and simple recipe everyone loves it. Thank you Melissa

sherri vanderstoep

I made this for the first time last week… not gong to lie, I wasn’t sure if we would like it…. boy oh boy… we didn’t like it…. WE LOVED IT!!!! I will NEVER buy or make any other alfredo sauce again in my life…. seriously, my husband and I thought it was the best thing ever… making it for Easter dinner… ITS THAT GOOD!!!! We used it over veggies the next day…. DELISH!!!!

Jacquelene

Can’t wait to try! I love all your recipes! Can the sauce be made in advance?

Marni

This was really good! I”m in phase 2 of a food sensitivity elimination diet, so am looking for recipes with ingredients I can eat. I had to leave out the onion and lemon juice and subbed white wine vinegar and rice vinegar, but it still was delicious. Everyone liked the sauce, even my husband. Unfortunately, the rice noodles I cooked to go with it didn’t turn out right, which means I’ll just have to make this again!

TerEsa

My family and I are not vegan but very much enjoyed this vegan Alfredo. It was just a tad too lemony, but we added more salt, which balanced it out. Next time, I will back off the lemon a bit, but it’s definitely a keeper. Thanks for another yummy recipe, Megan!

Ginny

Love this recipe! Tastes great! Can the sauce be frozen?

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