Vegan Cashew Alfredo Sauce has all the creaminess of any great Alfredo Sauce Recipe. We use cashews in this Vegan Alfredo Sauce Recipe as a substitute for milk and nutritional yeast (also used in the recipe) provides a hint of rich garlic and Parmesan flavors making this truly the Best Vegan Alfredo Sauce! So, if you want to know How To Make Vegan Alfredo Sauce, look no further than this Cashew Alfredo Sauce recipe!
Why We Love This Recipe
- Easy to Make. Do you happen to know how to use a blender? If yes, you’re moments away from something truly special. There are only a few ingredients and only two of them (garlic and onions) require any preparation. Mostly you’ll just be adding ingredients to a blender. I’d be willing to bet you have most of these ingredients already in your pantry: garlic powder, salt, pepper, and vegetable broth. And, if you’re a true vegan, you’re no stranger to nutritional yeast.
- Great flavor! I’ll be honest, I was not expecting much from this recipe at the outset; I considered the ingredients and my confidence began to wane: a box of nutritional yeast and some rather somber looking cashews didn’t invoke thoughts of rich Italian cookery. A silence fell over the kitchen and then I remembered how so many other great vegan recipes surprised me with rich flavors; a calm assurance fell over me; I grabbed my blender, tore the seal off the cashew package with my bare teeth and went to work. What I found out is that this recipe hinges on balance of flavors. To accomplish this you must be exact with your ingredient measurements . Do it right and you’ve got something really tasty. It’s all there: the creaminess from the fatty cashews and olive oil, the garlic and Parmesan flavor from the nutritional yeast, and the onions just putting a nice little bow on the whole thing. Let me be the guy who stands on the other side of your trepidation telling you, “it’s going to be ok”; Vegan Cashew Alfredo Sauce is delicious! Please try it and leave me a comment letting me know what you think.
- Very nutritious. Here are just a few ingredients and their health benefits.
A Short History of Alfredo Sauce
We begin in 1914 when Alfredo di Lelio was managing a restaurant on the Via della Scrofa in Rome. Alfredo’s wife Ines was pregnant and suffering severe nausea which caused Alfredo to produce what history now considers his best work. While we in the states think of saltine crackers as an upset tummy’s best friend, Italians look to the noodle. Alfredo, looking for something his wife could “stomach”, concocted what is called pasta in bianco, or “white pasta”. Simply-put, he tossed fresh noodles with Parmesan and butter, his wife stopped retching, and millions of foodies have lived happily ever since. I guess you could say this dish was “birthed” (pun yes?) out of necessity.
Vegan Alfredo Sauce Recipe
- Vegetable broth
- Garlic powder
- Lemon juice
- Nutritional yeast
- Olive oil
How To Make Vegan Alfredo Sauce
- Cook onions and garlic. Add the diced onion and 1 cup of vegetable broth to a large pan and cook for 8 minutes over medium-high heat until the onion is tender. Add the garlic and cook a couple minutes more, stirring frequently. Cook the onions and garlic until the broth has evaporated completely.
- Blend all ingredients. Add the cooked onions and garlic, the remaining cup of vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, cashews, salt, pepper, lemon, garlic powder, and olive oil. Blend on high until consistency is smooth.
- Heat sauce. Add the sauce into a medium sized pot and heat on low to medium heat until warm.
- Serve. Add sauce to your pasta of choice, garnish with parsley, and enjoy! See my instructions below on How To Cook Pasta.
Cashews, a Great Substitute For Milk
We use cashews in many of our recipes because they have a creamy milk-like texture. The flavor of cashews is also a great substitute for dairy because of their subtle flavor. Here are some other great recipes using cashews as a dairy substitute.
- Use Vegan Heavy Cream. If you aren’t a fan of nutritional yeast, you can use our Vegan Heavy Cream and add either fresh garlic or garlic powder to it.
- Use nutritional yeast sparingly. This is the one ingredient that can make or break this recipe. While I prescribe 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, you may consider using only half this amount (3/4 tablespoon) if you aren’t a fan of more pungent flavors.
- How to mellow out the yeast flavor. If you’ve either added the prescribed amount of nutritional yeast and aren’t happy with the flavor or you’ve added too much yeast, add more cashews and olive oil. These two ingredients will tame the yeast flavor.
- If using raw cashews, soak over night. This will help the blender break down the cashews so you don’t experience a grainy sauce. Otherwise, use a high powered blender and continue to blend on high until you smooth out the sauce completely.
- Vegan butter for extra flavor. Feel free to experiment and use some melted vegan butter to your sauce. I haven’t tried it myself but I can’t imagine this going wrong.
- Thinning out your sauce. If your sauce is too thick, add either more vegetable broth or a few tablespoons of salty pasta water left over after you cook your pasta. See my instructions on How To Cook Pasta below.
Before I bid you adieu, I want to send you off with an important bit of information for making this meal truly great. Let’s talk about noodles.
How To Cook Pasta
- Boil water. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Stir in 1/4 cup of kosher salt.
- Cook pasta. Add pasta to boiling water and stir frequently to separate any sticking pasta noodles. Cook for roughly 3 minutes until al dente.
- Stir and toss. Using long tongs, transfer the pasta to a skillet and add a desired amount of Vegan Cashew Alfredo Sauce. Stir and toss the pasta in the sauce until pasta is thoroughly coated in sauce.
- Add salty pasta water. Add roughly 1/4 cup of pasta cooking liquids to the skillet and stir until fully incorporated into the sauce.
- Simmer pasta and sauce. Bring mixture to a simmer for roughly 2 minutes longer while stirring to gain thorough consistency of sauce and separate any sticking noodles.
- Serve. If desired, melt some vegan butter into the sauce, garnish with parsley or basil, and enjoy!
You can serve your Cashew Alfredo Sauce and noodles with a variety of great vegetables and garnish options. You can also enhance the sauce by adding a few key ingredients. Here are just a few ideas.
- Serve with peas
- Serve with broccoli
- Garnish with vegan Parmesan
- Garnish with parsley
- Add vegan butter to the sauce
- Add red pepper flakes
Looking For More Vegan Italian Recipes?
If you enjoyed our Vegan Alfredo Sauce Recipe, you may enjoy these other healthy Italian recipes!
Vegan Italian Food
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- Add onion and one cup of the vegetable broth into a large pan and cook over medium-high heat for 8 minutes until onion is tender.
- Add garlic to the same pan (along with a bit more broth if needed) and cook for 2 minutes or until all the broth is evaporated.
- Add onion and garlic to a blender, pour in remaining vegetable broth, salt, pepper, cashews, lemon juice, olive oil, and nutritional yeast.
- Blend on high for a couple minutes until the sauce is very creamy.
- Serve over pasta of choice and top with broccoli or peas and a garnish of parsley.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 587Total Fat: 46gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 36gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1228mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 15g
The Vegan Plate attempts to provide accurate information. However, this nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. The nutritional information provided comes from online sources and calculations.