sweet potato (vegan) alfredo

sweet potato (vegan) alfredo / @loveandlemons

Less really is more… it’s a lesson I don’t think I’ll ever fully learn. For example, I often get flustered about what to make to post here. I’ll change my mind on my way to the grocery store and then change it another few times on my way home. This is a ridiculous (& expensive) habit because I end up buying way too much so I have options on hand to suit my indecisiveness. (Although, it all does get eaten eventually).

Every now and then I come up with something out of nothing, and those almost always end up being my favorite recipes. This one came about one chili night when I didn’t feel like leaving the house. It’s largely a pantry meal, if you count the fact that sweet potatoes, shallots and garlic can be stored for quite a while. And, surprise, surprise, it’s a new favorite.

sweet potato (vegan) alfredo / @loveandlemons

I knew cashew cream and pureed sweet potatoes would be a winning (and warming) combo, but I thought I’d take it a step further by roasting the veggies first. The slightly smoky flavor is subtle but worth the extra step. The sauce is the star here, but feel free to add in whatever additional veggies you like. You better bet this would have been packed full of green stuff had it been more convenient at the time. But I can’t complain, this was the perfect plate of creamy comfy food all on it’s own.

sweet potato (vegan) alfredo

Yield: serves 4-6

sweet potato (vegan) alfredo

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked (ideally) overnight, then drain
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
  • 1/3 cup water, to thin (more as necessary)
  • 1 lb brown rice fettuccini (or any pasta you like)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup chives
  • a few pinches of red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Peel the sweet potato and slice into quarters. Peel the shallots and slice in half. Leave the garlic in it's paper, and place the sweet potato and shallot pieces on a foil lined baking sheet. Toss it all with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast, removing the garlic after the first 15 minutes. Roast until the sweet potatoes are tender and the shallots are browning around the edges, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Meanwhile, cook your pasta until al dente, reserving some of the starchy pasta water.
  4. Drain your cashews and place them into a high speed blender with the sweet potato, shallots, (peeled) garlic, olive oil, balsamic, tomato paste, rosemary, and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Puree, adding water as needed to get the blade moving. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  5. In a large skillet (or a bowl) toss the cooked pasta with some of the sauce. Add pasta water as needed to loosen, and add more sauce to your liking Add chopped chives, toasted pine nuts and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust seasonings and serve.

Notes

Feel free to toss in more veggies... steamed spinach, kale or roasted broccoli would be all be delicious additions.

Make ahead tip: store finished sauce in the fridge for up to 3 days. When you're ready to serve, boil pasta and toss it all together.

For the smoothest sauce, a vitamix-like high powered blender is recommended. In a pinch, I can get away with soaking my cashews only 30 minutes.

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49 comments

  1. Claire on said:

    Yum! This looks delicious!

  2. I am so intrigued by the combination of sweet potatoes and cashews–they are two of my favorite foods! I will definitely have to try this out sometime!!

  3. Crista from peacelovequinoa.com on said:

    i am in love with this recipe!! xox thanks for sharing.

  4. amanda from easylittletiger.com on said:

    this looks absolutely delicious. i’m not vegan but man, vegan dishes like this are so good.

  5. Tieghan Gerard from halfbakedharvest.com on said:

    I am the same way. Always, always changing my mind. It is terrible and I torture myself! LOL!

    The ones that just happen are always the best and my favorite too! This pasta looks incredible and I love cashew cream!

  6. meg from liquidsunshineak.com on said:

    YUM!

  7. Too often I get indecisive about what to make, and then in the fleeting moments of making a grocery list, I end up pulling idea together from what’s already on-hand. I agree, sometimes simplicity works best, and figuring out new ways to turn just a handful of ingredients into something wonderful. Like this!

  8. sounds very much like me here, I bought sweet potato a while ago wanting to make pot pie or something…but i am thinking to make this alfredo sauce. I love when dinner comes together with bare pantry.

  9. pang from circahappy.com on said:

    Wow!!! Very interesting and mouthwatering recipe. I happen to have sweet potato on hand, yay!!!

  10. Justina from onedomesticgoddess.wordpress.com on said:

    This looks delicious and such a fitting meal for a cold winter evening. That is such a good idea to make a sauce out of cashew milk and sweet potatoes.

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  13. Millie from addalittle.wordpress.com on said:

    Hi there – this looks so delicious! My mouth is watering just looking at the photos!
    Is it possible to use all natural (no salt, sugar, or oil) cashew butter instead of blending raw cashews as I don’t have a blender!
    Thanks :)

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      The sweet potato wouldn’t get nearly as creamy (the texture might be closer to mashed sweet potatoes than a cream sauce). The vitamix is super powerful… but let me know if you give it a try…

  14. Sarah on said:

    I just made this, and it was amazing!! Definitely a new favorite. I added some smoked paprika to compliment the smokiness of the roasted veggies, and used sundried tomatoes rather than tomato paste. I love your recipes so much, and hope you never stop blogging!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      glad you liked it, you’re so sweet :) I’d been planning on trying it with smoked paprika – you must have read my mind!

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  16. Tara on said:

    What does it mean soak the cashews? What are they soaked in?

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Soak them in water… it helps soften them before blending so your sauce is smooth and not chunky. Unless you’re using a high powered blender (vitamix or blendtec), then you don’t have to soak them as long. Strain out the water before you use them. (thanks for this comment – I’ll clarify this in the recipe!)

  17. Kim from fabfitsquadl.com on said:

    This is awesome! Just made it with soba noodles. Can’t wait to try on veggies.

  18. Wow, this sweet potato cashew sauce is genius, and I can’t wait to try it after the holidays! I love brown rice pasta but have found it needs to be tossed with plenty of loose sauce since it absorbs a lot of liquid and can turn gummy quickly otherwise. So this looks like a perfect sauce for it!

    • I made this tonight and loved it! It was such a nice sauce and I see myself making it over and over. Thank you!

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  21. Heather from theresnoplacelikeoz.com on said:

    Made this last night and LOVED it!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      so glad! thanks for coming back to let me know!

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  24. Katherine on said:

    Just made this and it is so, so good! I ended up using spaghetti squash instead of noodles, and it still rocked. Will make again for sure.

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      thanks Katherine! Glad you liked it – a much healthier version than mine with the spaghetti squash :)

  25. Brynrose on said:

    Looks so yummy! Will be making it for date night tomorrow. Any idea what kind of wine would pair well with this?:)

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      I’m not a wine expert, but I would do a red that’s a bit fruity – pinot noir, sangiovese, or even syrah. For white – a fruity chardonnay. (the book What to Drink with What you Eat is a great resource for pairing food ingredients w/ wine – you might find it interesting to check out).

  26. ejbrammer on said:

    I made this tonight and added red pepper flakes, as well as adding peas and sauteed red pepper to the pasta noodles (I used shells). YUM! I do wish I had a vitamix because it’s not as silky as yours but the flavors are still delicious. Thanks!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      so glad you liked it!

  27. Stine on said:

    I use a lot of your recipes when I cook, but I always forget to leave comments. This is one of my favourites, it is amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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  33. Rachel Schultz from rachelschultz.com on said:

    In vegan cooking, what are cashews used to replace? In this recipe, what are they replacing?

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      blended up they turn into a creamy sauce – they’re used instead of cheese or heavy cream.

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  35. Loraine from loandlil.com on said:

    This is my first visit to your site and this sweet potato cashew cream over linguine sounds amazing. I can’t wait to try. TY :)

  36. Aubre on said:

    I made this the other night and it was amazing! Followed the recipe exactly except instead of tomato paste I used some classic tomato sauce I had already open in the fridge. Also left out the chives and pepper flakes and instead topped with sun dried tomatoes and mixed in roasted cauliflower. So good! And we had a lot of sauce left over so we enjoyed it for a few lunches too. Thanks for being my favorite vegetarian/vegan food blog!

  37. Jenn on said:

    I just made this for tonight’s dinner, I added 2 tbsp of veggie broth and 2 of almond milk, instead of water. It is soooooo delicious. Holy smokes. I can’t stop eating spoonfuls from my blender. Way to go.

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Hi Jenn – so glad you liked it!

  38. Christine on said:

    Wow! This was delicious! I am finding that I don’t miss cheese nearly as much anymore when I can make recipes like this one. It is so much more flavorful and I don’t feel so heavy and bloated afterwards. Thank you!

  39. Christine on said:

    Wow! This was delicious! I am finding that I don’t miss cheese nearly as much anymore when I can make recipes like this one. It is so much more flavorful and I don’t feel so heavy and bloated afterwards. Thank you!

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