Vegan Alfredo Sauce

This vegan Alfredo sauce is just as good as one made with cheese or butter! Creamy, rich, and flavorful, it's a great recipe for a classy date night in.

Vegan Alfredo Sauce over fettuccine

If you love creamy pasta that 1) tastes great and 2) makes you feel great, then you need this vegan Alfredo sauce in your life. It’s just as silky and rich as the classic kind, but it’s made with 100% plant-based ingredients. Nutritional yeast adds cheesy flavor, and lemon juice brightens it up. And instead of cheese, cream, or butter (or even vegan butter!), a secret ingredient gives it its ultra-creamy texture.

Any guesses?

It’s…cauliflower! If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you’re probably not surprised. I love blending this versatile veggie into creamy sauces that are smooth and luscious, but pretty darn good for you, too.

This vegan Alfredo sauce recipe calls for 10 ingredients and comes together in minutes. Whip it up on a weeknight, or serve it for a classy date night in. It’s simple, healthy, and absolutely delicious. Whether you’re vegan or not, I think you’re going to love it.

Vegan Alfredo Sauce recipe ingredients

Vegan Alfredo Sauce Recipe Ingredients

You only need 10 ingredients to make this vegan Alfredo sauce:

  • Cauliflower – It creates the sauce’s luscious creamy texture.
  • Cashews – Along with cauliflower, they make the sauce thick and creamy without any dairy. Make sure you use unsalted raw cashews in this recipe. Roasted cashews will give it a cashew-y taste.
  • Garlic – For sharp, savory depth of flavor.
  • Nutritional yeast – With its cheesy flavor, it replaces the Parmesan that you’d find in regular Alfredo sauce.
  • Lemon juice – For brightness.
  • Dijon mustard – It gives the sauce a savory, tangy kick.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – It makes the sauce rich and smooth.
  • And salt and pepper – To make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Cauliflower, cashews, and nutritional yeast in a blender

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.

Vegan alfredo sauce in a 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.

Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo

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!

Bowl of vegan fettuccine Alfredo with fork

Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo Serving Suggestions

I love to serve this vegan fettuccine Alfredo with focaccia or crusty bread. That way, I can mop up any sauce that’s left at the bottom of my bowl! Then, I round out the meal with a salad or vegetable side dish.

To make a simple green salad, toss mixed greens with lemon vinaigrette, Italian dressing, or Greek salad dressing. Otherwise, serve this vegan fettuccine Alfredo with one these salad recipes:

Not in a salad mood? Pair your pasta with sautéed mushrooms, roasted broccoli, or Brussels sprouts instead!

Vegan Alfredo sauce recipe

More Delicious Vegan Pasta Recipes

If you love this recipe, try one of these vegan pastas next:

Vegan Alfredo Sauce

rate this recipe:
4.88 from 16 votes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Serves 4 to 6
This vegan fettuccine Alfredo is creamy, rich, and flavorful. It's easy enough to make on a weeknight, but elegant enough for a classy date night in. You'll love it whether you're vegan or not!

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces cauliflower florets*
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (16-ounce) package fettuccine pasta
  • Chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and cashews and boil until the cauliflower is fork-tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and transfer to a blender. Add the olive oil, water, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt, mustard, and several grinds of pepper. Blend until creamy.
  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to the package directions, or until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the starchy pasta water.
  • Transfer the pasta back to the pot, pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to coat. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the reserved pasta water until it’s creamy.
  • Sprinkle with parsley and season to taste.

Notes

*about ⅔ florets from 1 small cauliflower

40 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Pauline
    05.31.2021

    We have a tree nut peanut allergy in our house. Is there anything I can use in place of the cashews for this recipe?

    • Pauline
      05.31.2021

      Also, there is a vegan so can’t use the other recipe.

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        05.31.2021

        with extra liquid, raw hulled sunflower seeds could work (it’s not quite as smooth) but I haven’t tested this recipe that way.

  2. Ashley
    04.17.2021

    Son is on a low phosphorous diet due to kidney disease. He can not have nuts because how high in phosphorus is there anything I could substitute instead? This would just be awesome to add to a variety of recipes since most pre made sauces you buy at the store are super high. Any ideas on what to substitute would be awesome. Ty

  3. Maiteeny
    02.24.2021

    3 stars
    Made this tonight for family dinner. I love cauliflower and the texture was indeed smooth and silky, but the raw garlic was way too sharp and spicy. I love garlic and did not think twice about blending it in, but I was surprised to taste test it after blending and was taken aback by it’s raw garlic forward flavor. I cooked it to take off some of that initial bite, but it was still present while eating. Unfortunately neither of my kids would eat it. Next time I will probably use garlic powder or even boil the garlic with the cauliflower to mellow it out. Otherwise I love your recipes and website 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.26.2021

      Aww, I’m sorry to hear, it didn’t seem to bother us once it coated the whole pound of hot pasta.

  4. Lynne
    02.23.2021

    Hi from Australia. I have just found your website after finding out that visitors we are expecting are vegan. You have some fantastic recipes that I am going to try.
    My question is what is Nutritional yeast?
    I can get dried yeast, Would that work.
    Thanks in advance

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.24.2021

      Hi Lynne, it’s a type of deactivated yeast that has a bit of a cheesy flavor that’s often used in vegan recipes. If you need to, you can skip it here. Don’t use dried yeast, it’s totally different.

  5. Michela Hart
    02.23.2021

    how important is the nutritional yeast? (the only ingredient I don’t have at home!)

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.23.2021

      Hi Michela, it adds a bit of a cheesy flavor (in our non-vegan version we use parmesan cheese). It’ll still be tasty without it, I would skip it in a pinch!

  6. Melanie
    02.22.2021

    Can you make the sauce and freeze it to use at a later date?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.22.2021

      Hi Melanie, it doesn’t freeze well, the texture becomes gritty – but it’ll last in the fridge for 3 to 4 days, you could make it ahead and save it.

  7. Sibyl
    02.15.2021

    5 stars
    I made this for valentine’s day and it was a huge hit. Very easy to through together and such a big pay off! I appreciate the tip for the pasta water to make sauce desired consistency.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.16.2021

      I’m glad you loved it!

  8. Casey Van Horne
    02.15.2021

    5 stars
    This was delicious! Didn’t even miss real Alfredo sauce. If anyone has recommendations for what to do with the leftover cauliflower/cashew mix, would love to hear!

  9. Robyn
    02.14.2021

    5 stars
    Holy yum. This is amazing! Definitely adding this to my pasta sauce rotation! It turned out so smooth and creamy.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.15.2021

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  10. Sherri
    02.14.2021

    5 stars
    Wish I could give this recipe 10 stars. Not only was it delicious, it was really quick and easy to make. Will be my new go to for weeknight dinners.
    I used frozen cauliflower and unsalted roasted cashews (instead of raw) b/c that is what I had, and it still tastes amazing. After I drained the cauliflower and cashews I let it cool in the strainer for awhile before putting in the blender, and in the meantime used the same pot for the pasta. Always nice to cut back on cleanup.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.15.2021

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  11. Christy
    02.13.2021

    Mine doesn’t look as smooth and creamy as yours, even though I blended it forever. This tends to happen to me with vegan sauces. Is it my blander? It’s not high-powered like a vitamix. Delicious though!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.13.2021

      Hi Christy, a high speed blender will definitely make sauces creamier – if it’s creamy in the blender, but not as creamy going over the pasta, stir in more pasta water to loosen it up.

  12. Sabrina from newkitchenlife.com
    02.12.2021

    love this, a great healthy alfredo sauce, thank you!

  13. Hales
    02.11.2021

    5 stars
    This was so delicious! I had a head of cauliflower I needed to use up when this recipe hit the inbox today, perfect timing. I used only 1 Tbsp olive oil and added a 1/2 tsp vegan vegetable bouillon paste when blending. My kids loved it too! Yum!

  14. Laurina P
    02.11.2021

    I just made this. OMG! I was eating it with a spoon right out of the blender. It is sooo good. I was a little short on the lemon juice but it is still the best vegan sauce I have ever made.

  15. Charlotte
    02.11.2021

    Oh my God! I’m so going to make this.

  16. Brianna
    02.11.2021

    This looks amazing! My sister is allergic to cashews. Any ideas for a nut-free alternative?

    • Nicole
      02.11.2021

      I would also know if there is something that could substitute for the cashews, since U have a nut allergy. Could oatmilk work? Or some other kind of nondairy milk?

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        02.12.2021

        Raw, hulled sunflower seeds might work – the sauce won’t be quite as smooth and you’ll probably need to add a bit more water to the blender.

        • Nicole
          02.12.2021

          Thanks! I’ll have to give it a try! ❤️

  17. Molly G.
    02.11.2021

    Could you use frozen cauliflower? I can see where you would have to thoroughly pat them dry after thawing. But would it affect the texture of the sauce?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.11.2021

      I think you could!

    • Sherri
      02.14.2021

      I used frozen cauliflower. Didn’t have to thaw at all. Tossed it right in the pot of boiling water.

  18. Varun Sharma
    02.10.2021

    Vegan alfredo sauce is looks so yum and tasty.

    • Nathalie
      02.27.2021

      Looks great! can I skip the cashews?

  19. Andrew
    02.10.2021

    Looks amazing! – has anyone tried this without the olive oil – does it still work ok?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.11.2021

      Hi Andrew, you could probably add water in it’s place. Of course, it wouldn’t be as rich and creamy.

    • Amy Rupple
      02.19.2021

      5 stars
      I made it tonight and subed water for olive oil and it was so yummy!! Creamy with great flavor! I also made her sautéed mushrooms recipe and they were so amazing over the fettuccine Alfredo…great combo!! My whole family loved it!

      • Andrew
        02.19.2021

        Thanks! Looking forward to trying it.

    • Janet
      02.26.2021

      Yes, I use a recipe that is from Eating Well, April 2019 Vegan Cauliflower Fettuccine Alfredo with Kale. No olive oil. I am trying a variation incorporating the nutritional yeast and dijon mustard from this recipe. Also, he recipe is rich and creamy without olive oil. You will find it if you search the magazine and recipe title or Eating Well recipe 270987.

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.