5 Minute, No Cook, Vegan Cashew Alfredo Sauce
This vegan cashew alfredo sauce is creamy and oh-so delicious. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to make — it comes together in just 5 minutes! Nutritious and healthy, this is a great go-to pasta sauce.
This dietitian is a sauce girl, BIG TIME. Eat More Plants Cookbook is filled with yummy sauces. In fact, if you were to ask me to choose between a tomato-based sauce and a creamy sauce, I would vote for a creamy sauce every single time. So, figuring out how to recreate creamy or cheesy textures in my plant-based recipes is one of my favourite things to do. Which makes this easy, vegan 5-min cashew alfredo sauce the answer to my pasta dreams! It’s vegan and dairy free, contains no oil and is made with whole foods.
This sauce is one of my favourite plant-based dinner recipes because it’s so quick that you can have a crave-able meal in WAY less time than it takes to order takeout. It’s only got 4 pantry ingredients so I can whip it up without a trip to the store. And, if you serve it with a whole wheat or chickpea-based pasta (I love BANZA), it’s a super filling meal packed with plant-based protein and high in fibre to keep you full. I use it to make my 30 minute Vegan Alfredo + Mushroom Pasta at least once every couple of weeks.
How to make vegan alfredo sauce, step by step
I love that it is actually EASIER to make a vegan alfredo sauce than a traditional version. It’s essentially a basic cashew cream recipe with a few flavour boosters. All you need is 4 ingredients (plus water) and 5 minutes to make the best alfredo sauce of your life!!!
Step One: Gather your ingredients
- Raw cashews: create a creamy base, packed with plant-based nutrition
- Fresh garlic (raw, or roasted if you have it on hand): adds zip + umami
- Nutritional yeast: the original umami bomb, loaded with B vitamins
- Salt: my forever love
Step Two: Throw all of your ingredients into a high speed blender, with water
- If you don’t have a high speed blender, you’ll want to soak your cashews before you blend for a creamier sauce. Soak for four hours, or up to overnight (in the fridge). Need a quick fix? Pour boiling water over the cashews and they’ll hydrate in 30 minutes no problem!
Step Three: Blend for one minute, until silky smooth!
- Yep, that’s it! Tossing it with hot pasta is all you need to warm it but if you want, you can blend it longer and the blender will heat it up by itself. Taste, adjust salt and pepper to your liking and then toss that dreamy vegan alfredo sauce with your favourite pasta.
The secret to a creamy vegan alfredo?
Cashews are probably the #1 reason why I find it easy to go dairy free. Cashews are a nutritious, whole food option for creating creams and cheese alternatives. Most recipes will ask you to soak your cashews for at least four hours but in all honesty, if you have a high-speed blender, you really don’t need to. Just keep blending until it looks silky smooth… maybe a minute or two.
If you don’t have a high-speed blender, I definitely recommend either a soak in the fridge overnight, or cover them with boiling hot water and soak for at least 30 minutes while you prep your meal.
How to make a low FODMAP alfredo
Cashews are high in FODMAPS, so if you’re on a low FODMAP elimination diet for irritable bowel syndrome, this recipe won’t work for you right now. BUT, I have a couple of options for you.
The first, is to pick up a copy of my new gut health cookbook, Good for your Gut, which contains a ton of low FODMAP vegan recipes, including a creamy, dreamy cacio e pepe sauce that should make alfredo fans verrrrry happy.
But until you’ve got that book in your hand, here’s another dupe: make a traditional cream sauce with non-traditional ingredients!
- warm 2 tbsp garlic-infused low FODMAP oil (like FODY foods) in a nonstick skillet over medium heat
- whisk in 2 tbsp of gluten free flour and let it cook for a minute to cook off the rawness
- Then SLOWLY whisk 2 cups of gluten free oat milk, whisking the whole time until it reaches desired thickness
- season well with salt and pepper and a bit of nutritional yeast and toss with your favourite gluten free pasta
It’s not exactly the same but it’s a good dupe in a pinch!
Vegan alfredo sauce tips + storage + substitutions
- Allergic to cashews? You can make this sauce with sunflower seeds! You’ll want to soak them for at least 4 hours or overnight because they will not blend up creamy without it. You make also like to add a bit of extra garlic or nutritional yeast to lift the slightly earthier taste of sunflower seeds.
- Out of garlic? You can absolutely use garlic powder. Start with a 1/2 teaspoon, mix, taste and add more if desired.
- This sauce keeps really well in the fridge for 2-3 days so it’s great for weekend meal prep.
What to make with cashew alfredo sauce!
In addition to my vegan alfredo + mushroom pasta, here are a few other ways to enjoy your cashew alfredo sauce:
- With macaroni and peas…so good for the kiddos!
- Drizzled over chili fries
- As the base for a white queso-style dip, try stirring in a bit of fire-roasted tomato and green chiles!
- Stir into cooked rice to create a creamy risotto-like rice side dish
- Use as the base for a creamy soup, by blending in roasted veggies and thinning with vegetable stock!
- As a white sauce base for pizza
More yummy vegan sauces and salad dressings to try
- Easy Creamy Balsamic Dressing (Vegan)
- Healthy Vegan Caesar Dressing Recipe
- Vegan Cilantro and Parsley Pesto Recipe
- Nutritious Broccoli Pesto (Vegan)
5 Minute No Cook Vegan Cashew Alfredo Sauce
- 1 ¼ cup raw cashews
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 4 cloves roasted garlic, or 1/2 – 1 clove raw garlic, crushed
- High Speed Blender
- Place the cashews, water, salt, nutritional yeast and garlic in a high-speed blender and blend until silky smooth, 1-2 minutes. If you have a soup setting on your blender, you can heat and blend at the same time but you really don't need to if you're tossing with hot pasta.
- Use immediately, or store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days. Reheat over medium-low on stove.
5 Comments on “5 Minute, No Cook, Vegan Cashew Alfredo Sauce”
When I tried this I also had on hand a recipe for feasting at home Date night vegan Alfredo. I went between the two and I liked sautéing onion and garlic first to add to sauce. Loved it and did put some in freezer which worked. Valerie
Fresh onion and garlic is great when you have a bit of extra time! So glad you liked it Valerie 🙂
This was wonderful!
I’m transitioning back to a vegan diet and I was at a loss for what to make for dinner tonight. My old go-to Alfredo recipe required soaking the cashews *and* cooking the sauce in a pot (not to mention a whopping 1/4 cup of EB margarine!).
I’m so glad I remembered back to when you first posted this recipe on IG – I doubled the recipe, added both raw and powdered garlic, some onion powder, and a generous squeeze of lemon juice to amp it up.
Today me is so pleased with your simpler, healthier, quicker version I gobbled up for dinner and future me is gonna love me for making extra!
I’m also really excited about the suggestion of using this sauce as a base for pizza – sneaky mom here is going to sub it in for kiddo’s usual garlic Alfredo sauce. He’ll never know the difference! 😀
Oh my gosh….you’ve got to put it on pizza!! SO glad you like the alfredo Nicole, it’s one of my weeknight go-tos!