This vegan alfredo sauce recipe is the BEST I could come up with after using many different combinations and techniques. A lot of people wonder how you can even try to achieve a milk-free alfredo sauce. I mean the whole concept of an alfredo is to combine the richness of cream with the sharpness of parmesan cheese!
What can I use to substitute cream?
My creamy, garlicky sauce uses coconut milk to mimic the texture of a traditional alfredo sauce perfectly! Don’t worry-this sauce doesn’t taste too sweet-in fact I couldn’t even detect a coconut taste in the end product. This is because coconut milk is not the only dairy substitute I used to accomplish this vegan alfredo sauce.
Raw cashews are used to increase the creaminess of my dairy free alfredo pasta sauce. I LOVE using raw cashews as a dairy substitute to mimic cream. They are absolutely perfect for a cashew sour cream, dairy free cream cheese, dairy free parmesan cheese, and as a creamy base for soups. It’s no surprise raw cashews blend up perfectly to mimic the creamy texture needed for this vegan alfredo pasta sauce!
Just because this alfredo sauce is dairy free does not mean it is fat free! This vegan cream sauce is just as naughty as a traditional alfredo is! It does however contain more nutrition, and fiber, and has zero added cholesterol!
Not to mention you are making an environmental impact by not using animal ingredients! And the baby cows will thank you for leaving that milk to them:)
Can I use Cauliflower in Vegan alfredo pasta sauce?
If you are looking to make a lighter alfredo flavoured pasta sauce you could experiment with using steamed and pureed cauliflower as a base. I’ve seen plenty of pretty popular alfredo sauce recipes using cauliflower. This not only cuts the fat and calories, but it increases the fiber content as well. Check out this one by Oh She Glows. It looks absolutely fabulous!!
I think using cauliflower as a base for a dairy free vegan alfredo sauce would be a really great option! Especially if you are looking to lose weight or if you prefer to stick to a lower fat diet. For me, I absolutely love the heaviness and satisfying texture the coconut milk and cashews provide. This dish is meant to be a treat! Just like you probably wouldn’t eat a traditional alfredo on a daily basis, this vegan alfredo is reserved for special occasions!
So, we’ve got the texture and richness nailed with the coconut and cashew base. But…
How can you make an Alfredo Sauce without Parmesan Cheese?
By using a combination of nutritional yeast, onion, lemon and garlic! These flavors combine to make an exceptionally strong, zingy flavor that will mimic parmesan perfectly!
Parmesan cheese helps to thicken a traditional alfredo pasta sauce. It also adds that perfect strong and sharp flavour we all know and love!
How to thicken a dairy-free alfredo sauce:
I’ve answered this by using vegan butter and flour in order to thicken my sauce. The sharp and tangy flavour needed for a perfect alfredo comes from using softened onion, nutritional yeast and lemon juice.
I’ve gone ahead and included a lot of garlic here in this recipe as well! I absolutely love garlic and this recipe calls for 4 whole cloves!
Two cloves cooked in with the onion. The other two are added in FRESH at the end, right as I’m finishing my sauce. Trust me on this one-it’s amazing!!
So, let’s put it all together using coconut and cashews as our base! I’ll show you how to make the creamiest, garlicky vegan alfredo pasta sauce imaginable!
This vegan alfredo sauce is the ultimate! It’s incredibly creamy and garlicky-providing all of the flavors needed to mimic a traditional alfredo pasta sauce. The texture is spot on thanks to the thick coconut milk and the raw blended cashews. You won’t need another alfredo sauce recipe once you’ve tried this one!
Vegan dairy free alfredo sauce
4garlic clovesminced or pressed
2tbspvegan butterI used becel
1tbspAll purpose flour
160mlcanned coconut milkI used the small can of Thai Kitchen Premium coconut milk
1tbspfresh lemon juice
fresh cracked pepperto taste
chili flakes to taste
Dice your yellow onion and place it in a sauce pan with 1/2 cup of water and 1 tsp veggie bullion. Cook until transparent.
Add in 2 of the 4 garlic cloves and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add more water if the veg begins to stick to the pan.
Transfer your garlic and onion mixture to a high powered blender like the Vitamix.
Add the 1 cup of cashews, 1 cup of water and the juice of half a lemon into the blender.
Blend on high speed for 2 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth.
In the sauce pan add 2 tbsp vegan butter and 1 tbsp of all purpose flour. whisk together over medium heat for 1 minute.
Stir in the can of coconut milk, whisking constantly over medium heat. The mixture will begin to thicken.
Sprinkle in the salt and the nutritional yeast. Continue to whisk for an additional minute.
Transfer the contents of your blender to the sauce pan and remove from the heat.
Whisk in your 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 2 freshly minced or pressed garlic cloves, fresh cracked pepper, and lemon zest.
Toss your pasta of choice with the sauce and garnish with additional fresh cracked pepper, parsley, lemon zest, chili flakes and dairy free Parmesan Cheese.
I think this vegan alfredo sauce would be so delicious paired with pan-seared mushrooms to make a Mushroom Fettuccini Alfredo. The mushrooms would add a meaty texture and flavour that would set the whole dish off!
I always have a batch of my Vegan Parmesan Cheese on hand in the fridge. I garnish my fettuccine alfredo with that, along with fresh cracked pepper, chili flakes and a little bit of parsley. Not only does the dish look beautiful this way, but I love the freshness and spice!
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Megan Kerry is a Vegan Lifestyle Educator and Licensed Practical Nurse. Her content focuses on vegan recipes and ethical living. She is a mom of four children, a long time vegan, and an even longer time foodie. She loves veganizing any and all dishes and sharing her recipes and lifestyle tips with all of you!