You’ll love this tried and true vegan alfredo sauce recipe that’s packed with garlic and parmesan flavor. This easy to make dairy-free alfredo sauce recipe is perfect for serving with fettuccine noodles, breadsticks, and more!
You can even drizzle this sauce over vegan twice-baked potatoes.
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Raw cashews are a secret ingredient, making this sauce extra creamy and delicious
- Chopped onions are cooked in vegan butter, adding buttery flavor and delicious tender onions
- Adding vegan parmesan creates a perfectly cheesy and savory umami flavor to this sauce.
Creamy Alfredo Sauce
There is a little bit of controversy over the origins of alfredo sauce, but I’m going with the story that the concept originated from Italy. It is usually made of butter, heavy cream, and parmesan cheese, but you’ll love my vegan secrets on keeping it creamy and delicious. This recipe makes a sauce that’s better than Olive Garden’s and the store-bought variety, for sure!
The trick for me was making Alfredo sauce vegan while keeping it creamy, buttery, garlicky, and delicious. I love this recipe so much and think you will, too.
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
- Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
- Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
- Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
- Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
- Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
- Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
- Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
- Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
- Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
- Vegan butter — To keep this sauce good and buttery we’ll be adding vegan butter. I used Earth Balance buttery sticks.
- Onion — Chopped onions are cooked with the butter until tender. I used yellow onions, but white onions could work here too.
- Raw cashews — It’s the cashews that make this sauce so creamy! Some vegan alfredo sauce recipes require soaking the cashews first, but we’ll skip that step here. Instead, we’ll be cooking cashews with the onions and butter to make them nice and tender.
- Garlic — Go ahead and peel the garlic and then chop it. No mincing is required here, so roughly chopped is good. Add it to the butter sauce after the onions and cashews are tender.
- Water + Better than Bouillon — Could you use vegetable broth you buy at the store? Sure, but I find the quality to vary greatly. That’s why I love using Better than Bouillon. It delivers consistent quality every time.
- Vegan cream cheese — We need a little creamy with this recipe and cream cheese does the trick. I have used both Tofutti’s or Daiya vegan cream cheese and both worked great. Or you can even make your own vegan cream cheese too.
- Vegan Parmesan — Parmesan is necessary for alfredo sauce. You can buy vegan parm (paid link) in health food stores or make your own homemade vegan parmesan.
How to Make Vegan Alfredo Sauce
Now let’s talk about the steps to make vegan creamy pasta sauce. The good news is, there are only a few.
- Cook onions and cashews in a saucepan with melted vegan butter over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onions are tender.
- Add the roughly chopped garlic and cook for another minute.
- Stir in the water and bouillon and bring it to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer (low boil) for 4 to 5 minutes before removing it from heat and setting it aside to cool slightly.
- Pour the slightly cooled mixture into a blender jar. Add vegan cream cheese and vegan parmesan and pulse in short bursts, increasing the speed until the mixture is smooth.
- The sauce will thicken as it cools, so let it sit for a few minutes before serving.
- Serve with noodles, steamed broccoli, and more!
Serve vegan alfredo sauce over cooked pasta, like fettuccini noodles. We love a good vegan fettuccini alfredo recipe served with steamed broccoli. It’s the best! Serve it with any of the following:
- Vegan fettuccine alfredo: drizzle the sauce over cooked noodles.
- As an appetizer: by pouring it into a bowl with a plate of vegan garlic bread.
- Make vegan alfredo pizza: use it in place of tomato-based pizza sauce on vegan pizza.
- Serve up some vegan chicken alfredo: Add vegan chicken fillets over pasta with this sauce.
- On Baked Potatoes — Serve up some vegan loaded baked potatoes with alfredo sauce drizzled on top.
You can store leftover alfredo sauce in the fridge. It will keep up to 5 days when stored properly. Alternatively, you can mix the sauce directly with the cooked pasta noodles. Then you can transfer vegan alfredo pasta into a sealable container and keep it in the fridge. The sauce thickens as it chills so add some unsweetened plant-based milk or vegetable broth to reheat it.
That’s it for this vegan Alfredo Sauce. Enjoy!
Vegan Alfredo Sauce
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped
- ½ cup raw cashews
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon Vegan Broth Base
- 2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon vegan parmesan
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- Serve: fettuccine noodles, steamed broccoli, breadsticks
- Add vegan butter to a saucepan over medium heat. Once it's melted, add chopped onions and cashews. Stir to coat. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onions are tender. Add chopped garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add water and bouillon to the saucepan. Stir to combine. Bring it to a boil and reduce it to a simmer. Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- Once the broth mixture has cooled, transfer it to a blender. Add vegan cream cheese and vegan parmesan. Pulse in several short bursts. Then use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender jar. Then pulse again, increasing the speed until the mixture is smooth.
- Pour the alfredo sauce into a glass jar or sealable container. Sprinkle with pepper. The sauce may seem a bit runny at first but it thickens as it cools.
- Serve over cooked pasta, on garlic toast, or even as a sauce for pizza.
- Keep leftover vegan alfredo sauce in the fridge. It will keep up to 5 days when stored properly.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2020 and was updated to include new photos in 2021.