Creamy, ready in 15 minutes, and made with just six main ingredients, this vegan alfredo sauce is what pasta is made for! It's also nut-free and doesn't require a blender or food processor.
Dairy-free alfredo can be just as creamy and delicious as traditional alfredo! Here's what you'll find in this recipe:
- Diet-friendly: vegan, vegetarian, nut-free and soy-free optional (just use a soy-free vegan butter and non-dairy milk!)
- Quick & easy: Ready in just 15 minutes using 6 main ingredients
- Filled with garlicky flavor
- No blender or food processor needed
- Made without cashews like many vegan alfredo sauces
What you'll need
For the alfredo sauce you need just six ingredients (plus salt and pepper!). Serve with your favorite pasta. I love using fettuccine.
- Non-dairy milk: While soy milk is my go-to for sauces, you can also use almond, coconut, or oat milk. Choose an unsweetened, unflavored milk.
- The roux: All-purpose flour and fat combine into a deliciously creamy, thick vegan sauce. I recommend using vegan butter in this recipe because it provides similar quality fat and flavor as traditional alfredo. I use Earth Balance buttery spread or buttery sticks, but any vegan butter should work. Miyoko’s is also a good option.
- Lemon juice adds a brightness to this otherwise heavy sauce.
- Garlic: I like to add a lot of garlic (4-5 cloves) but you can reduce or increase the amount based on your preference.
Step by step instructions
Note: This recipe makes about 2 cups of alfredo sauce. I usually make ~8 ounces of pasta to serve with it which yields 4 servings.
Step one: Start by melting vegan butter in a skillet over medium heat (1A). Once hot, add a liberal amount of minced garlic. Sauté until golden (1B).
Step two: Once the garlic is golden, slowly sprinkle in flour one tablespoon at a time. Whisk continuously to prevent clumping. (I recommend using a silicone whisk to prevent scratching your pan.) Continue stirring the flour in the pan until browned, about 1 minute.
Step three: Slowly pour in the soy milk, whisking continuously. I pour the milk in ½ cup at a time to make sure it is evenly mixed and prevent lumps. (Image 3 shows sauce after ~½ cup is added).
Step four: Once all of the soy milk is added, sprinkle in salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast. While whisking, bring the heat to medium-high.
Step five: Once the sauce is bubbling, reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until sauce reaches desired consistency, whisking occasionally to prevent a skin from forming. This usually takes about 10 minutes.
Step six: Once thickened, squeeze in lemon juice, taste for salt and pepper & enjoy the garlic alfredo sauce tossed with pasta of your choice.
Recipe FAQ and expert tips
- Lumps: For a foolproof method to prevent lumps, use a sifter or fine mesh sieve to sift in the flour.
- Sauce thickness: The longer you simmer the sauce the thicker it will become. This is because you are evaporating liquid from the sauce. If the sauce isn’t as thick as you’d like and you have been simmering for a while, you can add a slurry by mixing together 1 tablespoon cold water with 1 tablespoon flour. Simmer until thickened.
- Vegan alfredo variations: Substitute ½ cup pasta water (that's the water that your pasta is cooked in) for soy milk; this creates a creamier sauce. Substitute ½ cup white wine for milk for a more sophisticated flavor. Combine with equal parts marinara for pink pasta.
- Serving ideas: Top alfredo sauce with cashew parmesan or Parmesan style shreds and fresh basil for extra flavor.
- If you like this dairy-free alfredo sauce you will probably love my vegan mac and cheese which is made with a similar method.
Yes! It will be a little less creamy but still delicious.
You can but I think it's better with the nutritional yeast because it adds extra depth and flavor.
The alfredo sauce is best enjoyed within 3-4 days. Keep refrigerated in a closed container. You may need to add a splash of milk to loosen it when you reheat it.
Looking for more vegan sauces?
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Vegan Garlic Alfredo Sauce
- ¼ cup vegan butter see note #1
- 4-5 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 and ½ cups unsweetened, unflavored soy milk see note #2
- ¼ tsp salt more to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice from 1 small lemon
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley for serving
- 8 ounces cooked pasta of choice for serving
- Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the vegan butter. Once melted, add minced garlic. Sauté until garlic is golden, about 1 minute.
- Once the garlic is golden, slowly sprinkle in flour one tablespoon at a time. Whisk continuously to prevent clumping. I recommend using a silicon whisk to prevent scratching your pan.
- Continue stirring the flour in the pan until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Slowly pour in the soy milk ½ cup at a time, whisking continuously to prevent clumping.
- After the soy milk is added, sprinkle in salt, pepper and nutritional yeast. While whisking, bring the heat to medium-high.
- Once the sauce is bubbling, reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until sauce reaches desired consistency, whisking occasionally to prevent a skin from forming. This usually takes about 10 minutes.
- Once thickened to desired consistency, whisk in lemon juice, taste for salt and pepper & enjoy tossed with pasta of your choice. See notes if you would like a thicker sauce.
- Vegan butter vs olive oil: I use Earth Balance buttery spread or Miyoko's. Olive oil will also work but the sauce will be slightly less creamy. I have not tried this recipe with coconut oil.
- Soy milk: I find unsweetened, unflavored soy milk produces the creamiest result, but almond and cashew milk will also work.
- Tip for a smooth sauce: For a foolproof method to prevent lumps, use a sifter or fine mesh sieve to sift in the flour.
- Thickening the sauce: The longer you simmer the sauce the thicker it will become. If the sauce isn’t as thick as you’d like and you have been simmering for a while, make a slurry by mixing together 1 tablespoon cold water with 1 tablespoon flour. Add to the sauce and simmer until thickened.
- Gluten-free option: All-purpose flour can be replaced with a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend like Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur. Simply substitute 1:1 and cook per recipe instructions
- Leftovers: Keep refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days. You may need to add a splash of milk to loosen it when you reheat it.
- Nutrition facts are calculated without the pasta. This recipe makes about 2 cups of vegan alfredo sauce.