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 cashew free and doesn't require a blender or food processor.
- Diet-friendly: vegan, vegetarian, nut-free and soy-free optional (just use a soy-free vegan butter and non-dairy milk!)
- Ready in just 15 minutes
- Uses only 6 ingredients (plus salt and pepper)
- Ultra creamy and flavorful
- No blender or food processor needed
What you'll need
For the sauce you need just six ingredients (plus salt and pepper!). Serve with your favorite pasta. I love using fettucine.
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 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 it base on your preference, or even omit it entirely.
Step by step instructions
Step one: Start by melting vegan butter in a skillet over medium heat (1A). Once hot, add a liberal amount of minced garlic. Saute 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 tossed with pasta of your choice.
Recipe FAQ and expert tips
- Lumps: For a foolproof method to prevent lumps, use a sifter 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.
- Sauce 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 with cashew parmesan or Parmesan style shreds and fresh basil for extra flavor.
Yes! It will be a little less creamy but still delicious.
Yes! 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
You can but I think it's better with the nutritional yeast because it adds extra depth and flavor.
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