The ultimate Vegan Alfredo that will blow away all your guests, shock them that it is dairy-free and takes just 20 minutes to make. Rich, creamy, decadent and just 8 ingredients and without any butter or oil!
Sometimes the most amazing recipes happen as the result of impromptu recipes. This recipe is one of those times. I was planning on making my Vegan Garlic Alfredo for dinner one night, but realized I was too low on cashews (gasp!) and out of lemon juice. So, I decided to just throw together some ingredients and wing it with what I had and holy moly, this one turned out richer and sooo amazing. I double dare you to make this for somebody (don't tell them it's not full of butter or cream) and tell me they don't love it. While I love my original (it's the most popular recipe on the blog), I honestly loved this one more! How is that possible? Check out the ingredients I used....
I used cashew butter, brown rice flour, apple cider vinegar and some dried Italian herbs in this 20 Minute Vegan Alfredo. It's quite different than my original, which uses a lot of cooked onions and garlic, this one does not. This one also has half the nutritional yeast. The cashew butter is subtly sweet, which really makes this rich and the rice flour really does some magic here and makes it even creamier and thicker. Like, so creamy and rich, that my husband scarfed it down SO fast and said "this is the best you've ever made". We both debated on me calling it "Restaurant Style Alfredo". It is just that creamy and good.
Each ingredient contributed perfectly to it's awesomeness. I've made it 3 times now and wouldn't change a thing. The apple cider vinegar gives a more cheesy taste than lemon juice. The Italian herbs I just decided to add on a whim, they are totally optional, but give an underlying depth of herb flavor. Combining all of that together resulted in some seriously, amazing vegan alfredo sauce!
Add these sauce ingredients and just blend them up. Add them to a pan and it will be very thin (like water), as in the above picture, but after just a few minutes of cooking, it will turn out creamy and fabulous like this...
I'm not kidding that it comes together in 20 minutes. I literally timed it. It took exactly 19 minutes to do the pasta from start to finish (waiting to boil and cook) and only about 12-15 minutes for the sauce, which you do while the pasta is cooking (sauce finishes before the pasta), so it was all ready in 20 minutes! No need to soak cashews, chop veggies, none of that!
And, if you already happen to have some leftover pasta, then the sauce is ready in less than 15 minutes, say whattt!
This is also perfect for all of you that don't have high powered blenders needed for raw cashews in so many sauces. There is absolutely no chance of grittiness in this sauce.
People always think you need butter or oil or cheese for dishes to taste good and nearly every alfredo recipe out there contains those or oils. This alfredo sauce is so healthy, gluten-free, good for you and is 100% oil-free. It is also just 8 ingredients (+salt). Can it get any easier?
By the way, I get asked every now and then from people who are curious about how to start a food blog and well, my friend Howie over at HurryTheFoodUp has an incredible tutorial design on how to do just that thing. Anything you need to know to get started, so go check it out!
I will be dying to hear what you all think of this amazing 20 Minute Vegan Alfredo!! Please, please come leave feedback below and star rate it after you make it. I love having the feedback tied to the recipe on my blog. If you take a pic, I'd love to see it as well. You can tag me on Instagram@thevegan8 using my tag #thevegan8, so it saves to my page and I don't miss it!
Here's a fun video to see this yumminess in action! Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel!
You will be simply amazed at how amazingly, rich, creamy and delicious this vegan alfredo sauce is, without any oil or starches or yucky ingredients. It has incredible flavor and requires just 8 ingredients (+salt) to make it! It is almost too good to be true!
For the pasta
14 oz bag of gluten-free brown rice fettucini pasta (or your preferred pasta)
1/2 tablespoon fine sea salt
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (480 mL, I really recommend low versus the regular)
1/4 cup raw cashew butter or 3/4 cup raw cashews (roasted is too strong, with no added ingredients. I get mine from Whole Foods or make my own, another nut butter will not work)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (10 mL)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (16 g, add more if you like, but I found this to be perfect. I also use Dr. Fuhrman's which is a bit less salty)
2 tablespoons brown rice flour (20 g, really is magical in this)
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4-1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
optional: 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herbs blend (not necessary but does add a nice flavor)
optional: any veggies you may want to add
Note: Please note I have ONLY tested this recipe (3 times in fact) exactly as written, so I don't know about subs. If you can't find cashew butter, then you can make your own. I do it often. Just add 2 cups RAW, unsalted cashews to a food processor and process for about 10 minutes or so. You will need to scrape the sides down a few times during. Process until completely silky smooth, do not stop until it becomes almost pour-able like almond butter. Then just use 1/4 cup for the recipe as listed.
Follow each step closely. To have this ready to eat in 20 minutes, you will first need to start your pasta before the sauce. Add 12 cups of very hot water to a large pot and put the lid on (it will come to a boil faster). Turn to high heat and let it come to a boil. Mine took about 10 minutes before it was boiling (yours may be faster). Once it's boiling add the pasta and salt and quickly stir it around to loosen it up. The salt is important because it flavors the pasta and you won't end up with bland pasta. Keep on high heat and cook for 9 minutes or until al dente. Mine took exactly 9 minutes. Yours may vary depending on the pasta you use.
While you are waiting on your water to come to a boil, this is when you will add all of your "alfredo sauce" ingredients (including the dried Italian herbs if using) to a blender. Blend until very smooth and there is no lumps from the cashew butter or rice flour. It will be very runny, don't worry about that, it will thicken up a lot when cooking. You will notice that it tastes fairly salty straight out of the blender, this is necessary for it to stand out in the end result with the pasta (and any veggies you may add).
Check your water to see if boiling yet.
Add the sauce to a large sauce pan and whisk well from the bottom to make sure there are no lumps from the rice flour. Turn to high heat. Once it starts bubbling all over, immediately turn to medium heat and whisk continually while letting it cook 3-5 minutes until thickened. You want to continually whisk around the bottom and sides, so the flour doesn't clump. Don't walk away from it. I cooked mine about 4 minutes. I have a gas stovetop and this is how quick it was, yours may vary. You don't want to cook it too long because it will thicken up considerably as it cools off, because of the rice flour. The longer you cook it, the thicker it will become. You are basically just wanting it to thicken up to a light creamy consistency and then remove from the heat. If for some reason you slightly overcooked it and it gets too thick, just add a tiny amount of broth to thin it back out. Voila. Add any veggies if you like. I literally just threw in some peas and carrots from the freezer and let them cook a minute in the sauce. Your sauce should be done before your pasta, so just cover with a lid to keep warm.
Once your pasta is done, drain and rinse with water to stop the cooking. Brown rice pasta can stick really badly, so I rinse really well and serve immediately. I don't like to add it directly to the sauce or it thickens it up too much. I add to a plate, then add the sauce and garnish with extra dried Italian herbs or red pepper flakes or anything else you like. If you used low-sodium broth and 3/4 tsp salt, it should not need any extra. Mine was perfect, but taste and add more if necessary as some broths vary. For reheating leftovers, heat over low and add a little broth to thin back out if necessary.
The Vegan 8
If you make this recipe, please do not repost it on your site, please link to me instead giving proper credit. I've had my original Vegan Garlic Alfredo copied many times on other sites and it's very upsetting when I work so hard. Please be respectful and link properly. If you are inspired by this recipe, again, please give proper credit and do not simply post it on your site.
Hi! I'm Brandi, a wife and mom behind this blog who healed her husband's gout and my digestion issues through a plant-based diet. I'm not complicated, I keep things simple. All my recipes are 8 ingredients or less, not including salt, pepper and water. They are allergy-friendly, as they are all vegan, oil-free and nearly all are gluten-free. You'll find lots of baked goods here, as I've been a baker all my life, it's my passion!