Learn how to make the most delicious 20 Minute Easy Vegan Dairy-free Alfredo that will blow away all your guests, shock them that it is dairy-free and healthy! Rich, creamy, decadent and just 7 ingredients and without any butter or oil!
EASY DAIRY-FREE ALFREDO
Sometimes the most amazing vegan recipes happen as the result of impromptu recipes. This recipe is one of those times. I was planning on making my Best 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 just as rich and so 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).
HOW TO MAKE DAIRY-FREE ALFREDO
First you need to gather the ingredients to make this vegan alfredo:
- raw cashew butter (I make my own here since store-bought tends to be roasted and with added oil, which will not work well)
- vegetable broth
- brown rice flour
- apple cider vinegar
- some dried Italian herbs
- garlic powder
- nutritional yeast
It’s quite different than my original, which uses a lot of cooked onions and garlic, this one does not. But this one with the rice flour makes it so creamy. 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 good.
You will start out by adding the cashew butter, brown rice flour, apple cider vinegar, Italian herbs, nutritional yeast, salt and just blend them up in your blender. I used my Vitamix.
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 this dairy-free alfredo sauce comes together in 20 minutes. It took exactly 19 minutes to do the pasta from start to finish and only 12-15 minutes for the sauce. You won’t find a more easy vegan alfredo!
This is also perfect for all of you that don’t have high powered blenders needed for raw cashews in so many sauces.
This healthy dairy-free alfredo sauce is so healthy, gluten-free and 100% oil-free. It is also just 8 ingredients (+salt).
MORE VEGAN CREAMY SAUCES
- Vegan White Wine Sauce
- Vegan Lemon Florentine Pasta
- Vegan Pimento Cream Sauce
- Vegan Lemon, Garlic & Thyme Sauce
Easy Dairy-free Alfredo
FOR THE PASTA
- 14 oz bag pasta of choice
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 2 cups (480g) well-flavored low-sodium vegetable broth (SEE NOTE)
- 1/4 cup (64g) RAW cashew butter with NO added oils or salt (I make my own here because it's practically impossible to find a raw oil-free cashew butter in stores.)
- 1-2 teaspoons (5-10g) apple cider vinegar (I find this can really vary depending on brand of broth used, start with none or 1 teaspoon at first.)
- 2 tablespoons (16g) nutritional yeast (Highly recommend the unfortified Sari brand-no weird vitamin taste)
- 2 tablespoons (20g) brown rice flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- optional: any veggies you may want to add
- If you would like to use raw cashews (instead of cashew butter) you will just use the same weight amount, which is about a scant 1/2 cup. If you don't have a high-powered blender, then you must soak them overnight in a bowl of water, drain and rinse. Otherwise, your result will be gritty and NOT creamy. A food processor usually works better with soaked cashews versus a blender that isn't very powerful.
- I highly recommend the low-sodium veggie broth by Trader Joe's, if possible or the Pacific brand. Both are so flavorful. If not using nutritional yeast, slightly increase the garlic powder and add a teaspoon of onion powder.
- Follow each step closely to have this ready 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. Cook for 9 minutes or until al dente. Yours will vary depending on the pasta used.
- While waiting on the water to boil, add all the "alfredo sauce" ingredients to a blender, starting with just 1 teaspoon of the vinegar. Broth brands greatly vary in flavor and I find depending on the brand used, I may need NO vinegar or only 1 teaspoon. Blend, then taste and decide. Blend until very smooth. It will be very runny, don't worry as it will thicken up a lot when cooking.
- Check your water to see if boiling yet.
- Add the sauce to a large pan over high heat. Once it starts bubbling all over, immediately turn to medium-low heat and whisk continually while letting it cook 3-4 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! You don't want to overcook because it will thicken up a lot as it cools. Add any veggies if you like. I sometimes add peas and carrots from the freezer and let them cook a minute in the sauce.
- Once the 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. If using regular gluten pasta, you don't need to rinse it. Add to a plate, then add the sauce and garnish with extra dried Italian herbs or red pepper flakes or anything else you like.