This recipe for vegan alfredo sauce is rich, creamy packed full of that sweet roasted garlic flavour, and is so easy and convenient to make. It’s also so versatile cause it can be combined with vegan sausages or roasted veggies for a pasta primavera and is easily frozen and kept for later.
Best Way to Make Alfredo Sauce Vegan
Usually, Alfredo sauce is made with a combination of cream and cheese. Making this vegan can get a little tricky if you don’t know-how. The best way to make alfredo sauce into a deliciously vegan one will require you to master these 2 components; creamy texture and cheesy taste.
Creating a creamy texture for your vegan Alfredo sauce
There are two steps in creating a creamy texture. Firstly, you need to soaked the cashews. This step softens them enough for your blender to be able to get to the point of being creamy. It would otherwise be gritty and have an unpleasant texture. Secondly, Using a high-powered blender is also an important part of getting a creamy smooth sauce.
Creating that cheesy taste in your vegan Alfredo sauce
Having a deliciously cheesy taste is also so important in an Alfredo sauce. Using nutritional yeast is a key component for vegan cooking mainly because it has a very similar taste to cheese. It is also a key component of this recipe.
Making this Recipe for Vegan Alfredo Sauce
This is so easy to make. However, it does take time to roast the garlic and soak the cashews but there is very little cooking involved. You’ll just need a high-powered blender, and I can’t stress this enough. If you’re finding your alfredo sauce a little gritty instead of creamy, it’s probably because your blender isn’t strong enough to make your sauce creamy.
To start, boil 3 cups of hot water and pour over your cashews. Let them soak for at least an hour, then set aside. When ready, you’ll notice they have become quite tender.
Then, you’ll need to roast your garlic. To do that, take 2 medium-sized garlic heads or if you are like me and have some ultra-small ones (see image above), you can easily double that. These were garden-fresh garlic heads that didn’t grow as big as they normally should. Cut the tops off of the garlic heads to expose some of the cloves but roast with the skins on.
Preheat your oven to 400˚F then line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place your garlic heads face down on the tin foil with some olive oil as shown above. Loosely cover the cloves with the tin foil (see image below) and bake for 25-35 minutes checking occasionally to not burn them. Baking time will vary with the size of the individual cloves and the heads.
When taking the garlic out of the oven, you’ll want to check the color of the heads before turning off the oven. Carefully expose the garlic from the tin foil but make sure not to burn yourself, they’ll be quite hot. You’re looking for a nice golden color on your heads without too much burning (see image below). If the cloves feel hard to the touch, then you’ve either baked them way too long or not long enough depending on the color. If the color seems right then let the heads cool off for at least 15 minutes.
In the meantime, you can start preparing your ingredients for the cashew cream base. Drain out the cashews from their water then pour the cashew into the blender along with all the other ingredients except for salt. Once your garlic has cooled, then simply squeeze out the soft cloves into the blender with the rest of the ingredients, ensuring none of the tough skins gets in with the blender. Blend until smooth then taste and adjust salt as needed.
For serving, put 1-2 tbsp of sauce or enough to cover fully coat the noodles. If the sauce still feels a little too thick, pour in a tsp at a time of the reserved pasta water until you achieve the desired thickness. Serve with chives, green onions, roasted veggies, pepper, red chili flakes, and/or even top with some vegan parmesan. It’s hard to mess this up. Enjoy!
Making this Recipe for vegan Alfredo Sauce Without Cashews
I have had several requests on how to make this one without cashews for allergies and/or personal preference. One option would be to use equal amounts of silken tofu. I had suggested this option to one of my followers that was looking for an alternative and had asked to report back with how it went. She enthusiastically came back to me telling me that it was a delicious and creamy option. Silken tofu is really a great way to make and extra creamy sauce. As a matter of fact, I am thinking of making it myself right now. Just pop it in a blender as is and it quickly turns in to a creamy sauce the same way the cashew would.
Freezing this Recipe for Vegan Alfredo Sauce
This recipe is perfect for freezing; doesn’t change the texture or taste at all. I usually freeze these in 2 or 3 portions or so if I don’t feel like cooking, I can quickly just make some pasta and throw a portion of Alfredo in the microwave then savour the rich creamy garlicky pasta with your favourite protein or vegetable. Keep in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Recipe for Vegan Alfredo Sauce
- High-Powered Blender
- 3 tbsp Olive oil divided
- 2 Medium-sized heads of garlic
- 1 cup Cashews Boiling water soaked (1 hr)
- ¼ cup Nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp Lemon
- 1 tbsp White wine vinegar
- ⅔ cup Almond milk or milk of choice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 15 oz Gluten-free linguine Reserve ¼ cup of linguine cooking water
- Red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and drizzle 1 tbsp of the olive oil.
- Cut the heads of the garlic off and place them headfirst onto the aluminum foil.
- Loosely close up the aluminum foil and bake till golden and bulbs are tender between 25-35 minutes depending on the size of the bulb. Set aside till cool enough to handle.
- Squeeze out the garlic cloves from their papery skins from the root end, straight into your blender. They should pop out easily.
- Add the soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, almond milk, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, remaining olive oil, vinegar and blend with a high-powered blender till smooth. Add salt to taste.
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Season with the remaining teaspoon of salt, add the linguine, and cook for the time directed on the package. It usually takes around 8 minutes.
- When it’s done, scoop out about ½ cup (120 ml) of the boiling water and set aside before draining the fettuccine.
- Return the fettuccine to the pot and immediately add the sauce. Return the pot to the stove and allow it to warm through over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes. It will thicken up a little as it warms up and you can loosen it to your liking with the starchy pasta water that you set aside. You won’t need all of it; just add it a little at a time, if necessary. Serve as soon as the sauce has heated through.
- Leftover sauce can be reheated. It will thicken up when refrigerated, but just loosen it up with a little non-dairy milk, warm through and it will be good as new!