In 30 minutes or less, this rich, creamy, and indulgent recipe will prove itself to be the best vegan fettuccine alfredo you've ever had.
It's a classic Italian dish that ticks all the comfort food boxes except for one: you won't be left with a bloated and upset stomach afterwards.
It's no surprise why so many people are in love with Italian food. Many dishes are traditionally based around carbohydrates like bread and pasta, which makes this cuisine very satisfying and comforting.
In Italy, food is more than just something you eat. It involves a huge family component in which extended family comes together to eat with one another. So, whenever we are in the mood for Italian, it makes us want to cook for our family and friends.
It's pretty incredible how food can bring people together!
This recipe is special to us because of everything it encompasses. Family, comfort, and taste. So, it was extra important to really nail a vegan alfredo sauce! We wanted it to taste as close to an authentic alfredo, which contains cream, cheese, and butter. Quite the task, but let us be the first to tell you we did in fact nail it.
This dish is not only easy to make, it also comes together super quick. And once you're done enjoying it, you'll be able to go about the rest of your day without feeling sick or having to take an afternoon siesta.
Thank the lord this alfredo is dairy-free.
So without further ado, we bring you the best vegan fettuccine alfredo sauce in 30 minutes or less!
🍲 Key ingredients
- Cashews: these create the base for this rich and delicious alfredo sauce. Cashews are the ultimate go-to if you're wanting to make sauces creamy and smooth. Just a heads up, if you don't have a high-speed blender, you'll want to soak your cashews in hot water to avoid grainy chunks in the sauce. We love cashews because of their sweetness and amazing health benefits. In just 1 ounce of cashews, you receive 67% of your daily copper needs, which our bodies need for energy production and healthy brain development.
- Lemon: adding lemon to this alfredo sauce creates the perfect zesty flavor. Of course, it doesn't take away from the rich, creamy texture (just enough to balance things out). Plus, we can always use some extra vitamin C in our lives. There have been studies linking vitamin C intake with lower levels of blood pressure. This is one nutritious ingredient!
- Garlic: what is alfredo sauce without a garlicky punch? We believe this is what makes it so irresistible. We roast our garlic with a little olive oil before adding it to the sauce to help tame the sharp flavor. Roasting it also brings out a deep, caramel-y sweetness that gives this dish even more depth.
- Nutritional yeast: packed with B vitamins, nutritional yeast is an excellent plant-based source of B12. In just 1 tablespoon, you'll be getting almost double the recommended dose of your daily B12 needs. If you're wondering what creates that cheesy, umami flavor in dairy-free cooking, behold "nooch." It carries such a unique flavor profile, we throw it in almost any savoury dish!
It's best to soak the cashews in water overnight. But, if you forget to the night before, you can also soak them in boiling water for 30-60 minutes before blending the sauce.
In the meantime, prepare your roasted garlic by slicing the top off and drizzling with some olive oil. Wrap it in tin foil and bake on 400 degrees F for 25 minutes or so, or until the cloves are turning soft and browning (a toaster oven is really handy for this type of thing).
Next, sauté some onions in a little olive oil until they are browning as well. Along with the cashews, the onions add a subtle sweet flavor that makes this recipe so good!
Once the garlic and onions are cooked and the cashews are softened, add all sauce ingredients to a blender and mix on high until you have a creamy texture.
You may have to stop and scrape down the sides a few times, especially if you don't have a high-speed blender. If you feel like the sauce is too thick, you can add in more plant milk a little at a time.
Cook fettuccine according to the package directions. Once the pasta is done, drain it and transfer it back to the pot you cooked it in or to the pan used for the onions. Add cashew alfredo sauce to the same pot, and mix everything well.
You can serve this dish with some vegan parmesan, chopped parsley, and lemon zest on top, which we highly recommend!
It's best to store the alfredo sauce and noodles separately or make fresh noodles to serve with any leftover sauce since they only take 8-10 minutes.
The alfredo sauce will store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Keep in mind it does thicken up in the fridge, so if you want it thinner just add a bit of water. Alternatively, you can freeze the sauce for up to 2 months.
💭 Budget tips
We think everyone should be able to eat better for less, so here are a few tricks to make this recipe even more affordable:
- Don't add in the onion
- Buy cashews at a bulk store or at Costco (we find Costco is the cheapest for nuts)
- Use water instead of soy milk
🍴 Tasting notes
This vegan fettuccine alfredo is everything you're looking for in a vegan comfort meal. It's:
If you try this for dinner, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
The Best Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo
- Large pot
- High-speed blender
- 20 oz fettuccine noodles ($0.47)
- 1 tbsp olive oil ($0.12)
- ½ medium white onion ($0.12)
- 1 ¼ cups raw cashews ($2.15)
- 1 ½ cups soy milk ($0.42)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice ($0.18)
- 5 whole garlic cloves, roasted ($0.15)
- ½ cup water ($0.00)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast ($0.49)
- 1 ½ tsp apple cider vinegar ($0.09)
- Sea salt to taste ($0.01)
- Chopped parsley
- Vegan parmesan
- It's best to soak the cashews in water overnight. Alternatively, you can soak them in boiling water for 30-60 minutes before making the sauce.
- In the meantime, preheat an oven or toaster oven to 400°F. Prepare your roasted garlic by slicing the top off and drizzling with some olive oil. Wrap it in tin foil and bake on 400°F for 25-30 minutes, or until the cloves are turning soft and browning.
- Next, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a saucepan on low-medium. Add the onions in and sauté them until they are browning.
- As the onions and garlic are cooking, boil some water in a large pot. Once it has come to a boil, add a pinch of salt and fettuccine noodles. Cook them according to the package directions. Once the pasta is done, drain it and transfer back to the pot you cooked it in or to the pan for the onions. Set aside.
- Once the garlic, onions, and cashews are ready, add all sauce ingredients to a blender and mix on high until a creamy texture is achieved. You may have to stop and scrape down the sides a few times, especially if you don't have a high-speed blender.
- If you feel the sauce is too thick at this point, you can add in more plant milk 2 tbsp at a time.
- Add alfredo sauce to the noodles and mix everything together. Serve this dish with some vegan parmesan, chopped parsley, and lemon zest on top!
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price of the recipe.
- If you want this recipe to come together more quickly, you can use fresh garlic and no onion.
- We like to use soy milk for this recipe, but you can use other plant milk too.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more tasty dish ideas, check out our:
- Mac and cheese with almond milk for a dish that will change what you believe about dairy-free cheese sauce.
- Moroccan chickpea stew if you're wanting an eclectic dinner and are willing to try new things.
- Mediterranean socca pizza if you're feeling a little fancy but still want to eat with your hands.
- Lentil bolognese for a seriously delicious dish that will put you into a food coma.
You can try substituting the cashews with sunflower seeds or macadamia nuts. Keep in mind, your results will vary.
Yes, you can absolutely eat this recipe if you are lactose intolerant. It is completely dairy-free!
To make this recipe gluten-free, all you need to do is swap out the fettuccine noodles for gluten-free pasta.