This Easy Cashew Alfredo Sauce is a delightful vegan alternative to the classic Alfredo sauce. It's made with raw cashews to create a creamy and rich texture. This recipe delivers a creamy and satisfying sauce that pairs beautifully with your favourite pasta dishes.
Please welcome another creamy pasta recipe on my blog. You know me, I can't live without my pasta. So here we go, another quick and easy weeknight dinner idea you will love.
For more creamy pasta, check out my Silken Tofu Pasta with Mushrooms, which is one of the most popular recipes on my blog, my Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta, Pasta with Vegan Cream Cheese and Cherry Tomatoes or my Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta recipe.
Cashew Alfredo sauce is a dairy-free and vegan alternative to traditional Alfredo sauce, which is typically made with butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese. I used raw cashews as the base ingredient to create a rich and creamy sauce.
This cashew sauce offers an excellent alternative for those who are vegan or follow a dairy-free, or plant-based diet, providing a creamy and flavourful sauce that mimics the traditional Alfredo taste and texture. It can be used in various pasta dishes, as well as in casseroles, vegetable bakes, or as a dipping sauce for vegetables. The possibilities are endless with this creamy and flavourful sauce.
why you will love it
- Creamy and Delicious: Cashew Alfredo sauce creates a velvety, creamy texture that perfectly coats the pasta. Also, it is super delicious and addictive. 🙂
- Vegan and Dairy-Free: If you are vegan or follow a dairy-free lifestyle, Cashew Alfredo Pasta allows you to enjoy a classic Alfredo flavour without any animal products.
- Healthier Alternative: Cashews provide a nutritious base for the sauce, offering heart-healthy fats, protein, and essential minerals. Compared to traditional Alfredo sauce, which is typically high in saturated fats and cholesterol, Cashew Alfredo Pasta is a lighter and more wholesome option.
- Easy to make: You can make this delicious sauce with a few ingredients and a blender or food processor in no time. Quick and easy, hence why we love it so much!
- Versatile: You can add your favourite vegetables, such as sautéed mushrooms, spinach, or roasted cherry tomatoes, to enhance the flavours and boost the nutritional value.
Cashew Alfredo Sauce Ingredients
This vegan creamy sauce can be used as a delicious topping for various pasta dishes. I used penne, but you can use any other types of pasta you have at home.
To make the sauce you will need:
- Raw cashews: The star of the show, the base of our creamy sauce. ( soaked overnight or for 20 minutes in boiled water )
- Unsweetened dairy-free milk: Make sure to use unsweetened milk. We don't need sweetness in our sauce. I tried it with almonds and oat; both worked fine with the recipe.
- Nutritional yeast: For the extra cheesy flavour.
- Vegan parmesan: For the nuttier, sharper cheesy flavour. You can omit it if you don't have it.
- Onion and garlic: The base for all my recipes. And it also gives extra flavour to the sauce.
- Lime juice: Adds acidity and brightens up the flavours in the sauce.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil: For sautéing the onions and garlic.
For the full recipe and quantities, see the recipe card at the end of the post.
how to make Cashew alfredo sauce
Here is a simple recipe for vegan Cashew Alfredo Sauce with Pasta:
- Firstly, heat a bit of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion, a pinch of salt and saute until soft. Then add minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- In the meantime, cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions and reserve some starchy cooking water.
- Combine the soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, sauteed onion and garlic, unsweetened dairy-free milk, salt and lime juice in a blender or food processor.
- Blend the mixture on high speed until smooth and creamy.
- Transfer the cashew Alfredo mixture to a saucepan and heat it gently over low heat, stirring frequently, until warmed through.
- Once heated, stir the grated vegan parmesan well until it melts.
- When the pasta is ready, pour it over and toss to coat the pasta thoroughly.
- Add some cooking water to thin up and cook it for a few minutes until the pasta absorbs the sauce.
- Serve the vegan Alfredo pasta hot and garnish with freshly chopped parsley, fresh grated vegan parmesan and red chilli flakes if you enjoy a bit of heat.
Enjoy your creamy and delicious cashew Alfredo pasta! Feel free to customise the dish by adding sautéed vegetables or your favorite protein source, such as roasted mushrooms or pan-seared tofu, to make it even more satisfying and nutritious.
what goes with it
Cashew Alfredo sauce is versatile and can be used in various dishes. Aside from pasta, you can use it as a creamy sauce for vegetables, as a base for pizza, tart, as a dip for breadsticks or even as a creamy topping for baked potatoes.
Variations and additions
- Add vegetables: This pasta is so versatile. You can add any veggies you like. It would be delicious with sauteed mushrooms, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, spinach or kale.
- Spice it up: If you enjoy a bit of heat, sprinkle some red pepper flakes over the finished dish for a touch of spice.
- Fresh herbs: Add a pop of freshness and colour to your dish by garnishing it with chopped fresh herbs like parsley, basil, or chives
- Vegan protein: Boost the protein content of your pasta dish by adding cooked and seasoned vegan protein sources like tofu, tempeh, or seitan.
how to store it
As with all creamy dishes, this cashew Alfredo pasta is best served right away, but if you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat it in the microwave with a splash of water.
- Reserve some of the pasta cooking water before draining it. When you combine the cooked pasta with the cashew Alfredo sauce, gradually add small amounts of the reserved pasta water to the sauce. The starchy water helps bind the sauce to the pasta, creating a smoother and silkier consistency.
- To make the sauce super creamy, soak the cashews overnight or for at least two hours in water. However, if you are short on time, 20 minutes in boiled water will do too.
- Make sure you use unsweetened dairy-free milk to make the sauce.
frequently asked questions
Soaking the cashews helps soften them, making them easier to blend and resulting in a smoother sauce. If you're short on time, you can try soaking them in hot water for 20 minutes ( like I did ) to an hour instead. However, for the creamiest texture, it's best to soak them for at least 2-4 hours or overnight.
If you prefer a thinner sauce, you can add a little more milk or water while blending until you reach your desired consistency. For a thicker sauce, reduce the amount of liquid or increase the amount of soaked cashews.
Yes, Cashew Alfredo sauce can be frozen. Portion it into freezer-safe containers, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and gently reheat on the stovetop with a bit of water.
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