WOW! This vegan fettuccine alfredo tastes decadent, but the creamy sauce is filled with healthy plant based ingredients. An easy dinner in under 30 minutes!

Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo

Dinnertime just got easier. This vegan fettuccine alfredo is a winner with everyone from kids to meat lovers: it’s just that good! The impossibly creamy sauce is a healthy spin on the traditionally rich pasta. It’s made with nutrient-dense cauliflower and protein-packed cashews instead of dairy. Make it with any type of noodle you choose (legume noodles, zoodles, etc) and it’s an easy 30-minute plant based dinner. Ready for all the secrets?

What people are saying

Alex and I sent this recipe to some friends and family who are close enough to us that they tell us their true opinion! Here’s what they had to say about this vegan fettucine alfredo:

  • “YUM! I love it! It’s super easy to make. I made it again 2 days later!” -Lisa
  • “This is the best vegan alfredo sauce! It’s my new go-to. It had just the right amount of creaminess and the seasoning was on point! Some recipes say the sauce is creamy and it comes out a little runny. This one is actually creamy!” -Maeghan
Vegan alfredo sauce

What’s in vegan fettuccine alfredo?

Who would have known that blending up a few veggies and nuts could create a creamy sauce that tastes like dairy? These days, there are so many inventive vegan recipe concepts for making creamy sauces. With this one, Alex and I wanted to use cauliflower to make a white sauce like our Cauliflower Sauce, but remove the Parmesan cheese. Here’s what we ended up with for this recipe:

Cook the ingredients for about 10 minutes on the stove. Then blend them until a creamy sauce forms and mix that with the noodles. Voila! You’ve got vegan fettuccine alfredo, an easy plant based dinner recipe in 30 minutes!

Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo

Is pasta healthy?

Good question. A new study found pasta can actually help you lose weight. The Italian researchers found that eaten in moderation, pasta can be part of a healthy diet. This is a full 180 of conventional wisdom, right? Alex and I have been enjoying pasta in moderation for years—so we’re glad it’s back in good graces.

Other noodle ideas!

There are lots of other options for pasta in this vegan fettuccine alfredo, especially if you eat a gluten free diet. Here are some options you could try:

  • Legume Based Pasta: Pasta made from lentils is becoming much more widespread these days. It can be made from black beans, lentils, or chickpeas. Alex and I have tried a few brands and found the texture is a little tough for us: but other people rave about it! We’re open to your suggestions in the comments below.
  • Zucchini Noodles: Making this pasta with vegetable noodles like Zucchini Noodles would also be tasty! You can make your own or they’re easy to find prepackaged.
Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo

How to cook pasta to al dente

If you’re using standard pasta for this vegan fettuccine alfredo, you absolutely must cook it to al dente. What’s al dente? In Italian it means “to the bite.” It refers to pasta that is still firm on the inside when cooked. The ideal al dente texture is a tender exterior balanced by a firm bite with a fleck of white at its core. Here’s how to cook pasta to al dente:

  • Boil the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water.
  • While cooking, check pasta continually for doneness.
  • As soon as the pasta has a tender exterior but a fleck of white at its core, drain it! Even a few seconds can be the difference between al dente and limp noodles.
Vegan alfredo sauce in blender

What to do with leftover alfredo sauce?

The sauce for this vegan fettuccine alfredo makes 6 cups total. Alex and I measured, and for our taste we liked using about 5 cups of alfredo sauce for 1 pound of pasta. That means, you’ll have about 1 cup leftover after making 1 pound of pasta.

What to do with the leftover sauce? Refrigerate it (obviously). Of course, you can use it on pasta again. But here are a few more creative ideas of how to use it up:

This vegan fettuccine alfredo recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free. For gluten-free, use gluten-free, legume or zucchini noodles.

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Vegan fettucine alfredo

Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x

Description

WOW! This vegan fettuccine alfredo tastes decadent, but the creamy sauce is filled with healthy plant based ingredients. An easy dinner in under 30 minutes!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound fettuccine noodles (use gluten-free, legume, or zucchini noodles if desired)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 small head cauliflower (1 1/2 to 2 pounds), enough for 6 cups florets
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 + ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Finely chopped parsley, to serve

Instructions

  1. Mince the garlicChop the cauliflower.
  2. Make the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until it is al dente (start tasting a few minutes before the package recommends: you want it to be tender but still a little firm on the inside). Then drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
  3. Meanwhile, start the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven, pot, or saucepan (that has a cover) over medium heat. Add the cauliflower and cashews and saute for 4 minutes until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the vegetable broth, onion powder, black pepper, nutmeg and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook 6 to 7 minutes on medium high heat until the cauliflower is tender when pierced with a fork.
  4. Blend the sauce: Carefully transfer the contents to a blender and add the remaining ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon more black pepper. Blend on high until a smooth sauce forms.
  5. Serve: Pour about 5 cups into 1 pound pasta (1 cup will be left over), or use it to taste. Top with finely chopped parsley and serve immediately.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Pasta

Keywords: Vegan Fettucine Alfredo

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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69 Comments

  1. I think there is a typo. Under “2. Make the pasta”, spinach is mentioned. I do not see spinach as an ingredient. Thanks! Looking forward to trying the recipe!

    1. The BEST vegan fettuccine Alfredo recipe. I’ve been vegan 5 years and have tried dozens of vegan alfredos , all of them pretty good but normally too heavy. This one is so so good! My whole family loves it and I’m about to make it again for the 3rd time this week cause my 1 year old is obsessed. Thank you for coming up with this delicious recipe! We will be making it for years to come!!

  2. You guys! This was truly delicious! However the consistency of my sauce looks nothing like yours – I used a food processor but mine came out with more of an oatmealy consistency. Still really, really good nonetheless!

    1. If you keep running it in the food processor, it should get creamier. It’s definitely easier with a high speed blender.

  3. I expected the sauce to contain some nutritional yeast to add a cheesy tang, but it is not there. I use it to make vegan cheese and I expect that it would contribute to the flavor here as well since the intent is to replicate a cheese sauce.

    1. I actually like it without the nutritional yeast. Perhaps I’ll try adding just a dash to see how it tastes. But I feel like so many vegan recipes use it and I’m not fond of the strong taste, especially after saving overnight. That’s why I LOVE this recipe! Just tried it last night! My husband was in a meeting when I gave him the plate, and he actually text me to say he loved it too.

    1. Great question! How long were you thinking of keeping it warm in the oven? If it’s for a short period, that would work. If it’s longer, the sauce could dry out. The best way would be to keep the sauce separate from the pasta, then heat it and mix it together right when you’re ready to serve.

    1. Our family just made it with raw sunflower seeds and it was really good! The only change we had to make was adding more salt at the end (1 tsp after blended instead of 1/2 tsp).

  4. I’ve tried a few recipes on your site and have loved them all EXCEPT this one. I was disappointed to find this sauce very bland.

  5. Just recently started a plant-based diet for health reasons and was looking for some dairy-free pasta recipes to try. I was so happy to find this recipe. I cooked it tonight and it was fantastic! I used roasted, sea salt cashews and added a little almond milk to the mixture to get the consistency a bit creamier. I definitely had to leave it in the food processor for a longer time to get the right consistency. My toddlers loved it and even the hubby (who is a meat & sweets fanatic) enjoyed it. Thanks for the great recipe!

  6. For those looking for a way to enjoy pasta with less guilt, I use a vegetable peeler to make carrot strips and mix them into the pasta during the last few seconds of boiling. That way – with the cauliflower based sauce – my meal is more than half veggies!

  7. Yum! You weren’t wrong about this sauce. My husband and I devoured it with gusto last night – lots of oohing and aahing between us! Upside, zero acid reflux, so a very big hit and a keeper! Thank you.

  8. This is a GREAT recipe! Thank you. I was not sure my daughter was going to like it but she asked for seconds! I also like that you don’t have to soak the cashews.

  9. I made this for dinner last night and, although I think it lacked seasoning, this was a good base recipe! I used macadamia nuts instead of cashews because I had them handy and they worked well. I added more of all listed seasonings as well as lemon juice, nutritional yeast, red pepper, and basil.

    1. I did something similar, I’ve added 2 tbsp of Nutritional Yeast and around 1/2 tsp of lemon zest to the recipe and it was a much needed addition that made the sauce taste amazing.

  10. I added white wine after the couliflower, cashew and garlic step and let the alcohol cook away.
    Then at the end I added bit of nutritional yeast, herbs (mix from my garden -thyme, oregano and salvia) and tapioca flour.

    I used the sauce for spinach lasagne and it turned out amazing!

    Thank you for the inspiration!! I’ve been trying to reduce my cashew consumption in creamy sauces and this was true success!

    1. We have made it with sunflower seeds and it turns out well!
      Only difference is adding more salt at the end (1 tsp after blended instead of 1/2 tsp).

  11. Just one thing I’ll say…. I wanna go Vegan after eating this. It’s very delicious and I don’t miss cheese at alll

  12. When I first read the ingredients to this recipe, I thought to myself, there is no way this tastes like a dairy-based Fettuccine Alfredo. But, boy was I wrong!!! This is a GREAT RECIPE and I will definitely make it again! I love the feeling of knowing I’m eating lots of veggies, but eating something SO DELICIOUS. I added some peas and carrots to my pasta mix and it was a great addition!

  13. I loved it! My boyfriend and I made it today for lunch and we just love it. We decided to add some nutritional yeast and we like the taste.
    I’m becoming a vegetarian and my boyfriend is helping me and we love to try new recipes ^^

  14. Thank you for the inspiration! This was truly delicious!

    Can I put this sauce in the fridge, and use it in 1-2 days? Is it good for health? Thanks for your reply

  15. Could you advise me on your Alfredo sauce please. I am under alternative care for stage 4 Prostate cancer. I have been instructed not to consume cashews or pistachios. Could you suggest an alternative to the cashews? Thank You

  16. Hello, This recipe looks great and I’d love to try it. However, I’m in the UK and we don’t really use cup measurements so am not sure about the quantity of cashew nuts to use.
    Could you tell me the weight of nuts in either ounces or grams l would need for this recipe, please?
    Many thanks,
    Kath

  17. I made this last night and it was delicious! The recipe was easy to follow and the final product was creamy and flavourful. I’ll definitely be using this recipe again :)

  18. I never write reviews but seriously I am so impressed with this! It tastes so good and actually tasted like fettuccine Alfredo sauce. Crazy with such minimal ingredients. The vitamix blender is a MUST so that it actually gets smooth. Also I added tarragon to mine because I basically add it to everything. Thanks for the great recipe!

  19. The BEST vegan fettuccine Alfredo recipe. I’ve been vegan 5 years and have tried dozens of vegan alfredos , all of them pretty good but normally too heavy. This one is so so good! My whole family loves it and I’m about to make it again for the 3rd time this week cause my 1 year old is obsessed. Thank you for coming up with this delicious recipe! We will be making it for years to come!!

    1. Thank you so much for such a kind note! We’re thrilled to hear this and so happy your family loves it. Thank you for letting us know!

  20. Hi, the sauce is really good. Mine did not get that smooth looking creamy look, more granular. Maybe I did not bend long enough? How long can you keep the sauce once in the fridge? Thanks.

    1. Yes! Try blending it a bit more. It can last 2-3 days in the fridge, but definitely loses a bit of flavor.

  21. This recipe was beyond great! I truly was not expecting the sauce to be this tasty & cheesy like. Its a winner! Going into my rotation regularly. Made enough that we will be having leftovers tomorrow night.

  22. This recipe was very tasty!! My daughter has recently turned vegetarian so we tried this out and it was yummy and exceptionally easy.

  23. The taste took some getting used to but I’m glad I made it. It is really good. The recipe says it has 8 servings but from what I saw, it does not say how much one serving is.

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