There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get when swirling a forkful of rich and creamy Alfredo-covered pasta. It’s a moment of pure potential. You know what’s about to go down and you know it’s going to be delicious—such is the beauty of Alfredo sauce.
While traditional Alfredo sauce is just butter, Parmesan, and black pepper, we’re replicating the creamy version that emerged some time after Alfredo became popular in America. It’s the sauce we all know and love with a healthy dose of heavy cream.
Vegan Fettuccini Alfredo
Growing up, we’d request that our mom make classic fettuccine Alfredo on birthdays or any special occasion. It always delivers. Now that we’re vegan, we’ve developed a dairy-free version so we can still enjoy the cheesy comforts of Alfredo.
This recipe includes instructions for just making vegan Alfredo sauce as well as how to serve it with pasta for a classic fettuccine Alfredo. It’s as simple as tossing the homemade sauce with the pasta and adding a little pasta water to bring the dish together.
Vegan fettuccine Alfredo is perfect to make on a cozy weeknight in, for a dinner guest, or anytime you’re in the mood for some comfort food.
What Makes It Dairy-Free and Vegan?
Instead of using heavy cream, vegan Alfredo sauce is made from cashews and full-fat coconut milk. Use raw cashews and high-quality full-fat coconut milk—we recommend the Whole Foods 365 brand. The lemon juice masks the flavor of cashews and you’re left with a rich, creamy white sauce.
High-quality plant-based products replace the traditional butter and Parmesan cheese. We recommend Miyoko’s Unsalted Cultured Vegan Butter and Voilife Just Like Parmesan Wedge. The cultured butter provides creaminess and a slightly tangy, dairy-like flavor. The vegan Parmesan cheese brings sharp and nutty notes to the dish. We like using a wedge since, just like dairy cheese, vegan Parmesan melts better when it’s freshly grated.
Recipe Swaps and Variations
There are so many ways to enjoy this dairy-free Alfredo sauce and upgrade fettuccine Alfredo.
- Make a delicious Chick’n and spinach Alfredo by adding cooked plant-based chick’n strips to the pasta at the end with a few handfuls of fresh spinach.
- For a vegetarian carbonara-style pasta, caramelize onions, then add peas and mushrooms and set aside. Toss them in the skillet with the sauce and pasta.
- Italian sausage goes so well with the dish and there are plenty of plant-based versions to choose from, like Beyond Hot Italian Sausage or Field Roast Garlic and Fennel. Crumble the sausage and sauté before adding it to the pasta and sauce.
- You can brighten it up with lemon or fresh herbs like basil or parsley, or play off the warm flavors by adding a sprinkle of nutmeg.
Other Ways to Use Vegan Alfredo Sauce
If you’d like to use the sauce for a non-pasta dish, follow the instructions for blending the sauce. Since you won’t be using pasta water, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water or vegetable broth to the blender plus the grated Parmesan cheese. Heat the sauce in a skillet on low heat before enjoying.
Here are a few serving suggestions to get you started:
- With roasted vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, or potatoes
- Poured over your favorite protein like seared tofu or chicken breasts
- With gnocchi instead of pasta
- As a white sauce on pizza
- Mixed into white or brown rice
- As a warm dip for garlic bread