This Vegan Fettucine Alfredo recipe was contributed by Nicholas Charles, a former electrical engineer, with a passion for cooking, photography and learning how things work, Nicholas took all three of those interests and started Sprint Kitchen where he posts about juicer & blender recipes and kitchen appliances.
Everyone knows the traditional version of Alfredo Sauce – this dish, very popular in the United States, is something I think every food lover has had the pleasure of eating at least once. The story goes that the dish was invented by an Italian, Alfredo di Lelio in the early 1900s for his wife, Ines, and by 1920, di Lelio was serving it to guests of his restaurant in Rome. From Italy, the dish made its way to the United States, where it gained a huge number of enthusiasts. The American version of this recipe usually also includes heavy cream and a pinch of fresh-ground nutmeg. For most, the dish is synonymous with simplicity and comfort. Sometimes it goes by other names, such as fettuccine alfredo, fettuccine al burro, fettuccine burro e parmigiano, or pasta in bianco. It’s characterized by the combination of butter and Parmesan cheese, which give the sauce its unique texture and flavor.
So is it possible to make it in a vegan version? Here things seem a little more complicated… but they only seem that way! In fact, the vegan version of this popular dish takes almost no time to prepare, and the dish itself is surprising, delicious and creamy. It’s seriously close to the real thing.
Why This Recipe Works
- Using oat cream adds to the creaminess and goes perfectly with other ingredients.
- Using a blender allows you to create and heat up the sauce which can be poured over the pasta effortlessly.
- Using vegan lactic acid and lemon juice – both add a sharp, tangy flavor to the sauce and act as pH regulators and preservatives. Lactic acid is my strong suggestion for the best flavor, I’ve used it in several vegan recipes with a cheese sauce, and just love it. But if you can’t find it, simply use more lemon juice.
- Using olive oil and vegetable broth: olive oil is used for frying and vegetable broth is used for simmering the sauce.
Ingredients For Vegan Alfredo Sauce
- Cashews – the basis of this vegan alfredo sauce is the proper preparation of cashews. Soak them in water, cover and set them aside overnight. After several attempts, I found that using cashews yields a creamier and richer sauce than other methods can provide.
- Oat cream – I also used oat cream in the recipe, which adds to the creaminess.
- Seasoning – nutritional yeast and a little lemon juice pack tons of cheesy flavor; and garlic, salt and pepper add depth and aroma.
It is not recommended to replace or eliminate any of these ingredients, but if necessary you can replace the lactic acid with an extra teaspoon of lemon juice. In case you have trouble finding oat cream or want to make a gluten-free version, you can use soy cream, but keep in mind that it will change the flavor of the dish a bit.
If you don’t have fettuccine, you can use tagliatelle, or ultimately even spaghetti. Use gluten-free pasta if needed.
If you like, you can add more or less garlic, salt and pepper – adjust their amount to your preferences.
It would be best to use a blender with a heating element or blade friction capabilities. In this particular dish we used a Vitamix. The friction from the blades is what generates heat and the container is made to withstand high temperatures. However, not all blenders have these capabilities and characteristics. If you want to go further down the rabbit hole, feel free to check out this review guide to hot blenders. Using a normal blender can cause the container to crack or the lid to blow off if you’re not careful.
Yes, it will be almost like the real thing.
It’s all thanks to cashews and their amazing ability to morph into creamy, dairy-like recipes. They form the base of this Alfredo Sauce. The secret, however, is to first soak them overnight. Also, using oat cream and nutritional yeast is essential here.
- 450 grams fettuccine
- 1 medium white onion
- 4 large cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup raw cashew nuts (unsalted, soaked overnight and drained)
- 1½ cups oat cream
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅓ teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (freshly ground)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon vegan lactic acid
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 6 tablespoons chives (for garnish)
- After the cashews have soaked overnight (or at least 6 hours), drain them.
- Peel the onion and garlic. Dice the onion and press the garlic.
Wash and chop the chives, set aside.
- In the meantime, cook your pasta in salted water to a perfect al dente according to the package instructions. You want to maintain a nice chew for more texture. Drain and set aside. Reserve 1 cup water from cooking your pasta to use if your sauce is too thick.
Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over low heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes (be careful not to burn it), until soft and fragrant.
- Add the vegetable broth and increase the heat to medium. Cook for about 7-10 minutes until most of the broth has evaporated and the onion is completely tender.
- Transfer to a high-powered blender with the heating function (like the Vitamix). Add cashews and oat cream. Process until completely smooth and warm, about 5 minutes.
- Season with sea salt, ground black pepper and ground nutmeg. Add lemon juice, vegan lactic acid and nutritional yeast. Process once again until all the ingredients are blended and incorporated, around 2-3 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed – you want it to be pretty “cheesy” and salty so don’t be shy. If the sauce is too thick, add a little water reserved from cooking your pasta. Blend until completely smooth.
- Serve over pasta and top with finely chopped chives for an extra flavor boost, serve immediately. Enjoy the decadent, but healthy, vegan alfredo sauce!