This vegan fettuccine Alfredo is made with tender pasta dressed in a sauce that’s so rich and creamy…you’d never guess it was dairy free!
It’s tough to think of a dish that’s more rich and comforting than fettucine Alfredo. Is it even possible to create a vegan fettuccine Alfredo that’s as delicious and decadent as the original? I’m happy to say that the answer is a resounding yes!
Cashews are the magic ingredient, just like they are in so many of my favorite creamy vegan recipes like vegan mac & cheese, vegan cheesecake, and vegan scalloped potatoes. Blend them up with roasted garlic and a few other ingredients, and you’ve got one amazing dairy-free Alfredo sauce.
My other secret ingredient: roasted garlic. It does double duty here by adding flavor and silky texture to the sauce.
There’s a lot of garlic in this recipe, but don’t worry! Roasted garlic is super mellow and buttery — mild enough to eat on it’s own. Mild enough even, to include a whole bulb in a recipe, or even two, as I’ve done here. I promise, if you follow the recipe, the garlic flavor will not be overpowering.
Let’s talk about how this dish comes together!
What You’ll Need
- Garlic. Choose big bulbs with nice big cloves if you can!
- Olive oil. You could substitute with another high-heat oil if needed, but olive will give you the best flavor.
- Dried fettuccine pasta. You can absolutely substitute your favorite pasta shape — the dish won’t be fettuccine Alfredo, but it’ll still be delicious!
- Raw cashews. They absolutely must be raw. Roasted cashews will make your vegan Alfredo sauce taste like cashew butter! You’ll need to soak them in some water for a few hours to soften them up for blending.
- Non-dairy milk. Just about any variety will do, as long as it’s unflavored and unsweetened.
- Lemon juice. Be sure to use freshly squeezed juice for the best flavor.
How to Make Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo
The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!
Roast the Garlic
- Cut the top off of your garlic bulbs, drizzle them with oil, then wrap them loosely in foil. Pop them into the oven until the cloves are browned and soft. (You can boil your pasta while the garlic roasts. Be sure to save a bit of your pasta water — we’ll get to that in a bit!)
- Open up the foil and let them cool when they’re done cooking. Once they’re cool enough to handle you can squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the bulbs.
- If you’re never roasted garlic before, check out my tutorial on how to roast garlic for some detailed instructions.
Make the Alfredo
- Now place your roasted garlic into a blender or food processor, along with non-dairy milk, lemon juice, and salt. Blend the mixture until it’s smooth and creamy. Be patient! Blending can take a few minutes, especially if you’re not using a high-powered blending device.
- Tip: if you forget to soak your cashews, try boiling them for 20 minutes. They might not blend up quite as smooth, but the dish will still be delicious.
- Pour the sauce over your pasta and stir it up. It’ll probably be very thick. That’s okay! Thin the sauce with some of that pasta water you saved. The starch in your pasta water will also help bind the sauce to the pasta.
Pile your pasta onto plates. If you’d like, top it with a sprinkle of fresh parsley, red pepper flakes, and/or vegan Parmesan cheese.
Leftovers & Storage
Leftover vegan fettuccine Alfredo will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 3 days. The sauce might thicken up during storage — just add some water when you reheat the pasta if it does.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Just use your favorite gluten-free pasta.
Macadamia nuts or sunflower seeds usually work, but I haven’t tested either with this recipe. If you’re not up for risk-taking, try this cauliflower fettuccine Alfredo instead.
Nope! The pasta water helps bind the sauce to the noodles, but it’s not strictly necessary. Use regular old water or some more non-dairy milk instead.
More Creamy Vegan Pasta Recipes
- Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
- Vegan Pasta Alla Vodka
- Creamy Vegan Pesto Pasta
- Vegan Cajun Pasta
- Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Pasta
Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo
For the Roasted Garlic Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo
- 2 garlic bulbs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 ounces dried fettuccine pasta
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4-8 hours, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup unflavored and unsweetened soy or almond milk
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Roast the Garlic
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Cut the tops off of the garlic bulbs, cutting just low enough to expose all of the cloves.
- Place each garlic bulb on a sheet of aluminum foil and drizzle the top with a tablespoon of olive oil. Loosely close the foil over each garlic bulb and place it into the oven.
- Roast the the garlic until the cloves begin to turn light brown and soften, about 40 minutes.
- Remove the garlic from the oven, open the foil, and allow the garlic to cool for a few minutes.
Cook the Pasta
- While the garlic roasts, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook it according to the package directions.
- Drain the pasta into a colander, reserving at least ½ cup of the pasta boiling water. Return the pasta to the pot and toss it with a dash of olive oil.
To Make the Sauce
- When the garlic has cooled, squeeze the bulbs to extract the roasted garlic cloves, then place them into a blender or the bowl of a food processor fitted with an s-blade.
- Add the cashews, milk, lemon juice, and salt. Blend the mixture until smooth.
- Taste-test the sauce and season with additional salt, if desired.
- Pour the roasted garlic Alfredo sauce over the pasta and toss to coat. Thin the sauce with the reserved pasta boiling water, using as much as is needed.
- Divide the pasta onto plates and optionally top it some fresh parsley, red pepper flakes, and/or vegan Parmesan cheese. Serve.