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Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living

Best Ever Creamy Vegan Alfredo Sauce

Posted on by Alisa Fleming in Dairy-Free Recipes, Pasta, Sauces with 49 Comments

This rich and creamy vegan alfredo sauce will satisfy your cravings for indulgence! The cashews and coconut milk pair up for a delicious flavor that is smooth and luxurious. Thanks to Go Dairy Free viewer Kerri for emailing this recipe!

Vegan Yum Yum Cookbook - Hurry Up Alfredo

Photo credit: Vegan Yum Yum Feature

Best Ever Creamy Vegan Alfredo Sauce
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Serves: 4 servings

  • 1-1/2 Cups Raw Cashews (not roasted or salted)
  • 2-1/2 Cups water (fresh)
  • 200mL Coconut Milk (1/2 can full fat coconut milk)
  • 1 Vegetable Bouillon Cube [be sure to check the ingredients when allergies or special diets are a concern]
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced (1-1/2 teaspoons fridge minced garlic)
  • Pepper to taste
  • Herbamare or Salt to taste

  1. Thoroughly blend all ingredients together. Thin out with more water if desired.
  2. Heat & serve over pasta, vegetables, or chicken!
  3. ENJOY!!

You can soak the cashews in water (enough to cover) overnight, or in boiling water for 1 hr prior to making this if you want (drain water before blending) – we didn’t have time, so made it with just the raw cashews.

Diet type: Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy free, Egg free, Gluten free, Peanut free, Soy free, Wheat free, Sugar free

About Alisa Fleming

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

View all posts by Alisa Fleming →

Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living


  1. LindsayOctober 23, 2012 at 9:43 pmReply

    Would almond milk be a viable substitute for the coconut milk? I just want to make sure because my husband seems to be intolerant of most dairy substitutes, he can really only handle almond.

    Also, is there anything that you could sub for cashews? Such as pine nuts?

    • Alisa FlemingOctober 23, 2012 at 10:14 pmReplyAuthor

      Perhaps homemade almond milk. Store-bought almond milk wouldn’t be rich enough (it would be too watery) since this recipe uses full-fat canned coconut milk (not a dairy substitute). You can definitely try other nuts – pine nuts just get a bit pricey!

  2. CourtneyNovember 12, 2012 at 10:51 amReply

    I just made this for my little girl (18 mos), who is allergic to dairy and soy and she LOVES it!! :). She’s devouring her pasta as I type….so Thank You so much. I had never thought of using coconut milk. This sauce is even better than traditionally-made alfredo. This is a new favorite for our family. I just added a little cornstarch to thicken it a bit. Thanks again for this tasty recipe!

    • Alisa FlemingNovember 12, 2012 at 2:32 pmReplyAuthor

      So glad you and your family enjoyed it Courtney!

  3. Jane BriggsNovember 17, 2012 at 10:17 amReply

    i want to try this but my son hates the flavor of coconut. Do it taste like coconut or is there something else to use?

    • Alisa FlemingNovember 18, 2012 at 7:49 amReplyAuthor

      You can try simply omitting it, using cashew creme only. This particular recipe hasn’t been tested this way though.

  4. How to make dairy free heavy cream? | alfredos.caNovember 19, 2012 at 11:37 amReply

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  5. DaniellaNovember 20, 2012 at 12:05 pmReply

    Hi, sounds lovely. Can it be frozen?

    • Alisa FlemingNovember 21, 2012 at 6:54 amReplyAuthor

      I would assume so, but I’ve never tried to freeze it myself. All of the ingredients are ones that freeze well, though.

  6. J.J.January 6, 2013 at 1:27 pmReply

    Alisa, my reaction to your Alfredo recipe is, “WOW!” Some time back, when I chose a low-fat diet, I felt very sad believing I would never be able to enjoy Alfredo again, which happens to be one of my favorite sauces. You changed that assumption by providing a very creative and sound alternative.

    The coconut milk provides the fat and thickening properties. The cashews add the hint of sweetness that comes from the heavy cream ingredient. And, surprisingly, the recipe does not need the Parmesan cheese.

    The only additions I made according to my taste, were to add more garlic and some Country Crock (butter substitute) to make it even more decadently yummy.

    When I say “Thank you!” for your fabulous recipe, I mean it sincerely and not as flattery. You made me sooooooooo happy today! : )


  7. BonnieJanuary 9, 2013 at 1:33 pmReply

    Just changed over to a non-dairy diet and this was one of my first recipes to look up because pasta alfredo is my favorite dish. I’m confused about the cashews and what they add to the sauce. Are they whole or crushed? I love cashews, I just didn’t imagine sauce with big chunks of nut in it.

    • Alisa FlemingJanuary 9, 2013 at 2:14 pmReplyAuthor

      Hi Bonnie, See the instructions – they’re blended so you shouldn’t have any nut chunks left.

  8. CamilaJanuary 11, 2013 at 11:55 amReply

    Alisa, can this recipe be done without the cashews or is there a nut-free substitute? My sister is severly allergic to all nuts but I would love to make this recipe for her.

    • Alisa FlemingJanuary 11, 2013 at 12:23 pmReplyAuthor

      I can’t say for certain Camila as I haven’t tested it without nuts. If you went all coconut, it would definitely have a more coconut vibe. If nut-safe sunflower seeds work, they make a good swap for cashews – though sunflower seeds are more bitter than cashews, so the seasoning of the recipe may need to be adjusted.

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  10. ShannonJanuary 15, 2013 at 5:01 pmReply

    Instead of whole cashews, can you substitute cashew butter? My daughter has a newly discovered dairy allergy but she LOVES Alfredo and I want to try this recipe.

    • Alisa FlemingJanuary 15, 2013 at 7:01 pmReplyAuthor

      Definitely Shannon! 1-1/2 cups cashews is about 7.5oz or 210g – so the equivalent amount of cashew butter (if my math serves me correctly, somewhere around 7/8 cup).

  11. BarbaraJanuary 16, 2013 at 7:06 amReply

    Can you suggest any substitutes for the vegetable bouillon cube? My son can’t have any yeast.

    • Alisa FlemingJanuary 16, 2013 at 8:30 amReplyAuthor

      Barbara, seek out yeast-free brands like Go Bio and Marigold, or season to taste.

  12. sashoyFebruary 18, 2013 at 3:25 pmReply

    I was looking for a quick and easy Alfredo sauce since I didn’t have all the ingredients for my original. So glad I found this. Thank You!
    I made more sauce than I needed is it okay to freeze or refrigerate?

    • Alisa FlemingFebruary 18, 2013 at 4:28 pmReplyAuthor

      It should keep for a day or two in the refrigerator and freeze just fine. One benefit of many dairy-free foods is that they freeze pretty well.

  13. My Signature Dish « To Second ChancesFebruary 19, 2013 at 10:44 amReply

    […] ingredients and b) wasn’t too time-consuming. I hit the jack-pot when I found Alisa Flemmings Best Ever Creamy Alfredo Sauce. I had all the ingredients yay me! The problem: cashews. My sister had tried to make this cashew […]

  14. KarliMarch 9, 2013 at 11:29 amReply

    Would this be thick enough to use it as a pizza sauce?

    • Alisa FlemingMarch 11, 2013 at 7:57 amReplyAuthor

      Karli, reduce the water, adding only as much as you need for a thicker consistency.

  15. MelissaMarch 27, 2013 at 1:19 pmReply

    How big a can of coconut milk? The recipe calls for half, but do the cans come in multiple sizes? Can you make this without the vegetable bouillon cube?

    • Alisa FlemingMarch 27, 2013 at 1:53 pmReplyAuthor

      Coconut milk has pretty standard can sizing – 14 to 15 ounces. Thai Kitchen also sells a half-can size, but other than that, they are all pretty much the size of a can of beans.

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  17. KatrinaApril 30, 2013 at 2:52 pmReply

    I have been making a very similar dish for the last year and LOVE it. Don’t use the cashews or bullion cube but I’m gonna try them in it tonight.

    Also – I love adding nutritional yeast (It gives it an extra ‘cheese’ like flavour)

  18. KatrinaApril 30, 2013 at 2:55 pmReply

    Oh also – I’m sure tahini(sesame seeds) instead of cashews or sunflowers would work for nut-free.

  19. Heather UrryJune 17, 2013 at 3:31 pmReply

    Alisa, this is delicious! There’s a faint coconut flavor, which I really liked. It paired well with angel hair pasta and spinach with grated nutmeg on top. Reduced the liquid by about a half cup to keep it nice and thick. And I used turkey stock (not vegan, I realize) instead of water and bouillon. My Vitamix soup preset made quick, hot work of this. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  21. AngelaJuly 20, 2013 at 1:17 pmReply

    Taste is good but came out watery… I used Thai kitchen coconut milk. Is there something else I should use?

    • Alisa FlemingJuly 21, 2013 at 9:44 amReplyAuthor

      Was it lite coconut milk? You would want to use their full-fat coconut milk. If you still felt it too watery, you can increase the cashews or just use coconut cream (the cream off the top of the coconut milk can, leaving the watery part.

  22. VenusAugust 27, 2013 at 9:36 amReply

    I made this recipe exactly the way you made it ( I think substitutions defeat the purpose of the recipe, take the “soul” out of the recipe) and it was fabulous!!!…I love it!…
    Thank you so much for sharing it :)

  23. Joyce Mc FerrinSeptember 18, 2013 at 11:28 amReply

    Can I use So Delicious coconut creamer for the full fat coconut milk, & if so do you know the measurement? Thank you very much.

    • Alisa FlemingSeptember 18, 2013 at 1:50 pmReplyAuthor

      Yes, it just won’t be quite as rich, but the cashews make it pretty darn rich. To compensate, you could use the creamer in place of the coconut milk and replace some of the water with the creamer. Be sure to use a creamer that is not sweetened at all though!

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  25. Morgan NeufeldOctober 22, 2013 at 3:38 pmReply

    Hey im making this sauce tonight aand i was wondering how many does it serve?? thank you :)

    • Alisa FlemingOctober 22, 2013 at 3:52 pmReplyAuthor

      Last time I made it we had tons of leftovers. I would say 8 perhaps? I need to measure the quantity next time.

  26. ElginMarch 25, 2014 at 12:23 amReply

    Hi Alisa, My electrical appliances aren’t all that great and I am having problems getting the cashews to grind well. Can I substitute store bought cashew butter (100% cashews)? If so, how much would be the same as 1 cup of cashews?

    Thanks so much

    • Alisa FlemingMarch 25, 2014 at 7:31 pmReplyAuthor

      Yes, typically you use half the amount of cashew butter to cashews.

  27. ElizabethApril 29, 2014 at 11:50 amReply

    Is there anything I can use instead of bouillon cube? Can’t wait to try!

    • Alisa FlemingApril 30, 2014 at 8:54 amReplyAuthor

      Simply substitute 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the water with vegetable broth! You can alternatively season to taste.

  28. ElizabethMay 8, 2014 at 11:05 amReply

    I can’t use the bouillon cube suggestions??

    • Alisa FlemingMay 27, 2014 at 11:03 amReplyAuthor

      You can use part vegetable broth for some of the water.

  29. RobynOctober 9, 2014 at 4:54 pmReply

    We’re in the process of switching to a dairy free lifestyle due to my teens intolerance. We adhere to a low fat lifestyle and after figuring out the calorie count – WOW. Is there any way to lower the calories in this?


    • Alisa FlemingOctober 9, 2014 at 6:26 pmReplyAuthor

      Hi Robyn, I make a similar variation of this recipe myself and can tell you a few things: this recipe makes much more than 4 servings, so don’t get too wrapped up on the serving size – I agree, WAY too rich for just 4 people. It makes about 8 servings. Also, if you want you can use light coconut milk – it won’t be quite as rich, but still plenty creamy and delicious.

      My version will be out in Enjoy Dairy Free, due out shortly!

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