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Alfredo Sauce 2.0 with Cauliflower and Cashews

This isn’t the first time I’ve posted a vegan Alfredo sauce recipe. In fact, it’s not even the second time. But I think this one is the best. What we have here is a simple 8-ingredient mashup of all the best cream sauces I’ve made over the years. It’s part cauliflower Alfredo (which everyone knows about by now), part cashew Alfredo, which is super creamy but really high in fat & calories, and there’s some potato, which might sound strange but it adds a stretchy starchy component and subtle sweetness that rounds out the flavors and textures of this sauce. Blend all that with the essentials of any vegan Alfredo (nutritional yeast, garlic powder, non dairy milk) and it might just become your new favorite cream sauce.

At the end, I’ve also included a simple recipe for what’s in the photos: fusilli with sautéed mushrooms. It’s a simple 15-minute meal that brings together these amazing flavors of pasta, cream sauce, and some meaty soy-glazed mushrooms.

Makes ~1 quart of sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 small potato
  • 2/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1+ teaspoon garlic powder
  • A bunch of salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Prep: Soak the 2/3 cup cashews for at least an hour before blending

Step One

Boil some water in a saucepan and add a few handfuls of cauliflower florets along with one small potato (peeled) and allow to boil for about 20 minutes until both the potato and cauliflower are soft.

Step Two

When ready, strain out the cauliflower and potatoes and add them to a blender. Drain the cashews of their soaking water and add them to the blender too. Then, add everything else into the blender: the non-dairy milk (almond works well), nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and juice of a lemon. Begin blending and add a little water as needed to create the consistency of a cream sauce.

Step Three

At this point, give the sauce a taste and adjust the flavors as needed. This is important; you want to trust your tastebuds and add extra salt, pepper, garlic, or nutritional yeast as needed. When it’s perfect, pour into a mason jar or other sealed container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Recipe Idea: Fusilli Alfredo with Mushrooms

There’s a million ways to use this sauce, but one of my favorites is a really simple pasta dish with whole wheat fusilli and some tasty soy-garlic mushrooms. Cook the pasta according to package instructions, slice some mushrooms and sautée them with just soy sauce and a pinch of garlic powder for 10 minutes until they reduce and soften. Then, add some of the Alfredo 2.0 onto the pasta, toss with the mushrooms, and add a few grinds of black pepper.

12 Comments

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  1. Hi and thanks for the recipe.i would use the veggie water to add to the sauce, never throw it is my rule.
    We Enjoy your blog and ideas..Just made eggplant and tofu STK burger with peanut satay sauce and cashew pesto , yr pancakes are the best….
    Jonny

  2. Andrew: so it took me a few days to try this out, but oh my gosh! Combining the cashew and cauliflower is the best of both worlds. I made your dish pretty much as published (but added fresh, raw sweet peas ‘cuz that’s my thing), and it was gobbled up in one sitting. Rave reviews from the family. I liked it so much I added sweet potato the next time for more of a mac and cheez look, and it was just as yummy…thinking of taro root next, just for the color…thank you for keeping my on my toes and thinking and tweaking. Dawna

    • Hey Dawna, awesome! I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed it, I agree that cashew + cauliflower is the best of both worlds. Ahh, what a great idea to use sweet potato to give it a cheddar feel, awesome idea!

  3. Whole food plant based for only a week now and I’ve tried at least 10 different full recipes; searching for flavor, only to be let down, BUT this recipe did not fail! My tastebuds were still searching for parmesan and oil. However, this recipe was the first that actually came close to the real thing! Thank You for posting it. You’re a lifesaver! You gave my difficult transition some hope! (Forgive the “over the top” comment, but I am passionate about changing my lifestyle so any help I can get, HELPS!) God Bless

  4. Hi everybody, hi Andrew,

    I made your recipe today! Here’s the review! I ended up soaking the cashews a lot longer than an hour, they were good and soft, and I used 4 whole roasted garlic cloves in place of the garlic powder. I also skipped the nutritional yeast as my family doesn’t like it, so I just sprinkled it on top of mine.

    I am converting to a vegan diet, my family is a family of of carnies (carnivores, not carnival people) who love full fat alfredo.

    Here’s the reviews:

    Me: yum!

    8 year old girl: loved the sauce by itself, thought it was a little bland once mixed in with pasta. I put some parmesan cheese on hers, she liked it, ate her whole plate. A win in my book.

    Adult male: liked the sauce by itself, thought it was a little bland mixed with pasta, and was also happy with an addition of parmesan.

    Adult female: thought it had a “funny” aftertaste. She thought it was okay, better with cheese.

    So if you have family who does NOT want to be healthy (like mine haha) these are some reviews that I hope might help you. Everyone ate their entire plates, with minimal fussing.

    Thanks again Andrew,

    Rachael

    • Hey Rachel, that’s the most detailed review I’ve ever gotten! 🙂 Thanks for that. For those who thought it was a bit bland, extra salt could be helpful, and also nutritional yeast! It’s so important, at least 50% of the flavor is coming from the nooch.

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