To every vegan's delight, there are plenty of plant-based ingredients that can give recipes a creamy texture without the added cream. Follow our non-dairy alfredo sauce recipe below, made with silken tofu and rich vegan butter.
Does vegan alfredo sound too good to be true? We promise this deliciously creamy pasta sauce made with plant-based tofu is everything you want it to be.
We've seen some vegan alfredo recipes made with a cashew cream sauce, so we decided to switch things up and add a big boost of protein by using silken tofu and vegan butter in place of the cashews. Bonus: It's nut-free for anyone who deals with nut allergies!
Vegan Alfredo Sauce Recipe - FAQ
Is Alfredo sauce vegan?
Traditional alfredo sauce is about as far as you can get from vegan! It contains loads of heavy cream, butter, and grated parmesan cheese to give its signature salty, nutty taste.
Luckily, there are some great plant-based substitutes to make dairy-free alfredo sauce. Our recipe uses soft, silken tofu to create a creamy texture and nutritional yeast to mimic the salty flavor of parmesan. You can also blend cashews or almonds into a rich vegan cream sauce, or use a plant-based creamer as a base, too. There are plenty of alternate ways to enjoy your dairy-free pasta without adding animal-based ingredients!
What is nutritional yeast?
Unless you're already familiar with vegan cooking, you might not know what nutritional yeast is. Unlike active yeast, inactive yeast doesn't make your bread rise. Instead, it contains dehydrated yeast that's crumbled into tiny yellow flakes.
Vegans often use nutritional yeast as an easy substitute for parmesan cheese, as it offers the same salty, umami flavor. It's a fantastic vegan pantry staple that enhances the taste of every dish it touches while adding nutrition through protein, a range of B vitamins, and trace mineral content.
Do I have to use silken tofu?
It's best to use firm silken or soft tofu to make this easy vegan alfredo sauce. If you're struggling to find it at the grocery store, most silken tofu is shelf-stable, so you'll find it outside of the refrigerated section.
If you can't find silken or soft tofu, you can use regular or firm tofu in a pinch. Keep in mind that these tofu blocks are much firmer, so you'll likely need to add more liquid to your recipe.
You can press your tofu as usual with a tofu press for 15 mins, or simply leave the block unpressed.
After pressing, follow the recipe as usual, but add a generous splash of vegetable broth or water into the blender. Process, then add more liquid and process again until the sauce reaches your desired texture.
Is there a substitute for vegan butter?
Vegan butter is the best way to add richness to your silken tofu alfredo, but if you can't find it, use margarine or olive oil instead.
How long will this vegan alfredo sauce tofu last in the fridge?
Place this vegan alfredo sauce in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Don't mix the alfredo with the noodles before storing, as the noodles will absorb the liquid in the sauce.
Instead, keep the sauce separately in its own container.
Can you freeze alfredo sauce?
You sure can! After you cook the vegan pasta sauce, allow it to cool completely. Pour the leftover sauce into freezer-safe containers or bags. Seal and leave in the freezer for up to 6 months.
When ready to use, simply transfer the sauce from the freezer to the fridge to thaw 24 hours before cooking with it. If you want to defrost your healthy alfredo sauce faster, place the sealed freezer bag in a bowl of warm water on your countertop until thawed.
Which pasta should I serve with alfredo sauce?
The classic pasta pairing is a vegan fettuccine alfredo because hearty sauces tend to work best with wider noodles. If you don’t have fettuccine, then linguine, pappardelle, and tagliatelle make great alternatives.
We've used other wheat noodles in a pinch, and vegan alfredo pasta tastes pretty delicious no matter the shape of the noodle involved.
Is this recipe gluten-free?
Our alfredo sauce recipe is entirely gluten-free, with one potential exception: the soy sauce. Read your soy sauce label carefully, because even though many brands are gluten-free, some do contain wheat-based ingredients.
The pasta served with vegan alfredo isn't usually gluten-free either, but the variety of noodles on the market these days makes it simple to find a gluten-free noodle alternative.
Gluten-Free Pasta Alternatives
If you can't eat gluten due to allergies or food preferences, you can swap in a gluten-free noodle alternative instead.
If you want to amp up the plant protein in your vegan dish, try chickpea pasta or bean-based noodles. Brown rice pasta or quinoa pasta are great alternatives, too.
To do away with the pasta altogether, serve your vegan alfredo sauce over roasted potatoes or steamed vegetables.
Best Veggie Add-Ins
Classic alfredo is a straightforward dish, served as a basic garlic-cream sauce over fresh pasta. While you can enjoy your meal in this simple way, you can add some extra nutrition and vary the flavors with some additional ingredients.
Here are a few of our favorite alfredo add-ins:
- Sauteed tomatoes
- Wilted spinach or kale
- Sliced cremini mushrooms
- Steamed cauliflower or broccoli florets
- Green beans or green peas
- Sliced vegan chicken nuggets
- Sliced vegan sausage
Final Notes on Vegan Pasta
This alfredo pasta shows you the power of plant-based ingredients to make naturally dairy-heavy meals taste just as delicious before.
As a bonus, this high protein alfredo isn't nearly as high in fat as the original, so you can enjoy a high-piled bowl of pasta without the stomach ache afterward!
Vegan Alfredo Sauce: Extra-Creamy Without the Cream!
1 - 14-oz block of firm silken or soft tofu
1/4 c. vegan butter, melted
1/2 c. vegetable broth or water
3 Tbsp soy sauce or liquid aminos
1/3 c. nutritional yeast
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp dried basil
2 tsp onion powder
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (or juice of 1 large lemon)
Remove your tofu block from the packaging. Melt your vegan butter in a measuring cup or mug in the microwave for 15-20 secs, depending on your microwave's power.
Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender: silken tofu, melted vegan butter, vegetable broth, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, garlic, basil, onion powder, and lemon juice.
Cover the blender with its lid and process until smooth, ~60 seconds.
Heat the vegan white sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat on the stovetop for ~3 mins if the sauce isn't warm enough. Keep in mind, you'll serve the sauce with hot noodles and vegetables, which will help heat the sauce.
Serve and enjoy the best vegan alfredo sauce over cooked fettuccine noodles! See our FAQ below for optional add-ins.