By Jennifer Provenza at Good Food From The Heart
Whole food plant based, Oil Free, Sugar Free, Gluten Free
This whole food plant based alfredo sauce is creamy, tangy and super healthy. You won’t believe it’s dairy free! Full of protein and vegetables, this sauce will elevate your fettucini to the next level.
Bring on Summer Vacation!
With summer vacation officially started (whew!) we are really enjoying eating outside and garnishing our food with basil from our garden. Our kids finally finally finished school yesterday and before we had been home an hour, all of the unneeded school papers were in the recycling! I have never been so happy for a school year to end. Luckily, we have lots of really fun summer plans. Between swim lessons, three weeks of day camp, Disneyland, a trip to Monterey with their grandparents, and two camping trips, we are hoping to keep them pretty busy all summer. Today was ridiculously hot (108 degrees, ugh!) but we made it to the library to get C her own library card. And, we tried out our new splashpad in the backyard, which was so fun! The kids used it like a slip ‘n slide. Well, I did too, actually. Anyway, when it’s this hot, I love to make an easy sauce that you just make in the blender. You will love this oil free alfredo sauce. Because, really, alfredo is always one of the most popular Italian dishes, yet it’s also one of the least healthy. This version, though, is different. Not only is it tangy and totally delicious, but it contains a serving of vegetables, healthy fat and protein from the cashews, and no oil at all! It’s so creamy that it’s hard to believe it’s actually a dairy free alfredo sauce!
Cauliflower: Cauliflower is the secret ingredient in this vegan alfredo sauce. Don’t worry if you aren’t a big cauliflower fan, because you really won’t be able to taste it. But, it adds a super creamy texture and makes the sauce go farther without adding any fat. Also, it means you get a serving of vegetables without even noticing! I usually use frozen cauliflower because I notice there are often little spots of mold on fresh cauliflower, but if you can get really truly fresh cauliflower, feel free to use fresh. Be sure to steam the cauliflower (or microwave it) before adding to the sauce.
Cashews: The cashews are what gives you the healthy fat and creaminess that replaces cheese and butter in my whole food plant based alfredo sauce. If you don’t have a high speed blender, you’ll need to soak your cashews before using. You can either soak for 8 hours, or just do the easier thing and pour boiling water over them and soak for just one hour. Make sure to use raw, unsalted cashews. You can often buy them in bulk. Hint: it’s cheaper to buy cashew peices than whole cashews and you are just blending them up anyway.
Plant Milk: I like to use almond milk, but any kind will work. Make sure it’s not vanilla flavored or sweetened!
Garlic: This tastes so good with fresh garlic. You can totally save time by buying pre crushed garlic in a jar, but garlic powder won’t taste as good.
Miso Paste: The miso adds a super tangy and delicious flavor. Don’t skip it! I used Marukome brand.
Lemon Juice: This also adds a great tangy taste. If necessary, you can substitute vinegar.
Nutritional Yeast: The nutritional yeast adds a nice, “cheesy” taste. It also has tons of vitamin B12.
Dijon Mustard: This adds so much flavor to the dish, yet you won’t notice a mustard taste. Don’t skip it!
Salt: Add salt to taste. I use the upper amount as I find the salt gives it a more “cheesy” taste and brings out the other flavors.
How To Make This Whole Food Plant Based Alfredo Sauce
This recipe is so simple! Yay! Start by soaking your cashews. Just pour boiling water over them and let them sit for an hour. (Skip this step if you have a high speed blender). Also, be sure to steam or microwave your cauliflower before making the oil free alfredo sauce.
Next. drain the cashews and add all the ingredients to the blender. Blend until completely smooth. At this point, taste the sauce and see if you need to add any more salt or lemon juice. Adjust to your liking.
You can serve this vegan alfredo sauce on any pasta dish, but I love to serve it over fettuccini. Top with torn fresh basil leaves. It also tastes great topped with my So Good It’s Nuts Parmesan Cheese. And guess what? This sounds weird, but this whole food plant based alfredo sauce also tastes amazing as a soup! Just heat and serve in bowls along with some crusty whole grain bread.
Whole Food Plant Based Alfredo Sauce
- Large pot
- 4 1/2 cups cauliflower steamed
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup plant milk
- 3-4 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 tablespoon miso paste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 1/2-2 teaspoons salt
- 16 ounces whole wheat or brown rice fettuccini
- a dash smoked paprika
- chopped basil
- If you do not have a high speed blender, pour boiling water over the cashews and soak them for an hour. You can skip this step otherwise.
- Drain the cashews (if soaking) and add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until completely smooth.
- Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. Drain and return to the pot. Pour the sauce over the pasta and warm over medium heat, stirring constantly until combined and warmed through. Top with smoked paprika and chopped basil.
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