Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo

by Kris on April 23, 2012

When I create a recipe, usually I have a pretty good idea how it will turn out. The idea is often sparked by an ingredient that I know I love and a passion to create something new. For days, sometimes weeks, ingredients bounce through my head. I’ll lay in bed dreaming up possibilities and wake up with the sudden urge to write it all down. When I made cashew cream last week, this was especially true.

Endless amounts of recipes using cashew cream rushed through my head. Some we’re made immediately like my baked oatmeal and vegan meyer lemon bars while others such as a maple cream pie never came to fruition. I experimented with savory recipes as well such as a Moussaka that I can’t wait to share with you.

It’s incredible to think of all the meals I have made from two cups of cashews and a few cups of water. I’ve heard countless complaints about the high cost of a vegetarian, vegan or even healthy lifestyles, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little time and patience, anyone can create a wholesome meal, even on a specialty diet, for less than the cost of fast food.

Between all the recipes that involved cashew cream, this vegan fettuccine Alfredo is my favorite. I couldn’t believe how well the sauce came together. When heated, the cashew cream quickly reduced and became a thick and creamy consistency similar to heavy cream. I used leeks and shallots to flavor the Alfredo sauce and served it with hearty grilled portobello slices.

When I served it to Greg for dinner, he was surprised to see Alfredo on the table. Halfway through the meal, (after several compliments) he asked me when I had started eating dairy again. When I told him I hadn’t, he looked at his plate with disbelief. I love tricking people with healthy food!

I hope you all had a great weekend! Greg and I had a picnic in Oak Cliff and joined in on the Earth Day festivities. There was live music and numerous booths set up containing everything from pet adoptions to baby alligators! How did you celebrate Earth Day?

Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo with Leeks and Portobello Mushrooms

  • 1 16 oz box of Fettuccine noodles
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 4-6 small portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. dry white wine, divided
  • 1 leek
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 ½ cups cashew cream
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper to taste

Prepare Fettuccine noodles according to package directions.

In a skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and saute for 4-6 minutes until tender. Drizzle with one tablespoon of white white to deglaze the pan. Set aside.

In a large pot heat remaining olive oil over medium heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add leeks and shallots. Sauté until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Drizzle the mixture with remaining white wine and cook for about one minute.

Slowly whisk the cashew cream into the pot, stirring well to combine. Add lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and nutmeg and stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a slow boil, stirring consistently until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Add nutritional yeast and salt and pepper to taste. (be generous with the salt).

Add the prepared noodles the pot of sauce, and toss to coat the noodles. Top the f Fettuccine Alfredo with the reserved mushrooms. Serve warm.

Serves 4-6

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Annemarie April 23, 2012 at 4:41 am

gracias por la crema de anacardos para mi también a sido un disfrute.


Deena April 23, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Awesome! I do the same thing with recipe/ingredient ideas. I think of them, manage to write a few down, and get to actually making even fewer.

I love cashew cream. I make a bunch and keep it in the freezer to use on a whim. I don’t think I would miss the dairy in Alfredo at all, if using cashew cream. In fact, I think I would like it better than the original. Will definitely give this a try – and hopefully it’s one of the few things I find time to make soon!


Kris April 24, 2012 at 9:37 am

Deena, I haven’t tried freezing cashew cream yet. Does it work well? I was worried it might separate or become grainy.

Honestly, I think I prefer this vegan alfredo to the original variety. I often find Alfredo far too rich and get a little overwhelmed. Rarely can I actually finish a portion. This wasn’t the case with the vegan sauce. Greg and I actually fought over the leftovers!


lysa April 23, 2012 at 5:49 pm

oh miam! I also have fun tricking people with healthy food :) They get so surprised! This recipe looks amazing. I will definitely make this to my boyfriend he loves creamy pasta. I could try to trick him too ;)!


Kris April 24, 2012 at 9:31 am

Sounds like a fun plan Lysa! Just make sure whoever you trick doesn’t have a nut allergy. That could be bad. Otherwise, trick away my friend!


Courtney Rae Jones April 23, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Wow! This looks unreal. Even though I’m not vegan (but a vegetarian), I gave up creamy pasta a long time ago because it makes me sooo sick. I’ve missed having alfredo and often thought of trying to make a sauce with tofu – but I knew it would just not be the same. It would not nearly be as rich and flavourful. But the cashew cream flavoured with spices and nutritional yeast is GENIUS!!! Thank you so very much for posting this. Beautiful photo :)


Kris April 24, 2012 at 9:30 am

Thanks Courtney! This might work for you then. Are you lactose intolerant? I find certain rich foods make me cough a lot. It happens to my mum too. It’s strange, I don’t understand why it happens. Maybe it’s our bodies trying to tell us it’s too much yum!? haha


Vicky April 24, 2012 at 8:23 am

I love that this is vegan yet tastes just like alfredo sauce. Think this could be made without the nutritional yeast – or is that a key ingredient?


Kris April 24, 2012 at 9:17 am

The nutritional yeast is what replaces cheese in this recipe, it gives the dish a flavor similar to Parmesan. You could make it without, but the flavor might not be quite right. Nutritional yeast is actually quite affordable and can be found in most health food stores. I buy it in bulk at my local health food/grocery store.


Vicky April 24, 2012 at 9:19 am

Thanks for the quick reply. I’ll have to see if they sell it at Whole Foods.


Falcon April 25, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Dude… Unbe-(expletive that begins with an F and ends in ‘ing’)-lievable!! My friend Brian emailed me this recipe and we decided to make it last night for dinner. So we skipped arm-in-arm to the grocery store (not really, but is sounds fun!) and purchased the ingredients that I didn’t already have. We chopped; we sliced; we watched a video on how to appropriately cut and clean leeks, and we fired up the range for a hootin’ and hollerin’ good time in the kitchen. All the while, Heart (Ann & Nancy Wilson, that is) sang to us from my living room and we truly believed that we were magic men by the time we were done.

We kept fanning the aroma of the sauce toward each other’s faces, trying to come up with words to describe how wonderful it smelled. The only substitution we had was lime juice instead of lemon, and after we added that, I fanned some more aroma toward my face, and I said, “Brian… Oh Jesus Christ… this smells SO good; It smells like jasmine flowers!”

It was so creamy, so flavorful and such a hit; I shall make this again for my friends and loved ones!!


Kris April 26, 2012 at 10:29 am

Falcon, where do I even start? If there was an award for best blog comment, you’d win. You literally made my day. It sounds like you and Brian had such a fun time making my recipe. I wish I was there! skipping, laughing, heart and food… that’s my kind of party! Keep on rockin in the kitchen you barracuda!


Falcon May 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Hats off to you, Kris! So happy I’ve discovered your blog! <3


Stephanie April 25, 2012 at 9:42 pm

I still have a bit of cashew cream left in my fridge (its been going into my smoothies) and I think I know what I’ll be putting it in next!!


Kris April 26, 2012 at 10:13 am

Right on! I’m finally out of all my cashew cream. It kept really well! I’m going to make more this weekend. You’ve got to try the alfredo sauce. It might be one of my favorite recipes I’ve ever made. Definitely a new staple in my house.


Krystal May 1, 2012 at 1:13 am

I decided to make this tonight and I am SO, SO, glad I did. I didn’t have shallots or leeks and I think my cashew cream was a bit more gritty than it’s supposed to be (didn’t bother me though) but it was amazing. I think that this is going to be my permanent fettuccine alfredo recipe from now on, thank you!


Kris May 1, 2012 at 9:55 am

I’m so glad you liked it Krystal!


Emily May 23, 2012 at 7:13 pm

I’m new to vegan substitutes. Everything seemed fine in this recipe up until the nutritional yeast. Now it’s smells funky. I have NOW Nutritional Yeast Powder. Is that the right kind?


Kris May 23, 2012 at 7:51 pm

I used nutritional yeast flakes which I bought in a bulk bin at my natural grocer. If you use the powder you only need to use half as much. You can also opt to leave it out completely if you’re not a fan of the taste. It adds a flavor similar to cheese for vegan dishes.


Cat May 31, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I made this recipe last night, and–WOW.

It always annoys me when I see dozens of comments that say something LOOKS good on food blogs, but no one comments after they made the recipe. Admittedly, I did not have mushrooms so I made it without.

A lot of other cashew-based alfredo recipes I have seen have the same basic ingredients, but this one really classes it up and takes the flavors to a new level. I think it is so important to include the nutmeg, and the shallots/leeks really add depth here, so your palette is really getting the same notes that a dairy-based alfredo would have.

I couldn’t stop eating it. I put down my fork and said, “surely when I come back to this it won’t taste as good”. I came back a couple of hours later and was surprised how amazing it tasted even after the excitement and novelty from the first time wore off!

The texture is fantastic. Cashews are pretty high in calories, so this will be a special occasion food from now on, but man that was awesome. So creamy, rich, and I didn’t register overwhelming “nut” notes. This is in my arsenal. Thanks!


Kris May 31, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Hi Cat. Thank you so much! Your comment truly made my day. This recipe is one of my favorites on the blog so it’s extra special when others enjoy it as much as I do. Thanks for sharing your experience!


Cat July 9, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Just wanted to add: I made this again using MimicCream almond/cashew based cream, unsweetened. While I love that products, it is best for other things. Fresh cashew cream is best with this recipe and I will never make that mistake again!


Adele September 17, 2012 at 11:41 am

Hey hun. Just wanted to let you know that I featured this on my blog today. I would love it if you could check it out :)

– Adele @ Mammy Made


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