Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo (No Cashews)

This vegan fettuccine alfredo has a velvety smooth and creamy sauce offering much-needed comfort on a cold day. Made nut-free and dairy-free.

Vegan fettuccine alfredo and fork in a white bowl next to a striped cloth

Vegan fettuccine alfredo is a tasty, dairy-free alternative to a classic Italian dish. The pasta gets cooked to a perfect al dente. The sauce is rich, creamy and made with oat milk.

There are lots of flavors from garlic, nutritional yeast and lemon juice. It’s easy to make and comes together really quickly! It’s the perfect weeknight meal. Enjoy as is or as a side to this delicious Balsamic Grilled Tofu.

Vegan fettuccine alfredo and wooden spoon in a pan next to a striped cloth

Key Tips to Follow

  1. Make a perfect roux. The foundation of the alfredo sauce is the roux. It’s a mixture of dairy-free butter and flour.

    It helps to thicken the sauce and makes it creamier. The roux should resemble a loose paste.
  2. Remove lumps for a perfectly smooth sauce. Add enough of dairy-free milk to remove lumps. Whisk constantly while adding the milk gradually. to achieve the perfect consistency.
  3. Do not overcook the pasta. Cook the pasta to a perfect al dente according to the package instructions. You want to maintain a nice chew for some texture.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Fettuccine pasta
  • Dairy-free butter or olive oil
  • Unsweetened oat milk – Store-bought works fine (the recipe amount has been recently updated for store-bought oat milk). I used homemade oat milk, which makes the sauce thicker and may require up to double the amount.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Garlic
  • Nutritional yeast – Adds a “cheesy” flavor.
  • Nutmeg
  • Vegan lactic acid and lemon juice – Both add a sharp, tangy flavor to the sauce.
    Lactic acid is my preferred choice for the best flavor. I’ve used it in many vegan recipes with a cheese sauce, including Vegan Mac and Cheese and Vegan Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich.
    But if you can’t find it, use more lemon juice.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh parsley

How to Make Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo

1. Boil the fettuccine pasta as directed on the package.

2. Make a roux by melting the vegan butter or oil in a large skillet on low heat. Then gradually stir in the flour. Cook until it becomes a blonde color.

Side by side images showing how to make a roux

3. Gradually add in the oat milk and whisk constantly to remove lumps.

Side by side images showing how to make a roux sauce

4. Add the minced garlic, nutritional yeast, nutmeg, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly to keep the sauce free of lumps.

Ingredients for vegan alfredo sauce in a pan with a whisk on the stovetop

Tip: If you still can’t get the sauce smooth enough, an immersion blender is your friend! I use a Bamix. Be sure to turn off the heat before placing it in the pot.

Immersion blender in a pan blending vegan alfredo sauce
Vegan alfredo sauce in a pan on a stovetop next to a striped cloth

You can also use a stand blender but you will have to allow the sauce to cool down. Mixing hot liquids in a stand blender can cause problems.

5. Drain the cooked pasta and add it to the sauce off the heat. Toss to coat the pasta.

Side by side images showing fettuccine being tossed in alfredo sauce with a spoon

6. Serve with chopped fresh parsley.

Vegan fettuccine alfredo in a white bowl next to a striped cloth

Recipe Variations or Substitutions

Variations:

  • While it is not traditional, if you want to sneak in some vegetables, try adding some frozen peas or broccoli into the sauce just before the pasta.
  • You can also brown some mushrooms in the pan before making the sauce. Remove then return to the pan with the pasta and sauce at the end.

Substitutions:

  • Any plant-based milk may be used in place of oat milk, including cashew, soy, coconut or almond milk. Almond milk will result in a much thinner sauce and may need more flour to thicken but I recommend using the other three substitutions.
  • For a gluten-free option, try an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend and gluten-free pasta.

Storage Suggestions

Pasta is best enjoyed when it’s just cooked. It tends to dry out or become mushy if stored too long.

However, the sauce can be made ahead of time. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Reheat in a saucepan or in the microwave and simply boil the pasta right before serving.

To reheat any leftover pasta and sauce. Add to a pot or microwave-safe bowl with a splash of water. Heat through for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Serving Ideas

For extra flavor, you can add a wide variety of toppings:

  • Crunchy breadcrumbs. Brown some panko breadcrumbs in some olive oil and garlic powder on a pan. Sprinkle on your pasta for a tasty, crunchy topping. I love adding some to creamy dishes such as this Spinach Artichoke Pasta.
  • If you do not have parsley, other fresh herbs like chives and basil also add brightness to the dish.

A few complimentary sides are:

  • Garlic toast or garlic knots
  • Roasted, pan-fried or steamed vegetables, like broccoli
  • Mixed greens salad

More Pasta Recipes

Vegan fettuccine alfredo and fork in a white bowl next to a striped cloth

Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo (No Cashews!)

4.73 from 62 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 597kcal
Print Pin Rate
This pasta recipe has a velvety smooth and creamy sauce offering much-needed comfort on a cold day. Made nut-free and dairy-free with oat milk.

Baking Recipes: For more accuracy, use Metric measurements and measuring spoons.

Ingredients

  • 6 oz (170 g) fettuccine pasta
  • 3 tbsp (45 g) vegan butter or margarine, (or 2 tbsp olive oil)
  • 1 tbsp (8 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (240 ml) unsweetened oat milk, storebought, SEE NOTES
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp (16 g) nutritional yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 g) nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoon (10 ml) lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon (2 g) vegan lactic acid, or 1 tsp more lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 handful chopped fresh parsley, garnish

Instructions

  • Boil the fettuccine according to package directions.
    6 oz (170 g) fettuccine pasta
  • Heat the vegan butter or oil in a large skillet on low heat. Stir in flour quickly and constantly with a whisk, fork or wooden spoon. Cook for 2 minutes.
    3 tbsp (45 g) vegan butter or margarine ,1 tbsp (8 g) all-purpose flour
  •  Gradually stir in the oat milk. Stir quickly to dissolve any lumps as best as possible. Add extra milk or water if the sauce thickens too quickly.
    1 cup (240 ml) unsweetened oat milk
  • Stir in the minced garlic, nutritional yeast, nutmeg, lemon juice, lactic acid, salt and pepper. Continue cooking the sauce on low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
    4 cloves garlic ,4 tbsp (16 g) nutritional yeast ,1/4 teaspoon (1 g) nutmeg ,2 teaspoon (10 ml) lemon juice ,1/2 teaspoon (2 g) vegan lactic acid ,salt and pepper to taste
  • Drain cooked fettuccine and add to the sauce. Toss gently to completely coat the pasta. Serve topped with fresh parsley.
    1 handful chopped fresh parsley

Notes

  • UPDATE 01/2023: With a few readers reporting that the sauce is too watery, I have updated the recipe to 1 cup of store-bought oat milk. In the original recipe (and photos in the post), I used homemade oat milk, which resulted in a much thicker sauce than store-bought and required double the amount.
    You may also use 1 cup of store-bought soy or full-fat coconut milk (coconut milk will be creamier but give the sauce a coconut flavor). I don’t recommend using almond milk as it will result in an even thinner sauce with a less creamy result. Sorry for any miscommunication, and thank you for your continued feedback!
  • For gluten-free, use an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend and gluten-free pasta.
Tried this recipe? Upload a photo in the comments below!If you enjoyed it, please consider leaving a rating. It really helps the blog.

Nutrition

Calories: 597kcal | Carbohydrates: 87g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 3g | Sodium: 487mg | Potassium: 586mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 416IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 206mg | Iron: 5mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian

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50 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve tried many recipes (with cashews or cauliflower or with neither) and this may be my new favorite. It seemed really thin at first but I let the sauce sit off the heat for a while and after mixing it into the pasta it was an acceptable consistency. I love how simple it is and how it doesnt require cornstarch.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this with half nutritional yeast and half vegan Parmesan. I didn’t have any lactic acid so I left it out without increasing the lemon juice, it was still delicious 🙂 I served it with pan fried asparagus and oven dried tomatoes on top, will definitely make this again!

  3. I’ve tried numerous vegan Alfredo recipes but this one is without question the BEST. I love that it is nut-free. I added a little Trader Joe’s vegan parm for extra creaminess. Delicious. I’m not kidding—I made this for lunch again the next day. So so good.

  4. Connie Allen says:

    This recipe was good! Thankyou! Are we allowed to print off one copy for ourselves to keep?
    Sincerely, Connie Allen

  5. Vicki Chamberlain-Polson says:

    Can I substitute something for the lactic acid?

    1. You could add more lemon juice. Vegan Parmesan is a another substitute as well for the nutritional yeast and lactic acid. Follow Your Heart is a good brand to try.

  6. Hello! Thank you for such a wonderful recipe. Blessings! : )

  7. 5 stars
    I love this!! i’ve tried so many recipes tofu, cashews, etc , but this one is really convenient and simple. the only thing i didn’t have was the lactic acid and the nutritional yeast. i just used extra lemon juice and instead of the nutritional yeast i added vegan parmesan shreds so it melts and becomes thicker, i also didn’t have oat milk but i had canned unsweetened coconut milk which made it even more creamier (definitely suggest using) in the end it definitely tasted amazing but if you substitute the yeast for parmesan it will taste more like that instead of that cheesy yeast flavor, so it depends what you want it to taste like, either way so yummy!!! gonna make this more often

    1. 5 stars
      I made it as originally posted, but added a 1/2 Tbls. of cornstarch instead of vegan lactic acid (which I didn’t have) and it turned out great. My very picky husband had seconds, which was a first. The pasta was lemony and perfect consistency. I topped it with freshly grated Violife parmesan.

  8. Not sure if you are aware or not but you can make a perfectly amazing alfredo sauce from Coconut Cream. You cook it the same way you do traditional Alfredo Sauce. You don’t need nutritional yeast. Yes, its great but you can get a authentic vegan alfredo sauce that no one will know its not from dairy.

    Coconut cream can be made from unsweetened coconut shreds. I find its best to make it in the instant pot. It pressurizes it and you can get the most oil out of it. I believe if you try this exchange you will find that you will prefer the coconut cream version better. You can also purchase Aroyo Coconut Cream from an asian grocery store. The one in the tetra pack is a better option than the can. There is no extra preservatives. It is all and only coconut cream.

  9. 5 stars
    This recipe has become a house staple. I love it! I will say it makes a lot of sauce so I’ll honestly boil the whole box of fettuccine. I have never had issues with the sauce being too thin. It is a bit thinner than traditional Alfredo but not much. I use the Planet Oat brand extra creamy Oat milk and it works great 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for the feedback Ali! I’m glad it worked out great!

  10. 1 star
    I followed this recipe exactly, and it didn’t turn out right at all. Way too much sauce for the noodles that are called for. I even weighed the noodles to make sure it was an exact amount before I boil them. The sauce is extremely watery. And it doesn’t fit in upon standing. I would not recommend this recipe. It basically turned out to be Alfredo soup

    pot of creamy pasta.

    1. Hi Christen, sorry you had trouble with the recipe. May I ask which type of plant-based milk did you use?

  11. How thick is the sauce supposed to be at the end of your instructions? After cooking everything on low as instructed mine was still very watery so I turned up the heat to reduce but I noticed it changed the flavor a bit.

    1. Hi Lindsay,
      The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon but not pasty. I find that homemade oat milk thickens quicker than store-bought and almond milk takes more time. Also, the starchiness of the pasta helps to thicken the sauce (after it’s added and simmered for a minute or two), so there is no need to reduce the sauce too much. I hope this helps.

  12. Matt Tilley says:

    5 stars
    So, I did *not* use three-fourths of the proper ingredients, or even make an effort to follow *any* of your directions; it somehow completely failed to make an exact copy of that beloved dairy Alfredo sauce from my childhood…shame on you! 🙂

    All joking aside, having gone mostly vegan for several years now, I have long been hankering for a really good white sauce replacement. My wife said this was fabulous, but not an exact Alfredo sauce analogue; also pretty sure I maybe kinda-sorta know the reason why? Per usual in our household, I made my own “artistic embellishments” after mixing things up this first time around; no particular reason, just felt like playing and being creative in our kitchen the other night. However, having “tasted before tinkering” I already knew it was a solid winner, and can personally attest that if you actually, or even substantially follow the recipe, it doesn’t get much closer to real dairy Alfredo than this!!!

    Amazing stuff, thank you so much for posting; next time I will (fingers crossed) actually follow the doggone recipe and report back with more objective information? Even with my “modifications” I gotta say, this made one MEAN pasta con broccoli with shells, folks…gonna go nom-nom the remaining leftovers in a few, too!!! Makes me hungry just thinking about it… 🙂

    1. I appreciate this Matt, thank you! I’m sure you’ll nail it even better next time!

  13. About to make this sauce for the 2nd time tonight! just wanted to say how helpful it is to have the ingredient measurements next to the steps- thank you thank you! 🙂

  14. 5 stars
    Threw in some mushrooms and added fresh basil. Definitely adding to my rotation. Super rich and creamy.

    fettuccine alfredo with mushrooms in a bowl.

  15. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious! Fast easy, no chopping and barely any dishes. Will be making it again, thanks so much for the recipe!

    Fettuccine alfredo in a bowl.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your feedback and photo Gabby! I really appreciate it!

  16. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe and very easy instructions. Came out great and my kids all had seconds!

    1. Thank you so much for trying the recipe Lauren and for the feedback!

  17. 5 stars
    Just made this and I expected it to be really good, but it was even better than expected. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I’ll be making this again for sure. 🙂

  18. 5 stars
    Very good. The first time trying a vegan alfredo sauce for my family and we liked it a lot. Thank you for the recipe

  19. 4 stars
    So delicious! I had to add a couple extra tablespoons of flour for it to thicken and I sprinkled some dairy-free Parmesan in. But ended with awesome results!

    1. Thanks so much Sydney! I’m happy you could make it work for you.

  20. 5 stars
    So easy and quick! Will be making this again for sure! Finally found a cheesy sauce without having to use cashews lol. I know it says it’s not tradition to add veg but I did just because I’m trying to eat more healthy.

    1. Thanks so much Georgia! Glad you liked it. I add broccoli and mushrooms to alfredo all the time!

    2. 4 stars
      Had so much trouble with this. I didn’t have nutritional yeast, so first it was too runny. I slowly added more flour, but no matter how much I stirred, couldn’t get rid of the clumps. Don’t took 30 minutes of stirring to get it more roux-like, and I wouldn’t recommend this recipe without an immersion blender.

      1. Hi Liz, sorry you had trouble with the recipe. Making the roux can be tricky at times, but it gets easier with practice 🙂 . I hope you give this recipe another try. You can try using a whisk for mixing and increasing the heat to thicken the sauce quicker.

  21. 5 stars
    This is the best vegan Alfredo that I’ve tried making! The lemon juice is what seemed to make the sauce just right. I added some Cajun seasoning to give it a kick

    1. Thanks so much Emma! The addition of the Cajun spice sounds pretty good too!

  22. 5 stars
    Made this tonight for dinner and it was amazing!!! The nutmeg made it very special. Loved how quick and easy it was to make. Definitely going into our weekly rotation!

    1. Thanks so much for giving it a try Lea! I really appreciate this!

      1. 3 stars
        End result was great, but written recipe needs more clarification, so I’m giving three stars. This did not thicken for me at all. Maybe the oat milk is the trick. I used almond milk instead, and olive oil instead of dairy free spread. The first time, I ended up using cornstarch to thicken. The “roux” was runny but I just went with it since I followed the quantities in the recipe. The second time, I made a true roux of equal parts fat and flour, and had to stir for nearly 20 minutes before it started to thicken. I again just added cornstarch. The sauce is super tasty, but the written recipe maybe needs some edits.

        Pan with creamy sauce on a stove top.

        1. Hi Sabrina,
          Sorry you had trouble with the recipe but thank you for the feedback. Since oat milk has more starch than the other varies it thickens the sauce quite well. Cashew, soy and coconut milk are other good options. Almond milk would need additional thickeners and my apologies for not clarifying this. I have the necessary edits to the recipe. Thanks again!

          1. 5 stars
            Hi there! Updating my review and rating because it was so much easier my third time making it. I did use oat milk this time – I’ve only ever used almond milk for everything and didn’t know that different milks will give different results in recipes – and I used coconut oil for the roux (it’s all I had). I still had trouble with the roux, and added another 3tbsp flour to get it to thicken, but I only had to stir about 5 minutes. My flour is also not very fresh, so that might be having an effect on the thickening. I had to add some more milk because of the extra flour, and I replaced the lactic acid with lemon juice as you suggested. The sauce was as delicious as it was the first two times, but making it was a lot quicker!
            I had this with spaghetti squash, onions, and spinach and I will definitely be making this regularly!