5-Minute Vegan Alfredo Sauce for Gnocchi or Pasta

It feels weird to get “back to normal,” whatever that is, but I need to start sharing recipes again sooner or later, eh? Life is much different around here, and will continue to be as we work to be better humans and adjust to all the curveballs life is throwing at us, but I guess we’ve all still gotta eat, so. Here we go.

THANK YOU for all of your emails and comments about my last post. I read every single one of them and was so touched by all of the overwhelmingly supportive responses. I’ve been slowly replying, but haven’t gotten to all of them yet, so if you reached out and haven’t heard back from me yet, I’m sorry! And THANK YOU. I have the best readers. 

Okay! On to my latest food obsession: This creamy vegan alfredo sauce!

This garlicky, cashew-based alfredo sauce is just about the easiest vegan pasta sauce I’ve ever made. It transforms store-bought gnocchi and just about any pasta into the most glorious plates of deliciousness ever. For real. And in under 10 minutes for the whole shebang!

5-Minute Vegan Alfredo Sauce - This luxuriously creamy, garlicky "alfredo" sauce whips up in minutes and transforms pasta or gnocchi into a rich, satisfying entree. Dinner's ready in 10 minutes!

This is a completely vegan gnocchi sauce and pasta sauce, so no dairy here. It’s all about the cashews.

By now, you probably know that cashews are a magical ingredient that, when blended with water, transforms into the most luscious cream.

5-Minute Vegan Alfredo Sauce - This luxuriously creamy, garlicky "alfredo" sauce whips up in minutes and transforms pasta or gnocchi into a rich, satisfying entree. Dinner's ready in 10 minutes!

And during the pandemic crisis – especially when some groceries have been hard to come by – they’ve been the MVP of my pantry. I can use cashews to make coffee creamer, sour cream, an unbelievably delicious vegan shells and cheese … even a cashew parm for this vegan cacio e pepe!

And now, we have this vegan alfredo sauce, which might just be my favorite cashew cream recipe yet. 

How to Make Vegan Alfredo Sauce

This vegan Alfredo sauce has a super short list of ingredients, and just about the easiest prep EVER. 

We’ve got:

  • Cashews. Of course!
  • Water
  • Fresh garlic
  • Nutritional yeast and onion powder for umami goodness
  • Salt and pepper

That’s it! 

Then, all you do is whip it all together in your high-speed blender. Vitamin and Blendtec are where it’s at here, but a lower-powered blender may work – just be sure to soak your cashews first. 

I like to put the water on to boil, then throw all of the ingredients for the sauce in the blender. And then, while the gnocchi or pasta is cooking, I blend the sauce. Drain the gnocchi or pasta, add it back to the pan, add the sauce, stir, done! Seriously – SO FAST. 

5-Minute Vegan Alfredo Sauce - This luxuriously creamy, garlicky "alfredo" sauce whips up in minutes and transforms pasta or gnocchi into a rich, satisfying entree. Dinner's ready in 10 minutes!

I hope this one is as huge a winner for you as it has been for our family. 

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5-Minute Vegan Alfredo Sauce

This luxuriously creamy, garlicky “alfredo” sauce whips up in minutes and transforms pasta or gnocchi into a rich, satisfying meal. Dinner on the table in 10 minutes?! Yep!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews*
  • 1/2-3/4 cup water
  • 1 medium clove garlic, peeled**
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt + more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper + more to taste

Equipment:

  • High-speed blender (like a Vitamix)

For serving:

  • 1 (14.5-ounce) package gnocchi or 8 ounces cooked pasta
  • Fresh minced parsley or chiffonaded basil

Directions:

  1. Place cashews, 1/2 cup water, garlic, nutritional yeast, onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper into the pitcher of a high-speed blender. Puree until completely blended, 1-2 minutes. The sauce should be the consistency of eggnog, buttermilk, or a thick heavy whipping cream. If it’s thicker than that, add 2 tablespoons of water at a time until you get it there. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired.
  2. Cook and drain pasta or gnocchi and add back to the pot. Pour sauce over the top and toss until gnocchi or pasta is coated. Add herbs if you like and serve!

* I find that with my Vitamix high-speed blender, it’s not necessary to soak my cashews first. If you want to ensure a creamy sauce or have a different type of blender, try soaking the cashews for 20 minutes in boiling water first. Drain, rinse, and proceed.

** Depending on your blender, you may want to chop your garlic first to help prevent large chunks in your sauce. I add a whole clove to my Vitamix and it purees completely.

Gluten-free note

The sauce itself is gluten-free, but of course, you’ll want to select a gluten-free pasta or gnocchi.

Nutrition Information

Yield: About 1 cup sauce, Serving Size: About 1/4 cup sauce

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 125 Calories
  • Total Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Sodium: 147mg
  • Carbohydrates: 7g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Protein: 4g

Adapted from the sauce for this creamy vegan garlic pasta from Chocolate Covered Katie.

// All images and text © for Kitchen Treaty.

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Kare

Kare is a vegetarian home cook living among carnivores. She loves creating irresistible and flexible recipes that help multi-vore families like hers keep the peace - deliciously.