This vegan cauliflower alfredo sauce without cashews is easy & quick to make in 20 minutes or less. The creamy vegan sauce is made from cauliflower, garlic, onions, tahini, and nutritional yeast for a savory, cheesy flavor. This sauce is perfect for making nut free vegan fettuccine alfredo for dinner! You can also enjoy this velvety smooth sauce with roasted veggies or drizzled onto grain bowls.

bowl of fettuccine with vegan alfredo sauce

Alfredo sauce is an Italian pasta sauce served with fettuccine noodles. Traditionally, alfredo sauce is made from butter and parmesan cheese. If you are vegan or follow a plant based diet and want to try alfredo sauce, this cauliflower alfredo sauce recipe is for you!

Vegan cauliflower alfredo is a versatile white cauliflower sauce you can use with pasta, roasted vegetables, and more. Many cauliflower alfredo recipes use blended cashews to make a smooth and creamy sauce. This recipe has NO cashews – instead, we use nut-free tahini for thickness, creaminess, and savory flavor.

You can make this vegan pasta sauce recipe in 20 minutes or less. You’ll cook some ingredients on the stovetop, then toss everything into a blender and blend it until velvety smooth. Toss with cooked fettuccine for a quick, easy, and satisfying weeknight meal!

More vegan pasta sauce recipes to try: vegan sun-dried tomato sauce, creamy vegan pumpkin alfredo sauce, and creamy rosé wine & tomato pasta sauce.

Ingredients in cauliflower alfredo sauce

Here is everything you will need to make this recipe:

  • Cauliflower: Cauliflower has a mild, neutral flavor that works as the base for this vegan sauce. It gets velvety smooth when cooked until tender and blended with the other sauce ingredients. Cauliflower adds a huge nutrition boost to this sauce – you can read about the benefits of cauliflower below.
  • Garlic: Plenty of chopped garlic helps build the flavor of this sauce. I prefer using minced fresh garlic for my recipes, but you are welcome to use pre-minced garlic in a jar. If so, use about 1/2 teaspoon per clove of garlic.
  • Onion: White or yellow onion, in addition to the garlic, builds flavor for this sauce recipe.
  • Lemon: A generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice to add a little zing to this recipe.
  • Tahini: Tahini is a creamy paste made from ground sesame seeds. Adding tahini to this sauce imparts its nutty, savory flavor into the sauce and helps make it extra creamy and thicker.
  • Nutritional yeast: Nutritional yeast is a vegan food product that adds savory, cheesy flavor to cauliflower alfredo sauce. It has some impressive nutrition benefits, too – read about that below.
  • Vegetable broth: Steam the cauliflower, garlic, and onions in vegetable broth, which has much more flavor than just water.
  • Dried thyme: If you don’t have dried thyme, you can swap it for dried oregano, dried basil, or dried parsley.
  • Salt

Kitchen tools needed

You will need a medium saute pan with a lid and a blender, as well as a good knife, a cutting board, and measuring cups and spoons.

I used my high-powered Vitamix blender because it makes the sauce extremely smooth and creamy. If you don’t have a high-powered blender, try making it in a regular blender or food processor, however, the sauce may not get quite as velvety smooth.

cauliflower alfredo sauce ingredients measured out on a light grey backdrop

How to make cauliflower alfredo pasta sauce

minced garlic in a small bowl, chopped onion in a small bowl on a light grey backdrop
Chop the onion and mince the garlic
Cauliflower, garlic, and onions in a pot with veggie broth
Cook onion and garlic in a pot until fragrant. Add cauliflower florets and veggie broth, cover, and steam the cauliflower.
cauliflower and onion in a blender
Transfer the cooked cauliflower and broth mixture to a blender.
cauliflower alfredo sauce ingredients in a blender before being blended
Add the other ingredients to the blender: nutritional yeast, tahini, and lemon juice.
blended cauliflower alfredo sauce in a blender
Blend until the sauce is velvety smooth and creamy.

Storage

If you make this sauce and have leftovers, you can store it in a jar or airtight container in the fridge and use it within five days.

The sauce may thicken up when refrigerated. If this happens, you can let it sit out to come to room temperature, or you can throw it back in the blender and blend it up again.

Serving suggestions

You can use this “cheesy” vegan sauce as a dairy-free alternative to make fettuccine alfredo. Additionally, you can drizzle it over roasted vegetables, tofu, or grain bowls.

Bowl of cauliflower fettuccine alfredo

Cauliflower nutrition & health benefits

Cauliflower is a nutrition powerhouse packed with nutrients. One cup of raw cauliflower provides:

  • 2.1 grams of dietary fiber (8% of your daily needs)
  • 2.1 grams of plant-based protein
  • 60.99 mcg folate (15% of your daily needs)
  • 0.714 mg pantothenic acid (14% of your daily needs)
  • 0.197 mg Vitamin B6 (12% of your daily needs)
  • 51.6 mg Vitamin C (57% of your daily needs)
  • 16.6 mcg Vitamin K (14% of your daily needs)

In addition to fiber and micronutrients, cauliflower is rich in the plant compound called sulforaphane. This beneficial compound has potent anti-inflammatory effects, protecting our cells against certain diseases. Other cruciferous veggies that have this plant compound include kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage.

More healthy cauliflower recipes to try: turmeric roasted cauliflower, cauliflower baked ziti, lemon roasted cauliflower with capers, roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce, cauliflower piccata, and cauliflower & kale pasta.

Tahini nutrition & health benefits

Tahini is a highly nutritious sesame seed paste to include in your diet. It has a similar nutrient profile to nut butters, like peanut butter or almond butter. One ounce of tahini (about two tablespoons) provides:

  • 4.8 grams of plant-based protein
  • 2.6 grams of dietary fiber (9% of your daily needs)
  • 0.346 mg thiamine (29% of your daily needs)
  • 0.134 mg riboflavin (10% of your daily needs)
  • 1.545 mg niacin (10% of your daily needs)
  • 9.75 mcg selenium (18% of your daily needs)
  • 120.77 mg calcium (9% of your daily needs)
  • 2.54 mg iron (14% of your daily needs)

Because it is a source of plant-based protein, calcium, and iron, tahini is particularly beneficial for those on a vegan, vegetarian, or plant-based diet. A one ounce serving of tahini has about 15 grams of fat, but a majority of the fat comes from heart healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Nutritional yeast nutrition & health benefits

Nutritional yeast, a vegan food product that has a nutty, cheesy flavor, has a lot of nutrition benefits! It’s incredibly rich in B vitamins. IOne tablespoon serving of nutritional yeast provides:

  • 5 grams of plant-based protein
  • 2 grams of dietary fiber
  • 7.02 thiamin (585% of your daily needs)
  • 7.412 mg riboflavin(570%of your daily needs)
  • 39.4 mg niacin (246% of your daily needs)
  • 7.620 mg vitamin B6 (448% of your daily needs)
  • 33.78 mcg vitamin B12 (1408% of your daily needs)

Nutritional yeast is one of the few plant-based sources of Vitamin B12. If you follow a vegan diet, including fortified nutritional yeast in your daily diet can help prevent vitamin B12 deficiency.

Let me know if you love this post by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
bowl of fettuccine with vegan alfredo sauce

Vegan Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce (No Cashews!)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh, RD
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: makes about 3 cups of sauce 1x
  • Category: sauces and dressings
  • Method: blender, stovetop
  • Cuisine: American Italian
  • Diet: Vegan
Save Recipe

Description

This vegan cauliflower alfredo sauce without cashews is easy & quick to make in 20 minutes or less. The creamy vegan sauce is made from cauliflower, garlic, onions, tahini, and nutritional yeast for a savory, cheesy flavor. This sauce is perfect for making nut free vegan fettuccine alfredo for dinner! You can also enjoy this velvety smooth sauce with roasted veggies or drizzled onto grain bowls.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup white or yellow onion, diced
  • 2 1/2 cups cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • Juice of half a lemon


Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium saute pan with a lid over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic, onion, and 1/2 tsp salt.
  3. Stir and cook for 2 minutes, until fragrant.
  4. Add the cauliflower and thyme and stir it into the garlic and onion mixture. Cook it for 3-5 minutes to let the cauliflower start to brown a litte.
  5. Add the vegetable broth. Cauliflower, garlic, and onions in a pot with veggie broth
  6. Cover and let the caulilfower steam for 5-7 minutes over low-medium heat, until the cauliflower is easily pierced with a fork.
  7. Remove from heat and transfer everything in the pot to your blender.
    cauliflower and onion in a blender
  8. Add the tahini, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and remaining 1/2 tsp salt.
    cauliflower alfredo sauce ingredients in a blender before being blended
  9. Blend the sauce for 1-2 minutes until it is COMPLETELY smooth and creamy, with no lumps remaining at all.
    blended cauliflower alfredo sauce in a blender
  10. Serve with cooked pasta garnished with freshly cracked pepper, chopped parsley, and crunchy sea salt for fettuccine alfredo!

Notes

Storage

If you make this sauce and have leftovers, you can store it in a jar or airtight container in the fridge and use it within five days.

The sauce may thicken up when refrigerated. If this happens, you can let it sit out to come to room temperature, or you can throw it back in the blender and blend it up again.

Serving suggestions

You can use this “cheesy” vegan sauce as a dairy-free alternative to make fettuccine alfredo. Additionally, you can drizzle it over roasted vegetables, tofu, or grain bowls.