Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo ~ rich, creamy & buttery. It’s a simple, yet luxurious dish, that can be yours in 30 minutes or less.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and I think this Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo would be the perfect romantic meal to have at home. When I think of Valentine’s Day, I think of comfort food, and nothing says comfort, like a good ol’ plate of creamy pasta.
I recently posted a gorgeous collection of 20 Valentine’s Recipes, and 20 Valentine’s Dessert recipes from my favorite food bloggers. So if you need more inspiration, you can check those out (you won’t regret it). I really think this Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo should be added to the list too, because it fits right in with the deliciousness!
A little bit of history
The original fettuccine Alfredo recipe wasn’t made with cream at all. It was just simply butter, parmesan cheese and cooking water, tossed over fresh-cooked pasta (pasta in bianco). The butter and cheese melt together to form a smooth cream-like sauce.
in 1908, restaurant owner, Alfredo Di Lelio created this recipe for his pregnant wife, because she didn’t have an appetite, and was losing weight. She regained her appetite and fell in love with his creation. Per her suggestion, pasta in bianco was now a staple on the restaurant’s menu.
Years later, two famous Hollywood actors were in Rome on their honeymoon. They had dinner at Alfredo’s and ordered the pasta in bianco, with the house-made fettuccine pasta. The pair thought it was the tastiest pasta dish they’ve ever had, and spread the word about Alfredo’s creation amongst Hollywood’s elite. To thank Alfredo for his hospitality, they sent him an engraved silverware set, and a photo of them. American Press caught wind of the gesture and published the story everywhere, and Fettucine Alfredo was born.
Alfredo’s restaurant now became a stomping ground for famous actors, and started to draw large crowds outside. Each star left their photograph which became a part of the restaurant’s decor, and is still there today. Local Italians stayed clear of this tourist attraction, and were unimpressed by the butter & cheese dish. The popularity of Alfredo’s grew and a few restaurants were opened up in the US. Overtime, the American version of the dish changed from simple butter & cheese, to a creamy rich sauce, which ironically isn’t the best tummy ache healer.
I grew up with the Americanized version of Fettucine Alfredo, and it would be my first choice on the menu while dining out. I just loved that super cheesy & creamy sauce. Over the years, I would order it less and less, because it would really hurt my tummy. After going vegan, I understood why…humans were not meant to consume dairy.
Well just because vegans don’t consume dairy, doesn’t mean we can’t have any fun. The proof is in the photo above. Does the dish seem to be lacking anything? No way! This sauce is just as creamy and cheesy as the Americanized version, but it will leave your tummy much happier afterwards.
To replace the heavy cream, I used very simple and wholesome ingredients. I used unsweetened soy milk, raw cashews and potato. The potato part might sound weird, but it really helps thicken the sauce, and makes it creamy & velvety. To enhance the cheesy flavor, I used nutritional yeast & fresh lemon juice. It adds a subtle zing to every bite.
This fabulous luxurious dish can be yours in 30 minutes, and it’s quite simple to make. You’ll need to steam or boil 2 small potatoes (about 8-10 minutes), that will be blended in the sauce. To make things even easier, you can cook the potatoes the day before and pop them in the fridge. The cashews also need to be softened by boiling for 10-15 minutes. If you’d like to save a step here too, just soak them in water for 4 hours or overnight.
Now cook up the fettuccine in a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook until al dente (about 10-12 minutes). Boil the cashews, potatoes and pasta at the same time (not the same pot) to make things quicker. Drain and drizzle the pasta with olive oil to prevent sticking. I usually start the sauce 5 minutes before the pasta will be done. This way it’s not sitting too long, and it will be hot & fresh when it goes into the sauce.
For the sauce, place the remaining ingredients into a blender. Blend until potatoes & cashews have completely broken down & sauce is smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Set aside. Now heat up vegan butter in large pan over medium heat. When melted, add minced garlic & sauté for 2-3 minutes, until lightly brown. Pour cream sauce into the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, until sauce slightly thickens up. Add pasta & thawed peas to pan, and gently toss to coat. Serve immediately.
So, are you ready? Let’s do this!
I’d love to hear from you
If you make this Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo, I’d love to get your feedback. You can leave a comment below and let me know what you think. It would really make my day. You can also follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me. Just tag me @veganhuggs and hashtag #veganhuggs so I don’t miss it.
- 1/2 cup raw cashews (*See note)
- 16 ounces dried fettuccine pasta (GF if preferred)
- Drizzle of olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups white potato, peeled & chopped into 1-inch cubes (about 2 small potatoes)
- 1 cup unsweetened soy milk (or any plant-based milk)
- 1 cup vegetable broth, low sodium (*see note)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Himalayan salt (or preferred salt), more to taste
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon tapioca flour/starch
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 med/large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed (*See note)
In a small pot, boil water and remove from heat. Add cashews and cover for 10-15 minutes, until softened.
Steam or boil the potato until tender (about 8-10 minutes). Drain and set aside.
Place fettuccine in a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook until al dente (about 10-12 minutes). Drain and drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking.
Drain & rinse cashews and discard water. Now place all ingredients into a blender (except butter & garlic). Blend until potatoes & cashews have completely broken down & sauce is smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
Heat up butter in large pan over medium heat. When melted, add garlic & sauté for 1-2 minutes, until lightly brown (be careful not to burn).
Pour cream sauce into the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until sauce slightly thickens up. Stir often to prevent burning. Taste for seasoning, and add more if needed.
Now add pasta & thawed peas to pan, and gently toss to coat. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
*Cashews: To make things easier, pre-soften your cashews by placing them in cool water for 4 hours, or overnight in the fridge. Then they'll be ready to pop in the blender.
*Peas: To thaw peas, place in a colander and rinse under cool water for 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
*Vegetable Broth: I like to use low sodium broth, so I can control the salt taste. Some broths are too salty and can ruin a good recipe. If you would like to use a regular broth, make sure to cut down the added salt in the recipe. Taste as you go along. Another option, is to blend low sodium and regular broth together.