Creamy Vegan Alfredo (GF)! 5 ingredients and NO yeast flakes make this a simple and pleasing prep. Luscious, velvety texture and ultra-creamy taste combine to make an opulent, dairy-free version of this Italian classic.
Italy has produced some of the greatest geniuses of all time: Antonio Vivaldi, Leonardo Da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, Alfredo di Lello. Wait, you say you’ve never heard of Alfredo? Ah, but you have! Where would the world be without Alfredo di Lello? Alfredoless–a depressing proposition. A Roman restaurateur and culinary pioneer from the early 1900’s who fatefully combined a handful of ingredients to create a recipe that would transcend many cultures and generations.
Until now, I have never attempted to make a vegan Alfredo. I won’t re-create classic dishes unless I am confident that they will taste and feel equally as delicious as the original. What’s the point? I eat a primarily plant-based diet for many reasons, not the least of which it is much healthier than one filled with fatty animal products. But I must admit there are times that I long for certain dishes from my pre plant-based diet days. (Say that 5 times really fast!) I have favorites from the old days that I would love to indulge in with great regularity and experience no guilt or health consequences. Who wouldn’t? So with some determination and a hungry belly I figured it out!
Nutritional yeast is a common cheese substitute in many vegan dishes. It works great in dishes that have a lot of strong flavors competing with one another. However, if I was going to recreate the consummate Alfredo with its delicate, creamy flavor I knew that nutritional yeast could not be invited to the party. Cauliflower though, when steamed and blended, becomes significantly milder and smoother than one might expect. Add some fresh roasted garlic to the equation and the flavor becomes quite balanced. Throw some cashews and cashew milk into the mix and the taste and texture are both fully developed to a delicate creamy and smooth saucy delight!
There are so many things that make this recipe over-the-top awesome. I can indulge in my desire for a yummy, creamy sauce any time I want, and the best part is that I am treating my body to a nutrient explosion every time I do. Cauliflower is an amazing source of vitamin C and many other nutrients. You can get a full explanation of all that cauliflower has to offer in my Cauliflower “Egg” Salad post. The garlic, olive oil and cashews provide antioxidants, healthy fats, plant protein and many other vitamins and minerals.
This sauce is extremely flexible and highly customizable. It can be used for many dishes such as a white sauce for white pizza or served over vegetables, just to name a couple. You can make the sauce as thick or thin as you prefer simply by adding more cashew milk. The delicate flavor will graciously accept the addition of other spices should you decide you are feeling more zesty. Since the Alfredo is dairy-free it keeps beautifully in the refrigerator for at least seven days. It will also reheat on the stove top or in the microwave without the usual separation of fats that is typical of most dairy based sauces. It’s perfect!!
I hope you find this recipe as rewarding as I have. I look forward to all the many ways I can include this in my dinners. Enjoy!
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