A Beautiful New World: Oil-Free, Vegan Alfredo Sauce (with Quinoa Pasta)

You really can have it all. I am a huge green smoothie addict, and that along with a couple of tablespoons of organic peanut butter or almond butter with a dollop of maple syrup is what usually sees me through a day, but I crave savory salt things as much as the next person, and sometimes my body just cries out "I want hot food!" 
So, when I find a hearty, "old-fashioned" comfort food that I can actually make squeaky-CLEAN, I get really excited! Enter - this dream sauce.

The recipe is called 20 MINUTE VEGAN ALFREDO SAUCE
but it really should be called SAUCE OF THE GODS because it is sooooo delicious. Savory, so creamy, and with absolutely no dairy fat or oil. Plus, it's only 55 calories per 1/4 cup!!! It's amazing on pasta of course, but would also rock on a baked potato, a sweet potato, rice, cous cous, toast, faux meats of all kinds, etc etc etc. 

I made it for the family and they ate it without taking a breath. Both the 18 year old daughter and middle aged husband gobbled it like our lab eats a treat. It was gone. I made a second batch a few days later and managed to snag a big ladle-full for myself before again...zzzzzzt!!! GONE, BABY. 

So obviously this sauce is a major hit. The recipe is from the wonderful Vegan 8 blog where you will find all sorts of delicious recipes! 

Here you , bonne appetite! 
20 Minute Vegan Alfredo
You will be simply amazed at how amazingly, rich, creamy and delicious this vegan alfredo sauce is, without any oil or starches or yucky ingredients. It has incredible flavor and requires just 8 ingredients (+salt) to make it! It is almost too good to be true!
Serves: 2½ cups
  • For the pasta
  • 14 oz bag of gluten-free brown rice fettucini pasta (or your preferred pasta)
  • ½ tablespoon fine sea salt
  • Alfredo sauce
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (480 mL, I really recommend low versus the regular)
  • ¼ cup raw cashew butter (roasted is too strong, with no added ingredients. I get mine from Whole Foods or make my own, another nut butter will not work)
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (10 mL)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (16 g, add more if you like, but I found this to be perfect. I also use Dr. Fuhrman's which is a bit less salty)
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice flour (20 g, really is magical in this)
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾-1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • optional: ½ teaspoon dried Italian herbs blend (not necessary but does add a nice flavor)
  • optional: any veggies you may want to add
  • Note: Please note I have ONLY tested this recipe (3 times in fact) exactly as written, so I don't know about subs. If you can't find cashew butter, then you can make your own. I do it often. Just add 2 cups RAW, unsalted cashews to a food processor and process for about 10 minutes or so. You will need to scrape the sides down a few times during. Process until completely silky smooth, do not stop until it becomes almost pourable like almond butter. Then just use ¼ cup for the recipe as listed.
  1. Follow each step closely. To have this ready to eat in 20 minutes, you will first need to start your pasta before the sauce. Add 12 cups of very hot water to a large pot and put the lid on (it will come to a boil faster). Turn to high heat and let it come to a boil. Mine took about 10 minutes before it was boiling (yours may be faster). Once it's boiling add the pasta and salt and quickly stir it around to loosen it up. The salt is important because it flavors the pasta and you won't end up with bland pasta. Keep on high heat and cook for 9 minutes or until al dente. Mine took exactly 9 minutes. Yours may vary depending on the pasta you use.
  2. While you are waiting on your water to come to a boil, this is when you will add all of your "alfredo sauce" ingredients (including the dried Italian herbs if using) to a blender. Blend until very smooth and there is no lumps from the cashew butter or rice flour. It will be very runny, don't worry about that, it will thicken up a lot when cooking. You will notice that it tastes fairly salty straight out of the blender, this is necessary for it to stand out in the end result with the pasta (and any veggies you may add).
  3. Check your water to see if boiling yet.
  4. Add the sauce to a large sauce pan and whisk well from the bottom to make sure there are no lumps from the rice flour. Turn to high heat. Once it starts bubbling all over, immediately turn to medium heat and whisk continually while letting it cook 3-5 minutes until thickened. You want to continually whisk around the bottom and sides, so the flour doesn't clump. Don't walk away from it. I cooked mine about 4 minutes. I have a gas stovetop and this is how quick it was, yours may vary. You don't want to cook it too long because it will thicken up considerably as it cools off, because of the rice flour. The longer you cook it, the thicker it will become. You are basically just wanting it to thicken up to a light creamy consistency and then remove from the heat. If for some reason you slightly overcooked it and it gets too thick, just add a tiny amount of broth to thin it back out. Voila. Add any veggies if you like. I literally just threw in some peas and carrots from the freezer and let them cook a minute in the sauce. Your sauce should be done before your pasta, so just cover with a lid to keep warm.
  5. Once your pasta is done, drain and rinse with water to stop the cooking. Brown rice pasta can stick really badly, so I rinse really well and serve immediately. I don't like to add it directly to the sauce or it thickens it up too much. I add to a plate, then add the sauce and garnish with extra dried Italian herbs or red pepper flakes or anything else you like. If you used low-sodium broth and ¾ tsp salt, it should not need any extra. Mine was perfect, but taste and add more if necessary as some broths vary. For reheating leftovers, heat over low and add a little broth to thin back out if necessary.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ cup sauce (not pasta) Calories: 54.4 Fat: 3.25 g Carbohydrates: 4.1 g Sugar: .6 Sodium: 199.6 mgFiber: .45 g Protein: 2.1 g