Creamy Plant-Based Cashew Alfredo
Recipe by Kelsey Russell-Murray
This plant-based Alfredo sauce offers all of the creamy deliciousness of a traditional Alfredo sauce, with a fraction of the saturated fat! This creamy and flavourful sauce is quick and easy to pull together and requires only 7 ingredients. The base of the Alfredo sauce is cashews, which provide the creamy texture. Nutritional yeast adds a cheesy taste, and garlic, onion powder and salt bump up the flavour. Serve this Alfredo sauce over a high fiber pasta, such as whole wheat, chickpea, lentil or spelt pasta. Bump up the antioxidant, vitamin and mineral content by adding a healthy dose of veggies. We recommend sautéed spinach and mushrooms but any vegetables work well. This completely plant-based dish is a great option for vegans craving a hearty meal. It’s low in saturated fat and high in fibre, making it a great choice for diabetics and those with heart disease. If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, simply substitute a gluten-free pasta such as brown rice, lentil or chickpea pasta.
Soak the raw cashews in boiling water for 15-minutes (or in room temperature water overnight). Drain and add to blender.
Add all remaining sauce ingredients to high-speed blender and blend until smooth. I find it helpful to start my blender on low speed and gradually increase the speed until high speed is reached, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed. Add additional milk if sauce is too thick.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add pasta. Prepare pasta per package instructions. Strain and rinse with warm water.
Heat a medium frying pan to medium heat. Add 1 tbsp avocado oil and sliced cremini mushrooms. Sauté mushrooms until they are a deep brown colour, stirring every few minutes, approximately 6-8 minutes. Add chopped spinach to pan with mushrooms and reduce heat to low, cooking until spinach is wilted, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add spinach in batches if necessary. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour Alfredo sauce over high fibre pasta of your choice and top with sautéed veggies. Enjoy!
Substitutions: Swap the sautéed spinach and mushrooms for veggies of your choice. Asparagus, tomatoes and bell peppers would be great options. Substitute grated parmesan cheese for nutritional yeast if you prefer!
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