Cashew Alfredo Pasta with Broccoli

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This Creamy Vegan Alfredo is a delicious and healthy alternative that everyone will love!  It's perfect for dinner and really easy to make!  Can easily be made gluten free.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, cashews are the most magical things ever!  You can use them to make savory salad dressings, sweet desserts and amazingly creamy alfredo sauce.  I’m convinced that there isn’t anything you can’t make with cashews! 

A great cashew tip I’ve just started doing is boiling them for about 30 minutes before I use them instead of soaking them overnight.  It works really well to soften them up and I can now make cashew alfredo on a whim instead of having to plan for it the night before.

While creamy pasta dishes like this one scream comfort food, this dish is extra comforting to me because it was inspired by one of my favorite childhood foods, Annie’s Alfredo Shells and Cheese.  Mac and Cheese is good and all, but Alfredo sauce has so much more flavor and in my opinion it just blows regular mac and cheese away.  Although, I have never been known to say no to creamy pasta :)

This Creamy Vegan Alfredo is a delicious and healthy alternative that everyone will love!  It's perfect for dinner and really easy to make!  Can easily be made gluten free.

 

 Cashews are naturally slightly sweet, so when making a savory sauce out of them it is important to use un-sweetened milk and season it up with a bunch of savory spices.  The real hero flavors in this cashew alfredo are the basil and the Herbs De Provence.  Herbs De Provence is a mixture of dried thyme, marjoram, rosemary, basil, fennel, sage, and lavender.  I bought it randomly a while ago because it was on sale and it is now my go-to spice that I put on just about everything!

If you have any doubts about the magical power of cashews I think this creamy alfredo sauce will change your mind!

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Cashew Alfredo Pasta with Broccoli


  • Yield: 4-6
  • Category: Entree, Gluten Free, Vegan

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces dry pasta, I used shells
  • 2 cups broccoli florets

Cashew Alfredo Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw unsalted cashews, soaked overnight or boiled for 30 minutes
  • 1 cup + 3 tablespoons plain, un-sweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • 3 teaspoons Herbs De Provence
  • overflowing 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. When pasta is 3 minutes from being done, add the broccoli florets. Drain pasta and broccoli and add Alfredo sauce. Stir until combined and serve hot.
  2. To make the Cashew Alfredo Sauce, add all ingredients into a blender and blend for 1-2 minutes, until smooth and creamy.

 

This Creamy Vegan Alfredo is a delicious and healthy alternative that everyone will love!  It's perfect for dinner and really easy to make!  Can easily be made gluten free.

 

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Ahhh love this Izzy!! I’ve been reducing my dairy intake so of course I’ve had major cravings for creamy dishes like pasta. Using cashews in the sauce is genius! Wish I could just dive into that bowl! :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you, Alyssa! You should totally make this then!! I still eat some dairy but I usually don’t feel very well afterward so sauces like this always hit the spot :)

  2. says

    I’m loving everything about this dish, Izzy! Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous! And I agree that cashews are a magical ingredient. I’ve never tried a cashew sauce before, but I definitely need to after seeing this recipe. Delish!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you so much, Gayle!! Cashew sauces are so good even if you do eat regular dairy sauces! And they are kinda fun to make and see it all come together :)

  3. says

    I’ve never been a cashew fan, but I think I need to try this — I’m so intrigued about making a creamy sauce with them! I don’t normally go for super heavy cream-based sauces, so this sounds perfect!

    • She Likes Food says

      You can still taste a little cashew flavor, but it really is so good! This sauce might just change your mind about cashews :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks Medha! I’ve been meaning to try a cauliflower one but haven’t gotten around to it yet!

  4. says

    This looks delicious Izzy! Your pictures are looking so great! I’ve never tried a cashew-based sauce, but they always look so creamy and appealing, so I may have to give this a go!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you so much Lauren! I really think you would love them! I hope you are enjoying your new little bundle :)

  5. says

    Cashews truly are an amazing and versatile ingredient! I never thought to make alfredo sauce using cashews – this is absolutely brilliant! I just saw a creme brulee recipe on The Frosted Vegan using cashews, so now I’m thinking I need to make a whole spread of cashew recipes #cashewsdordayz 😉 Love this creamy dreamy healthy pasta!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you, Julia!! OMG, creme brulee with cashews?! I need to check that out asap! We totally need to make an entire spread of food made with cashews, amazing!

  6. Franchesca says

    This looks so delicious and intriguing–though I’m curious, what is nutritional yeast and how crucial is it to the alfredo? Can you substitute other types of yeast in its place? Thanks!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks Franchesca! Nutritional yeast is actually much different than baking yeast, so it wouldn’t work to substitute other types of yeast for nutritional yeast. It is yellow and flaky and has a nice cheesy flavor that is perfect for a vegan alfredo sauce! You should be able to find it at any health food store :)

  7. says

    YUM!!!! I am loving this recipe Izzy, all of the flavours sound so delicious! I love making creamy sauces from cashews, they’re the best! All of the herbs and spices you used sound amazing, and I love the photographs – they’re making me so hungry! Thank you for sharing :)

    • She Likes Food says

      They really are the best! I just made a salad dressing last week and I’m obsessed with! Thank you so much, Harriet :)

  8. Mariah @ Mariah's Pleasing Plates says

    This pasta looks AMAZINGGG! And my husband is the biggest broccoli lover so I know he will love this too!
    Pinning!

    • She Likes Food says

      We used to eat so much alfredo and I never though about how it might not be so great for you, lol! But at least the cashew fat is good fat! I hope you love this, Nicole :)

  9. says

    I really need to get on board with cashews and creamy sauces like this one! This looks so incredible and I love cashews, I’d bet I’d love this too 😉

  10. says

    Loooove this, Izzy! Cashews are amazing and soooo versatile. I continue to be impressed and inspired by them… like this recipe! They’re right up there with chickpeas, if you ask me! This creamy alfredo pasta is quite impressive… love the broccoli you’ve tossed in. Oh yeah, I know Annie’s… good stuff. Thank you for this, Izzy!! Yum!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you, Traci!! Me too! There really isn’t anything you can’t do with them! I make sure to always have a big bag on hand :)

  11. says

    I really need to try this. I grew up eating cashews (my mom put it in stir-frys) and I love them so much but have never used them in any way like this. It looks amazing and the flavor has to be incredible. Their butteriness is so good for this kind of use.

    • She Likes Food says

      Ohh, cashews in stir frys is such a good idea! Their butteriness makes them go so well in so many different dishes, both sweet and savory! I think you will love this pasta :)

  12. says

    This looks so comforting and delicious, Izzy! I would have never guessed it was made from cashews. They really are an amazing ingredient! And I love that you used herbs de Provence. I have an enormous container of it from when we went to France last fall so this pretty much HAS to happen in my kitchen. :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you, Sarah!! They are so awesome and make everything taste better! I really think you will love this!! I just started using herbs de provence and I’m obsessed! I love adding them to french fries :) I hope your weekend is going well!

  13. Jennifer says

    I finally got around to making this, and it is the BEST dairy-free alfredo I’ve had since I discovered my mustard allergy. Now, let’s see how many pounds I can gain from eating a mountain of cashews…

    • She Likes Food says

      Hi Jennifer! I’m so glad you liked it!! Yeah, I just like to tell myself that the cashews are the good kind of fat :)

  14. Kate says

    I just made this (went a little off the recipe with spices) and it is INCREDIBLE. I really didn’t think it would be that good. I boiled the cashews (forgot to soak them). It’s outstanding. Maybe I’ve been vegan too long, but I think this is better than any ‘real’ alfredo sauce I have ever had. Excellent recipe.

    • She Likes Food says

      Hi Kate! I’m so glad you liked it!! I really think it tastes better than regular alfredo sauce too, much more flavor! Thanks so much for letting me know how it turned out :)

  15. Laura says

    This recipe was easy to make and absolutely delicious. I’m not a vegan but a gluten free, low fodmap vegetarian who tries to limit the amount of dairy in my diet. The alfredo sauce is very savoury and a great alternative to the real deal. Thank you!

    • She Likes Food says

      Hi Laura! I’m the same exact way, not strictly non dairy but try to limit it. And I Love cooking with cashews! I’m so glad you enjoyed it :)

  16. Amber Mustard says

    Herbs De Provence. What is this? Can I substitute? Hoping to make this tonight. I’m a cashew nacho cheese warrior…(recipe at 40aprons.com) and hope I love this too!!

    • She Likes Food says

      Hi Amber, sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. Herbs De Provence is just a mixture of dried herbs containing things like basil, oregano and lavender. You can most certainly sub dried Italian seasoning or even just dried oregano or basil for it. I hope you enjoy this alfredo sauce!

  17. Rachel says

    I am a mother of a newborn and try to prep meals ahead of time. This looks delicious. I am dairy-free while breast feeding. Wondering how long the alfredo sauce can be stored in the fridge before using???

  18. Kari says

    We have vegetarians and non in our family. I like to make things that I hope everyone can eat and will like. Thank you so much for this recipe, this definitely pleased some of each! I did have to make some adaptions due to missing (nutritional yeast) or different ingredients and it still came out amazing. I had roasted cashews, but I did boil them for about 20 minutes to soften and they worked fine (raw, sprouted would likely be healthier-I’d like to try that next time). I used dried oregano and dried basil and a little BB Vegetarian bouillon. I really look forward to trying it the “official” way someday!
    P.S. Your website and pictures really are beautiful.

    • She Likes Food says

      I’m so glad to hear that everyone enjoyed this recipe, Kari! I’m intrigued by the use of the roasted cashews, did it give it a really nice roasted nutty taste? That sounds like it could be really good! Thank you so much for your comment and kind words! :)

  19. Jerry says

    Thank you for saving me :-)
    I had a friend the other day ask me to find her a recipe for Alfredo Sauce, BUT she was making it for a friend and he has strict dietary restrictions so she asked me to find one without the following:
    Soy
    Dairy
    wheat or gluten
    onions or leeks
    cauliflower
    very little spice
    and no lentils
    wow what a challenge! I didn’t think I was going to find one, but then came across your recipe and you as I said saved the day!
    So I am handing you a Virtual Medal of Hero :-)

    Wonderful sauce, we tried with the pasta as directed, and we tried it on plain pasta without the broccoli (as he can’t have that either) and it was so good, we tried it on him and he loved it and asked for more, something he never does! One serving of any food is his normal max, and sometimes that is even a struggle to get him to have.
    But this is perfect, thank you a million times over!

  20. Marissa says

    Hi!

    This looks amazing but I am allergic to almonds. Would substituting unsweetened coconut milk work?

    Thanks!

    • She Likes Food says

      Hi Marissa, I definitely think that would work! It might give it a slight coconut flavor, but I still think it would be good!

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