When cashews are involved you just know it’s gonna be goooood, and this quick, easy and oh-so-delicious, homemade oil free Vegan Cashew Alfredo Sauce is just that and SO much more! Rich cashews create an ultra decadent and creamy sauce that is perfect for your favorite pastas and veggies. It can be whipped up in just about 20 minutes, which is a total bonus, and perfect for those busy week nights. We paired this velvety sauce with hearty gluten free pasta, refreshing zoodles, and tasty baby sweet peas, and topped with sunflower shoots for a fabulous comfort meal. It is sure to absolutely delight your taste buds, making it this week’s awesome Whip It Up Wednesday recipe. Whole Food Plant Based, vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients and gluten free.
- 1/3 cup raw cashews *
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup zucchini, peeled, ½ inch diced pieces (measure 1 cup after zucchini has been diced)
Alfredo Sauce Ingredients:
- 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 Tablespoons flour (of choice)
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened plain plant milk
- 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 Tablespoon miso *
- 1 teaspoon ume plum vinegar (optional)
- 1 Tablespoon dried onion flakes
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 12 oz. pasta (of choice)
- 1 cup frozen baby sweet peas
- 1 small zucchini, spiralized/zoodled, unpeeled (optional)
- Italian microgreens
- Sunflower shoots
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese (we didn’t use)
Pasta Boil Instructions
- Fill a large stock pot full of water. Add some sea salt to the water. Bring the water to a boil then add the pasta. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Note: You want to coordinate the completion of the pasta cooking time with the completion of the Alfredo sauce. If unsure, then just wait to put the pasta into the boiling water once the Alfredo sauce is done. Just turn the Alfredo sauce down really low or remove from the stove. Boil the pasta until el dente, then transfer the cooked pasta into the Alfredo sauce. Save about 1/4 cup of hot pasta water as you may (or may not) need a little pasta water to thin out the Alfredo sauce.
Cashew/Zucchini Boil Instructions:
- In a medium-sized sauce pan, place 1/3 cup raw cashews, 1 cup water, and 1 cup diced zucchini. Boil for 10 minutes, then set aside to slightly cool until ready to add to the pot. Note; Do not drain the water. You will add it to the Alfredo sauce along with the boiled cashews and zucchini.
Alfredo Sauce Instructions
- In a large ceramic/enamel lined skillet (or nonstick skillet), add the finely diced onion, sauté over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes until the onions are tender. If needed to prevent sticking, add a splash of vegetable broth or water.
- Add the minced garlic and sauté for one minute.
- Sprinkle the flour over the sautéed onions and garlic and then sauté the flour for a few minutes. They will look like flour covered lumps, that is fine.
- Next add the remaining Alfredo Sauce Ingredients, including the boiled zucchini, cashews and water from earlier. Stir to combine, then cook for a few minutes to incorporate. (Note; This will look a little strange at first).
- Then take the Alfredo mixture and place it into a high-speed blender and blend on high for one minute to make the mixture creamy and smooth. You may have to do this in several batches, then return to the cooking pot.
- Next gently fold in the baby sweet peas, spiralized zucchini zoodles and cooked pasta. Cook for a minute or two. If the sauce is too thick, add a teaspoon of the reserved hot pasta water at a time until it reaches the consistency you desire.
- Serve immediately.
*Ume Plum Vinegar: Ume Plum Vinegar is perfect for this recipe as it has that deliciously tangy flavor. It is relatively inexpensive. We use it quite frequently and it worth requesting it from your local grocery, or ordering off of Amazon in our humble opinion.
*Cashew Substitutes: You can typically substitute cashews with other nut and seeds, silken tofu, or white beans with the understanding that the flavor and texture will change accordingly. We have not kitchen tested any substitutions.
*Miso: We used Miso Master Organic Mellow White Premium Lite Miso, Certified Gluten Free. Miso really lends itself to balancing flavors when you don’t use oil. You can also substitute with chickpea miso for a soy free version.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Storage: Refrigerate and use within 5 days.