Our versatile dairy free alfredo sauce is perfect for adding on top of your favorite allergy friendly pasta or other dishes! This recipe is thick and creamy, flavorful, and is made without cashews and doesn’t require a food processor.
If you have dairy allergies or choose not to eat dairy, we have the recipe for you today: a silky and creamy homemade dairy free alfredo sauce recipe!
Our allergy friendly version of alfredo sauce is so good over allergy friendly pasta or gnocchi (we love a good gnocchi!), and it’s not made with cashews, beans, or cauliflower. You won’t need a food processor for this recipe and it’s pretty easy to make.
This alfredo is really versatile, too. It tastes great on chicken, sauteed veggies, and wherever you want to add some creaminess to a dish.
Allergy notes for our dairy free alfredo:
- Dairy free
- Gluten free
- Peanut free
- Made without cashews, beans, or cauliflower
How to make dairy free alfredo sauce
Making your own creamy alfredo sauce at home is fairly simple! Here is an overview of the steps to make this recipe (the full recipe card is at the end of the post):
- Place 2 1/2 cups of coconut milk into a 1-quart saucepan, setting aside the other 1/2 cup for the cornstarch slurry we’ll add later.
- Heat over medium to medium-low heat and whisk in the nutritional yeast flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, all purpose cajun seasoning, lemon juice, and black pepper.
- Stir periodically to prevent scorching.
- When this mixture gets hot and starts to bubble a bit, add the dairy free parmesan cheese and the dairy free mozzarella cheese and whisk in until it has melted into the coconut milk and everything is smooth.
- Whisk the cornstarch into the 1/2 cup of coconut that was set aside and mix until smooth (this is the cornstarch slurry).
- Pour the cornstarch slurry into the hot coconut milk mixture, reduce the heat slightly to medium-low to low, and whisk regularly until the sauce gets thick.
- Turn off the heat and adjust the taste of our sauce with additional salt, pepper, or lemon juice as needed to suit your taste. Add to your favorite pasta, gnocchi, or other dish.
Is this recipe authentic alfredo sauce?
This probably goes without saying since our version of this sauce has no real butter, cream, or parmesan, but our sauce probably can’t technically be called alfredo sauce since it’s made in the traditional way.
Rather than relying on dairy ingredients to thicken this sauce, we use cornstarch to help thicken it. This sauce is a variation on a classic white sauce/bechamel-type sauce made with cornstarch instead of a flour roux.
This base sauce has been a staple in our house for years, and we’ve used some variation of this for a variety of sauces and gravies. Our version is not very white since it doesn’t have real milk or cream, it’s a little yellowish due to the nutritional yeast flakes, but it’s still pretty amazing!
So while this recipe isn’t authentic or traditional alfredo sauce (which is a given due to the dairy being completely gone), it’s delicious and is a great alternative to alfredo for people with multiple food allergies!
Can I make this sauce without coconut milk?
If you have coconut allergies or don’t like coconut, you can use a thick dairy free milk that fits your allergies, such as a thick and creamy oat milk, cashew milk, almond milk, etc.
The final alfredo sauce won’t be quite as thick and creamy as the sauce made with canned coconut milk, but it will still be good! If you swap out the canned coconut milk and feel like it needs to be slightly thicker, you could add an additional 1-2 teaspoons of cornstarch to the slurry for added thickness.
The canned coconut milk that we use doesn’t have a lot of coconut flavor to it, so this sauce doesn’t taste like coconut. But if you still aren’t a fan of the taste of coconut milk, you can use the Silk dairy free half & half or heavy cream alternatives, or the Country Crock Plant Cream.
These options still have coconut in them, but they have a much milder flavor and makes great sauces, ice creams, caramel, etc. I’ve used the Silk cream and half & half but haven’t tried the Country Crock Plant Cream yet.
Just a heads up these products all have beans proteins in them, which I reacted to and had to stop using. But if you can have beans or bean proteins, these are options if you don’t want to use straight canned coconut milk.
Dairy Free Alfredo Sauce (No Cashews)
- 3 cups full fat canned coconut milk
- 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked salt (or regular salt)
- ¾ teaspoon cajun seasoning (we use this on everything as an all purpose seasoning)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Squeeze of fresh lemon juice, to taste (1/2 to 2 teaspoons depending on your preference)
- ¼ cup grated dairy free parmesan cheese (I used Violife)
- ¼ cup dairy free mozzarella cheese (I used Violife)
- 2 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- More salt and pepper to taste if you like
- Add 2 ½ cups of the coconut milk to a small 1 ½ quart saucepan, set aside the other ½ cup for making the cornstarch slurry later.
- Heat the coconut milk over medium low heat and whisk in the nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked salt, cajun seasoning, black pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Once the coconut milk is hot, add the dairy free parmesan cheese and dairy free mozzarella cheese to the coconut milk and melt into the sauce, whisking it in to incorporate the cheese into the sauce. Continue to heat the sauce over medium-low to low heat.
- Whisk the cornstarch into the coconut milk that has been set aside, and add it to the coconut milk mixture. Whisk regularly as the sauce thickens.
- Once the sauce has gotten nice and thick, turn off the heat, add any additional salt or lemon juice to taste, and serve over your favorite pasta dish. This alfredo sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist