This super easy vegan Alfredo sauce with coconut milk is dairy-free, oil-free, gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free. In less time than it takes to boil your fettuccine, you can whip up this rich and creamy sauce with just 5 ingredients.
Even though vegan fettuccine Alfredo may seem like a difficult or fancy meal, it’s actually one of the easiest meals that you can make. You can go ahead and put this meal into your busy weeknight dinner rotation!
What makes this vegan Alfredo thick and cheesy?
The secret to making this sauce the perfect texture is tapioca starch (aka tapioca flour). The tapioca starch thickens the sauce giving it a stretchy cheese texture that stays consistent even after it starts to cool down.
*You can use corn starch, arrowroot, or potato starch instead of the tapioca starch, for a similar effect, but nothing matches the stretchy constancy of the tapioca starch. The other types of starch will also thicken and get gloppy once the sauce cools, whereas the tapioca starch will maintain its constancy even after the dish cools down.
I learned the miracles of tapioca starch when perfecting my stretchy vegan grilled cheese recipe. It is the secret ingredient that makes my cheese recipe stretch.
What you will need to make coconut Alfredo and why:
- Coconut Milk - for the base of your Alfredo sauce. Use 1 13/5 oz can of full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream. The high-fat content in the coconut milk will give you the mouthfeel and satisfaction of real Alfredo sauce.
- Water - to thin out the sauce a little.
- Nutritional Yeast - for flavor. This isn't absolutely necessary if you don't have it or can't eat it, but it gives the sauce a nice savory cheesy flavor.
- Tapioca Starch - to thicken the sauce and give it a stretchy texture. You can use corn starch or potato starch instead, but you will not get the same texture.
- Salt - for flavor
- Garlic Powder - for flavor. You can also use fresh minced garlic if you would like.
- Liquid Smoke - for a smoked gouda flavor. This is completely optional, but I think it's delicious. It makes the sauce taste like smoked gouda cheese.
- Pasta - you can use fettuccine, linguini, or any shaped pasta that you like!
How do I make Alfredo sauce with coconut milk?
- Simply pour a can of full-fat coconut milk into a saucepan and add water, salt, nutritional yeast, garlic, and tapioca starch to the milk and give it all a stir.
- After all the ingredients are mixed, turn on the heat to medium-low and heat the sauce while stirring frequently until it starts to boil and thicken.
- Allow it to boil for about 30 seconds and then turn off the heat.
- Once your pasta is cooked and rinsed, pour the sauce over the pasta and mix well and serve hot.
Tips for making great vegan Alfredo sauce:
- If you like the flavor of smoked Gouda, add 2 tbsp of hickory liquid smoke for a smoked Gouda Alfredo you won't be able to stop eating!
- Top with sauteed mushrooms for mushroom Alfredo too!
- You can also toss in some steamed broccoli or any other veggies that you like to add extra nutrition.
What if I don’t like the flavor of coconut?
This Alfredo sauce has a very mild coconut flavor, but if you don’t like coconut, you can easily replace the coconut milk with 1 3/4 cup plain soy milk and 1/4 cup of any neutral-flavored oil.
What type of pasta can I use to make gluten-free fettuccine Alfredo?
I like to use Tinkyada brand fettuccine noodles when I make this dish gluten-free. As far as gluten-free noodles go, they are surprisingly delicious. However, this sauce tastes great on any shape noodles. Feel free to go ahead and use your favorite gluten-free pasta.
Tip for making perfect gluten-free pasta: If you use gluten-free pasta, make sure to boil it in slightly more water than you would boil wheat pasta. Drain it in a colander and rinse well until the water runs clear.
Check out these delicious vegan pasta dishes:
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A rich and creamy vegan Alfredo sauce made with coconut milk that is free of gluten, soy, and dairy.
Cook pasta of choice according to package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, pour a can of full-fat coconut milk into a saucepan and add water, salt, nutritional yeast, garlic, and tapioca starch to the milk and give it all a stir.
After the ingredients are mixed, turn on the heat to medium-low and heat the sauce while stirring frequently until it starts to boil and thicken.
Allow it to boil for about 30 seconds and then turn off the heat.
Once the pasta has been cooked, drained and rinsed, pour the Alfredo sauce over it. Mix well and serve hot.
- Use full-fat coconut milk for this recipe.
- You may sub the coconut milk and water for 1 3/4 cups of PLAIN soy milk and 1/4 cup neutral-flavored oil.
- For a Smoked Gouda Alfredo, simply add 2 tbsp liquid smoke to the sauce.
- You may sub corn starch, potato starch, or arrowroot powder for the tapioca starch, but it will not deliver the same texture.
*This recipe was originally published on August 8, 2018. It was updated on April 24, 2020, to include new images and more detailed information.