20-Minute Dairy-Free Pesto Alfredo
Show me someone who doesn’t love pesto and I’ll give you a hundred dollars. Show me someone who doesn’t like this 20-Minute Dairy-Free Pesto Alfredo and I’ll give you a million.
Whenever I’m craving something homey and comforting that’s a little lighter, I’m all about some pesto. In fact, I always keep a stock of pesto frozen into ice cubes in the freezer for when the craving hits. And with Spring coming, you can bet that craving’s going to strike even more frequently.
But sometimes you need something super comforting, cozy and a little creamy, and that’s where Pesto Alfredo comes in. Luke originally created Pesto Alfredo to use on our Italian Nachos, and now we make it for all kinds of reasons.
But after I had spent a couple months developing dairy-free recipes for some vegan and paleo clients, I had come up with a dairy-free (or dairy-light) alfredo sauce that was insanely creamy and flavorful. So I knew I had to pesto it!
What we ended up with here is a Dairy-Free Pesto Alfredo that comes together in under 20 minutes. The creamy base is made up of steamed cauliflower and a handful of cashews, mixed with water and seasoning. Then it’s added to a saute pan to thicken a bit and add in the pesto sauce. I use my frozen pesto cubes, but you can use any pre-made pesto that you have on hand!
- 1/4 cup cashews soaked 4 hours and drained
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup cauliflower florets
- 2 garlic cloves separated
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 1/2 lb of your favorite pasta
In a high-speed blender, combine the cashews and water and blend for 1 minute until smooth.
Steam the cauliflower florets and drain off any liquid. Add to the blender along with 1 clove of garlic, nutritional yeast, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Blend on high for 1 minute until combined and smooth.
Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and set aside.
In a medium saute pan, add the olive oil over medium heat. Mince the remaining garlic clove and add to the hot oil. Saute for 30 seconds, then pour in the sauce from the blender. Mix well with a spatula and let cook on medium heat about 5 minutes--it should be lightly bubbling, stir frequently. Add in the pesto and red pepper flakes, if using. Stir well to combine and let cook for another 5 minutes to fully combine and thicken.
Toss the cooked pasta into the sauce and stir well to fully coat. Enjoy!