If you’ve been looking for a healthier alfredo pasta sauce recipe (that's also vegan!), here it is. This one, which you can make with either silken tofu or cannellini beans, is mild and creamy, but harbors a fraction of the fat and calories of the traditional cream-based sauce. While the pasta is tasty in an of itself, what totally makes it for me are the veggie toppings, which can be varied each time. This is delicious with a briny salad like Chickpea and Carrot Salad with Parsley and Olives and some tomato wedges. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.
Healthy Pasta with Vegan Alfredo Sauce
- 12 oz pasta see Note below recipe box
- 1 tbsp vegan buttery spread such as Earth Balance or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 –4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 12.3 oz container silken tofu, or 1 (15–16 oz) can cannellini (large white beans), drained and rinsed
- ⅔ cup unsweetened nondairy milk
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- freshly ground pepper to taste
Toppings (use any or all)
- fresh vegetables broccoli, spinach, chard, kale, cauliflower, bell peppers, etc., steamed and chopped
- sun-dried tomatoes or black olives sliced
- fresh parsley or basil leaves chopped
- nutritional yeast flakes or "Parmesan"-Style Cheez
- Cook the pasta in plenty of steadily boiling water until al dente, then drain.
- Meanwhile, heat the Earth Balance or oil in a small skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until both are golden. Remove from the heat and transfer to a food processor.
- Add the tofu or beans, and nondairy milk to the food processor. Process until completely smooth and creamy. With beans, especially, let it run for a few minutes, to make sure they get nice and creamy.
- Combine the pasta and sauce in a large serving bowl and toss together.
- Season with pepper and taste to see if you’d like to add more salt. If the mixture needs to be moister, add a small amount of additional nondairy milk and toss again. The pasta will absorb some of the sauce as it stands, so make sure to moisten leftovers with additional nondairy milk.
- Cover the pasta and prepare any of the toppings you'd like to serve with it. The other toppings can simply be placed in small bowls and passed around to embellish individual portions.
Note: This works well with the traditional fettuccine, and is also nice with spinach ribbons, pappardelle, whole wheat pastas, or vegetable-filled tortellini.
- Click here for lots more lighter seasonal vegan pasta recipes.