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4.5 from 6 votes

Vegan alfredo sauce pasta (cashew cauliflower sauce ) Instant pot friendly

Once you try this skinny version Vegan Alfredo sauce pasta made with rich and creamy cashew cauliflower cream you will never go back to dairy ( heavy cream sauce ) again. Easy Instant Pot pasta recipe.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time14 mins
Total Time24 mins
Course: lunch/ dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Calories: 315kcal
Author: Khushboo


  • 2 teaspoon oil *
  • 8 oz Fettuccine approx. half a box
  • 4 cloves garlic minced or pre roasted garlic
  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest * optional
  • 1 teaspoon herb de Provence or dried Italian herb mix of choice
  • Fistful chopped fresh parsley *
  • Couple twists pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Enough water to cover the pasta noodles .

For Cashew Cauliflower cream sauce

  • ¼ cup raw cashews
  • 300 grams or 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast for cheesy flavor
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder or dried onion flakes *
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 rd cup or more chilled water to thin the sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • Couple twists pepper


  • No need to soak cashews beforehand . It steams and softens perfectly.
  • Hit Sauté button on the IP .
  • Add oil and roast garlic for 30 seconds. If going oil free then sauté garlic with 2 tablespoon water.
  • Cancel Sauté mode.
  • Break the pasta noodles in half to fit the pot.
  • Add in enough water to cover the fettuccine.
  • Add in lemon zest and salt.
  • Now place the long leg trivet on top. Refer to pictorial above.
  • Place cauliflower & cashews on the steaming rack and place it on the trivet.
  • Put on the Instant Pot lid and position the black knob to SEALING.
  • Hit MANUAL 6 minutes HIGH PRESSURE.
  • Once the IP beeps, Perform a quick release with back of a spoon.
  • IMPORTANT- Always place a kitchen towel on the knob before turning it to VENTING for Quick release.
  • When the silver pin drops it is safe to open the Instant Pot.
  • Carefully take out the softened cauliflower.
  • With a fork or tongs separate the pasta as they tend to stick together a bit.
  • If you still see water , don’t worry it will become our thick sauce and will soon be absorbed by the pasta.
  • Use chilled water or Place cauliflower cashews  in cold water and drain to cool it down.
  • In a blender add everything called for cauliflower cheese sauce.
  • Blend for 30 seconds or until smooth.
  • We are looking for thick apple sauce consistency.
  • Scoop 2 cups of sauce or more in the pasta or as needed.
  • Add in pepper .
  • Give it a quick mix to coat the pasta.
  • Add in some chopped parsley and reserve some for garnish.
  • Taste test and adjust seasoning if desired.


Use salt responsibly as pasta and sauce both calls for it. Add little and you can always add some later.
I have used chilled water to quickly cool down the cashew cauliflower mixture for blending as soon as I can.
You may make the cauliflower cream sauce before hand and cook pasta on stove top too.
Makes approx 3 cups of sauce.
You may make a big batch of this sauce by increasing the recipe.
Storing cashew cauliflower cream sauce-
Stays well in the fridge up to 3 days and freezes well in freezer safe bags/ containers up to 3 months.
If making this pasta recipe oil free –
Add warm water to the pot as fettuccine or spaghetti type of pasta tends to stick or clump together. Just microwave 2 cups of water and add to the pot or add two cups of water to the pot and let it warm up covered on sauté mode .Then add pasta , push it down with a spoon and top with more normal water if needed until pasta is covered with water. It won’t happen with shorter pastas like penne or rotini. (I have tested this pasta recipe oil free)
What Pasta Water ratio to use in Instant Pot –
Always half of what is mentioned on the package and QR for al dente pasta.
Possible substitutes-
Lemon zest brings out the flavor of this cashew cauliflower sauce , but is completely optional.
Lemon juice brings out the cheesy flavor in this vegan white sauce. So do not skip it.
Skip onion flakes or powder if you don’t have.
Sub parsley with herb of your choice. You may use pasta like penne, bowtie, rotini and spaghetti, elbow too.
Makes a great hidden vegetable pasta sauce for vegan mac and cheese.
Can you make Gluten Free pasta in Instant Pot-
I have not tested this Instant Pot recipe with Gluten Free pasta. You can always cook the traditional way over a cook top. I don’t want my GF friends missing on to this delicious vegan creamy pasta sauce.
You may drizzle some olive oil on the pasta just before serving. But won't be needed.


Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 35mg | Potassium: 490mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 38.4mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 2.5mg