Last summer I made cauliflower “Alfredo” sauce. It was a smash hit in our house. But I did get to thinking, it tastes an awful lot like cauliflower, as one might expect of a cauliflower sauce. What if a recipe called for a basic Alfredo sauce but one couldn’t have dairy? As delicious as cauliflower sauce is, there are times when you need something even more basic but still completely delicious and dairy-free. Like those times I keep thinking I’m going to translate The Gram’s Italian recipes into something paleo. Just whatever, man, a girl can dream. And so, Dairy-Free Cashew Alfredo Sauce is born. And it’s love.
Why? Because aside from tasting so freaking delectable, here’s the thing – I don’t think you can screw this recipe up if you tried. Like, I don’t even think Mom could screw this up, and she couldn’t even bake a potato (that is a completely true statement – the potatoes weren’t baked evenly, we had guests for dinner, and they politely ate them, omigod!).
Why can’t you screw this up? Because it’s one of those throw-in-whatever-you-like recipes. The kind where you add ingredients and taste along the way until you get what you want. Pretty much the way I cook all my meals when I am not blogging. The way my dad cooks. What’s the recipe for that, Dad? “I have no idea. It’s just whatever I pour in the bowl of whatever I want to eat at that moment.”
So about this Dairy-Free Cashew Alfredo Sauce. What I give you are base amounts. Add more of everything, as desired, including olive oil for a richer flavor. And then slather it all over whatever you are eating. We eat it with pasta noodles or veggie noodles. I have dreamed about slathering it all over a hamburger. What about eating it like a soup, as depicted in these updated photos with super-cute bowls from Target? No. Definitely not like that.
Also, about Target. I went for household cleaning supplies and came out with M&Ms and these bowls. I can’t remember who did what to whom. However, prior to my errand, there were a lot of words in the house from people under the age of 10, and crayons and tears. So I went to Target with a full intent to make responsible purchases. And then I ate M&Ms in my car. But maybe I can claim these bowls are “supplies” for the “household.” As for cleaning? Well, they do require cleaning. #CloseEnough
If you don’t have a bowl nearby, then slather this Alfredo sauce all over a spoon. You won’t be disappointed. Add your favorite herbs or a little pepper. Basically, just add all the things.
If you want to pack a true punch, make it a day ahead of time to give the seasonings and garlic time to set. And if you want to make large batches to store for later, use freezer-safe jars, leaving plenty of room at the top for expansion. As for soaking the cashews ahead of time, that is a personal choice. I like to soak them for at least a few hours. But in a pinch, I would absolutely throw them in the blender without soaking. Expect to add a little more water and blend a little longer.
- 1¾ - 2 cups water
- 3½ cups cashews (soaked, optional)
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 2 tbsp olive oil, optional
- dash of pepper
- Herbs as a garnish or mix-in
- Combine water and cashews in high-speed blender. Blend on low to medium speed until smooth, adding more water, if necessary.
- Add sea salt and continue blending on low to medium speed.
- Add garlic and olive oil (If using) and blend until smooth.
- Stir in herbs, if using, and add a dash of pepper.
- Heat in saucepan if serving immediately and mix with desired foods.
- Store in glass jars (freezer-safe for long-term storage).