Vegan Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo

By Alexandra Caspero on February 6, 2020
Vegan Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo! This dairy-free Alfredo sauce is SO amazing and layered with umami. If you are looking for the best vegan pasta, this is it. A must-try for anyone-- vegan or not! This recipe was first posted in 2018 and updated.
Prep time: 20 min / Cook Time: 1 hr 10 min / Total Time: 1 hr 30 min

This is the pasta of all vegan pastas.

It’s creamy, it’s rich, it’s satisfying and it’s layered with so much meaty umami flavor that you’ll swear this pasta is secretly loaded with butter and cream.

Did you see my post last year where I talked about the secret behind delicious plant-based food? If not, I went in-depth on the science behind umami and why it’s often the missing link between good vegan food and great vegan food.

Vegan Mushroom Fettuccini Alfredo

The Best Vegan Pasta Recipe

I’ve shared a lot of pasta recipes over the years, but this vegan mushroom version might take the cake. If you like fettuccine alfredo, then this pasta is for you.

The sauce starts with a base of caramelized onions and mushrooms. These can take up to 45 minutes, so don’t rush them. Turn the heat on low and let the vegetables do their thing. Onions can go from browned to burnt fairly quickly so check on them every few minutes and don’t be tempted to turn the heat up too much.

In addition to fresh mushrooms, we are adding in dried mushrooms to this sauce. Why? Because dried mushrooms contain much more umami than fresh ones! Again, this pasta is all about layering savory flavors and the dried mushrooms are key.

I chose dried porcini mushrooms over morels because they tend to be less expensive, so feel free to do one or the other or a mix of wild mushrooms. Soak them in hot water until soft, then remove the stems, chop and add to the mushroom mixture.

caramelized onions

skillet of vegan mushroom fettuccini alfredo

Then we make the cream sauce. A blend of cashews, nutritional yeast (more umami!)
and salt. Blend until super smooth, then add to the sauce. I’m also calling for a splash of balsamic vinegar to cut through the richness of the sauce.

See how silky that sauce is? I love how it clings to the fettuccini noodles so perfectly. This really is one of my favorite vegan pasta dishes. I can’t wait for you to try this one! Make it, then come back and tell me what you think. Can you tell the umami difference? Vegan Mushroom Fettuccini Alfredo

close up of pasta bowl of fettuccini alfredo

 

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bowl of vegan mushroom fettuccini

Vegan Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: pasta, vegan, dinner, healthy
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, Italian

Description

Vegan Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo! This vegan Alfredo is SO amazing and layered with umami. If you are looking for the best vegan pasta, this is it. A must-try for anyone– vegan or not!


  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: pasta, vegan, dinner, healthy
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, Italian
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: pasta, vegan, dinner, healthy
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, Italian
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 ounce dried mushrooms (morels, porcini or a mix of both)
  • 1 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 10 ounces shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup cashews, preferably soaked for ~4 hours (see notes)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 12 ounces dried fettuccine

Instructions

  1. Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with hot/boiling water. Let soak for 30 minutes while preparing the onions.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat, add the oil and the thinly sliced onions, salt and sugar and cook until very brown and caramelized, about 45 minutes. You’ll want to stir the onions fairly often so they don’t burn or stick.
  3. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and thinly slice, then add to the cooked onions (along with a little more oil, if needed) and stir together. Drain the dried mushrooms (save the liquid) and finely chop, then add to the skillet. Stir, cooking often, until the mushrooms are reduced and browned. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and season to taste, adding more salt if needed. If the mushrooms start to stick, add a little of the reserved soaking liquid, then stir.
  4. While the mushrooms/onions are cooking, place the cashews in the base of a blender with the water, a pinch of salt and the nutritional yeast. Puree until very creamy and smooth. Depending on the power of your blender, this may take a few minutes.
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add in the fettuccine and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water.
  6. Add the cream to the skillet and reduce heat to low, then stir together. Add in the cooked fettuccine and toss together, adding reserved pasta water as needed to help the sauce cling to the noodles. Season to taste as needed, adding more salt and freshly cracked pepper as desired. Serve! This one is so good!

Notes

  • Cashews blend better when soaked. However, if you don’t have time or forget, then I recommend pouring boiling/hot water over the cashews and let soak for 10 minutes, then drain.

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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    1. Kelly
      June 5, 2022 AT 12:14 pm

      Is there a way to use frozen mushrooms instead of fresh?

    2. Rachel
      August 23, 2021 AT 3:06 pm

      Do you wait till the onions are carmelized (45 min) to add the mushrooms, then continue cooking together? Or do you add the mushrooms early on so the total for both together is about 45 min?
      Thanks!

      1. Alex
        August 25, 2021 AT 1:34 pm

        Hi Rachel, sorry for the confusion. Yes, brown the onions first and then add the mushrooms. I updated the language to be more clear.

    3. Linda Nienhuis
      December 17, 2020 AT 8:07 pm

      Just made this tonight and wanted to give you a current review. This recipe is fantastic and easy. I’ve been vegan for 10 years but my sweetie is an omnivore and we both loved it. Had to stop eating before we popped. Enough left over for lunch, yay. I used fresh Shirataki Tofu wide noodles and like I said, OMG. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO. Linda

      1. Alex
        December 18, 2020 AT 8:02 am

        Glad you liked it! Thanks, Linda

    4. Joe
      December 28, 2019 AT 7:55 pm

      I’m curious about the onion/mushroom mix. How long do you cook it? I can’t imagine cooking the mushrooms for the full 45. In. Onions yes but mushrooms?

      1. Alex
        August 25, 2021 AT 1:35 pm

        Onions for the 45 minutes first, then add the mushrooms

    5. Lucy Teichert
      November 18, 2019 AT 6:31 pm

      This looks really yummy, but my store doesn’t carry dried mushrooms. Will it still be yummy with regular?

      1. Alex
        November 19, 2019 AT 9:16 am

        Yes, will still work. Dried mushrooms have more umami flavor but this should still get great with fresh!

    6. Meagan
      October 24, 2018 AT 8:10 am

      This recipe looks perfect and I can’t wait to make it. However, my husband is deathly allergic to cashews (and pistachios). Any way to omit or substitute them??

      1. Alex
        October 24, 2018 AT 9:08 am

        Hi Jane, I haven’t tried sunflower seeds in a sauce like this- but I know other’s who have and like it. Or, you could try another sauce all together. I would make a thickened cream sauce using a plant-based milk- like soy. So, make a roux with coconut oil or oil/butter (vegan or otherwise) and add some flour and cook until browned. Then, whisk in soy milk until thickened and season with salt/pepper/nutritional yeast.