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Cheesy Vegan Alfredo Recipe

This Vegan Chicken alfredo hits all the marks: all the cheesy-goodness you could ask for, al dente noodles, and delectable seitan. With an ultra-rich and creamy sauce, this one is definitely a win for the Vegans!

Vegan Chicken Alfredo

When I have a craving for something, it’s only a matter of time before it has to happen. This time, it was my partner who had the craving. We were watching a YouTube video– one of those taste test videos– that was all about pasta. It was then that he divulged to me that his favorite pasta pre-vegetarianism was chicken alfredo and that this video had him craving it. My partner is what I like to call “almost vegan”; his stomach is very sensitive to dairy products, and we don’t eat any meat, but he just can’t quite get off of eggs– they’re his favorite! (If you’re looking for some almost vegan recipes, might I suggest this French Onion Soup?) So I set out to make a vegan chicken alfredo. When the craving hits there’s only one thing to do: satisfy it!

Vegan Chicken Alfredo Ingredients

Penne Noodles: Although you can use any noodles you want, I recommend a short pasta for this recipe. Penne is what I choose, but fusilli or cavatappi would work well too. I’m only using 8oz, which for me was half of the box.

Vegan Butter: Use whatever brand of vegan butter you like, I prefer Miyoko’s. Here I’m using three Tablespoons.

Flour: I love making bechamel and I can’t tell you how excited I am that you can do that with vegan butter. For this recipe, I’m using one Tablespoon of all-purpose flour.

Vegan Half &Half: I love the Forager brand, and they make a wonderful vegan half & half made from cashew milk and coconut cream. I’m using one cup of it.

Vegan Mozzarella shreds: I know that traditional alfredo doesn’t have mozzarella, but trust me when I say if you do it with only vegan parmesan it will be inedibly salty! (I test the recipes so you don’t have to!) For this recipe, I’m using ½ cup of the shreds.

Vegan Parmesan: The only vegan parmesan I’ve found is by Follow Your Heart brand. Since this is our source of salt, I recommend adding it to taste.

Garlic: Oh, garlic. Where would we be without you? I started with three cloves, but add your garlic to taste.

Black and White Pepper: I like using a blend of black and white pepper in white sauces. Again, add this ingredient to taste.

Seitan: I got the kind that already came in chunks, but you can use whatever your favorite meat replacement is. I recommend against anything that would come off too “beefy” as the goal is to get a chicken-esque final product.

How to Make Vegan Chicken Alfredo

Boil the pasta. In a pot, bring salted water to a boil, then add your pasta and reduce the heat to medium. When you have finished boiling your pasta, do not throw out the water! Vegan cheese has a tendency to be… we’ll call it thick. The pasta water can help loosen the sauce.

Melt the butter. In a large saucepan, melt three tablespoons of vegan butter over medium-low heat.

Gradually add the flour. In order to avoid clumps, add one tablespoon of flour incrementally, ensuring that each addition is fully incorporated before adding more. 

Add the garlic. Once the flour is fully incorporated, add the garlic, stirring constantly until fragrant. 

Heat the half and half. It’s important to warm the milk before adding it to the pan so you don’t shock the mixture and make it clumpy. I microwaved one cup of vegan half & half for about 30 seconds. It doesn’t have to be hot, just not cold. 

Add the heated half and half to the pan. Once the cream is no longer cold, add it to the pan. Stir until the butter mixture fully works itself into the milk, then allow the milk to warm.

Add the cheese. Once the bechamel is warm, gradually add the vegan mozzarella shreds. Ensure that each addition is fully melted before adding the next. At this point, I would give the sauce a taste, so you can estimate how much parmesan to add and then do so. 

Add the pepper. This is a great time to take stock of the flavors happening in your sauce and make some adjustments because next, we’re adding the pasta, after which it will be more difficult to evenly distribute the desired ingredients.

Assembly

Transfer the pasta. Since we’re going to want some of the pasta water anyways, I prefer not to drain the pasta at all. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pasta from the water into the saucepan. The residual water that clings to the noodles will help loosen the sauce. Stir in the pasta until it’s fairly evenly coated. At this point, if the sauce is still thicker than you’d prefer, you can add in more pasta water. Keep in mind that the pasta water is salted, so you may want to taste before adding too much of it. 

Heat the seitan. I simply warmed it in a pan and served it on the side. 

Enjoy! I hope you enjoyed this vegan Alfredo recipe. Make sure to check out more vegan recipes!

Vegan Chicken Alfredo
Yield: 4 Servings

Vegan Chicken Alfredo

Vegan Chicken Alfredo close up

This Vegan Chicken alfredo hits all the marks: all the cheesy-goodness you could ask for, al dente noodles, and delectable seitan. With the ultra-rich and creamy sauce, this one is definitely a win for the Vegans!

Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8oz Penne
  • 3 Tablespoons Vegan butter
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup vegan half & half
  • 1/2 cup vegan mozzarella shreds
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Vegan Parmesan, to taste
  • Black and white pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Boil the pasta. In a pot, bring salted water to a boil, then add your pasta and reduce the heat to medium. When you have finished boiling your pasta, do not throw out the water! Vegan cheese has a tendency to be… we’ll call it thick. The pasta water can help make the sauce more, well, saucy, and less gloopy. 
  2. Melt the butter. In a large saucepan, melt three tablespoons of vegan butter over medium-low heat. Because we want this to be a blanc bechamel, you don’t want to let the butter get too brown. (But isn’t it cool that vegan butter will brown? So many possibilities!)
  3. Gradually add the flour. In order to avoid clumps, add one tablespoon of flour incrementally, ensuring that each addition is fully incorporated before adding more. 
  4. Add the garlic. Once the flour is fully incorporated, add the garlic, stirring constantly until fragrant. 
  5. Heat the half and half. It’s important to warm the milk before adding it to the pan so you don’t shock the mixture and make the flour and garlic clump up. I microwaved one cup of vegan half & half for about 30 seconds. It doesn’t have to be hot, just not cold. 
  6. Add the heated half and half to the pan. Once the cream is no longer cold, you can add it to the pan. Stir so that the butter mixture fully works itself into the milk, then allow the milk to come to temperature.
  7. Add the cheese. Once the bechamel is warm enough, add the vegan mozzarella shreds in additions. You want to ensure that each addition is fully melted before adding the next. This will help the mixture stay warm enough to actually melt the cheese. At this point, I would give the sauce a taste, so you can estimate how much parmesan to add and then do so. 
  8. Add the pepper. As I mentioned earlier, I enjoy having both the subtle flavors of white pepper and the more dominant and exciting flavors of black pepper in white sauces. This is a great time to take stock of the flavors happening in your sauce and make some adjustments because next, we’re adding the pasta, after which it will be more difficult to evenly distribute the desired ingredients.
  9. Transfer the pasta. Since we’re going to want some of the pasta water anyways, I prefer not to drain the pasta at all. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pasta from the water into the saucepan. The residual water that clings to the noodles will help loosen the sauce. Stir in the pasta until it’s fairly evenly coated. At this point, if the sauce is still thicker than you’d prefer, you can add in more pasta water. Keep in mind that the pasta water is salted, so you may want to taste before adding too much of it. 
  10. Heat the seitan. I simply warmed it in a pan and served it on the side. 
  11. Assemble and enjoy!

Notes

If you decide to substitute with a different type of non-dairy milk or creamer make sure it is not sweetened! Sweet cheesy pasta is a truly uncanny experience.

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