You’ll love this dairy-free, lightened up variation of Chicken Alfredo! Serve over vegetable noodles for a complete Paleo dinner the whole family will love!
I can’t remember the last time I had real alfredo sauce, I just know that it probably tasted divine but made my stomach hurt. You too? What’s not to love about a creamy garlic and cheesy sauce? It tastes so good, but doesn’t ever sit well with my digestive system. The heavy cream, butter, and cheese is just a little too heavy for me to enjoy. So I’ve been on a mission to re-create a Paleo variation. Something to feel comfort food-ish, but without the heaviness! I recently came across this vegan alfredo from The Vegan 8. It looked fairly simple, had fantastic reviews, and I thought it would be a perfect dinner with some chicken. So off to work I went creating a dreamy, creamy, cashew alfredo sauce with flavorful garlic…….
I’ve gussied up the version to include more garlic, and even a tad bit of tahini to get it even more creamy. And I pretty much love it. It may have a permanent place in my fridge of sauces that I cannot live without.
I think it’s important to let you all know…..This doesn’t taste like an exact replica of alfredo sauce. That is pretty difficult to do without dairy products. However, you still get the same “I want to lick my plate clean” comforting feeling from this creamy garlic flavored sauce. It’s about as close as you can get! It was perfect over zucchini noodles, my husband enjoyed with potato noodles. Also, it was super tasty with my Roasted Broccoli, but would also be super yummy with some earthy garlic mushrooms.
I do want to give you a few important details. There really is no substitution for the ingredients below, I cannot vouch for the consistency or taste if you change things up. I have made this a few times to get it just right, and one super important detail is to ensure that you soak your cashews in hot water for long enough. At least an hour is preferred. A high powered blender is also important, a food processor won’t work. If you want the smoothest sauce possible, you can soak the cashews for several hours and even overnight (especially if you are unsure about the power of your blender). I did put fresh basil as optional, but it’s kind of necessary! It tastes soooooo good with a healthy sprinkle of basil, and cracked black pepper.
- ½ cup raw cashews
- 1 lb chicken breast tenders (can also use pre-cooked chicken to make it easy)
- 2-3 tbsp avocado oil (or olive oil), divided
- 6 cloves garlic, minced and divided
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 2 cups chicken broth, divided
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp tahini
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast (non synthetic type)*
- Salt and Pepper
- ⅓ cup fresh chopped basil (optional)
- Vegetable noodles to serve
- Soak your raw cashews for at least one hour in hot water, up to 12 hours. Drain and set aside when ready to cook.
- Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Salt and pepper your chicken breast strips, If you have large chicken breasts, cut into smaller pieces so the cook time is shorter. Add 2 tbsp avocado oil to the skillet, then add 2 cloves minced garlic. Heat the garlic for just one minute until flavorful, then add the chicken to the skillet. Cook for 3-5 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked all the way through. Do not overcook. Set aside to a plate and cover with foil.
- Add the remaining avocado oil to the pan. Add in chopped onion. Let saute for 2-3 minutes to give the onion a bit more flavor. Now add the remaining minced garlic, then add in 1 cup chicken broth.
- Let the broth and onion/garlic mixture simmer for 8-10 minutes or until onion is completely soft. You may need to add in a bit more broth to prevent any burning. But the broth should be almost completely evaporated once the onions are ready.
- Place onion/garlic into your blender. Now add the remaining chicken broth (about 1 cup), lemon juice, tahini, nutritional yeast, and cashews. Mix in your blender on high speed until you have a smooth and creamy sauce. This may take a few minutes. You can prepare your noodles while the sauce is being made.
- Once the sauce is smooth, adjust with salt and pepper to taste, or even add in a bit more lemon if the nut taste is strong or more nutritional yeast (for cheesy flavor).
- If the sauce is cool, you can heat up in a small saucepan to serve (or microwave).
- Serve over vegetable noodles with fresh cracked pepper, salt, and fresh basil.