Creamy Zucchini Alfredo | Dairy-Free & Vegan

GFGluten FreeNFNut FreeVVegan

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

This Creamy Zucchini Alfredo is a hearty, veggie-packed dish that makes the perfect cozy summer lunch or easy-to-make dinner! Vegan, Nut-Free, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Option.

This Creamy Zucchini Alfredo combines hearty pasta, tender summer squash, and a garlicky alfredo sauce for the perfect warm-weather lunch or dinner. Made with 8 simple ingredients in just half an hour! 

zucchini pasta in white bowl with gold fork

PASTA WITH THAT FRESH-FROM-THE-GARDEN FLAVOR

If you have a garden at home, you know the feeling of needing to use up your overflowing produce! This Creamy Zucchini Alfredo is the perfect way to use up zucchini when it’s growing plentifully in your garden or packed on the shelves at your local grocery store. A subtle, but perfect touch, zucchini adds creaminess and heartiness to this alfredo pasta. 

 Zucchini is a summer squash and is in season from June through late August, but can be found at most grocery stores year-round. Its origins trace back to 19th century Milan, Italy where it was prepared in a variety of ways – steamed, boiled, baked, grilled, stuffed, and incorporated into other recipes like breads, soups, and you guessed it…pasta! This Creamy Zucchini Alfredo combines perfectly sautéed zucchini, bouncy bites of pasta, and a mouthwatering vegan alfredo sauce for a comforting summer lunch or easy-to-make dinner. 

WHAT YOU NEED FOR CREAMY ZUCCHINI ALFREDO

This easy 30-minute recipe is made from just 8 budget-friendly ingredients that you may already have in your kitchen – pasta, zucchini, onion, garlic, nutritional yeast, cashews (or hemp hearts), vegan butter, and a bit of leftover pasta water!

ingredients for zucchini alfredo arranged on kitchen countertop

Don’t be fooled though – this Creamy Zucchini Alfredo may be made from simple ingredients, but it packs BIG flavor. Zucchini brings its hearty, earthy flavors, while sautéed onion and garlic add a zippy kick. Our dairy-free alfredo sauce will be extra creamy thanks to the soaked cashews. You can also use hemp hearts for a nut-free option that’s still super creamy! 

HOW TO MAKE CREAMY ZUCCHINI ALFREDO

step-by-step diagram showing how to make zucchini alfredo

  1. Peel and dice one zucchini and finely julienne the other. Set both aside separately.
  2. Cook the pasta. In the final minute of cook time, set aside ⅔ cup of pasta water and add the julienned zucchini to the pot to blanch.
  3. Sauté the onion and remaining zucchini until translucent, add the garlic to quickly sauté, then remove from heat. 
  4. Transfer the sautéed zucchini mixture to a blender, add the preserved pasta water, nutritional yeast, hemp hearts/cashews, and salt, and blend until smooth.
  5. Return the blended sauce to the pan, add the cooked pasta and zucchini, and mix well. Season with additional salt and pepper and serve. 

CAITLIN’S COOKING TIPS

  • Peel your zucchini well: If you want the sauce to have a creamy white color, make sure to peel all the skin off of your zucchini until you can’t see any green coloring left! 
  • Add extra veggies: I love to serve this dish with sauteed mushrooms; I usually sauté them in the same pan after I remove the onion and zucchini to blend, and then just mix everything together at the end. You can also up the squash in this recipe and add more sautéed zucchini to the cooked pasta. 
  • Cook your pasta to al dente only: The pasta will continue to soften more once it’s added to the sauce, so I recommend only cooking it until al dente to prevent it from getting too mushy.

zucchini alfredo in large saute pan with a pair of metal serving tongs

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

You can serve this creamy, veggie-packed pasta as-is or enjoy it with a side of crusty garlic bread. You can also up the protein in this dish by topping it with my quick Crispy Tofu or Easy Baked Tempeh! And don’t forget – you can always add more veggies like sautéed mushrooms or extra zucchini to this recipe. 

If you’re looking for more yummy ways to use zucchini, you’ll also love these Vegan Zucchini Lasagna Roll Ups, this Vegetable-Stuffed Zucchini, or this Cheesy Vegan Zucchini Gratin. And don’t forget about dessert – these moist & fluffy Vegan Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins are to die for!

HOW TO STORE CREAMY ZUCCHINI ALFREDO

Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Fun fact about zucchini + pasta: the moisture and fiber from the zucchini will actually prevent the pasta from drying out too much! However, I still recommend adding a splash of water when reheating in the microwave or on the stovetop, just to be sure it comes out perfectly creamy 😊

bowl of vegan zucchini alfredo on marble countertop with gold fork

FAQ:

  • Can this recipe be gluten-free? Yes! Simply use your favorite gluten-free noodles in place of wheat pasta.
  • Can this recipe be made in advance? Yes and no. You can make the zucchini sauce up to 2 days ahead of time, but I would recommend cooking the pasta just before serving. If you plan to make the sauce ahead of time, be sure to add 2 teaspoons of flour to the pan with the garlic; it will help to thicken the sauce.
  • Can I make this with yellow squash instead? Yes – just like the zucchini, be sure to peel it well unless you want your sauce to have a yellow tint to it.

Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊

Print

Creamy Zucchini Alfredo

This Creamy Zucchini Alfredo is a hearty, veggie-packed dish that makes the perfect cozy summer lunch or easy-to-make dinner! Vegan, Nut-Free, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Option.

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 4 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 ounces (225 g) pasta of choice
  • 1/2 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter or oil
  • 2 zucchini, divided
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup (~35 g) hemp hearts or soaked raw cashews
  • 2/3 cup (160 mL) pasta water; see instructions
  • black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Prep: Use a vegetable peeler to peel all of the green outer layer off of one zucchini, then finely dice it. Take the other zucchini and finely julienne or slice it; set both aside, separately.
  2. Cook the Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil with the 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt. Add the pasta once boiling and then cook until al dente, according to package directions. When there is 1 minute left of cook time, (1) carefully remove 2/3 cup of the pasta water and set aside, then (2) add the julienned zucchini and cook for the remaining minute, to blanch it.
  3. Aromatics: In the meantime, melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and zucchini and sauté for 10 minutes, until the zucchini is translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.
  4. Blend: Carefully transfer the sautéed zucchini mixture into a blender along with the reserved pasta water, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, hemp hearts or cashews, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Blend on high for 45 to 60 seconds, until a smooth sauce forms.
  5. Combine: Return the blended sauce to the same pan over medium-low heat, then add in the cooked pasta and zucchini and mix well. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, then divide among plates and serve warm; store leftovers in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 5 days.

Notes

  • Gluten-Free: use gluten-free pasta instead of wheat-based pasta
  • Oil-Free: sauté the veggies with 1/4 cup of water and a pinch of salt instead of the butter in step 3

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

Learn More

Want to make your own nut milk?
Subscribe and receive a FREE guide!
homemade nut milks in different sized glass jars on white background

You May Also Like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. This is hands down my favorite vegan Alfredo recipe! Even my non vegan kids loved it! I’ll be making this one over and over and over again.

  2. A new favorite! Love this recipe. The sauce is so creamy and fresh. Very cozy feeling but not too heavy because of the zucchini.

  3. Super easy and delicious! The added lemon gives it a really fresh flavor, but as someone who’s not a huge lemon fan, I think I’ll only put 1/2tbsp next time! Such great flavour for a recipe with so few ingredients! Thanks for another great meal to add into the rotation!

  4. I LOVE all of your recipes, but just tried this one last night and it’s at the top of the list!! Love the creativity and yumminess. Thanks for another great pasta recipe!!!

    1. Raw sunflower seeds can be substituted for cashews in a 1:1 replacement. You will need to soak your sunflower seeds similarly to your cashews. This works very well in savory recipes like sauces and dips

  5. I don’t see the lemon mentioned in the photo post at the beginning of this recipe included in the ingredients/instructions. Does it just get juiced into the blender with the rest of the ingredients? And is it only 1/2 a lemon, juiced? Really want to make this but want to ensure I make it correctly!

    1. Thanks for pointing that out! I would recommend only adding a splash of lemon juice – about 1 tablespoon, for a subtle tang

  6. This is seriously SO TASTY!! And honestly pretty easy too, especially if you chop the zucchini and onion in advance. Thank you Caitlyn, this is totally going to become a regular recipe for me

  7. I don’t normally eat pasta, but due to a recent dental surgery I’ve needed to find ‘soft foods’. I tried this today because it also allowed me to make use of my fresh-from-the-garden garlic and zucchini, and was so impressed by the final result…simple, healthy, and delicious. This is now one of my ‘saved’ recipes – thanks so much for creating!

  8. Was super easy to make! I added broccoli, smoked tofu, and also used gnocchi instead of long pasta 🙂

  9. Hi there! How much lemon juice do you add? I saw some added in the video so I started with a tablespoon and topped with lemon zest to taste, it was delicious! I love the simple recipes, thank you! 🙂

  10. What is that kind of pasta called??? It’s so cute. Making this tonight and going to the store—hopefully I can find this pasta type!

  11. I made this tonight for my family and we loved it! Even my picky daughter went back for seconds. 🙂 It was super easy to make and I appreciate the nut free option!

  12. Thank you for sharing a recipe that is WFPB . Appreciate that it doesn’t use vegan cheese. I have a lot of zucchini right now and am looking forward to trying this recipe tomorrow. It’s sure to be delivered as every recipe I have tried of yours is. Thank you for all you do.