zucchini alfredo in white bowl on marble background

Creamy Zucchini Alfredo

  • 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


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.


  • 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


  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.


  • 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