Easy, dairy-free shrimp pasta alfredo! Made with a 15-minute cashew alfredo sauce, zucchini noodles, pasta, and shrimp. A comforting, healthy weeknight dinner that’s easily made gluten-free.
I originally had the idea for this dairy-free shrimp pasta alfredo to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but it’s so easy that it’s weeknight-approved too! I love creamy, cashew-based sauces but most recipes require you to soak the cashews overnight… which I never remember to do. For this recipe, you simply boil the raw cashews and then allow them to soak for just 15 minutes – the perfect amount of time to get the rest of the dish ready.
I’m not personally dairy-free or vegan, but I love experimenting with dairy-free recipes. This cashew alfredo sauce is a new favorite of mine because it’s so easy, flavorful, and pantry-friendly. While it doesn’t taste exactly like real alfredo, it definitely satisfies creamy pasta cravings. If you’re new to nutritional yeast, welcome! It’s a 100% all-natural inactive yeast, which is rich in B vitamins and has a pleasant, mild cheesy flavor. You can get it here, many well-stocked grocery stores, and at Trader Joe’s.
Let’s talk pasta! I made this dairy-free shrimp pasta alfredo with half zucchini noodles and half pasta. I wanted to add some vegetables to the dish (fiber! nutrients!) but, if I’m being honest, straight-up zucchini noodles just don’t do it for me. Half and half is the perfect compromise. That being said, for a lower carb option, feel free to use all zucchini noodles (store-bought or spiralized at home) or, for a heartier version feel free to use all pasta.
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Easy, dairy-free shrimp fettuccine alfredo! Made with a 15-minute cashew alfredo sauce, zucchini noodles, pasta, and shrimp. A comforting, healthy weeknight dinner that’s easily made gluten-free.
Dairy-Free Alfredo Sauce
- 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
- 2 garlic cloves
- juice of half a large lemon
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 heaping teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 3/4 cup water
Shrimp and Pasta
- 6 oz pasta (see notes)
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
- 8 oz zucchini noodles, optional (see notes)
- parsley, for garnish
Make the Alfredo Sauce
- Fill a small saucepan with water and add the cashews. Bring to a boil and then immediately turn off the heat and cover. Allow to sit for 15 minutes to soak the cashews.
- Drain the soaked cashews.
- Add the drained cashews, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, pepper, and 3/4 cups of water to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Cook the Remainder of the Dish
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until pink and opaque, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and optional red pepper flakes and cook a few minutes more. Add the zucchini noodles, if using, and sauté until just beginning to soften and turn the heat down to low.
- Once the pasta is done, drain and add it to the large skillet with the shrimp and zucchini noodles. Give everything a good stir.
- Add the dairy-free alfredo sauce to the skillet (I used almost all of it – start with half and work your way up). Gently stir so that everything is coated in the sauce and season with salt to taste.
- Serve with chopped parsley for garnish, if desired!
Pasta and Zucchini Noodles. I like the half and half combo but feel free to use just one or the other! If using only pasta, cook 8 oz of pasta. If using only zucchini noodles, you’ll need about 24 oz of zucchini noodles (about 3 zucchini spiralized).
Keywords: dairy-free alfredo, dairy-free shrimp alfredo, healthy shrimp alfredo sauce, vegan alfredo sauce
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