For a lot of us, at least one night a week was designated “pasta night” — a tradition that many of us have carried over into adulthood. And why not? On nights when you don’t know what you want to throw together for dinner, pasta offers an easy dinner solution. It’s easy to make a big batch of your favorite sauce and then throw it the freezer for future dinners. Aside from tomato sauce, one of the most popular sauces to pair with tomato is rich, creamy, Alfredo or cheesy sauces.
It’s easy to make creamy and cheesy sauces without dairy and there are a lot of ways you can do it. When it comes to mac and cheese, there are even more options, like cashews, potatoes and zucchini, carrots, pumpkin, or a medley of different vegetables. Alfredo sauce is easy, too — you can use cashews, tofu, almonds, or even cauliflower to make sauce so rich and creamy, you won’t believe it’s dairy-free.
Fall is a time when we start to embrace comfort foods, so in honor of that, enjoy these 15 creamy, comforting, and dairy-free cheese sauces.
1. Pumpkin Cannelloni With Almond Cream
This Pumpkin Cannelloni With Almond Cream isn’t anything like your standard pumpkin dish! Tender cannelloni are filled with savory pumpkin purée and topped with a creamy almond sauce … This is definitely a dish you’ll want all throughout fall!
2. Cauliflower Alfredo
This Cauliflower Alfredo is comfort food bliss. Rich, creamy, and full of flavor, it’s like a sophisticated mac and cheese. The sauce gets its robust flavor from a combination of cauliflower and potato with fresh onion and garlic, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and various seasonings. Serve this over whatever pasta you like, with fresh greens mixed in.
3. Ooey-Gooey Baked Ziti
This Ooey-Gooey Baked Ziti is just the way baked ziti should always be: creamy, cheesy pasta topped with a simple sauce that’s bursting with flavor. Tofu ricotta, melted cheesy goodness on top, along with some crunchy breadcrumbs. It’ll be a family favorite for years to come!
4. Creamy Mushroom Penne
When it comes to comfort food, nothing beats the combination of rich, flavorful creamy sauce and a huge serving of pasta. This Creamy Mushroom Penne instantly fills you up, leaving both your mind and stomach feeling happy and satisfied. Pairing this creamy sauce with mushrooms adds a savory, earthy, and slightly nutty flavor that merges well with the mild, delicate flavors of cream to create a perfectly balanced pasta dinner.
5. Artichoke and Shiitake Pasta With Butternut Tomato Sauce
There’s nothing better than a creamy, luscious pasta dish for lunch or dinner when you’re just craving some carby goodness. This Artichoke and Shiitake Pasta With Butternut Tomato Sauce is filled with mashed butternut squash, hearty shiitake mushrooms, and a thick non-dairy cream to give it body, this will fill you up with nutrients as well as flavor. What are you waiting for? Dig in!
6. Cashew Tofu Alfredo
This recipe for Cashew Tofu Alfredo is so easy to whip up! Cashews are combined with garlic, non-dairy milk, and salt, tofu and transformed into a creamy alfredo sauce that’s perfect for pasta! Cashew Tofu Alfredo. Unlike firmer tofu, silken tofu blends up very well without a grainy texture. That means this sauce is silky and delicious as the dairy version. Win!
7. Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese With Spinach
There are a lot of ways you can make dairy-free mac and cheese. For example, in this Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese With Spinach, sweet potatoes serve as the base to make the cheesy orange sauce that we all know and love. The spices and mustard balance out the sweetness, to create the ultimate mac.
8. Tortellini With Cream and Wild Mushroom Sauce
This Tortellini With Cream and Wild Mushroom Sauce pulls out all the stops. Yummy vegan tortellini, dairy-free cream sauce, smoky tempeh bacon, savory wild mushrooms, and a topping of vegan Parmesan. It’s the perfect dinner for Sunday night with the family, gatherings with friends, or even parties, if you make it in bulk.
9. Butternut Squash and Tofu Ricotta Lasagna
If you’re looking for something that straight up satisfies that comfort food craving without the meat or dairy, then this Butternut Squash and Tofu Ricotta Lasagna is your recipe. The squash is tender, cooked with garlic and fresh sage, the tofu ricotta adds bulk and an amazing cheesy flavor, and it’s baked in a simple, onion-y white sauce. The whole dish can even be made gluten-free by using rice noodles and rice flour for the sauce!
10. Gnocchi With Thyme Vinaigrette and Cashew Cream
Potatoes are so versatile, there is much more to do with this starchy crop than just French fries and baked potatoes. This rich Gnocchi With Thyme Vinaigrette and Cashew Cream is a perfect main course or side dish. The gnocchi are perfectly chewy, the vinaigrette provides the perfect addition of herbs, and the lemony cashew cream gives it a burst of fresh citrus-y goodness.
11. Rigatoni With Avocado Alfredo and Vegetables
This Rigatoni With Avocado Alfredo and Vegetables is the perfect easy weeknight meal. Hearty rigatoni pasta is tossed with colorful sautéed vegetables and a dairy-free Alfredo sauce that’s so easy to make. The creamy sauce in this recipe is made from ripe avocado, which makes up the texture, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, cashews, and coconut milk. If you’re making this to serve, don’t worry about the avocado turning the sauce brown — a squeeze of lemon juice keeps it presentation-worthy.
12. Tofu Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells
These Tofu Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells are delicious and indulgent! The tofu provides protein and nourishment and the fresh marinara sauce adds a bold, savory flavor. Pair this with a light, spinach salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette.
13. Broccoli ‘Cheese’ Pasta Bake
This Broccoli “Cheese” Pasta Bake is the perfect pasta casserole. Pasta is cooked with broccoli in creamy cauliflower alfredo until the broccoli is perfectly tender. A topping of gluten-free bread crumbs and nutritional yeast give it cheesy crunch. If “comfort food” had a photo in the dictionary, this would be it.
14. Cheesy Cashew Cream Pasta
This Cheesy Cashew Cream Pasta tastes indulgent but is actually great for you! The complex carbohydrates will supply you with long-lasting energy, and the cashew cream is a great cheese alternative. Pair this pasta with a simple spinach side salad, or throw in some veggies for extra green!
15. Creamy Spaghetti With Wild Mushrooms
You are 10 ingredients away from one of the creamiest and most decadent spaghetti dishes you’ve ever tried. In this Creamy Spaghetti With Wild Mushrooms, whole wheat spaghetti is tossed in a smooth, vegan Parmesan sauce and topped with dried Porcini mushrooms, thyme, sage, and sea salt. This one-bowl wonder is packed with fresh, herb-y flavor!
Not only are all these dishes amazing, they’re also easy to make! Which one do you want to try first? Tell us in the comments!
Lead image source: Cheesy Cashew Cream Pasta