Eating pasta drenched in a creamy sauce has to be one of the greatest things on earth. But what happens when you're both gluten-free and dairy-free? Can you still have those luscious, creamy pasta dishes?
And today I'm going to show you how.
Before we get into the sauce (which I know is what we're all the most interested in), let's talk about these sweet potato noodles. Yes, we're having pasta made strictly from sweet potatoes. Talk about healthy!
Have you ever heard of a spiralizer? A spiralizer is this fantastic tool that turns vegetables into noodles. You've probably seen recipes for “zoodles” or zucchini noodles, they're super popular for those who follow a grain-free diet.
Basically when you use a spiralizer, you can replace your regular pasta with more healthy, low-fat and low-calorie options like zucchini, beets, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and carrots. And the best part? They taste absolutely amazing!
I was thinking about going for the traditional zoodles in this recipe, but I loved the idea of having something a little sweet and crunchy to balance out the chicken and mushrooms. And of course, we needed something to sop up all that creamy deliciousness, right?
When you spiralize sweet potatoes, they come out just like spaghetti noodles. But they're so much better for us. Let's just compare for a second:
One serving of regular pasta has 200+ calories, while a serving of sweet potato noodles (one small sweet potato), has less than 100 calories. Not to mention the difference in nutrition content – fat, carbs, sugars, protein.
If we get down to the very basics, we're looking at eating a bowl of processed, flour-filled noodles, with something completely natural and nutritious.
So, have I convinced you on the noodle part? If you don't have a spiralizer, you have to get one right now. It's one of the best kitchen investments you'll make!!
Now it's time to chat about this vegan alfredo sauce.
I've done creamy sauces using cashews before, so I knew we'd be able to find a way to make a creamy pasta sauce with these magical little nuts. I did a quick Google search and found Oh She Glow's vegan alfredo and used that as my base to make my own quinoa version (duh).
One of my favorite ways to use quinoa is adding it to purees as a thickening agent. When you use a high powered blender, the puree gets this silky, smooth texture, but has a richness that you most often associate with fat-filled sauces made with cream and butter.
This alfredo sauce? No cheese. No cream. No butter. 100% creamy, alfredo taste.
We're using raw cashews for the creaminess, nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor, a little garlic (which you just can't live without) and quinoa to round out the flavor and add that much needed thickness. The end result is a glorious vegan pasta sauce that's super healthy and tastes delicious!
Chicken & Mushroom Sweet Potato Noodles with Vegan Quinoa Alfredo Sauce
For the alfredo sauce:
- 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked for at least 4 hours
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 cup almond milk or milk of choice
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons dijon / whole-grain mustard
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Sale & pepper to taste
For the pasta:
- 2 small sweet potatoes
- 1 portobello mushroom cap
- 1 chicken boneless chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Oil for cooking
- Peel sweet potatoes and slice ends off. Connect to spiralizer and spiralize into noodles. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat a little olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken and sautee until browned on all sides, 3 - 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, transfer to plate and set aside.
- Return pan back to stove and add mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms have just started to soften, then add chicken back in, 3 - 5 minutes. Add sweet potato noodles and cook until tender, about 5 - 8 minutes.
- While noodles are cooking, prepare alfredo sauce. All all ingredients a high powered blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. If too thick, add a touch more almond milk one tablespoon at a time. If too thin, add more quinoa one tablespoon at a time.
- When sauce is done, add to pan with noodles. Add just enough until noodles, chicken and mushrooms are fully coated.
- Cook until everything is heated through, 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately. Garish with some fresh parsley to freshly grated cheese.
14 comments on “Sweet Potato Noodles with Vegan Alfredo Sauce”
Why have a wonderful vegan alfredo sauce (which sounds delicious) and sweet potato fries, and CHICKEN? It must have slipped your mind that vegans don’t eat ANY animal products, especially MEAT! Maybe tofu or another meat substitute?
Hi Nadine, I appreciate your comment, but I’m not personally a vegan, I just eat mostly dairy-free. I do know that vegans don’t eat meat of course 🙂 I wanted to create an alfredo sauce that was dairy-free, but I went the vegan route so that it would appeal to more of my readers. Not all my readers are vegan however, so I chose to add chicken as a personal preference and to also appeal to their taste buds as well. The chicken is absolutely optional and the dish would be delicious with tofu or just additional mushrooms to make it 100% vegan. I welcome you to experiment. Thanks!
Where do you recommend buying raw cashews? I went to my local, chain grocery store to buy some and was *shocked* at the price. I recalled that nuts were expensive, but wow. They must have gone up!
I know…raw nuts are very expensive. But for this recipe, they do need to be raw. I actually purchase mine at Trader Joe’s. Do you have one of those near you? I believe they’re only about $6.99 per pound. You can also look online – I think you can usually find better deals. Good luck!
Love the idea, but would be even cooler if entirely plant-based. Tofu, etc. is old school. There are lots of virtually indistinguishable chicken replacements out there (and most are non-GMO). Gardein brand, Trader Joes Mandarin Orange Chicken-less Morsels, Beyond Meat chicken strips, are a few. Definitely worth a try if you haven’t yet. Only things missing would be the hurting animals part, the animal ag inefficiencies, and environmental degradation. Win Win 🙂
Thanks for your comment, Steph. I’ll definitely check out the chicken-less morsels at Trader Joe’s. And what I think is so great about this recipe is the adaptability of it. You could easily leave our the chicken and it would still be delicious 🙂 Hope you give it a try!
Does this recipe really take 5 hours to prepare? I don’t visualize working moms coming home to spend the next 5 hours preparing this dish – as delicious as it may be.
I incorporated the soaking time into the total time. So active time, no it definitely does not take 5 hours. You can simply start soaking your cashews before you leave for work in the morning and when you get home, I don’t think this dinner would take more than 30 minutes to make. Hope that helps, sorry for the confusion!
This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing. I’m always looking for more ideas for spiralizing veggies to replace carbs and increase our vegetable intake.
And by the way, your replies to commenters are SO gracious.
You’re so sweet <3
That’s one of the main reasons I LOVE spiralizing! Such an easy way to up the veggie intake 🙂
If not utilizing raw cashews they still have to be soaked?
They really should be raw as they will have a better flavor and texture. But yes, definitely soak them if you’re not using raw!