Last Updated on June 3, 2023
This is our take on the classic Fettuccine Alfredo! What makes it a little more special is the Grilled “Chicken” is made with tofu. The sauce is creamy, the tofu is charred and seasoned with aromatic blend of herbs. It’s super comforting, satisfying, and creamy!
As far as we know, the creamy Fettuccine Alfredo that is widely popular in the U.S. is actually an American interpretation of Italian Fettuccine Alfredo. The authentic Fettuccine Alfredo is made with butter and Parmesan cheese, no cream! The Americans in general really love saucy stuff. Whether it’s traditional or not, we all love creamy pasta, anyways!
The Right Tofu
Tofu is pretty versatile. It can transform as tasty meat alternatives just by changing seasonings and using different cooking methods. As you may know, tofu can come in many different types of firmness; silky, firm, extra firm, and super firm. Choosing the right firmness plays an important role to what the texture you are looking for in the finished dish. On this dish, we use super firm tofu simply to mock the texture of chicken (not that we crave for the flavor.)
If you are interested in different flavor and the cooking methods for meat-like texture, check out those recipes like Italian “Sausage” Crumble Tofu or simple Basic Ground Tofu.
How do we get the chicken-like flavor? There may be another way but for this dish, we came up with the idea of poultry seasoning. We know, it’s not exactly the flavor of chicken, but it’s rather the seasoning to flavor chicken. Actually, it works very well! The flavors and herbs such as sage, onion, thyme, marjoram, and celery seeds add a nice background flavor to a plain tofu. Then use a stove top grill pan to cook it to give nice grill marks and charred flavor that we all love!
“Creamy” Pasta Sauce
Cashews are our go-to ingredients to make creamy sauce! We make a big batch of Basic Cashew Cream and freeze in smaller portion. Whenever we need a little creaminess in a dish, defrost it in advance then use it!
Are you enthusiastic about making other delicious and unique creamy creations? Check out Bucatini with Creamy Roasted Bell Pepper & Harissa Sauce and Fettuccine with Curry Cream Sauce, and Spaghetti Red Quinoa “Bolognese” with Cashew Cream.
Fettuccine Alfredo with Grilled “Chicken”
*Total Time doesn't include Inactive Time (soaking cashews)
Cashew Cream for Alfredo Sauce
- 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
- Water (for soaking)
- 1 1/4 cup cold water
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 pound (1 block/16 oz) super firm tofu (typically vacuum packed)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp unsalted poultry seasoning
- 1/2 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 1 pound fettuccine
- 1 tbsp vegan butter
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup minced yellow onion
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tbsp minced parsley
- Vegan parmesan-style cheese (optional)
- Soak raw cashews in water for 4 hours. Drain and discard the soaking water.
- In a high-speed blender (such as Vitamix), combine soaked cashews, 1 1/4 cup cold water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt. Blend until creamy and smooth (about 1 minute.) Set aside.
- Slice a block of tofu into 3-4 rectangular pieces. Pat them dry with paper towel. Coat the marinated tofu with grapeseed oil (both sides.) Then season the tofu with salt and poultry seasoning. Massage gently and marinate for about 10 minutes at room temperature.
- Start boiling water in a large pot for cooking fettucine.
- Heat up a grill pan at medium-high heat. Cook them for 5 minutes on each side until nice grill marks are visible. Slice them into bite size pieces. Set aside.
- In salted water, cook fettucine for 7-8 minutes or follow the instruction on the package. Reserve some pasta cooking water.
- Meanwhile, heat up a frying pan at medium high heat. Add vegan butter and cook garlic for 1-2 minutes. Then add yellow onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until fragrant and onions are translucent.
- Add white wine. Wait until alcohol evaporates. Mix well.
- Turn down the heat to medium low, then add cashew cream. Add grated nutmeg, and season with black pepper (and salt if needed.) Stir gently and cook for 1-2 minutes just until cashew cream is warm. If it starts getting too thick, add a small amount of reserved pasta cooking water to keep the right consistency.
- Drain the fettuccine and transfer to the cream sauce. Remove from the heat. Add more reserved pasta cooking water if it’s dry. Toss gently.
- Serve it with the grilled “chicken.” Garnish with parsley. Sprinkle some vegan parmesan-style cheese (optional.)