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Please keep in mind that while I am a certified Health Coach, I am not a registered dietitian or doctor. This blog is not intended as medical or nutritional advice. My posts are based on my own research and personal experience. You should always consult a doctor before making any changes to your diet and exercise routine. You are ultimately responsible for your own health!
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Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo (Dairy-free, Nut-free)

This creamy Alfredo sauce is deceptively healthy.

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In lieu of the heavy cream, butter and cheese found in traditional Alfredo sauce, this particular version gets its creamy texture from pureed cauliflower! Cauliflower is the ultimate “chameleon” of vegetables–> it can easily transform into rice, pizza crust or a creamy sauce, like this one.

You may recall that I’ve tried making this type of sauce on a number of occasions in the past, but it always tasted a little too “healthy” for my standards. As most of you know, I like my healthy food to taste as close to the original version as possible, so I can serve it to my family and friends without getting any weird looks! If it doesn’t taste good, no one will want to eat it… not even me.

I think the key to this sauce is slightly over-cooking the cauliflower, so that it’s very soft and easily blended. In situations like this, I’m not concerned with losing a few nutrients by over-cooking, because the true benefit of eating this sauce is that it’s replacing something that could be harmful to the body. By avoiding the heavy cream, butter and cheese found in traditional Fettuccine Alfredo, you’ll be doing your body a huge favor every time you choose this sauce, instead!

Your taste buds will be pretty happy, too.

This low-fat creamy sauce is dairy-free and nut-free, making it the perfect topping for your favorite pasta or vegetables. I could see it being delicious in a homemade lasagna, or even over a white pizza, too! The options are endless.

Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo
makes 2 cups

Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon coconut oil, or butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces cauliflower florets
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon fine Himalayan salt, or more to taste
black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Saute the minced garlic in the coconut oil or butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Allow to cook for a few minutes, until the garlic is tender and fragrant, but not browned. Add the 1 cup of water to the saucepan, along with the cauliflower, and bring the water to a boil. (The water will not cover the cauliflower, and that’s okay.) Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot for 8-10 minutes, until the cauliflower is fork-tender and very soft.

Transfer the entire contents of the saucepan into a blender or food processor, and season with salt and pepper. Process until very smooth and creamy, with a texture similar to traditional cream sauce. (Always be careful when blending hot liquids– the steam pressure can blow the lid off your blender!) Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired, and serve hot. SONY DSC

Note: Keep in mind that this sauce will need additional salt if served over plain pasta or steamed vegetables, as the flavor will get diluted. If you plan on adding another salt source, such as Parmesan cheese, the additional salt may not be necessary.

4.9 from 22 reviews

Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo (Dairy-free, Nut-free)
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
A creamy, dairy-free sauce that’s perfect over noodles or vegetables!
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil, or butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon fine Himalayan salt, or more to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Saute the minced garlic in the coconut oil or butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Allow to cook for a few minutes, until the garlic is tender and fragrant, but not browned.
  2. Add the 1 cup of water to the saucepan, along with the cauliflower, and bring the water to a boil. (The water will not cover the cauliflower, and that’s okay.) Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot for 8-10 minutes, until the cauliflower is fork-tender and very soft.
  3. Transfer the entire contents of the saucepan into a blender or food processor, and season with salt and pepper. Process until very smooth and creamy, with a texture similar to traditional cream sauce. (Always be careful when blending hot liquids– the steam pressure can blow the lid off your blender!)
  4. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired, and serve hot.
Notes
Keep in mind that this sauce will need additional salt if served over plain pasta or steamed vegetables, as the flavor will get diluted. If you plan on adding another salt source, such as Parmesan cheese, the additional salt may not be necessary.

This sauce is delicious on its own, but it can be extra-tasty with a few add-ins. A few ideas are listed below, but feel free to get creative!

Optional Add-Ins:

  • A generous topping of freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan, for an authentic-tasting Alfredo sauce.
  • Sun-dried tomatoes and fresh spinach.
  • Sauteed mushrooms and roasted broccoli.
  • Nutritional yeast, for a dairy-free “cheesy” flavor.

Enjoy!

Reader Feedback: Are you a fan of creamy Alfredo sauce?

 

93 comments to Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo (Dairy-free, Nut-free)

  • Sarah

    I made this tonight…OMG. It’s amazing :) Thank you!!! :)

  • Michele

    Get outta town Detoxinista! You are my new hero. Forget about butter and cream and flour for a creamy sauce. I did a slight variation on this recipe… used chicken stock instead of water because I’m not a vegetarian. My goals are to eliminate gluten and dairy. Instead of adding garlic to the simmer, I sauteed some garlic with shallots and sliced mushrooms in a separate pan. Then I added the cauliflower puree. Served it over some gluten-free spaghetti with slices of pan seared chicken breast, a broiled tomato and some zucchini ribbons. Divine! Can’t wait to try your Vegan Mac n’ Cheese. Thank you!!

  • […] The Detoxinista had a clever idea: Use cauliflower as the base. This decreases the calories and gets in the veggies. […]

  • Shirley

    Love this recipe and will definitely try it. It would be even better if you could make a video to show us all the steps of this recipe plus other great recipes that you would share.

  • Emily

    I have to admit I was very skeptical of this recipe. Tonight I made it for my boyfriend (who is lactose-intolerant) and our friend. We all loved it!! Our friend didn’t even notice that there wasn’t cheese, and after I told him he sprinkled a little parmesan cheese on his for extra noodles. I served it over whole wheat pasta. YUM! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • It tastes fantastic! I can’t believe it’s not the real thing! I love cauliflower, but always struggle to find vegan recipes that my family will eat. Awesome–thanks so much for the recipe. It is going to be a staple!!

  • Jennifer

    All I can say is…wow. I mean, seriously. I didn’t have high hopes for this – I don’t like cauliflower. But I went ahead and made it, it only took about 10 minutes to make. It was AMAZING!!! Like, I am probably never going to make a real cream sauce again. Shockingly good. I added in some shrimp sautéed with garlic, and served over quinoa pasta. Just amazing Megan, THANKS for another simple and delicious recipe!

  • […] cut the dairy requirements in half and/or use dairy-substitutes for a VEGAN option (like a vegan Cauliflower Alfredo in place of the […]

  • […] pouvez trouver la recette ici! La seule modification que j’ai faite, c’est d’ajouter de la levure alimentaire, […]

  • Jessica

    One word amazing! Thank you for sharing. Everyone should try this!

  • […] a good fat but still) I went the cauliflower route. I started with the no fuss recipe here at Detoxinista. From that base, it’s simple to add your own flavorings to get it just how you envision. I […]

  • Staci

    i wasn’t sure about substituting cauliflower, but I tried it anyway. I served it to my teenage son with a small sprinkle of parmesan, and I didn’t tell him it was cauliflower. He is lactose intolerant and does not want to stop eating foods he loves. It has been a while since he has had fettiiccini alfredo. He didn’t know it was cauliflower and he still doesn’t. He only asked why I didn’t make it the old way, but said he wanted to eat this again.

  • Kadi

    This was awesome. I made it for dinner tonight. Even my husband liked it… shocking!

  • […] form of energy crashes and headaches. So when I came across this creamy Alfredo sauce recipe, from Detoxinista, made predominantly with  cauliflower, I thought it could give me the best of both worlds. I was a […]

  • Sarah

    Has anyone tried making this and freezing it? Just wondering if it would reheat well.

  • sylvi

    this is not nut free : coconut oil!

  • Katie

    How many calories are in this sauce?

  • […] Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce (taken from Detoxinista). It is nut free and dairy free which is great because her other recipe uses cashew nuts as a base.  […]

  • Sarah

    I tried this for dinner tonight and have had to refrain myself from calling up everyone I’ve ever met to tell them how awesome this sauce tasted. It even passed the boyfriend test, and he claims not to like vegetables! I added a healthy pinch of nutritional yeast but otherwise followed the recipe.

  • Sue

    Fantastic! I added 1/4 C of nutritional yeast after I puréed. Delicious, nutritious, fabulous.

  • michelle

    Megan,
    I’m completely in love with your site and have been making several recipes . . . I just put this together, but my sauce has more of a thin mashed potato consistency . . . should I add some additional hot water? Thank you so much!

  • Andrew

    Hey does anyone know how long it will last in a mason jar in the fridge? Or if not long, is it freezeable

  • Betsy

    It didn’t come out as creamy as I thought, what did I do wrong?

  • Sarah

    I made this recipe a few days ago and it was so easy and delicious! It’s unbelievable how deceptively healthy the sauce is because it tastes so rich and creamy. My boyfriend actually thought it was a bit too rich and creamy…oh well, more for me! The biggest danger is that you eat too much pasta with it.

  • Kim

    Put over spaghetti squash instead if pasta.

  • Amber

    I can’t have minced garlic, so I used garlic powder. I also didn’t have anymore coconut oil, so I used some EVOO. As the other reviewer said, it looks more like mashed potatoes than creamy sauce. Any suggestions??

  • Carole

    Am I the only one who wonders why “butter” is an option in a lactose/dairy free recipe? Butter has lactose in it and makes me sick if I have it. Is everyone else not sensitive to butter??? I do know I can use the coconut oil, but I am puzzled by even the mention of butter…..

  • […] Dairy Free Fettuccine Alfredo (dairy free / gluten free) […]

  • Lela

    Sylvi,

    Though its name suggests that it is a nut, I’ve always regarded coconut as a fruit. When the coconut is young, it has properties like fruit, and as it matures, it becomes more nutty. But in fact it is not a nut or a fruit; it is a seed.

    Unless it is picked, a matured coconut eventually drops from the tree. The fully developed hard shell does not crack easily. Dry and brown, the coconut may sit underneath the tree for months and appear as if it were dead, until one day a green shoot pushes its way out of the shell. The whole time the old coconut has been sitting under the tree, changes have been slowly taking place inside. At one end of the coconut (where the eyes are), an embryo starts growing, feeding off the juice and nutrition of the thick white flesh. This embryo develops into a creamy mass that gradually fills much of the empty space inside. It is good to eat – sweet, somewhat spongy and less fibrous than the matured meat.

    The embryo eventually sprouts out of the shell and becomes a young coconut seedling. At this point, the plant can survive for several more weeks or months on the food and water inside as roots gradually develop and extend out of the shell to anchor the plant in the ground. Nutritious coconut meat can sustain life for a long time; one of my students, who is a horticulturist, has successfully used coconut milk to nurse seedlings of Coconutother plants in his greenhouse. Coconut palms lead a long productive life. They begin bearing fruits at the age of five to seven years and continue to do so until they are seventy to eighty years old.

    As complete seed packages, coconuts have been known to travel to faraway lands to find new homesteads. Stories abound of coconuts floating their way across seas and oceans to be washed ashore on distant islands, rooting themselves in handsome groves to greet visiting humans in search of paradise. The dehusked coconuts you buy at the supermarket, however, are no longer productive seed packages. Once the husk is removed, the seed dies.

  • Michelle

    This was fabulous! I, like many others, was skeptical but WOW! I was eating it straight out of the blender.

  • This looks amazing!!! Will definitely try it out ASAP! And love that it has no nts – so easy to make :)

  • Christina

    Made this tonight (4/7/14) and we LOVED it!! We have a milk, wheat and corn allergy. So to be able to make chicken fettuccine alfredo again was fantastic!! So many things you can add to it!! Thank you for all of your recipes! Can’t wait to try more!! (Going to make more tomorrow and freeze it!!)

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