Cauliflower Alfredo (Vegan & Nut-free)

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This Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce is creamy and delicious, while being deceptively simple! In lieu of the heavy cream, butter and cheese found in traditional Alfredo sauce, this particular version gets its creamy texture from pureed cauliflower— but when you serve it, most people can’t even tell.

cauliflower alfredo pasta with fork

This sauce is naturally Vegan and Paleo-friendly, but make sure to choose a pasta that also fits your dietary needs by looking at the label. Zucchini noodles make a great grain-free option!

Benefits of Cauliflower

Cauliflower is the ultimate “chameleon” of vegetables, if you ask me. It can easily transform into Cauliflower Fried Rice, Cauliflower Pizza Crust, or a creamy sauce, like this one. Cauliflower also hides well in a Low-Sugar Smoothie, if you’re trying to use a little less fruit.

Here are some of the nutritional benefits of cauliflower:

  • There are 3 grams of fiber in just 1 cup of cauliflower. (That’s 10% of your daily needs!)
  • Cauliflower is high in antioxidants and flavonoids, which may help to lower the risk of cancer and heart disease. (source)
  • 92% of cauliflower is water, and eating water-rich foods have been shown to aid in weight loss.
  • Cauliflower is high in choline, which is involved in brain development and a healthy metabolism.

cauliflower sauce in blender

How to Make Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

Making this Cauliflower Alfredo is as easy as steaming fresh or frozen cauliflower until tender, and then blending it until smooth with the rest of the ingredients. 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 the heavier version. 

cauliflower alfredo tossed in a bowl with tongs

By avoiding the whipping cream, butter and cheese found in traditional Fettuccine Alfredo, you’ll be doing your body a 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. If you follow food combining principles, this sauce is “neutral” and can be served with any other foods you like for streamlined digestion.

cauliflower alfredo pasta on plate

How to Make Cauliflower Alfredo (1-Minute Video):

cauliflower alfredo pasta with fork
Print Pin
4.82 from 70 votes

Cauliflower Alfredo (Vegan & Nut-free)

This CAULIFLOWER ALFREDO SAUCE is a healthy pasta topped, made from pureed cauliflower! It's deceptively easy and delicious, while being vegan and paleo friendly.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword cauliflower, dairy free, nut free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 64kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 12 ounces cauliflower florets (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine Himalayan salt , or more to taste
  • black pepper , to taste

Instructions

  • Saute the minced garlic in the oil 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, lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot to cook until the cauliflower is fork-tender and very soft, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • 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. Cover the vent in your blender lid with a thin kitchen towel to allow venting.)
  • Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired, and serve hot over your favorite pasta.

Video

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.

Nutrition

Calories: 64kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 639mg | Potassium: 508mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin C: 82.9mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 0.7mg
Per Serving: Calories: 64, Fat: 2g, Carbohydrates: 9g, Fiber: 3g, Protein: 3g

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. (If you’re not vegan & dairy-free.)
  • Sun-dried tomatoes and fresh spinach.
  • Sauteed mushrooms and roasted broccoli.
  • Nutritional yeast, for a dairy-free “cheesy” flavor.

As always, if you try something different with this recipe, please leave a comment below letting us know what you tried. We can all benefit from YOUR experience!

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite pasta sauce?

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Comments

monika

wicked! this looks and sounds delish. might have to try it tonight 🙂

NAiMA

oh my god this looks so good i think i’m going to drawn my keyboard in my own drool!!! gotta try this asap – possibly next weekend, thanks so much for your inspirational and extremely tempting recipes.

    Macwall

    Not bad, but I have recently gone dairy free and I made this for my self while my family had real Alfredo sauce. This was a mistake. Seeing the two next to each other, smelling the Parmesan cheese, and remembering the taste from when I ate it couple weeks ago; no comparison. I don’t know if adding more oil would have made it creamier?

      Mary

      The recipes here are generally a little more health conscience. There are lots of other vegan/dairy free Alfredo recipes that are heavier and more creamy. Using a cashews cream base, v butter, add in vegan parm. The other recipes wouldn’t use cauliflower. Sautéed shallots and you can get soy based heavy cream or use full fat coconut milk.

Maaike

Looks and sounds delicious. I’ve been looking for something new to try with my pasta. Thanks for the suggestion.

Kristina

Looks amazing, and want to Pin it but don’t see a Pinterest button, wonder if I’m overlooking it?

    Megan

    Thanks, Kristina! The “Pin It” button is always located directly under the “Reader Feedback” section, right at the bottom of the post.

Jen @ Existential Evolution

Looks yum and perfect for the head of cauliflower in my fridge begging to be used up. Are the noodles gluten free? What type of noodles do you prefer?

    Megan

    When we want traditional pasta, we’ll go for spelt noodles, since they have a lower gluten content and seem to digest well. Brown rice pasta would probably be a good gluten-free option, too. We’ve also tried this with spaghetti squash and sauteed zucchini “noodles” and both versions were tasty, if you want a totally grain-free option!

      Gina Marie

      This looks so good. Can’t wait to try it. I love Bionature Organic Gluten Free penne. Tastes amazing and on amazon

Joy //For the Love of Leaves

Yum! I’ve been looking for a good, easy cauliflower alfredo sauce and this just might be it! I’m definitely going to try it with the nutritional yeast!

Christina

Love this! My alfredo sauce is cashew based and I’ve been looking for a lighter version.. can’t wait to try!

Fit n Fifty

Megan – I cannot wait to try this. Craving some comfort food. What kind of noodles are you serving this with?

    Megan

    I used some spelt fettuccine noodles for the photos, but my husband usually prefers spelt angel hair pasta on non-photo days. 🙂 For a grain-free option, you could use spaghetti squash or spiralized zucchini noodles!

Jenny

FYI, chocolate covered katie posted this recipe 3 days ago.

    Marie

    …and multiple other food bloggers have posted a version of it as well. Katie adapted it from somewhere, but never gave credit. At least Megan did.

Sabrina @ Nutritiously Sweet

This looks absolutely delicious! I have to but some of the ingredients to make this asap!

TeaJae

Wonderful if you only knew Megan how much I LOVE Alfredo Sauce I’ve always wanted an alternative that was yummy, will be trying this. Cauliflower what a sneaky little secret.

Patricia

I tried this with quinoa spaghetti. I added in some sauteed mushrooms – a delicious addition. I also splashed in some coconut milk for extra creaminess.

Lorrie

Thank you! I made this last night with with spaghetti squash. It was yummy! I can finally eat Alfredo sauce.

Nancy M.

We made this sauce for dinner last night. It’s amazing! My family had no idea they were eating cauliflower. Thanks!

Lori

I can’t wait to try this. Looks so good!

Julie

Another favorite. I was skeptical at first. I couldn’t see how those ingredients would transpire into alfredo. WOW! I was wrong. This is a must try recipe.

Julie

And also, I used rutabaga for the noodles. I used my paderno spiral slicer to it into “noodles”. Then I cooked my rutabaga noodles with 2 Tbsp of butter until they were soft. EXCELLENT!!!

julia june

In the middle of trying this recipe…How many cups of cauliflower, would you say?

Priscilla

I made this for my boys and they loved it! I added wild caught shrimp sateed in ghee, lemon, and garlic and topped this over my quinoa pasta, it was delicious! My son is on a gf cf diet and he usually won’t eat cauliflower but he ate every bite.

marlies

I made this last night and it was amazing! I just wanted to spoon it into my mouth instead of adding it to anything haha 🙂 I added nutritional yeast and also some yellow miso paste and loved it

    Brett

    Hi Marlies,
    I loved your description! 🙂 How much miso and nutritional yeast did you add? I want to try those additions, but am unsure about amounts.

Rebecca Greenlaw

holy wicked! Alfredo is my favorite sauce… Have not had it in 3 years because I have totally changed my diet. so when I saw this, I had to try it! I made it tonight and had my aunt & uncle over.. They absolutely loved it! And so did I! finally! And Alfredo sauce I can have! … That actually might have tasted better than the real thing.. just saying. thanks for the recipe! I use a lot of your recipes, I use allllll the time!

Suzi

Thank you! I just tried this (too) and am feeling the same as others. Its Awesome!! Its a total comfort food!

Sarah Burns

This was so amazing! I’ll make this forever! Thank you so much!

Diane

I have to admit, I was a doubter, but so glad to have been wrong. This is a FABULOUS recipe. I LOVE alfredo sauce, but it does NOT like me. This is actually better because it is not as heavy as the heavy cream kind, but still has the same great taste. Thanks a bunch!!

Blake

This recipe is amazing, I put it over steamed broccoli. Can’t wait to try the rest with something else this week.

EmilyF

I posted on facebook 🙂

Taryn

I made this with zucchini pasta and also added some sautéed mushrooms and basil – it was delicious! Even my husband thought it was fabulous – and the leftovers were just as good ( maybe even better). I was raised in a Italian family and this brought me back to my childhood – thanks!

Dana

How much is 12 oz cauliflower?

    Megan

    It’s difficult to measure cauliflower in cups, since it can vary drastically depending on the size you chop your florets. I’d guess that 12 oz. is about 1 1/2-2 cups of florets.

Lili Hastings

OMG! I just made this and am blown away at how AMAZING this tastes! I love it! Thank you so much

Kryste

Very cool! I never liked cauliflower until I tried out the low-carb thing a few years ago. Turning it into a sauce, though? Totally new to me! Also seems very cheap! I just may be trying this out this week. 😀

Maaike

Absolutely loved it. Tried it just tonight and this is a keeper. Thanks!

Nancy

Made mine a little too thick – looked like the “mashed potato” recipe that went around a few years ago. No worries! I just added a bit of noodle water and it thinned out perfectly. THANKS!!!

Annabelle

I just made this and it was delicious! Will be making again! 🙂

Susan

Made this tonight – amazing! Thank you!

Amy

How would you add sun dried tomatoes? Would you chop and add at the last minute, or would you combine in the blender? I make mashed cauliflower all the time with garlic–this looks very similar.

    Megan

    I’d probably toss the tomatoes in at the end, for added texture, but either way would be tasty!

Alexis @ Hummusapien

Loved it! I added nooch and served it with peas and whole-wheat shells. So delish!

Anna

I made this tonight! Utterly delicious!!!! I added some diced butternut, zucchini and bacon after i blended it and some black pepper! Even my husband loved it. For myself i would just pour the sauce over some roast veggies. It is sooooo filling. Thank you so much, this is going to become one of our staples!

Nicole

I made this last night and it’s amazing, thank you for the recipe. Finally able to eat one of my faves guilt-free! Mine came out a bit bland, I used more garlic than suggested and also salt and a bit of Parmesan cheese but it still lacked something. Any suggestions?

    asia

    could be less salt. I felt the same but when I added extra salt it tasted better.

    Cadams

    A grating of nutmeg can enhance a “cream” sauce.

    Rebecca

    Try adding miso paste and more nutritioonal yeast.

      sassygirl

      miso works so well in this recipe if you are looking for a more umami taste!

    Ashlee Carter

    I added the nutrishonal yeast, basil, and parsley. Tastes great…took a lot to thin it out though. I added white wine for that

    Joe

    Also MSG though it has an (unfounded) bad rep

asia

Excellent recipe and healthy too. Satisfies the craving for olive gardens alfredo, living in UK.

Britt P.

This is a terrific recipe! I am pregnant and have an aversion to dairy, so I wanted to try this out. It turned out great! I am very impressed! I did skip the garlic because I have an aversion to that too at the moment, and I added a little chicken bullion to the cauliflower while it cooked, and it turned out just fine for me. Now I can’t wait to try the dairy free Mac & cheese recipe! (5 stars if it doesn’t show up at the bottom)

Paige

I can’t have cauliflower. Would another veggie work just as well? Anyone try this with some other vegetable? It looks delicious and from all the positive comments I would love to try this.

JLa

Looove this! I eat it as soup! I am cutting back on calories so I don’t pour it over pasta. My husband does & adds a bunch of Parmesan. I measured out 12 oz on my kitchen scale & it’s half a head of florets. I quadruple the recipe (use 2 heads of florets) & add 4 bags of Trader Joe’s “Power to the Greens” to the water & steam it along with the cauliflower. I add curry for a kick. I eat this soup mixture for lunch everyday. It’s delicious & low-calorie!

moneylaunderess

This looks really good! I’ve been off of grains and dairy for the past three months, which has really helped my overall health in very significant ways. Now that I am symptom free, I have been craving a bit of pasta and was searching for a grain free ‘cheat’ option and I found organic mung bean pasta at my local health food store! It was perfect! Mung bean pasta is based from legumes, but if you are avoiding legumes at least 85% of the time, mung beans are the least harmful ‘cheat’ for the grain free crowd. I’m going to whip this sauce up and slap it on my next mung bean pasta plate!!!!

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