Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo (Dairy-free, Nut-free)


This creamy Alfredo sauce is deceptively healthy.

bowl of pasta with alfredo sauce

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 Pinch of Yum

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. fork with pasta and alfredo sauce

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.

4.82 from 54 votes
Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo (Dairy-free, Nut-free)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

A creamy, dairy-free sauce that's perfect over noodles or vegetables!

Course: Main Course
Servings: 2
Calories: 64 kcal
Author: Detoxinista.com
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
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.
Recipe 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?

 

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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?

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

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.

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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