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
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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

Caterina

Hi Megan,

I have to admit that I was skeptical but this is absolutely delicious! I doubled the recipe (cooked the entire head of cauliflower). It was so good I was eating it with a spoon while the pasta cooked. Followed your recipe exactly except for some dried oregano and dried chili flakes. Thank you for all of your healthy and delicious recipes.

Ruth

Made this for dinner tonight and did not tell the 16 year old pasta lover that the sauce was cauliflower. Passed the test. Yummy!

Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine

I love cauliflower! I use it as a substitute for lots of things also. I love it as a creamy base for soups.

Samantha Holliday

I think I am probably your BIGGEST fan now…I am SO thankful for accidentally stumbling on your page several months back…the recipes you post are SIMPLE (#1 in my book!), convenient (I almost always have the ingredients on hand!), creative, delicious, and have inspired me to become more adventurous/balanced in my cooking/eating. I also enjoy reading your other posts! Thank you SO MUCH for having this blog…hope it continues for as long as you are able!! 🙂 There should be a “10 star” rating option, or more, because 5 just simply isn’t enough!! 🙂

Willy Kosor

What is nutritional yeast?

Karen B

Simply AMAZING! I just had this for dinner and all I can say is that is one of the best sauce I have eaten (and healthiest)! Thank you for your amazing recipe!!!

Ang

Made this tonight – delicious! Thank you for the recipe!!!

Katie

This looks so good and I want to make it for dinner tomorrow night but I can’t help but think it’s too good to be true?! I don’t get how it becomes creamy taste wise…wouldn’t it just taste like finely chopped up cauliflower?? I have looked up a few other recipes to compare and seems like others add in some ricotta or some cream, which I would like to avoid but as I said I am struggling to imagine how this would work out.

Kimberly

I made this tonight after a long day at work. It was so quick and easy – but most of all delicious! You have brought back an old favorite that I haven’t had in years. I used brown rice pasta and added peas, carrots, broccoli and sautéed mushrooms. It was incredible! Thank you for this amazing website. I’m on a quest to try every recipe you have! Thank you again!

paige

Making this now! Do you know if you could make this sauce and freeze it? PS have you thought about creating a recipe book? I’d totally buy it!

    Megan Gilmore

    I haven’t tried freezing it yet, but I’d guess it would be okay? Let us know if you try it! And I do have a cookbook coming out later this year, just not until June: http://amzn.to/1xTEqOT

      Reggie

      Would goat cheese be ok to substitute for any of the other cheeses>?

    Colleen

    I HAve frozen it before.

Randy Bainter

I changed the butter to Butter Buds and changed the salt to No-Salt (I am on a low fat, low cholesterol, low sodium cardiac diet) and added a little green onions with the garlic and sautéed them. I also sautéed some mushrooms in extra virgin olive oil with a little garlic powder. I served the sauce on top of pasta, then put the sautéed mushrooms on top of the sauce. This was amazing! Thank you very much for the recipe!

Melissa Parnitzke

So delicious! My husband is lactose tolerant and this will finally bring bCk cream sauce to our home – after 10 years. I added a little soy Parmesan cheese and it was awesome!!

MAYA @ MAYA- KITCHENETTE

This looks fabulous and so easy. Pinned it ! 🙂

Dey

DEFINITELY AMAZING!!!!!! I just did it..I added dry oregano (I love oregano in everything) with Oats pasta….and cut a half of tomato and some chives before mixing it..not that it needs anything else..wow!!!!!!! my fiancé couldn’t stop eating it, and making this hhhmmm-hmmm sounds..lol!! win win over here!! suuuuper!! from now on…NO OTHER PASTA SAUCE than THIS GOLD one!! Thank You so much!! and from now on I am a fan-follower 🙂

Phonesavanh Soutchay

You are a life saver!! This “Alfredo” is the bomb, thank you for keeping me on track on my diet and helping me realize healthy substitutions are not awful! Sprinkle a little nutritional yeast and it makes it THAT better. I also put this on my mashed “potato” (cauliflower) and it’s amazing!

Daniel Millen

Ok, so THIS IS SO YUMMY!! This was excellent per instructions, but I experimented a bit & added 1/4 cup of whole milk (for a bit more creaminess … maybe I had too much cauliflower?), 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan and va-va-VOOM! It’s SO DANG GOOD! I’m going to add the sauteed mushrooms next time, and perhaps a tad more garlic. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

Abbey

This turned out so. unbelievably. good. I cannot believe it was so simple and so few ingredients! I will definitely be throwing this into my usual food routine. Even my brother and aunt – who are not healthy by any means – loved it! My whole family is obsessed.

The alfredo sauce is amazing on its own. I also added sauteed onions, mushrooms, roasted broccoli, and served it over spiralized zucchini noodles. Perfection.

Berenice

Really, Reaaaaally good ! I love it thank you !

Cori

This is incredible! I found this recipe in your awesome cookbook that I just got and I had to come find it on your website to leave a comment. I made it on the fly and served over leftover spaghetti squash. The sauce is so creamy, comforting and beyond satisfying! I had to stop myself from licking the plate. I have enjoyed all of the recipes so far from your cookbook but this one the most so far because I am such a huge Alfredo fan and I thought that comforting dish was lost to me forever. Thankfully you found it!

S.R.

Call this whatever you want, but DON’T call it Alfredo. This is puréed cauliflower tossed with fettuccine noodles…. a far cry from Fettuccine Alfredo. No matter what you do to cauliflower, it still has that funky sulfur taste to it. Although this might taste good to some people, it is what it is and nothing more. I’ve substituted cauliflower for everything from mashed potatoes to grated and sautéed as “cauliflower rice.” Although it’s palatable, it can never be masked as anything other than what it is….cauliflower. That is certainly not a bad thing, but don’t go giving it any airs.

Alicia

I thought this would be bland and NOT creamy, but I was wrong. It was delicious! Even my kids ate it! I followed the recipe and added a little soy aminos for flavor. I can’t believe how simple this is.

J

Awesome!!! This is one for the books. Husband and I were a little skeptical at first, but this is so delicious and so filling. Healthiest alternative to an alfredo craving
Thanks again

Lisa

Hi! Any idea how this would freeze? Thinking about using ice cube trays and using them for single meals for my toddler

Karen

I made this last night and was very pleasantly surprised! I have allergies to milk and missed my usual alfredo sauce so this was perfect! even my husband enjoyed it! very, very good!!! I sautéed onions with the garlic and added some vegan Earth Balance butter. thanks!!!!!!

Colleen

I also use chicken stock in lieu of water or half stock, half water

Angela

I was very skeptical about making this. I’m allergic to tomatoes and choose to eat paleo for health reasons. I made this tonight with grilled chicken and zucchini noodles. AMAZING!! The sauce alone is amazing. It’s going to be my pizza sauce, meatball sauce, sausage gravy sauce, ideas are endless this sauce is so versatile. Thank you for this amazing sauce!!

    Angela

    I also used chicken broth in place of water.

JOHN

Made this wonderful sauce tonight, and served it over spaghetti… squash! I allow myself a very small amount of dairy in my diet, so I used a combination of butter and olive oil to sauteé the garlic. Since I don’t have a kitchen scale to weight 12 ounces of cauliflower, I just used enough florets to fill a one quart saucepan, and followed the rest of the recipe. Oh yeah… I doubled the garlic (loves me some garlic!). This recipe lends itself to using an immersion blender right in the saucepan, eliminating the need to clean out a blender pitcher or food processor bowl, later.

Michelle

I tried this tonight because I needed a topping for soy bean noodles…we loved it! Even my picky kids ages 4, 6 & 7 liked it. I added a little nutritional yeast & almond milk for some more creaminess. A very good vegan addition to our menu! Thanks!

Don walker

Very good! Cant wait to have it again. Made it over butternutsquash “zoodles” awesome!!

Gery

I made this yesterday and I loved it. I had it over some spaghetti squash and a turkey, onions and tomatoes crumble. The ultimate test was my boyfriend, who enjoys healthy eating, but he had it with whole-wheat pasta…HE ALSO LOVED IT! He had it today for lunch again. I am eating it today as a “soup” with some of the turkey in there. Great recipe. I will surely make it a few times a month.

Carmen

What the??? This actually tastes and has the texture of alfredo! What can’t cauliflower do?

And I have to say, my vitamix blender was one of the best buys I’ve made. made everything so smooth and creamy!!

Christine

This is a wonderful recipe!!
I recently bought a lot of cauliflower (it was 4# for $1 – I went kinda crazy and got 20#.)
This helped me use up the rest of the cauliflower that I didn’t freeze – plus from now on it will be our go to dairy free white sauce.

Thank you for sharing!

Gabriella

I made this sauce tonight, inspired by your Instagram suggestion, and was SO IN LOVE with the way it turned out! Thank you Megan!!! I haven’t been able to eat Alfredo sauce for YEARS because of Acid Reflux and have been missing it… I thought this sauce would be watery and flavorless, and I am so glad I was all wrong. The texture was perfect, I poured a little over steamed asparagus, but I’m looking forward to making this easy and delicious sauce over and over again… 10/10!!! I never knew cauliflower could be so versatile. I’ve also made your cauliflower pizza, so I’m a big fan. Thank you again.

Jessica

Hi! I tried this recipe, but couldn’t get the mixture past a cauliflo mashed potato-y texture. i tired adding more water but it didnt help, do you have any suggestions?

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