Cauliflower Alfredo (Vegan & Nut-free)

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):

4.81 from 67 votes
cauliflower alfredo pasta with fork
Cauliflower Alfredo (Vegan & Nut-free)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

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
Servings: 2
Calories: 64 kcal
Author: Megan Gilmore
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
  1. 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.

  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, 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.

  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. Cover the vent in your blender lid with a thin kitchen towel to allow venting.)

  4. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired, and serve hot over your favorite pasta.

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.

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

Carrie

i made this for dinner tonight and it was a big hit! it got a solid “a” among young and old. I love the fact it only has a teaspoon of oil, adding very little fat to the dish. i added a pinch of nutmeg as well as a couple TABLESPOON of nutritional yeast flakes, garnished with fresh basil and served over gluten free penne. definitely a keeper.

Laurie

WOWWWWW! This is delicious! As a new mom I am in need of food that I can prepare fast and is also healthy. My one year old throws any veggies off his plate so this is perfect way to get his veggies in. Do you think this sauce would freeze well?

    Maureen Cram

    I have frozen it and it tasted great when I thawed it out. I made double so I could freeze some and save on washing pots!

Deborah

I’ve made this and could eat it with a spoon! It’s very easy to make and only takes a few minutes.
I’m thinking about adding some chickpea miso (I don’t do soy or nutritional yeast) for a cheesier flavor. How much should I add? 1/4 cup maybe?

Delfina Pichardo

So this will help you lose weight

Layrel

I absolutely loved this! I served it only over a mountain of steamed veggies and it was so Delicious! I cant wait to have the leftovers tomorrow!

Michael Kleinman

I am all for new recipes with cauliflower and personally make Cauliflower rice, cauliflower hummus and Cauliflower pizza crust. I take issue with the idea that butter, heavy cream and parmesan cheese are unhealthy. That is old thinking that has been debunked by current science and even the government has remcinded their guide lines on eating these products and claim their is no evidence that they cause harm. The carbs in the pasta you put the sauce on is the real health risk.

    Angie W

    I agree. Just wish with my son’s diagnosis we could still eat them!!

Vilma

Hi, I like your blog! I just wanted let you know that you misleading people by telling that this diet is optional for candida. People on diet can eat pasta.

Angie W

My son is on a milk elimination diet for EOE. I’ve been trying to find easy things that and 11 year old who’s been eating “regular” food would like. This is amazing. And mind you, I was super skeptical. I don’t just want a substitute! I want stuff that tastes good enough to want it as well or instead. I did add onions, almond milk to thin it a bit, mushrooms, a bit of mustard and nutritional yeast. I was shocked!! Thanks!!

    Megan Gilmore

    I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it! Thanks for your comment. 🙂

Ali

Delicious! I added the recommended nooch (1 tbsp) and 1/4 cup of pine nuts before blending. Will be enjoyed again in my home for sure!

Basia

I used cauliflower rice as that’s what I had on hand, and adjusted the water content. Just as tasty. I also don’t eat dairy so used my vegan Parmesan – nutritional yeast, cashews and a little salt – for those who don’t have nut allergies. Worked a treat!

Meredith

Just tried out this recipe, and it was amazing! I skipped the oil/butter and added the suggested nutritional yeast for a more cheesy flavor. It was delicious and surprisingly filling!

Heather

Can you use cauliflower rice or does it beed to be florets?

Amanda Broome

In response to S.R.’s post awhile back of still tasting the sulphur flavor that comes with cooked cauliflower- and anothers question of other vegetables to use, I might have a solution for both in a recipe I tried from a different website. As for cauliflower flavor use cooking process described next. Use Zucchini. Make sure to peel all green off and if older zuke de-seed before chunking and cooking in water- boil twice and throw away water away both times to make flavor milder. When blending/pureeing flavor any liquid used in recipe or thinning to thickness desired- ie… milk or a safe bouillon in water or noodle cooking water, nutritional yeast perhaps even a mild white miso or parmesan if allowed

DONNA

Does this freeze well?

    Megan Gilmore

    I haven’t tried it, but most sauces do freeze well! I like to freeze in ice cube trays for easier reheating later.

Jessica

Has anyone tried to freeze this sauce?

J

Can you use frozen cauliflower?

Karen

DELICIOUS! added extra garlic and nutritional yeast, and sauteed freah minced onion and 1 tbsp avacodo oil…soooo good!!!

audrey

Just made this and it was amazing! I cooked the cauliflower in chicken broth and added a pinch of nutmeg and some lemon. Topped it with some cilantro and sundried tomatoes. Thanks so much for providing us with comfort food that is guilt-free and dairy free :))

p.s. your date energy balls are also a favorite dessert of mine!

Hannah

Oh my goodness. This was amazing!!! I made it tonight for my husband who loves alfredo and he was just as crazy about it as I was. I mixed it with chickpea pasta and steamed broccoli, topped it with mozzarella and broiled it for a bit. So so so yummy!

Kathie

This was amazing! I took it down a notch and made it even easier and put garlic in a bowl of water and microwaved it! Then added the cauliflower for about 6-8 minutes. I didn’t even add the nutritional yeast and it was fantastic!!! (added salt and pepper and that was it!) Yum!

Kimberly

Can someone tell me if there are tiny “pieces” of cauliflower in their finished product? This didn’t get as creamy as I’d hoped and I didn’t know if it was the way the recipe was or did I not cook the cauliflower enough? Def was not of the consistency to fool anyone that it was actual Alfredo. Ended up using it to make mashed potatoes with instant flakes, flavor was yummy.

    Megan Gilmore

    No, there definitely shouldn’t be any pieces of cauliflower in there! Sounds like you need to cook it longer so that it’s mushy-soft, and blend it until silky smooth.

Sheryl

Made this and ate over zucchini spirals sauteed in garlic and onion with turkey sage meatballs on top!. DELICIOUS! Thank you for the recipe.

Nancy R

Thank you for making this nut free !! Im always aiming to eat healthy and mostly plant based. My husband has nut allergies so i greatly appreciate nut free recipes.

Connie

I made the Cauliflower Alfredo tonight for dinner. I’m a vegan, occasionally eat seafood. My husband is a dairy meat lover. He absolutely loved dinner tonight. I did add shrimp, sundries tomatoes, fresh spinach and nutritional yeast

STEPHANIE

I just love Cauliflower and all dishes containing it. I also like how you described in great detail how to prepare this delicious sauce.

Sherry Boxall

Im pretty sure you are a genius… thx for the inspiration!

Clare

This was great! I adapted it a bit and added sautéed onions & garlic, lactose free milk, paprika, onion & garlic powder to the steamed cauliflower, and then blended it all up for a creamy sauce. I cooked it a bit longer in a skillet and it turned put so delicious.

Hannah Lemon

This was really good and very easy to make! I’m out of nooch but I’m sure it would taste even better with that added. I made vegan pasta from scratch and added some frozen kale and basil from my garden, as well as a bit of paprika for a little spice.

Lis

I was a skeptic about this I have to say!! How can cauliflower reeaaaallly be a smooth sauce? I was shocked. This was such a tasty recipe. Now it doesnt taste thick and gluttonous like alfredo sauce does, and that’s what I liked about it. Thanks for the great recipe!

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