Eric is in love with this creamy cauliflower pasta dish. I mean, in love. In fact, he asked if we could make it together on Valentine’s Day. Who am I to deny a grown man cauliflower? Plus, creamy pasta and Valentine’s Day go hand and hand. Chocolate too, of course. I’d say it’s a win-win.
Traditional Alfredo sauce is mostly made up of butter, cheese, and often, cream. Decadent? You betcha. Hiding a super healthy vegetable? Not so much. I’m happy to say this cauli-power sauce brings us both decadence and nutrition. To be honest, I was super skeptical to try the blended-cauliflower-as-pasta-sauce trend and I wasn’t rushing to try it out. But after whipping up a version in my kitchen, I went crazy for this stuff. And by crazy, I mean standing over the pot of pasta and spooning it into my mouth uncontrollably. Yea that happened. It’s downright irresistible just like you’d hope a creamy pasta to be. Of course, soaked cashews can create a fine alfredo sauce too, but it’s great to have a change from nuts. All you have to do to make this sauce nut-free is swap the almond milk for a nut-free non-dairy milk of your choice. Fun, right?
This sauce makes a lot (3 cups!) which means you can happily drown the pasta with the sauce. No skimping here! It is cauliflower after all. I stirred the sauce into whole grain spelt ribbon pasta which was quite tasty. I gravitate toward meals that leave me feeling good and this certainly made the cut. Not bad for a decadent-tasting pasta, I say.
4 servings (makes 3 cups sauce)
This vegan “alfredo” sauce tastes decadent, yet is super light and energizing thanks to the sneaky cauliflower base! The nutritional yeast lends this sauce a rich "cheesy" flavour, while the blended cauliflower creates a creamy, luxurious base. This alfredo sauce is lovely served with pasta, but you can also enjoy it stirred into your favourite roasted or sautéed veggies. I love sautéing seasonal vegetables to serve along with the sauce over pasta. In the photo, I topped my bowl with a lovely spring veggie trifecta of leeks, asparagus, and peas. Thanks to Pinch of Yum for inspiring this tasty recipe!
- 4 heaping cups (460 g) cauliflower florets (1 small/medium cauliflower)
- 1/2 tablespoon (7.5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) unsweetened and unflavoured almond milk*
- 1/4 cup (20 g) nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) fresh lemon juice, plus more for serving
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, to taste
- 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, to taste
- 1 package (350 g/12 ounces) fettuccine or rotini pasta**
- Fresh minced parsley, for garnish
- Place cauliflower florets in a steamer basket and steam, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes until fork tender. (Alternatively, you can boil the cauliflower in a pot of water for 8 to 15 minutes until fork tender. Drain well before proceeding.)
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain well and add it back to the pot. Set aside.
- Add the oil and minced garlic to a small skillet and sauté over low heat for 4 to 5 minutes until softened and fragrant. Be careful not to burn.
- Add the cooked cauliflower, sautéed garlic, milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to a high-speed blender. Blend until a very smooth sauce forms. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Add the cauliflower sauce to the pot with the pasta and stir well. Heat over low-medium until heated through. The pasta will tone down the flavours of the sauce so it’s important to taste the mixture and add more seasonings (salt, pepper, lemon, etc.) to taste before serving.
- For serving: Divide the warm pasta into bowls and top with more salt and pepper (to taste), along with a squeeze of lemon and some fresh minced parsley. Feel free to add your favourite cooked veggies such as broccoli, peas, leeks, asparagus, butternut squash, etc.
* It’s very important that you use an unsweetened and unflavoured non-dairy milk in this recipe (nothing with vanilla or added sugar, please!).
** If you’re only preparing a couple servings, feel free to cook less pasta and save leftover sauce for another time. The alfredo sauce will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for at least a few days.
To make the alfredo taste extra decadent, add a tablespoon or two of vegan butter to the sauce.
Make it gluten-free: Use gluten-free pasta.
Boost the protein: Use a legume-based pasta such as chickpea pasta.
Make it nut-free: Use a nut-free non-dairy milk (such as soy milk) instead of almond milk. Be sure to use unsweetened and unflavoured milk.
This sounds absolutely divine! I know my husband misses creamy Alfredo, and I’m sure this will more than do the trick!
Tried it the original way super clumpy, then I did it your way and it was great! Thank you for the advice
I read the title and was like “no”, then read the post and was like “yes”. Excited to make this on the weekend!!
You are kind of a genius. Growing up alfredo was always my favorite dish but I haven’t had it in years since it’s such a total calorie bomb. Definitely making this asap!
I can’t wait to try this… perfect over zucchini ribbons… Thanks for another amazing recipe.
Adorable name!! And agree with Erica above – even though vegan alfredo sauce made with cashews is delicious, it’s still quite high in fat and calories. You just made THE dish for volume eaters aka can’t get pasta in my mouth fast enough!
This looks so tasty! I love the versatility of cauliflower. One dish I like to do is make mash with cauliflower instead of potatoes as a lower cal alternative. I’ll definitely have to try this alfredo recipe out!
Gorgeous!!! What sort of mushrooms did you use? There are none in the recipe but I spy some in the pics!
I used cremini :) I actually didn’t like them in this as much as I thought I would (I put this at the end of the recipe), but it was still tasty :)
Portobello would be nice, there more a meaty muchroom.
I did it with portobello mushrooms and was so yummy, this sauce is amazing and super low calorie sauce. My kids hate the cauliflower so when I made this sauce they told me that is the only way that they can ate that jajajajjaja!! Thanks!!!
Ok, totally trying this! I always avoid cream-based sauces because they’re normally heavy and I’ve noticed that dairy is causing huuuuge breakouts on my face, but you’ve got me dying to try this. I’ve never been so excited about cauliflower LOL! :)
Dairy is a common culprit for causing acne and other bad things. You’re smart to leave it off your diet.
I love being able to have comfort food that is healthy. So glad I saw this posted on Facebook.
haha I love the name of this! AND! It looks great! xx
Oh, how exciting! I just bought a cheddar cauliflower head from my local farmers market, and it’s supposed to have a more *creamier texture* than regular cauliflower. I think this is a match made in foodie heaven! I can’t wait to try this :)
Brilliant idea. 25% more Vitamin A too! :)
Wow that looks amazing – I love cauliflower, so versatile! xx
I love using nuts as a substitute for meat and cheese. Recently I made tacos with ground nuts from the Beauty Detox book and they were so good! I cannot wait to try this recipe.
This looks very good! I would be inclined to use it as a sauce for rice, millet or quinoa or even just as a dip for vegetables!
I think I might try this for dinner tonight! I have a big head of cauliflower that’s about to go bad, so this is perfect. Also, your photography is gorgeous, as always…
looks reallly good! do u think this sauce would freeze well?
I haven’t tried freezing it yet, but let me know if you try it out :)
Just wanted to let you know and everyone else that this delicious sauce freezes beautifully.
Thanks, Lea! I have too much sauce left over so I’m going to freeze it. :)
Go ahead and freeze the sauce. It freezes great.
Thanks alot! Cauliflower just went on sale this week so I’m gonna make a double batch and freeze half :)
I try to steer clear of creamy sauces because they are usually so heavy. This one on the other hand, looks amazing. You continue to inspire me with these amazing recipes! This is the perfect meal for my birthday dinner tonight, thanks!!!
Yes yes yes! I love using cauliflower to make things creamy, sooo much better than butter annnd veggies for the win!!
Wow that looks delicious! Cauliflower is definitely the “IT” food of the year! I made a cauliflower crust pizza last night, it was wonderful!
This would be a great new dish for me to try to fuel my training! You cannot run 70 miles a week on salads! I am always on the lookout for new pasta dishes to fuel me up for my training :) Thanks for the recipe!
This is so unique! Would leaving out the nutritional yeast compromise the flavor too much? I don’t have any at my house, but still want to try it.
The nutritional yeast does give it a great flavour, but it might be ok without it – let me know if you try it out. You might need to adjust the seasonings too
Hi! Being down in Australia I wasn’t sure what the yeast was! Apparently sell it down here as nutritional yeast flakes. Left it out but found it lacked a bit of oomph… will try again with next time!
I tried this without the nutritional yeast. I added a bit of veggie stock and ground sage. Also, I tossed in some roasted mushrooms and raw kale at the end. I loved it!!!! Lots of sea salt and fresh ground pepper too.
Thanks for sharing such a delicious recipe!
Good to know, thanks!
I also couldn’t find nutritional yeast. Instead I added some freshly ground nutmeg and added fried aubergine to it. It was very tasty :)
I’ve had a hard time finding nutritional yeast. Maybe this recipe will inspire me to order some online. It looks and sounds scrumptious!
Try the bulk section if you haven’t already.
Yup, also the organic/natural food aisle of some grocery stores have it.
Even before I stopped eating dairy, I never enjoyed alfredo sauce because it was way too heavy, but I always loved the creamy taste. Vegan alfredo is the best of both worlds! Looks delicious!
YOU. ARE. AMAZING. For almost a year now I have used only your recipes and I couldn’t be happier. Yum!
That makes me so happy to hear how much you enjoy them – thanks Kailee!
Wow, this looks incredible! I don’t have a Vitamix or high speed blender, but I do have a food processor. Do you think this would work?
The food processor might leak a little (mine does when using liquids…) but it should still be ok :)
I always make mine in the food processor without problem. I do first process the cauliflower and garlic until the cauliflower is mashed and then add everything else. I also add a pinch of ghost pepper salt to give it an extra kick, if you like spicy food.
Looks soooo good! I made a nutritional yeast sauce for pasta a while back but I would love to try this for the veggie boost.
Holy amazing! This pasta dish sounds absolutely to-die-for. I’d love to toss this sauce with pasta and then load it up with veggies. I’m thinking spinach, mushrooms, asparagus… the options are endless.
mmm asparagus :)
This looks absolutely delicious! I love me some pasta!
I cannot wait to try this!! :)
I love cauliflower Alfredo, but I haven’t tried a vegan version. Can’t wait to try your recipe out. It’s sure to be a hit!
I just happened to have a head of cauliflower in the fridge so i cooked this recipe for dinner- and let mé Tell you….. It’s absolutely mindblowingly amazingness!!!!!! Thank you so much Angela :)
I can’t wait to have leftovers tomorrow.
By the Way i had this with cherry tomatoes and ligthly steamed cauliflower florets on top- perfect!
That was fast!! So glad you love it as much as we do :)
Yum. I have to try this. And I love that Eric asked to make it together for Valentines Day! So sweet!
This looks great? Do you think it would keep if I only used part of it right after making it? Thanks!
I meant… This looks great! :-)
Yes I do think it would keep for at least a couple days :)
I agree with Nicole! This dish sounds yummy and Eric is a doll!
I kid you not, my lactose intolerant/gluten free partner just asked me to make him a version of this dish last week and it totally slipped my mind until I checked in to your blog. This sauce looks pretty cream-ilicous despite being dairy free. Thanks for sharing the recipe, Angela.
I can’t wait to make this!! Califlower is one of those foods I’ve been scared to try… It just doesn’t look very appealing, you know?? But that pasta looks so good! And then again, I used to think I hated broccoli until I tried it :)
I started myself on a vegan challenge January 1. So far I have dropped 5 lbs just from my diet! I haven’t been able to add exercise in yet (wait, stay at home mom of 3 kids=exercise, right?). Coincidently, this was on my menu for today! Your recipe sounds better than the one I had previously found (which I was worried sounded bland)! Your blog is my first stop for new recipes! PLUS, I am a Canadian (living state side now) but love supporting my home country! Thanks for good food and inspiration!
Hey Leanne,Congrats on your vegan challenge going so well! I hope you enjoy this dish. Let me know how it goes. :)
And yes, 3 kids if definitely exercise!!!! haha
This went over pretty well tonight! 2 of the 3 kids ate it, the 3rd being a VERY picky eater anyway. The husband ate it and liked it! I had some left over vegan pesto in the fridge and I added a dab to my own plate. I totally recommend that, or even just basil would work nicely!
That is adorable that your husband asked to cook it together on Valentine’s Day. You seem like such nice people which only adds to the great recipes! :)
I agree, that’s so cute! You’re a lucky girl that you both like to cook and eat vegan food together – I just love that! : )
Looks delicious! Do you think it would still taste good without the nutritional yeast? I don’t really care for the taste of it and I’ve never been a big fan of cheese-based sauces anyways. Thanks for the recipe! :)
Hi Anna, I actually had a girlfriend make me cauliflower alfredo recently and she used pesto in place of the nutritional yeast and it was really delicious! I hope this tip helps! :)
oh pesto is a great idea! What a nice variation :) was it basil pesto? I wonder if a parsley walnut or almond pesto would be nice too…
Yeah, it was just normal basil pesto, but I bet other ones would be great too!!!
Oooh, that sounds good! Thanks for the tip!
I made it without nutritional yeast since I didn’t have any and just added some extra flavour through dried herbs and it was scrumptious!
This LOOKS just as good as the dairy kind, which I never eat because it always makes you feel so terrible after. I’ll have to try this!
— Alex at brainyGirlsBeauty.com
I tried a recipe from elsewhere for cauliflower alfredo, and I found it had a san-like texture – NOT delicious. I am willing to give this a go again! And hopefully my new Vitamix will help as well :)
I think a big part of this recipe is that you really need to blend it until super smooth – no doubt the Vitamix works wonders for it to get so creamy!
I literally laughed out loud when you said “Who am I to deny a grown man cauliflower? ” I cannot wait to try this recipe!
Hehe me too! Angela – your writing style is not only genuine and brilliant but also hilarious! Seems like vegan blogging is perfect for you – combining the clever academic mind (considering you trained as an academic in psychology) and the wonders of delicious plant based food that taste amazing and nourish you simultaneously! You’re pretty much just the vegan bomb ;)
Felicity – thank you for your kind words!! I am so happy you enjoy the blog so much. xo
WOW! Oh WOW! Just made this for lunch! I had all of the ingredients and I was hungry and this sounded amazing so I couldn’t wait. I cannot believe that this is made with cauliflower! So creamy! So rich tasting! I added a titch of nutmeg since the dairy versions of Alfredo Sauce often use it. This is soooo delicious! Thank you Angela for another winner!!!
This looks so good! I’ve been scared to jump on the cauliflower Alfredo sauce band wagon too, but I may have to give this a try!
I saw this today and immediately went and bought the ingredients to put this dish together. Mine doesn’t look as creamy, but it tasted amazing. Thank you so much for the inspiration!
That looks fantastic!
This could even be made paleo with zucchini noodles!
I just made this for dinner. I served it over spaghetti squash instead of pasta and mixed in some steamed broccoli. So delicious. Thanks for the recipe
This looks so good I might just have to go pick up some cauliflower to make it for dinner tonight! I have overdone it with cashew alfredo so this would be a wonderful change! Plus I love that you don’t even need to prep ahead like with cashew based sauces.
Update: I made it for dinner and absolutely loved it! I bought a pre-cut and washed bag of cauliflower from Trader Joe’s to do it which made it so quick and easy! Threw in some spinach as well for a little extra boost. This is definitely my new favorite Oh She Glows pasta recipe!
I’m slowly, but surely, discovering how versatile Cauliflower is. This sauce looks delicious. I’ve been dying to try Cauliflower mashed ‘potatoes’ too. Just made cauliflower pizza crust over the weekend (coffeewithkate.com/2014/01/20/weekend-recap-117-119/ )and it turned out great! I was so surprised. It actually satisfied my pizza craving.
Do you have nutrition information for this recipe?
Wow, I am SO making this for my fam this week! I love introducing them with delicious foods that are super-healthy and vegan – their surprise is priceless!! ;)