Dinner/Mains

August 4, 2021

Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce offers a lighter, dairy-free alternative to traditional alfredo sauce, which is usually made with cream and parmesan cheese. Sometimes you just want an option that doesn’t feel as heavy, but it’s also a great option if you’re limiting dairy consumption, or just trying to incorporate more vegetables into your meals.

This Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce doesn’t sacrifice any of the rich, creamy texture of traditional alfredo sauce. My brother often sneaks this by the spoonful from the blender before I can even pour it over pasta!

This recipe uses nutritional yeast (pictured below), which is in part what gives the sauce its cheesy flavor. Nutritional yeast is often used as a vegan alternative to cheese in sauces and soups, but it’s also great sprinkled on top of popcorn, baked potatoes, roasted vegetables - anything you want to add a cheesy flavor to! It is rich in B vitamins, including B12 (which occurs mostly in animal products, making this a helpful option to include in plant-based diets). Nutritional yeast is becoming widely available in grocery stores, and once you try it, I bet you’ll find more uses for it!

Large jar of nutritional yeast held over a table
Nutritional yeast adds a cheesy flavor to vegan dishes.

Cauliflower florets in a large pot of water
Roughly chop cauliflower into florets, and cover with water.

Cooked cauliflower, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a blender
Combine cooked cauliflower, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper into a blender.

Pouring pureed sauce over hot, cooked pasta
Pour pureed sauce over hot, cooked pasta of your choice, and gently stir to coat the pasta in sauce.

Plate of Cauliflower Alfredo pasta, roasted broccoli, and tomato wedges on a green table
Serve with roasted vegetables or a side salad for a meat-free meal!

Original publication date: October 12, 2020

Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce offers a lighter, dairy-free alternative to traditional alfredo sauce, because sometimes you just want an option that doesn’t feel as heavy, or maybe you're trying to add more veggies to your meals.

Author:

Kira Freed - The Joyful Plateful

Prep:

5

min

cook:

25

min

total:

30

min

Ingredients

1 lb. (16 oz.) pasta of your choice

1 large (or 2 small) head of cauliflower

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. kosher salt, divided

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Remove stem and leaves from cauliflower, and roughly chop into florets. Add cauliflower florets to a large pot, and add enough water to cover generously. Add 1 tsp. kosher salt. Bring to boil on high heat, then reduce to simmer, and simmer cauliflower about 15 minutes, until tender and easily pierced with a knife.
  2. While cauliflower is cooking, bring another large pot of water to boil, and cook your pasta according to package directions. Drain, and set aside.
  3. When cauliflower is tender, reserve 1 cup of the cauliflower cooking water, and then drain cauliflower.
  4. Add cooked cauliflower, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to a high speed blender, along with 1/2 cup of reserved cauliflower cooking water. Blend on medium speed, stopping once to scrape down sides and possibly add more of reserved cooking water, depending on consistency of sauce. Finish blending on high until sauce is smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds.
  5. Pour cauliflower sauce over hot, cooked pasta, and toss to combine.
  6. Serve with a side salad or roasted vegetables.
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May 24, 2022
Elizabeth
I don't normally comment on recipes but this has got to be the best thing I've ever made. It came together pretty easy and made five meals - perfect for meal prep for the week. I already can't wait to make it again.
January 22, 2022
Sherry Ruiter
I love this section!!!!!