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Cauliflower Alfredo: The Delicious, Healthy, and Vegan Pasta Sauce You Never Knew You Needed
Who doesn’t love a creamy Alfredo sauce smothering their pasta? But let’s be real, it’s not exactly the healthiest option out there. That’s where this cauliflower Alfredo sauce comes in. You’ll never believe it’s entirely plant-based and vegan, yet it’s still creamy, indulgent, and packed with veggies.
What is Cauliflower Alfredo?
Cauliflower Alfredo is a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional Alfredo sauce made with heavy cream and cheese. It’s made with roasted cauliflower, garlic, and cashews blended together to create a creamy, rich sauce. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and full of nutrients, making it a guilt-free way to enjoy a creamy pasta dish.
Key Ingredients Overview
Here’s a quick overview of the key ingredients in this cauliflower Alfredo sauce:
- Cauliflower: This is the main ingredient in the sauce and provides a creamy, rich texture. It’s also packed with nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.
- Garlic: Roasted garlic adds depth and flavor to the sauce. It’s also full of antioxidants and has potential health benefits like reducing blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels.
- Cashews: These nuts add a creamy, rich texture to the sauce and provide healthy fats and protein.
- Soy milk: This adds creaminess to the sauce and helps to thin it out. You can also use another type of milk if you prefer, such as almond milk or oat milk.
- Lemon juice: This adds a bright, tangy flavor to the sauce and helps to balance out the richness.
- Nutritional yeast: This is a type of yeast that’s often used in vegan cooking for its cheese-like flavor. It also adds a boost of B-vitamins and protein to the sauce.
How to Make Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce
Making cauliflower Alfredo sauce couldn’t be easier. First, preheat your oven to 200C/390F and coat some cauliflower florets and garlic cloves in olive oil and vegetable stock powder. Roast them in the oven for 20 minutes until they’re golden brown.
While the cauliflower and garlic are roasting, place some raw cashews in a bowl and cover them with boiling water. Let them soak for 15 minutes, then rinse them under cold water and drain.
Once the cauliflower and garlic are done roasting, let them cool down for a bit. Then, combine them in a blender with the soaked and drained cashews, soy milk, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast. Blend everything together until it’s smooth and creamy. If you want a thinner consistency, you can add an extra splash of milk. Taste the sauce and season it with salt and pepper as desired, then blend it again to mix everything together.
Storage Instructions for Cauliflower Alfredo
If you have any leftover cauliflower Alfredo sauce, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Just thaw it in the fridge or in the microwave when you’re ready to use it.
Substitutions for ingredients in Cauliflower Alfredo
Here are a few ideas for substitutions you can make in this recipe:
- You can replace the soy milk with any other type of plain, unsweetened milk, such as almond milk or oat milk. Avoid using coconut or rice milk, as they will be too sweet and impart too much flavor.
- Instead of nutritional yeast, you can use vegan parmesan cheese or leave it out entirely.
- If you’re not a fan of cauliflower, you can use another type of roasted veggie, such as butternut squash or sweet potato, in its place.
- Cashews can be swapped for sunflower seeds, blanched almonds, or macadamias. Just be aware that the flavor of the sauce may change slightly depending on the type of nut you use.
- You can also replace the vegetable stock powder with a bouillon cube or leave it out entirely
Yes, this sauce is entirely vegan and gluten-free.
Yes, you can use any type of pasta you prefer with this sauce. Just be sure to cook it according to the package instructions.
Yes, you can use this sauce on a variety of dishes, such as grilled vegetables, roasted potatoes, or even as a topping for a baked sweet potato. You could also use it as a dip or creamy dressing in a salad or wrap.
Yes, you can freeze this sauce in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Just be sure to thaw it in the fridge or in the microwave when you’re ready to use it.
If you’re looking for a healthier, plant-based option for Alfredo sauce, give this cauliflower Alfredo a try. It’s creamy, indulgent, and packed with nutrients, and it’s sure to become a new favorite in your recipe rotation. If you’re looking for more vegan pasta ideas, be sure to try my Creamy Avocado Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes, Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Basil Pesto or Supergreen Mac n Cheese Bake.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Do you have any substitutions or variations you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you!
- Large pot
- Large frypan
- 6 cups raw cauliflower florets approx. 1 medium head of cauliflower
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup unsweetened soy milk or milk of choice
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp olive oil to blend in the sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- 500 g fettucine cooked to packet instructions
- cashew parmesan or cheese of choice
- Preheat oven to 200C/390F.
- If you have time, soak cashews in water overnight. For the quick version, boil cashews for 15 mins, then rinse under cold water and drain. *Note – if you do not have a high powered blender, I'd recommend soaking the cashews overnight or boiling them for 25 minutes to make them extra soft and to get the sauce as silky smooth as possible.
- Coat cauliflower florets and unpeeled garlic cloves in olive oil and powdered vegetable stock. Place on a baking tray, roast in the oven for 25-30 mins or until golden. The cauliflower should be very soft and be easily pierced by a fork (otherwise it won't blend smoothly). Roast for an extra 5-10 minutes if needed to get this texture.
- Remove tray from oven, and when cool enough to touch, carefully peel garlic.
- Combine the cooled cauliflower, roast garlic, cashews, soy milk, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and olive oil in a blender. Blitz until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired, then blitz again to mix, at this point you can also add an extra splash of milk if you'd like a thinner consistency. Continue to adjust/blitz until it meets your taste. *Note – if using a closed blender, for your safety, be sure the cauliflower and garlic are lukewarm, as some closed blenders can explode if hot.
- Prepare pasta to packet instructions, then drain and return to pot. Pour sauce over and stir through.
- Serve pasta into bowls and top with parmesan (if desired).