Have I told you how much I love Instagram? I can spend hours browsing the #WhatVegansEat hashtag to see amazing plant-based creations from around the world. This cauliflower Alfredo recipe was first inspired by one of my Instagram buddies, @mandy_mo0n, the tahini and nutritional yeast she suggested work so well to create the perfect flavors and just the right creaminess.
If I didn’t make this myself, I never would have believed it wasn’t a “real” sauce with cheese and butter. It tastes every bit as creamy and delicious as an authentic Alfredo sauce (maybe even better), and the cauliflower gives the sauce the right texture without taking anything away from the flavors.
You’ve got to try this one – I made it twice last week and I’ll be making it again soon.
Makes about 3 cups of sauce
- 2 1/2 cups chunked cauliflower
- 1 1/2 cups plain unsweetened almond milk
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 3-4 tablespoons tahini
- 1 clove garlic – chopped
- 1 lemon (juice)
- sea salt
- black pepper
- Whole wheat fettuccine, macaroni, or any pasta
- 2 cups broccoli (optional)
- grated cashews (garnish)
Break up the cauliflower head into 2 1/2 cups of medium-sized pieces and add them to a pot with the almond milk, nutritional yeast, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cover and allow the ingredients to gently simmer for at least 15-20 minutes, but do not let the mixture boil.
Note: Tahini is sesame seed paste. It’s basically peanut butter made from sesame seeds instead of peanuts. If you don’t have this ingredient or can’t find it, cashew butter would also work.
When the cauliflower has begun to break down and becomes soft, transfer the mixture to a blender and blend thoroughly until the sauce is totally creamy and no chunks remain. At this point, give the sauce a taste and adjust any ingredients as necessary – feel free to add more tahini, salt, lemon juice, etc.
The sauce will thicken as it sits, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. If the sauce becomes too thick when tossing with pasta, simply add a few tablespoons of water to find the right consistency.
Prepare the pasta according to the package instructions, and (optionally) steam some broccoli, zucchini, peas, or other veggies. When the pasta is fully cooked, drain it and return to the pan. Pour the sauce over the pasta and gently toss. Add in the vegetables if you’re using them. Transfer to plates and top with black pepper or grated cashews as a substitute for parmesan cheese.