Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

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Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

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

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Step One

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.

Step Two

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.

Step Three

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.

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Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

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 Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

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62 Comments

  1. Oh so delicious !will be making it again and again and again! thanks Andrew One ingredient+ One +One +Delicious= One Ingredient Chef ! Yay glad I found you on facebook!

  2. Came home from work last night to find that my kitchen-chef-in-training boyfriend had whipped this up. SO tasty, can’t believe there’s no cream in it.

  3. As usual, this recipe is simply amazing! If it’s alright, I will be posting a link on my blog tonight so more people can experience this great treat.

  4. Katherine says:

    Hi Andrew,
    Thank you so much for posting this recipe and linking to it on Reddit. As soon as I saw the title, I knew it was going to be amazing, and I was not disappointed. Even better that we already had all of the ingredients here at home, you gotta love that. We stayed true to the recipe, except added just a pinch of nutmeg. So glad I found this website, it looks like you have a really good thing going on here. Excited to try some more of your recipes!

    • Hi Katherine! Thanks for the comment, I’m so glad you liked the Alfredo Sauce!

      • Katherine says:

        Hi Andrew,

        I’m not sure if you have ever tried this as a pizza sauce, but my boyfriend and I did this recently as a substitute to tomato sauce and I just wanted to let you know that it turned out AMAZING. If you haven’t already tried this, I would definitely recommend it. :)

        Thanks again,
        Katherine

        • Oh! That has actually been on my list of things to experiment with. I had a cool idea for a pizza with this sauce. Thanks for letting me know it works and hopefully I’ll put something together in the next week or two!

  5. Hey Andrew, thanks for sharing your Instagram — didn’t realize you were on there! I am following you now.

    This recipe sounds solid, I might save it for the fall when I’m craving more creamy, rich dishes. Yet I have fresh broccoli from the farmers market, so it might happen sooner than later!

    • Hey Jared. I love Instagram. Sometimes Twitter, Facebook, etc. can feel like “work” but I can spend hours on Instagram just having fun. Good luck saving this sauce for the fall, haha, I don’t care what the temperature is, I can’t go a week without it anymore :)

  6. Estefania P says:

    I was ready to make but I just realized that the girl at the store change the bottle of tahini that I already had to a “sesame butter” is this the same thing or do I need tahini ?

  7. Bvisailor says:

    I made a few changes (I’m allergic to nuts) and while it was a little too much nutritional yeast flavor for me, it was good enough that I’m going to make it again today to perfect my version! An excellent starting point with ingredients I NEVER would have come up with, thanks for posting!

  8. Genevieve says:

    Made this for dinner…WOW! Tastes pretty close to non-vegan alfredo, but better! I used more nutritional yeast and less cashews it was extremely yummy! Thank you for this recipe!

  9. This was pretty good! I found the tahini flavor (which I don’t love) to be too strong, even with just the 3 tablespoons. Next time I’ll use 1-2. I added a touch of male syrup and lots of extra lemon juice to brighten up the flavor, and it worked nicely. Great texture, just like alfredo!

  10. I’m making this right now, and I’m wondering if anyone can steer me as to how much lemon juice to use?

  11. This was so good! I added a lil red pepper flake for some bite! I just had the leftovers for lunch! Delicious!

  12. Just came across this and had to say thanks! So many vegan recipes rely on cashews when making anything creamy, and I can’t have them :( I normally use pine, brazil, or macadamia nuts instead, but the flavours don’t work for everything and it can get expensive using them all the time. Will definitely be making this soon! :-)

  13. Char Jagoe says:

    I don’t remember how I found you, but I’m so glad I did – and so is my doctor. I love to cook, but I wasn’t cooking foods that would help my body heal – I have Heart Disease, I’ve had breast cancer, and now they have discovered nodules on my thyroid and spine. When I tried this recipe for Alfredo, I thought… I’ll try it, but it won’t be the same… and, I was right! It wasn’t the same because – IT WAS BETTER! Even my husband liked it. I didn’t have any fettuccini noodles, but I did have Jerusalem Artichoke noodles. We will have leftovers tonight, because I made plenty. I also tried the avocado pesto zucchini dish – which I loved. Now I’m going to try and make the cashew milk… please post more meals. I’m lovin’ your recipes and my doctor, who is vegan, wants the recipe’s also. I have always have a problem with my weight so I’m hoping, with your help, I can get a handle on it and enjoy what I eat while I lose the weight.

    • Char, thank you for taking the time to leave this comment. I’m happy that you’re making the commitment to cooking healthier and if the recipes here can help you improve your health, that’s why I do this. I’m thrilled to hear that you’re enjoying them and I’ll keep new recipes coming :)

  14. Mmmm! Cauliflower! I’ve seen the versions on some vegan blogs, but that is something I would like to try someday.

  15. When organic cauliflower is to be found, I will make this, too, again and again. It’s delicious.

  16. Jane clark says:

    I just came across your blog, it’s fantastic. I have pinned quite a few of your recipes to try. The cauliflower Alfredo sauce was amazing. I had it with steamed veg to cut calories and it was divine. I substituted the yeast extract for horse radish (I am English !) it worked well. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes

  17. otro estebandido says:

    Thanks for this great dish.
    one comment, the time I will use less nutritional yeast.

  18. Just wanted to let you know that I made this recipe yesterday night for myself and a totally non-vegan friend. We both devoured it. Amazing recipe, and felt so much healthier than regular alfredo too (because it obviously is!) . Definitely making it again as soon as possible.

    • Cool! This recipe is still one of my all-time favorites and I go through phases where it’s pretty much the only thing I eat for a week at a time :) I’m so glad to hear you guys liked it too!

  19. This recipe looks amazing and I’m just about to start preparing it for the first time. Can you tell me if you’ve tried freezing this at all?

    I’m trying to be more economical by preparing and freezing lunches and dinners ahead of time, as my work schedule does not allow for daily food preparation. Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Thea, good luck with the recipe, I hope it turns out well! I have not tried freezing it, but I do imagine the sauce would freeze fine. You could certainly give it a shot!

      • All I can say is that I’m completely disgusted… Not with the recipe, that was fantastic! I’m disgusted because I ate… The whole thing.

        Seriously, freezing is the least of my concerns now. I could double the batch and it probably still wouldn’t make it to the freezer.

        After all the reviews, I didn’t even bother measuring, just eyeballed it. Then added fresh organic zucchini and tomatoes. It was amazingly good.

        Because it was horribly cold out today, I opted for tri-colour rigatoni pasta as I had devoured the fettuccine noodles earlier this week, and that was all that remained unless I wanted to bundle up and go to the store.

        Also, it only took 15 minutes from prep to plate! I’m hooked! Thank you again!

        • I was really sad after reading that first sentence – you scared me there! But I’m so glad you liked it! It’s one of my favorites too. It works great with any pasta, any veggies. In fact… I think you convinced me to make this tomorrow! :)

          Eyeballing is the only way to go, right? ;) I never measure unless I know I’ll be posting the recipe here.

  20. I love this sauce. I like to add some onion into the blender when I blend the ingredients. We had this yesterday over shredded squash and it was so yummy. I love that I have leftover sauce for something today!!!

  21. How important is the nutritional yeast? Looking to make this for some vegan guests this week and don’t have that on hand.

    • I actually think the nutritional yeast is really important to the overall quality of the sauce. I know it’s kind of a bizarre ingredient, and you can definitely give it a shot without, it’ll probably still be great, but the flavors won’t be quite the same.

  22. I made this last night! My new go to Cauliflower Alfredo recipe! Even my husband loved it! Thank you for sharing!

  23. Excited to come across your blog, lots of intriguing ideas, and I think this recipe is first on my list to try!
    2 quick questions – first of all, about how much pasta would this recipe be good for? Also, can this recipe be made ahead and/or frozen, if one were to make a larger batch at one time?

    • Hey Lillian! This actually does make quite a bit of sauce. If you use a typical 16 oz package of pasta, you’ll probably have a little leftover. I can’t speak to freezing it, as I haven’t tried that myself, but it does last at least 3-4 days in the refrigerator, maybe longer – mine’s just always been eaten before then :)

  24. This is amazing! Even my cat thought it was real Alfredo sauce. She licked the lid of the food processor while I wasn’t looking. Made enough for over 4 servings.

  25. This looks like a wonderful recipe! Just wondering, is there any substitute for the nutritional yeast? I have never used that in a recipe before. Thanks!

    • Hi Kayla! I really can’t think of any good substitute because it has such a distinct flavor, this sauce just wouldn’t be the same without it :( it’s pretty easy to find though!

  26. would soy milk alter the taste too much?
    thanks!

    • Hi Maytal! I’ve used soy milk before but I honestly did notice a difference. It’s not huge, and soy does work in a pinch, but I do prefer almond milk here.

  27. Whole Foods Plant-based vegan says:

    SO good! My husband, who is not a fan of cauliflower, gobbles this up! Our whole family just loves this recipe; it has now become a regular in our meal rotations. Thank you SO much for sharing this recipe!

Mentions

  1. [...] Guess why this vegan Alfredo sauce is so creamy? … Wait for it … Cauliflower! Click here for the surprising recipe.  [...]

  2. […] recept met een verrassend ingrediënt als basis voor de Alfredo saus: bloemkool! Het recept vond ik hier. Ik at er vegetarische Caesar salad bij, waar cashewnoten overheen gingen, dus liet ik het hier weg […]

  3. […] Chocolate Quinoa Cereals: de quoi me donner le goût de me lever le matin! 2. Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce: une sauce Alfredo sans lactose? MAGIQUE! 3. Lentil & Sweet Potato Shepperd’s Pie: OMG […]

  4. […] of Andrew’s recipes that received a ton of buzz was his Cauliflower Alfredo. I don’t normally care for cauliflower (yes, take my Vegan club card away), but it started […]

  5. Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

    Notes: We both thought this was good. Served it over spinach fettuccine topped with cooked mushrooms and broccoli, grated cashews and red pepper flakes. Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups chunked cauliflower 1 1/2 cups plain unsweetened almond mil

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