I’ve always been a sucker for an indulgent creamy pasta sauce, vegan or otherwise. Anything creamy really. Tomato sauce or Alfredo? Alfredo. Cheesecake or brownies? Cheesecake. Spinach dip or Hummus? Spinach dip. Caesar salad or vinaigrette? Caesar. You get the picture.
Now, as much as I love a silky, tangy, garlicky creamy alfredo sauce, I did not love the stomach ache that came immediately after eating the dairy packed version. This Vegan Cauliflower Alfredo has all the lemony, garlicky, creamy cravability of its non-vegan counterpart, without all the stomach aching and belly bloat.
This sauce comes together in just one pot with the help of a blender to make it smooth and creamy, making for fairly easy clean up. I should also mention that this sauce makes more than 4 servings worth (maybe 6 or 7 servings depending on how saucy you like things). Now if this does only make you 4 servings because you like pasta in a nice sauce bath, I wont judge. But, if you do have extra you can freeze the extra — I’ve tried it and it defrosts wonderfully so hello make ahead dinner! You can also save the extra and use it to make other pasta dishes. We’ve used the extra in lieu of a bechamel (cream sauce) in lasagna, or mixed with jarred red sauce to make a super delicious rose sauce served over gnocci or short pasta. Oh my goodness my mouth is watering just thinking about this (insert drooling emoji here). So, lets just get into making this seriously delicious Vegan Cauliflower Alfredo!
Vegan Cauliflower Alfredo
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup stock or water to cook onions & garlic; or 1 tbsp oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small head cauliflower, broken into florets
- 2 tbsp white miso paste
- 2 cups non-dairy milk, I recommend cashew or almond milk
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 2 tbsp coconut oil (This is optional, if you’re cooking oil free you can omit. The sauce won’t be quite as silky but it will still taste delicious!)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tbsp)
- 1 lb linguine, fettuccine or spaghetti noodles
- 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes or fresh cracked pepper to serve (optional)
- In a medium size pot over medium-high heat add 1/4 cup stock/water (or 1 tbsp oil if using) and add onions & minced garlic. Saute for 4-5 minutes until the onions soften and become translucent. If the bottom of the pot is looking a bit dry or the onions are sticking, add a bit more water/stock.
- Once the onions are translucent, add miso paste, cauliflower florets, non-dairy milk, cashews and coconut oil (if using).
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Partially cover and simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the cauliflower is very soft and breaks apart easily with a spoon.
- While this is simmering, bring a large pot of water to a boil for your pasta. Add your pasta noodles and set a timer per the package instructions.
- Before draining your pasta, take a mug and scoop out some of the pasta water. Set aside then drain your pasta. Set aside.
- Turn off the heat on the cauliflower mixture & add garlic powder, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Stir to combine
- Carefully transfer the cauliflower mixture to a blender. Place the lid on your blender with the center hole in the lid removed so steam can escape. Lightly cover the hole with a folded dishtowel and turn the blender on low to start. Gradually increase the speed watching the contents to be sure it doesn’t cause a mess! Blend on medium-high speed for 1-2 minutes. If you don’t have a high speed blender this could take 3-4 minutes. Be patient, it will smooth out!
- TIP: You may need to do this in 2 batches depending on the size of your blender.
- TIP:Only fill your blender MAXIMUM 3/4 full as this is a hot liquid that will expand slightly when you blend it.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Place the drained pasta noodles back into the large pot, add 1/2 cup or so of the pasta water you set aside earlier and add a few ladles of the Alfredo sauce. Stir and add more until its the amount of sauce you would like.
- Serve immediately topped with a sprinkle of vegan parmesan if desired, red pepper flakes or lots of fresh cracked black pepper.