14 October 2011

high protein cauliflower alfredo sauce

creamy pasta, that's all i could think about for dinner last night.  and i wasn't in the mood for mac 'n cheeze, although we did try angela's recipe last week and loved it.  no, last night i wanted alfredo.

i'm not even a huge alfredo fan, though i did love it up earlier this fall when i tried my hand at a raw version.  but this - this is something different.  this is a luxuriously creamy number that wraps up into a big 'ol bowl of comfort.  and it's really easy.  and it's gluten-free.  and full protein too.

oh yes, and of course it includes some kale, for good measure.

i had a beauty of a cauliflower from my csa {sigh, this week was one of the last 3 of the season...} and over the long weekend i remembered that i was telling someone about how much i love mashed cauliflower in the place of mashed potatoes.  {have you tried that yet?  it's amazing!}  anyways, so i thought, why not use mashed cauliflower as a base for a creamy pasta sauce?  i also had some white beans in the fridge leftover from the savoury tart i made earlier this week, so i added those to the sauce for added creaminess and protein.

high protein cauliflower alfredo
makes 3 1/2 cups of sauce
1/2 head cauliflower, about 2 cups worth
1 cup white beans (drained and rinsed if using canned)
1 - 1 1/4 cup almond milk
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 large shallot (i used 3 because mine were tiny)
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup kale (i used toscano kale)
1/8 cup sundried tomatoes, packed in oil
dash nutmeg
your favourite cooked pasta

start by cutting the cauliflower into large florets and add them to a pot of boiling water.  cook until soft, about 15-20 minutes, then drain.  while the cauliflower is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and saute the shallots until softened and lightly browned.

place the cooked cauliflower in a blender along with the white beans, almond milk, sauteed shallots, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and a dash of nutmeg.  blend until silky smooth.  season to taste with sea salt & pepper.  pour enough needed to coat the cooked pasta and mix.  fold in the sundried tomatoes and kale and heat through.

place any remaining sauce in a sealed container in the fridge and use within a few days.

then sit down and enjoy a warm bowl of comforting goodness. 

this was so good, and so rich and creamy that it was honestly hard to believe that someone hadn't snuck some dairy in when i wasn't looking.  {for the record, no one did!} the cauliflower and the white beans really worked some magic here.  perfect for the cool, rainy weather that's set in too.

happy weekend!

submitted to wellness weekends at diet, dessert and dogs.


  1. Sounds perfect for a fall day! So creamy looking, too! And you KNOW I love those beans in there ;). Thanks for submitting to WW this week!

  2. That looks so delicious, I'd love a bowl of it right now.

  3. I often use cauliflower in creamy soups, but hadn't thought to try it in alfredo sauce. What a great(and tasty-looking) idea!

  4. This looks amazing! My kids love white sauce...totally making this! thanks :)

  5. wow, i am so making this tonight! thanks!

  6. thanks ricki - i thought you'd like the addition of the beans :) i still have to try that chocolate bean butter of yours!

    jojo, i'd happily share the leftovers with you. it's just a hop, skip & a jump across the pond, really.

    hannah, thank you so much!

    i hope the kids love it kirsten!

    you're very welcome magda :)


  7. This sounds GREAT! Can't wait to try it.

  8. i've got a head of cauliflower in my fridge. doing this!!

  9. I havent commented here before but I am seriously such a huge fan of your blog! love your quaint photos and your down-to-earth writing. i'm not a huge fan of alfredo either but this looks so tasty!

  10. fantastic - exactly the sort of stuff I love in my pasta

  11. thanks rachel!

    corrina, i hope you did it up!

    natalie, thank you so much for your kind words. it means a lot to know that you're not only reading along, but enjoying what i have to say :)

    thank you johanna, i hope you try it and make it your own!

    an mo, i love that you just used fantabulous. amazing.

  12. What a great idea! I have been known to be enemies with cauliflower, unless it's fried and almost burnt to a crisp, but making the cauliflower the base for alfredo is brilliant. How wonderful! I do intend on trying this (in addition to mashed cauliflower. I'm out of the loop :)). Thanks for sharing!

  13. I made this tonight for dinner and I loved it, and my husband raved about how tasty it was. Thank-you! This is definitely going to go on the dinner rotation.

  14. the sauce looks amazing! I am so making it! :)

  15. bookmarking this for later! ahhhmazing. =) thanks!

  16. kris, i have full confidence that you and cauliflower can be friends.

    to 'the girl' - i'm so happy it was a hit for both you & your hubs!

    shea, vanessa & vegspinz - hope you love it too!

  17. Yum! I love using cauliflower to make things creamy - and beans! Great idea!

  18. Ahh, that looks good.
    It seems easy enough- no weird ingredients, and I've been wanting a good creamy pasta... :)

  19. This sounds so delicious! I am bookmarking it.

  20. OK, made this recipe this weekend and it is PHENOMENAL! I was shocked and amazed by how good this is, not to mention how easy it is. I have made many a "fake" alfredo and they are almost always awful, but not this one! It is fantastic! I highly recommend it.

  21. hurray, so glad you loved it as much as we did magda! xo

  22. YUM, just what I've been looking for!!!!!

  23. I tried this for dinner tonight and was impressed with how creamy it was! I added a good squeeze of lemon and some nutritional yeast to up the cheezy factor and it was lovely!

  24. MMM....I'm just boiling up the pasta to eat this yummy sauce.

  25. This looks so good. Thanks for sharing! In my other life I LOVED cream sauces. ;)

  26. made this tonight and it was AMAZING!

  27. I did my own tweaks to the recipe but I loved it! I used roasted cauliflower which worked so well with the beans. Thanks for sharing!

    This was my version: http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/high-protein-creamy-roasted-cauliflower-alfredo-pasta/

  28. Tried this tonight. So good. I could just have the sauce without the pasta! Thanks for the recipe.

  29. This looks wonderful, thanks for the inspiration. Love your blog.

  30. hmm
    do you have to steam or saute the Kale first? or just toss it in after?
    Kale can be pretty tough uncooked, at least for my tastes.

    1. i just fold the raw kale into the sauce and it wilts enough for my liking - but that being said i love raw kale too! if you think it might still be a bit too tough for your personal taste, go ahead and steam it first though :) hope you enjoy it!

  31. my developing lactose intolerance has thrown me the vegan way and while it wasn't alfredo, this was really good and much much healthier than a vat of cream and cheese. i ate it with fresh basil and roasted tomatoes since it's summer and it was delicious. my boyfriend couldn't even tell it was vegan. thanks for the recipe!

  32. If you added nutritional yeast it would give it a nice cheesy flavour.

    1. mmm yes it sure would be a great addition!

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. I am not sure what I did wrong. I made this tonight and while it tasted good my sauce didn't turn out smooth and the texture turned us off slightly.

    1. sorry to hear that it wasn't a success for you laura. in terms of texture, perhaps the cauliflower was cooked enough for it to blend up smoothly? maybe you needed more liquid? all blenders are different and in my experience some require more liquid than others to really achieve a smooth texture.

  35. This was truly delicious. We didn't have almond milk, but used 1% and it worked well. We also added some garlic powder/granules. We also had to change out the kale with mustard greens

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  51. I made this two nights ago and absolutely loved it. I did add about 6 cloves of garlic (we love garlic, but who doesn't?) and some red pepper flakes for extra kick and it was killer. I'm going to try and make some potato salad using this as the sauce - will let you know how that works out!

  52. This needed far more almond milk than 1 1/4 but it was great. However, I adde a TON of garlic because well, it's supposed to be alfredo :) Next time, however, I'll saute the kale ahead of time because the kids didn't love the texture. Spinach would be a good alternative too.