Vegan Alfredo Recipe: A Cauliflower-Based Pasta Sauce

Vegan alfredo sauce recipe - Dr. Axe

Ingredients:

  • 1 small head of cauliflower, chopped (about 3 heaping cups)
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 2 teaspoons pine nuts
  • 2 ¼ cup almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons of each: salt, pepper, oregano and basil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

Directions:

  1. In a medium-sized pot, cook the avocado oil, garlic and pine nuts over medium heat for 3–4 minutes, or until garlic is golden brown.
  2. Add in the almond milk and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add the cauliflower and spices and cook until cauliflower is soft (about 8 minutes).
  4. Transfer to a high-powered blender and add in the lemon juice and nutritional yeast and blend on high until smooth.
  5. Pour over your favorite gluten-free pasta or zoodles and top with fresh basil.

Super flavorful, super creamy and super vegan? If you’re steering clear of dairy for any reason — maybe you’re following a vegan diet, have trouble digesting dairy or simply want to reduce your intake of animal foods and products — that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy rich-tasting and satisfying meals, like this vegan alfredo sauce with gluten-free noodles.


What Is Alfredo Sauce Made out of?

How do you get a creamy, filling and rich alfredo sauce without using dairy products? You may be surprised to find out that the key ingredient is cauliflower — the star of this vegetarian- and vegan-friendly dish.

Vegan alfredo step 1 - Dr. Axe

When cauliflower is blended, it helps to create a thick and delicious cream sauce. Plus, it’s packed with antioxidants and has no sodium, fat or sugar. When cauliflower is combined with garlic, Italian seasonings like oregano and basil and pine nuts, it creates the perfect bite.

Other important ingredients that make the creamy texture of this dish possible are avocado oil, unsweetened almond milk and nutritional yeast. These players thicken the sauce so it looks and tastes just like a traditional alfredo.


Vegan Alfredo Sauce Nutrition Facts

One serving of my vegan alfredo sauce made using this recipe contains roughly the following: (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Vegan alfredo ingredients - Dr. Axe
  • 196 calories
  • 11 grams protein
  • 11 grams fat
  • 16 grams carbohydrates
  • 3 grams fiber
  • 9 grams sugar
  • 4.3 milligrams vitamin B1 (392 percent DV)
  • 3.4 milligrams vitamin B2 (315 percent DV)
  • 738 micrograms folate (279 percent DV)
  • 23.5 milligrams vitamin B3 (169 percent DV)
  • 40.9 milligrams vitamin C (55 percent DV)
  • 623 milligrams sodium (42 percent DV)
  • 1.8 milligrams vitamin B5 (38 percent DV)
  • 0.8 micrograms vitamin B12 (34 percent DV)
  • 26.7 micrograms vitamin K (30 percent DV)
  • 193 milligrams phosphorus (28 percent DV)
  • 67 milligrams magnesium (22 percent DV)
  • 1.7 milligrams zinc (22 percent DV)
  • 0.39 milligrams manganese (22 percent DV)
  • 213 milligrams calcium (21 percent DV)
  • 844 milligrams potassium (18 percent DV)
  • 0.23 milligrams vitamin B6 (18 percent DV)
  • 9 micrograms selenium (17 percent DV)
  • 0.11 milligrams copper (13 percent DV)
  • 273 IUs vitamin A (12 percent DV)
  • 67 IUs vitamin D (11 percent DV)
  • 1.7 milligrams iron (10 percent DV)
  • 1.3 milligrams vitamin E (9 percent DV)

How to Make Vegan Alfredo Sauce

To make this tasty fettuccine alfredo cream sauce, start by heating 2 tablespoons of avocado oil, two cloves of smashed or minced garlic and 2 teaspoons of pine nuts in a medium-sized pot over medium heat for 3–4 minutes, or until the garlic is golden brown. The sweet smells that will fill your kitchen should let you know you’re off to a great start.

I’ve also used cashews for this vegan pasta cream sauce, which also works with this combination of ingredients. So if you have cashews on hand instead of pine nuts, feel free to make that substitution, although I’ve found pine nuts give the cream sauce more of a bite that I like.

Vegan alfredo sauce step 2 - Dr. Axe

The next step is to add 2 ¼ cups of unsweetened almond milk to the same pot and bring it to a boil. Once the mix is bubbling, reduce the heat to medium and toss in about 3 cups of cauliflower (one small head) and 2 teaspoons each of salt, pepper, oregano and basil.

Vegan alfredo step 3 - Dr. Axe

Keep this cooking for eight minutes or so — when the cauliflower is soft, that means it’s ready. Now, transfer the whole mix to a high-powered blender.

Add in juice of half a lemon and ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast, which will give this vegan garlic alfredo that smooth finish that’s normally associated with cream. (In fact, I use nutritional yeast in many of my vegan recipes, including my awesome vegan mac and cheese). Then blend it all up until it’s smooth.

Vegan alfredo sauce recipe - Dr. Axe

This vegan pasta dish is absolutely delicious served over zucchini noodles, gluten-free pasta or even steamed or roasted veggies. Really, however you like to serve your traditional alfredo, you can do it with this vegan recipe.

I love that it tastes just as great as expensive restaurant fettuccine alfredo, but it’s homemade and so much better for you. In fact, I challenge you to make this for your family and not tell them it’s healthy. I bet they’ll have no idea it’s vegan and packed with health-promoting nutrients. Enjoy!


Josh Axe

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32 Comments

  1. Sherrye on

    What is nutritional yeast? If someone has problems with yeast or fungal infections would this exacerbate the problem?

    Reply
    • Susan on

      Probably best to avoid using it. The nutritional yeast is used for flavoring of cheese and nuts and for B12 which vegans need. You could use a vegan parmassian product in place of the yeast.

      Reply
  2. Karen on

    Would make again but would cut back on the black pepper!
    Otherwise easy and delish! Served over a bed of fresh spinach!

    Reply
  3. Daniel on

    Dr Axe,
    This is a banging recipe which tastes rad! Really like a cheese pasta sauce (which rocks because I’m dairy-free right now!) and I also usually smoother my gf pasta dishes with shed loads of black pepper so the amount in the recipe was great for me.
    Thanks a lot, it was a cinch to follow and I had all the store cupboard ingredients already…, win-win?

    Reply
  4. Roberta on

    I can tolerate a serving of cauliflower. Once it is mashed or condensed, it creates gastric distress. How can I reduce the amount for this recipe. I will be substituting the almond milk with homemade cashew milk due to allergies.

    Reply
    • Dr. Josh Axe on

      Hi Roberta, you may try 4 tablespoons of arrowroot powder, 1½-2 cups cashew milk, ½ cup nutritional yeast, juice of ½ lemon, 2 cloves garlic, 2 teaspoons pine nuts and 2 tablespoons olive oil. I hope this helps!

      Reply
      • Alejandra Mesa on

        Hello! I was wondering if using coconut milk was okay in substitute of almond milk. Would it be the same amount of milk? Or a little more or a little less? I bought some fresh shrimp and was thinking of making this recipe tonight

      • Dr. Josh Axe on

        Hi Alejandra, I have not tried making the recipe with coconut milk, but it should work just fine to substitute the same amount. If you are using full-fat coconut milk, the consistency will probably be a little thicker. I would love to hear how it turns out if you try it!

      • Alejandra Mesa on

        Thank you! Im going to make it tonight for dinner. I think it’s full fat. 1 cup has 5 grams of fat. Im gonna make some shrimp and spinach to go along with the sauce. Ive been a week on keto now. Lost 6 lbs so far!

  5. LISA on

    This recipe is awesomely delicious! I used almonds as I didn’t have pine nuts. It was great over spiralized yellow squash. I love that you can make a creamy sauce with healthy ingredients and lots of veggies

    Reply
  6. Charis on

    This was delicious! We did use a bit of almond flour instead of yeast, just because we didn’t have any, and served it over zoodles and mushrooms. My son is almost 9 and loved it! I am freezing the remaining sauce for a casserole dish next week. Thank you, Dr. Axe!

    Reply
  7. Eric on

    Is there any way you can post the nutritional value for this recipe. I’m on the keto diet and am on struck protein, fat, and carb intake. Thank you for the recipe though.

    Reply
  8. Gina on

    I made this and while I was blending the sauce, I put a bit more olive oil into the pan and added green bell pepper and mushrooms. After blending the sauce, I added the sauce back to the pan with the mushrooms and bell pepper and added the pasta and it turned out delicious!

    Thanks for the great sauce recipe!

    Reply
  9. Sharon Wegner on

    Because someone asked, here is the nutritional info based on 4 servings as written

    kk

    1 small head of cauliflower, chopped (about 3 heaping cups)
    2 Tbs olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
    2 tsp pine nuts
    2 ¼ cup almond milk
    2 tsp of each: salt, pepper, oregano and basil
    juice of half a lemon
    ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

    Servings: 4

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (13.6 ounces).
    Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
    Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 185.24
    Calories From Fat (75%) 138.58
    % Daily Value
    Total Fat 10.62g 16%
    Saturated Fat 1.11g 6%
    Cholesterol 0mg 0%
    Sodium 968.78mg 40%
    Potassium 253.97mg 7%
    Total Carbohydrates 13.43g 4%
    Fiber 6.51g 26%
    Sugar 1.87g
    Protein 11.09g 22%

    Reply
  10. N on

    We only used 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 1/2 tsp salt and the other spices were the same as the original recipe. We also didn’t use pine nuts, used 3 cloves garlic and ate this on red lentil pasta. It was delicious!

    Reply

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