This vegan cauliflower alfredo is the best comfort food dinner, and so easy to make. With minimal ingredients, and just a little cook time, you will have a tasty and healthy evening meal in no time.
Tomato-free pasta recipes are on repeat in my home, and if they are in yours too then you may like to see my brown butter zucchini pasta and ricotta pasta with a pistachio crumb topping. Both fun and indulgent!
This recipe was updated on 6 January 2022.
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What is cauliflower alfredo?
Traditionally, alfredo is a pasta dish made with fettucine pasta, where butter, cream and Parmesan cheese are used to make a white sauce.
This vegan version still has a creamy comfort food white sauce, but uses cauliflower as the base instead. Instead of butter and cream, we use coconut cream to keep the recipe vegan. All the flavour comes from the cauliflower, herbs and garlic, and its delicious!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Comfort food vibes - this cauliflower pasta sauce feels so cosy and warming, and perfect for the colder months.
- Tomato-free sauce - many pasta sauces are based on tomatoes, so this is a good alternative!
- Quick and easy - this evening meal comes together in around half an hour with just a few simple steps.
This cauliflower alfredo sauce is made without cream, and uses coconut cream in its place. It gives the same creamy taste and texture, but keeps the recipe vegan.
Just a few ingredients to make this pasta. You will need:
- Cauliflower - the main ingredient of the sauce. Choose one that looks fresh without brown markings.
- Pasta - while alfredo traditionally uses fettucine, I use spaghetti for this dish. Any pasta would work well though!
- Olive oil, onion and garlic - for the base of the sauce and to give flavour. If you like more garlic add another clove (or two!).
- Thyme - a pinch of dried thyme works so well with the cauliflower.
- Parsley - to garnish.
- Salt and (optional) pepper - to season.
Step by step instructions
Just a few steps to make this dish:
On a low to medium heat fry onion and garlic in olive oil, taking care not to burn the garlic. Cook until softened. Add the cauliflower florets, thyme and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a very light simmer. Spoon in the coconut cream.
While the cauliflower is cooking, cook the pasta according to packet instructions.
Blend the cauliflower mixture until smooth and creamy. Return to the pan. Drain the pasta and add to the cauliflower sauce. Stir to coat the pasta, and then use tongs to transfer to your serving plate. Sprinkle with salt, pepper (if using) and fresh parsley.
Gluten-free pasta options
For my gluten-free friends, there are so many good pasta options now. Gone are the days of hard cardboard pasta that you nearly crack a tooth biting into!
Some ideas you may like to try:
- Choose a fresh cauliflower without any obvious markings. Fresh produce is always best!
- Adjust the amount of garlic and thyme to taste preference.
- Blend the sauce quite well so that it becomes creamy and light.
- You can use a food processor to blend, or I use a Nutribullet (less clean up!).
- Stir the sauce through the pasta so that it is well coated.
More pasta recipes to enjoy
Vegan cauliflower alfredo
- Drizzle the olive oil into a pan and cook the onion and garlic on low for about five minutes until softened, being careful not to let the garlic burn. Add the cauliflower, thyme and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and stir in the coconut cream. Cook for about 15 minutes until the cauliflower is tender.
- While the cauliflower is cooking, prepare your pasta according to packet instructions.
- Transfer the cauliflower mixture to a blender and blend until it forms a thick sauce. Drain the pasta and return to the pan, then stir through the cauliflower sauce. Season with salt and pepper, if using.
- Plate up your cauliflower alfredo and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve immediately and enjoy!
- Adjust the quantity of garlic to taste preference. This alfredo has fairly subtle flavours, and can easily take more garlic (or herbs) if you prefer.
- Any pasta will work well, but spaghetti, fettucine and linguine are especially good.
- You may have additional sauce, depending upon the amount you prefer to use.
- black pepper, which scores 2.
- garlic, which scores 1.