I love a good big bowl of pasta! Saucy, messy, and super flavourful! This fettuccine Alfredo is sure to check of all the boxes for the perfect pasta dish for you and your family to enjoy. The key ingredient for the creamy base is cauliflower! I prepared it with so many flavours to really elevate this dish, not to mention it’s a healthier rendition of the classic cream based sauce!
What is in the fettuccine Alfredo?
Creamy delicious Alfredo is a common pasta that people love! I just find that the heavy cream and milk is not very healthy and definitely not vegan friendly. Not to mention it’s high in calories! This incredible rendition had me amazed and so excited that I wanted to share it with you!
This dish is full of flavour! So many yummy ingredients that all contribute to a delicious end product for you to enjoy!
- Onions and mushrooms: adds a delicious flavour when sautéed down
- Spinach and broccoli: a pop of greens and freshness to balance out the creaminess
- Fresh garlic: adds depths of flavour
- Cauliflower puree: homemade with spices and broths (preparation method below)
- Nutritional yeast: gives it the cheesy rich flavour
- Lemon juice: adds a pop of flavour and hint of tang to cut through the creaminess
Preparing the cauliflower
The cauliflower is what gives the Alfredo the creamy base. It’s so important to add in all the flavours while boiling the cauliflower so it is tasty and gives depths of flavor. For this recipe I used:
- vegetable broth
- a vegetable stock cube
- garlic powder
- onion powder
Boil that all together, until the cauliflower is nice and tender.
Once it is cooked, add it all to a blender to create a nice smooth base to add into the sauce.
Preparing the mushrooms
I love cooking mushrooms! The aroma it emits makes me so happy. Mushrooms are a must for this dish to just add that complex layer of flavor you can’t get from anything else! Take a look below if you want other substitutions.
Grab a large pan, preferably one that will hold all the pasta and the sauce. Let it warm up on medium low heat with some oil and add your garlic. It should cook until fragrant. You’ll then add in your onions and mushrooms and saute until it is softened. Then mix in your broccoli florets and let it cook for 5 minutes.
Tips for the sauce
This sauce is all about tasting and adjusting to your preferences. A few tips:
- If the sauce it too thick – you can mix in some vegetable broth or plant based milk until it’s at the desired consistency
- If you like spice – add some chilli flakes to give it a kick
- Storing the sauce: this sauce freezes really well if you want to make a bigger batch and keep it for multiple meals.
- Other uses: enjoy on a pizza, in lasagna, with vegetables, in sandwiches
I haven’t tried this in this particular recipe but I have tried it many times before in other recipes to achieve a creamy texture. This may be an option for some and I would soak a cup and a half of cashews overnight and blend with similar spices as we did for the cauliflower.
I also haven’t tried this in this recipe but using soft or medium tofu can be a way to get extra protein. The key with tofu is to make sure you season it well and that there are enough spices so it tastes good. So use the ingredients I used to boil the cauliflower to blend the tofu (minus the stock) and adjust accordingly.
I love adding spinach to my pastas because it adds a pop of colour and doesn’t have much of a taste. Broccoli is so healthy and tastes so good in a white pasta sauce. If you don’t like either you can use chopped kale or parsley or both. Or other vegetables you have on hand like bok choy or chopped carrots. It will change the taste of the dish slightly.
In my humble opinion, though, I wouldn’t substitute anything as this is for cauliflower and the recipe is adjusted for that particular vegetable.
Garnishes are the best part, am I right? Try:
- green peas
- red chili flakes
- chopped spring onions/chives
- freshly cracked black pepper
- chopped parsley
- toasted chopped pine nuts
- grated vegan parmesan
- walnut crumbs/powder (which, let me tell you – is a GAME CHANGER as a garnish!)
Tips and suggestions
As much as this dish is delicious, it won’t taste like the “original” fettuccine Alfredo. Here are some tips and suggestions to enhance or adjust your sauce and flavors to your liking.
Adding more spices
Our taste palette is different and varies from dish to dish. If you are one that likes to add more garlic (fresh or powdered) then this is a dish to go all in with the garlic.
Try grating some parmesan vegan cheese over your dish to make it more savoury and cheezy!
Add some heat
You can add a bit of hot sauce, white or black pepper to your sauce to make a bit more heated.
Too thick? Too thin?
I love thick sauces! With a cup of vegan cheeze and the cooked cauliflower it does have some thickness. If you find it too thin, take 2 tbsp of hot water and dissolve 1 tbsp of corn starch in it and add to the sauce. Allow it to warm up and cook and it should thicken. If, on the other hand, you’d like to thin it out you can add plant based milk or water to your desired thinness consistency and adjust for seasonings.
Mushrooms are what gives dishes that umami taste. If you don’t have cremini mushrooms you can substitute button or shiitake. If you don’t like mushrooms at all you can use:
- shredded tofu – this can crumble and absorb whatever flavors you cook it with. I’d cook it separate with spices and olive oil and then throw it into the dish.
- olives – olives also have a strong savoury taste that you may like in this dish.
- Without going too much into details about what other mushroom substitutions you can use, take a look at this page for more ideas!
Storing and reheating
This will store in the fridge for 2-3 days as cauliflower does have a certain smell that can turn one off if left for too long. One of the reasons I don’t like using nuts is because they don’t store and reheat well for me and have a certain after taste.
Reheat in the microwave or on stove top. Sauce can freeze up to 2 months. When unfreezing, bring it to room temperature and reheat on very low and stir continuously for 5 minutes until cooked through.
Other pasta dishes to try
There are so many delicious pasta combinations. Here are some of my other favourites to try out:
Remember if you’ve tried my recipes please do share with me on @sculptedkitchen!
Cauliflower Fettuccine Alfredo
- 1 pan large
- 1 blender
- 1 pot medium
- 1 tbsp olive oil or other neutral oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 250 g cremini mushrooms sliced
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 head broccoli medium sized and cut into small florets
- 1 tsp garlic fresh
- 1/2 cup soy milk or any plant based milk
- 1 head cauliflower medium
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/8 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 2 tbsp vegan butter
- 1 cup vegan cheese I used Daiya Mozzarella
- 1 package Pasta fettuccine, cooked to al dente
- Cook your pasta according to package instructions plus one minute*
- When completed, drain your pasta** and rinse it under cool water to half the cooking.
Mushroom and Broccoli Instructions
- Heat a pan on medium heat with oil. Fry the garlic a bit until it gives a fragrance.
- Add in the chopped onions and mushrooms. Saute until softened and lightly browned
- Mix in the broccoli florets and let it all cook together for 5 minutes.
- In a separate pot, boil the chopped cauliflower with the vegetable broth, vegetable stock cube, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt until it's soft
- While that is boiling, add in the rest of the sauce ingredients and let it simmer on low.
- Discard the broth **and allow the cauliflower to drain as much as possible.
- Run the cooked cauliflower through a blender or immersion hand blender for a nice creamy base and mix it into the sauce. Mix in the fresh spinach.
- Toss in the cooked fettuccine, top with parsley, and enjoy!
- Pasta – usually al dente is what the package says. I would cook the pasta for an additional minute as the pasta should be soft and not have any bite to it being al dente. But it’s your preference.
- ** keep either the pasta water or the cauliflower water to add more thinness to the sauce
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