Pasta night fans, rejoice! There’s a new, well nutritiously improved, Italian kid on the block. We are giving the cream-filled alfredo classic a healthier twist with the help of roasted cauliflower and cashews. This rich and creamy cauliflower vegan alfredo is just as decadent as the real deal, but made so that you can enjoy the comforting flavors of alfredo a little more often.
Pasta is one of those dishes that you either crave or stay away from in fear of its “heaviness”. While the classic sauce and noodle combo can be indulgent, there are plenty of ways to make over this Italian comfort food favorite in a healthier way.
To lighten up your bowl of pasta you can:
- Sneak veggies into your beloved red sauce by adding in grated carrots to bring out a natural sweetness, or swap part of the ground beef for chopped mushrooms. Want to make it vegan? Try out this mushroom walnut bolognese recipe!
- Swap out traditional processed noodles for a whole grain version, chickpea or lentil pasta for a boost in protein and fiber, or veggie noodles for a low-carb alternative.
- Craving something creamy? Swap heavy cream and cheese for roasted cauliflower, soaked cashews or macadamia nuts and nutritional yeast! At the very least, maybe swap one or the other instead of going all into the dairy-free, vegan alternatives.
In this recipe for creamy cauliflower vegan alfredo, we are making a healthy swap of roasted cauliflower and cashews for heavy cream, plus nutritional yeast for parmesan cheese.
There are lots of recipes for vegan alfredo sauce with cashews, but I love adding the roasted cauliflower to the mix for a veggie boost and to balance out the richness of the nuts!
Did you know that nutritional yeast has 2g of protein per Tablespoon and over 100% of your daily vitamin B needs (including B12 which is the key vitamin for energy)? You can find this superfood in the spice aisle of your grocery store and add it to just about anything savory.
When you decide to give this creamy cauliflower vegan alfredo dish a try, I suggest serving with whole grain noodles for a truly decadent experience, or zucchini noodles to stay on the lighter side.
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ head cauliflower (about 1 heaping cup of florets)
- ½ lemon
- ⅓ cup cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 8 oz. brown rice or whole grain linguine
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop the cauliflower into small florets and add to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with avocado oil and add the garlic clove and lemon half (cut side down) to the pan. Roast for about 20 minutes until slightly golden.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, cook the pasta according to the package. Once the pasta is finished, reserve ½ cup of pasta water before draining.
- To make the sauce, rinse and drain the soaked cashews. Add the roasted cauliflower, garlic clove, squeeze of roasted lemon, cashews, almond milk, pasta water, salt and pepper to a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Place the noodles back into the pot and pour the sauce to coat. Toss to combine and evenly divide among four plates to serve.
Pasta la vista,