Healthier Alfredo Sauce (Made with Roasted Caulifower!)

I will be the very first to admit that I have never, ever liked Cauliflower. Ever.

Not cooked, and especially not raw.


However, over the past month, I have been....shall we say....RE-EVALUATING, the little white veggie.

So now I'm pleased and willing to admit that I was wrong about Cauliflower. Well, sort of. I still don't like it raw. And technically, I don't even like it cooked (ie: boiled or steamed). But....How I DO like it is ROASTED.
I do!!  I do.  I do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do.

Yes, it's true. Roasting changes the flavor profile of cauliflower into a completely different taste sensation. A whole other experience, my friends. As with all vegetables when they are roasted, the natural starches convert to sugar when heated (preferably at a high temperature).....and they caramelize!

Let's explore that word....CAR-A-MEL-IZE. As in, yummy and sweet. As in Golden Brown. Toffee Brown. Brown Sugar and Browned Butter Brown.

Are you understanding what I'm saying here? It becomes like CANDY. Well, Nature's Candy anyway.

You. Must. Try. This.

I made it the first time for a dinner party we were having, and my mother in law had indicated to my husband that she wouldn't be able to eat much of the meal (I had planned Italian Food) because of the eating plan she was currently following. Well, I'd been planning to experiment with this recipe anyway, so that became my impetus to do so. Along with Zucchini Noodles (more on those later), Spaghetti Squash, and my delicious all-day-simmer Marinara Sauce, I served this lightened up version of Alfredo! She was pretty darn happy to have so many healthy options. And so was I! I love eating healthy!

You'll notice in the recipe that I still use Parmesan Cheese. You cannot have an Alfredo that is devoid of Parmesan Cheese. That is what gives it the authentic flavor. But I used FAR less than a traditional Alfredo recipe, and I for one, did not notice a lacking of it. Neither did any of our 6 guests that evening. Take note, however, that this is an excellent recipe for ANY cheese sauce, and so you can substitute your choice of cheese in that regard.

As we had some leftovers, I wanted to share what I did with it for the rest of the week to give you some more ideas. It made a lot with a whole head of cauliflower, so there was plenty for the two of us to have a couple more meals using it:

~ I topped flatbreads with it for leftover braised short ribs, artichoke hearts and pine nut pizzas
~ I mixed it with some of the leftover pasta, zuchinni noodles, butternut squash and roasted red peppers for a veggie pasta dish
~ I added it to some leftover butternut squash and made a cream soup

It has endless applications and I plan to make it a couple of times a month to use in various ways. It can be frozen quite easily in bags too if I can't get through it within a week.

Feel free to experiment with the quantities of the other ingredients. The beauty of the Cauliflower puree is that it mimics so many other ingredients and textures that you have some leeway to play around a little, and it will still turn out lovely and creamy. Additionally, as I mentioned before, I only like the flavor of ROASTED Cauliflower, but you can skip that step if you want. Though I don't know why you would because you have to cook it at some point along the way anyway. You might as well CARAMELIZE it first. Because as I already said, that is the most delicious way to eat this little white candy veggie.


1 large head Cauliflower, washed and florets trimmed off
1 tsp Oil (I prefer Safflower for high heat cooking)
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
 To Roast the cauliflower: Preheat oven to 425°. Toss the florets with oil and salt, and spread on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then toss. Bake for 5-8 minutes more or until some of the florets have a light golden color on them (You can go for as long as you'd like, but be aware that it will change the color of your finished sauce. I took them out before they got too brown for that reason).

 1 can Chicken Broth

In a Blender or with an immersion blender in a large saucepan, puree the cooked cauliflower with the broth until completely creamy and no more lumps.

1/2 tsp Minced Garlic (Or to taste preference. I like Trader Joe's in the small jar. Can be left out)
1/8 tsp Onion Powder
3/4 cup Shredded or Grated Parmesan Cheese (or to taste preference)
1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg (optional but I love it in my sauces)
2 tsp Butter (optional)
Milk, Almond Milk, or Half&Half....whichever is your preference...quantity as desired to make your optional texture, but start with 1 cup
Salt and Pepper to taste
Nutritional Yeast (totally optional, but I added about 1 tsp of it, and it didn't change the color)
 Add remaining ingredients to the broth base and heat to desired temperature, making sure that the cheese has fully melted.


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Jann Olson said...

Well, aren't you clever Emily? I love cauliflower, but would never have thought you could make an alfredo sauce out of it. Thanks for sharing the recipe with SYC.

BusyBee Emily said...

I had to be clever to find ways to LIKE cauliflower...haha!

Let me know if you try it out!