This satisfying vegetarian fettuccine Alfredo recipe uses cauliflower to create a rich and decadent pasta dish without cheese.
Alfredo is one of those foods that I haven’t had in its full fatty glory since I was a child. It’s so loaded with cheese and cream that you’re likely to use up your daily allowance of calories in a single serving. Not to mention that minus a hint of sautéed garlic, the dish hasn’t a single vegetable.
Cauliflower not only adds to the creaminess of the sauce, but nutrient density as well. Cauliflower is versatile and loaded with health benefits. It contains 73 percent of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C, 19 percent RDA of vitamin K, 14 percent of folate, and 12 percent of B6. Cauliflower also contains phytonutrients which help boost the body’s detox mechanism. Additionally, ample vitamin C provides antioxidant support which helps to combat oxidative stress on the body’s cells. Oxidative stress is a risk factor for certain types of cancer.
While this Alfredo recipe can be vegan, I’m not keen on using non-dairy milk in my Alfredo sauce. Of course, you could use any number of non-dairy milks if you choose. Almond milk is likely the best choice because it has the most subtle flavor when compared to coconut milk or soy milk.
Vegan or not, the recipe is still much healthier because it doesn’t contain cheese and instead uses nutritional yeast to mimic that rich, cheesy flavor that makes alfredo so decadent. Nutritional yeast is a member of the mushroom family that’s grown in molasses. It’s deactivated so that it can’t leaven or froth like baking yeast. It's got a rich and cheesy flavor that adds depth to this recipe.
image via Sara Novak
Vegetarian Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe
4 heaping cups cauliflower florets (1 small/medium cauliflower)
1/2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup whole organic milk
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp. fine grain sea salt, or to taste
1/4-1/2 tsp. freshly cracked pepper, or to taste (you can also use white pepper here if you want the color to be uniform)
Fettuccine pasta of choice
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
1. Boil cauliflower for about five minutes until cooked through. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in garlic and cook until fragrant.
3. Process cooked cauliflower in a food processor or high speed blender for a few minutes, or until smooth. Add in garlic, milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Blend for another minute.
4. Turn the heat down to low and add the contents of the blender back into the pot.
5. Cook fettuccine as per your directions. Top with cauliflower alfredo sauce or you can combine in the pot. Garnish with parsley and a drizzle of high quality olive oil. You can also top with sauteed mushrooms for an even heartier dish.
Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows.
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Fettucine alfredo image via Shutterstock