So many people tell me that they could never eat healthy or be plant-based because they can’t imagine having to go without their favorite comfort foods. This seems so strange to me, because there are so many resources out there that describe amazing ways to recreated classic comfort foods with nourishing, healthy ingredients. This super easy dairy-free Alfredo sauce is a perfect way to enjoy a classic comfort food while still feeling great and does some serious good for your babely bod. It’s vegan, gluten-free and even sneaks in an extra serving of vegetables!
Pasta is such a comfort food for me. During my first few years as a vegetarian I lived off of toast with peanut butter and whole grain pasta with jarred sauce. I was a student at the time, so I was convinced that cheap and easy combination was perfect. I can’t remember cooking anything else, other than the occasional night where I would make veggie burritos with my roommates. Somehow I never seemed to get tired of constantly eating the same thing over and over.Flash forward almost 10 years and I am now itching to try new food and recipes constantly. That, in conjunction with the fact that I try to avoid gluten and am constantly trying to sneak extra veggies into what I eat means that I have really strayed from my student diet ways! Even though I have learned to love the taste of simple, healthy foods, I often find myself longing for that comforting feeling that comes with a big bowl of pasta.
While I’m not usually a cream sauce person, I recently found myself craving something warm, smooth and buttery. Maybe it’s because it’s been so chilly outside lately or maybe it’s because I’ve been eating a little more fat in my diet than usual. I always find the more I eat the more I crave – don’t you? Anyways, on Friday I was struck with this craving and then thought maybe I could try to create an easy dairy-free Alfredo sauce recipe from scratch!
After looking up a traditional recipe (which seems to consist of basically just butter and cheese), I looked in the fridge to see what I could use to serve as the base of the recipe. That’s when it hit me – Cauliflower! A quick look online confirmed that this would make a great base to the sauce and would give that stick-to-your-ribs thickness that was just what I wanted. Armed with the basics, I set out to make the perfect easy dairy-free Alfredo sauce.
I can’t say I’m disappointed with how this recipe turned out. It was so easy and it took me under 10 minutes to make. While it’s been well over a year since I’ve had the “real thing,” this easy dairy-free Alfredo sauce is as close to genuine Alfredo sauce as I can remember. The cauliflower gives the sauce a bit of weight, while the hemp seeds add that smooth, rich flavor that cream and butter add to the original. If you’ve seen my Dairy-free Hemp Milk recipe, you’ll know that I am a huge fan of hemp as a cream substitute. It’s so rich and delicious, plus it adds a huge hit of nutrients to whatever you’re making. I use this brand to amp up my richer recipes.
I would suggest serving this sauce fresh, as it may not freeze too well. That said, it’s pretty simple once you’ve got the basic ingredients and can make a great main course or side dish for kids or picky grown-ups who think that they don’t like veggies. I’m definitely going to add this to my usual rotation of quick and easy dinners to whip up when I get home after a long day at work.
- 2-4 servings of gluten-free pasta (approximately 1 package) or two spiralized zucchinis
- 1 large cauliflower
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 white onion
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 3 tbsp hemp seeds
- 1 cup vegetable stock (you can also sub any dairy-free milk)
- A pinch of salt (I use Himalayan pink salt)
- Cracked black pepper
- Put your pasta in to cook.
- Lightly steam the cauliflower until it's soft and almost falling apart. If you're using zucchini you have the option of steaming your zucchini noodles lightly before adding on the sauce. In that case, just spiralize your zucchini and throw them in the steamer basket right after the cauliflower. This way you'll have less to clean up at the end of the night!
- Sautee the garlic and onion lightly in a pan with a little water or coconut oil
- Add the cauliflower, garlic, nutritional yeast, hemp seeds and vegetable stock to a high-powered blender. Blend until smooth.
- Put your alfredo into a sauce pan and and simmer 5-10 minutes.