Creamy Cauliflower Hemp Alfredo Sauce
Cauliflower Hemp Alfredo- just 10 ingredients and 30 minutes for a healthy alfredo sauce that’s packed full of vitamins and protein. Dairy-free and nut-free!
I figured after all of those green recipes last week, we could use a little comfort food. Healthy comfort food, of course. As the words cauliflower and hemp would imply.
I know a lot of people think of marijuana when they hear the word hemp. That is not what’s in this alfredo sauce. I repeat, it will not get you high. Sorry to disappoint. ;)
It’s made with hulled hemp seeds, or hemp hearts, which offer significant health benefits including anti-inflammatory properties thanks to Omega-3 fatty acids. They also happen to transform into a deliciously smooth and creamy sauce when blended with water, similar to a nut milk.
What makes this alfredo sauce super luxurious is the cauliflower. It gets cooked on the stovetop with fresh garlic and vegetable broth then added to the blender with hemp seeds, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and a few pantry seasonings.
Everything gets blended until it’s smooth and creamy, then you have yourself an amazing dairy-free alfredo sauce that’s packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, and antioxidants. All for just a small fraction of the saturated fat compared to its heavy cream counterpart.
I prefer to serve it with whole grain fettuccine and a splash of reserved pasta water which helps make it even creamier. But if you are looking to avoid carbs or wheat, spaghetti squash also makes a great stand-in for the pasta!
I also like to add peas and sautéed mushrooms for extra veggie power. It actually reminds me of a popular dish we used to serve back in the day when I waited tables. It was called the Pasta Carrabba. Ever heard of it?
As well loved as that pasta may be, it is probably one of the most unhealthy things you can possibly eat. Trust me, this version will leave you feeling much better, inside and out.
Creamy Cauliflower Hemp Alfredo Sauce
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10
Cook Time: 20
Total Time: 30
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 3-4 cloves, depending on size)
- 5 cups chopped cauliflower florets* (about 1 medium-large head)
- 1 and 1/2 cups vegetable broth (I recommend Better Than Bouillon)
- 1/4 cup hulled hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 medium-size lemons)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon tamari (optional)
In a large pot, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, for about 1-2 minutes.
Add the cauliflower to the pot then stir to combine. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low boil, cover with a lid and cook for about 10 minutes, until cauliflower is tender enough to mash with a spoon. Remove from heat and set aside.
In the bowl of a blender (preferably a high speed blender) add the hemp seeds, lemon juice, salt & pepper, nutritional yeast, onion powder and tamari (if using). Transfer the cauliflower and the broth from the pot to the blender. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. Taste test to see if you prefer more salt or onion powder.
Transfer the sauce back to the pot and simmer over low heat. Serve with 1 large roasted spaghetti squash or 8 ounces whole grain fettuccine. If using pasta, add it cooked with two tablespoons reserved pasta water to the pot with the sauce. The starches in the pasta water will make it even creamier. Serve warm with fresh parsley and/or vegan parmesan cheese (see notes), and enjoy!
*Be sure not to use more than 5 cups cauliflower or it will dilute the flavor of the sauce. Otherwise you can try adding more seasonings to suit your preferences.
I prefer to serve this alfredo sauce with 8 ounces whole grain fettuccine, 10 ounces cooked peas and 8 ounces sautéed sliced mushrooms. You can also serve it with 1 large roasted spaghetti squash for a grain-free option.
To make your own vegan cashew parmesan, combine 1 cup raw cashews with 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon onion powder in a food processor and pulse until finely ground.
Did you try this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out by leaving a comment below or sharing a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #makingthymeforhealth. I love hearing your feedback!
Beautiful this looks amazing! I’ve never tried hemp seeds in a sauce but I’m so curious to try!
This hemp alfredo looks ridiculously smooth and creamy! What kind of blender do you use?
I use a Vitamix! It’s my baby. :)
Well, if your pasta sauce won’t get me high, then I’m not making it. Lol, KIDDING, obviously. This looks awesome and I love the addition of the mushrooms and peas. I feel like those are such easy veggies to sneak into stuff!
You could probably add a little sumpin’ sumpin’ if you wanted. ;)
This pasta looks SO creamy — you always come up with the greatest heathy sauces! I’m intrigued by the sound of those hemp hearts and really want to try this. I bet my kids wouldn’t even notice this wasn’t real cream! I love the addition of the peas and mushrooms — this is the perfect healthy comfort dish!
You might be able to sneak one over on them! Thanks Marcie! ;)
i gotta say i’m a big fan of heavy cream and i use it every chance i get. but i am intrigued with this recipe. i am also a big fan of the alfredo. how can you not love a big bowl of this luscious looking stuff?
i’ll let you know how it turns out.
Thanks Mike! Even if you love heavy cream, it’s still nice to try new things sometimes, right? ;)
I am going to make this tonight- I have a huge head of cauliflower that I have been stuck on what to do with (it was on sale). I have soba noodles, and think I will pile on a ton of sauteed veggies with this since I have a mammoth bag of zucchini and mushrooms.
I hope it turns out good for you, Lisa! :)
Thanks for letting your readers know which vegetable broth you use as well as the brand of nutritional yeast you recommend, so helpful. I clicked on the Bob’s Red Mill site and was very surprised by the nutritional profile of the nutritional yeast… 8 gms protein in 1/4 cup, that’s amazing… along with the fiber content, etc.
Yes! It’s also a great source of B-12. It helps add a cheesy flavor too. I love it! :)
Have you ever tried this with some grated fresh nutmeg? My favorite Alfredo’s are those with a hint of nutmeg.
I haven’t but you can add some if you like! I personally don’t like nutmeg in savory dishes so that’s why I chose to leave it out but I’m aware that’s how most alfredo sauces are made.
An alfredo sauce that gets you high, now that would be fun haha!! This alfredo sauce looks SO creamy! I’m a sucker for vegan alfredo sauces and I must try this one with cauliflower and hemp seeds! Our house is so cold this morning and comfort food sounds pretty good right about now :)
I love Alfredo sauce and I love heavy cream too. So, this is the perfect dish for me who also love eating healthy.
Can I ask when do you buy this beautiful golden fork? I love it ;-)
hahaha this pasta will not get you high! <— that made me chuckle! I loveee hemp hearts! I just restocked and bought a huge bag. But why have I never made sauce with them before? This looks so luxurious!!
I love creamy sauces made with cauliflower and it’s been forever since I’ve made one! The recipe looks marvelous! Loving the cauliflower + hemp combo and am digging the nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor. I could definitely slurp down these noodles in a heartbeat!
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This alfredo looks BEYOND delicious. And love that it’s a much healthier way to enjoy it!
Thanks Gabi! :)
looks like an amazing meal. I wonder if you can freeze the sauce. do you know?
I haven’t tried but I think it would work okay!
This is absolutely amazing! I added sweet peas and spring onion, goodness better then regular sause without the heaviness. I also made the cashew “parmesan” wonderfully nutty!! Yes!
Thanks Natasa! So glad you enjoyed it!
I made this tonight and it was really yummy! I even got my toddler to eat it . Thanks for a great recipe!
Yay! I’m so happy to hear that. Thanks Jillian!
This sauce rocks!!! My kids have nut, egg, and dairy allergies. AND-I had my 9 year old help make the sauce. I made it with roasted salmon for them with pasta and for me I made it with soy noodles and tofu. Thanks for our first white creamy pasta sauce. Anything that looked like dairy my daughter would freak out so this was awesome
Wow! I can’t tell you how happy that makes me, Kim. Thank you so much for taking the time to write and let me know. :)
This was AMAZING!! I made the “parmesan” as well and was a great added texture and flavour. I had mine with spaghetti squash and it made quite a bit. Not sure if the squash is less absorbant? Not a bad thing but I have almost half the recipe leftover. Will try to freeze it and see how that works.
Hi Sandra! I’m so glad you enjoyed the cauliflower sauce! I only tested it once with the spaghetti squash so my measurements are mostly based off using pasta. I’ll update the notes to reflect that. Thank you for the feedback and I hope it freezes okay for you!
Just following up….froze excellently. I was afraid the cauliflower would become more pronounced, but not at all. It was a tiny bit watery when it first melted, but I brought it up to a simmer on the stove and thickened right up. I didn’t even thaw it before hand.
That’s great to hear! Thank you so much for sharing that tip with everyone, Sandra. :)
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This turned out really good, best vegan Alfredo recipe I’ve tried so far!
I forgot the hemp seeds, olive oil and tamari, but added ~3 Tbsp. Vegan cream cheese, added more nutritional yeast and tossed it with regular fettuccine noodles. Skipped the veggies inside, and just served with some steamed broccoli. Very creamy and filling. Thank you for posting this!
This was absolutely delicious. Since its only my husband and me I made only half….Had no problem with that and being gluten free I used thin spaghetti……I will make this again and again. Thanks.
My husband and I both loved this. So nice to find a hemp seed recipe. First time using cauliflour in a sauce and it was a hit.. Five star recipe! Thanks for sharing.
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Fettuccini Alfredo use to be one of my favorites, until i learned that dairy makes me gross! So excited for this yummy alternative… I won’t miss it any longer! I feel SO much better after eating it too! THANK YOU!
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I love this recipe so much, I included it in my blog post about vegan protein! I’m obsessed with hemp seeds (I can eat them by the spoonful), so this creamy sauce is perfect for me.
I made this for my boyfriend and I when he was transitioning from a vegetarian diet to a vegan diet, and he LOVED it! It makes us feel like we’re eating something super fancy, but in reality, it’s very easy and accessible.
Thank you for the delicious, protein-packed recipe!
Thank you, Lacey! I’m so glad you both enjoyed it!
This sauce is amazing – the citrus and hemp make a HUGE difference! Thank you for posting this recipe.
I’m so happy you like it! Thanks for the review, Jennifer!
Absolutely amazing sauce! I’ve been looking for a version that did not use cashews and this nailed it. Very tasty and flavorful!
Thank you for the feedback! :)
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Hello! I’m so excited I found this recipe. I am going to make it tomorrow for Valentine’s Day for my husband. : ) I have a few questions.
-The nutritional yeast link isn’t linking to one specific product anymore. Which nutritional yeast do you recommend? I’ve only ever used Bob’s Red Mill so far. I’m a bit of a newb with nutritional yeast.
– With the tamari, is this like my Tamari gluten free soy sauce? I already have this at home if so. If I use it, what does it do for the flavor?
– Since I’ll have to use a gluten-free pasta (probably chick pea or rice/quinoa), should I still add some of the water to the sauce for the starches?
– I notice the ingredients call for onion powder, but then it mentions adding garlic powder later. Should we only add garlic powder later if we feel it needs it for taste or do you make yours with both onion and garlic powder?
Sorry for so many questions, but I’m trying to make this as yummy as possible since it’s to surprise my husband on Valentine’s Day. : ) I’m happy to share photos of my final product and this recipe on social media when I’m done. : )
Hi Emily! Here are the answers to your questions :)
1. I usually buy the nutritional yeast from the bulk section at my grocery store. But I have also used both Bob’s Red Mill and Braggs brand and they are both great!
2. Yes, the tamari is just gluten-free soy sauce. It adds a salty, savory flavor to the dish. Just gives it a bit more depth.
3. I would definitely still use the starchy cooking water to help thicken the sauce, even if it’s GF pasta!
4. Sorry, that was a typo- it’s supposed to be onion powder in the directions too. There’s fresh garlic in the recipe so no need of the garlic powder.
I’m always happy to answer any questions you have so please don’t hesitate to ask. Hopefully I got to them in time. I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s! :)
Great recipe- will be making this again – I did make a couple tweaks to be more indulgent but it was great already.
This recipe is spectacular! First time I cook something explicitly vegan and I was amazed by the taste :)
That’s so great to hear! Thanks Mak!
One of the best things I’ve eaten in a long time! I’m an Alfredo fan but whoa! This recipe was creamy & flavorful & contained no guilt. The lemon as a high note was perfect. I added a few oyster mushrooms to the sauté/purée and an extra dash of veg stock. There’s enough sauce for another serving. Yum!
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This is a keeper. We love Alfredo sauce, but rich dairy items are not part of our family diet. This was an amazing substitute. The sauce here makes quite a large quantity, and it should freeze. Adding some mushrooms and peas brings some color and an additional taste to the dish. I made this in a standard blender, and that worked out just fine. It was so easy and so tasty. I recommend that you try it.
iI am chiming in a year later but it is still an excellent replacement. I use this to make a eggplant casserole and mixed with a robust tomato reduction, of course with onions and mushrooms. Loved it! Thank you.
This was really good! Super satisfying and creamy. I’ll def cut back on the lemon juice a teensy bit next time and add a dash of liquid smoke. Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe
THIS is an AMAZING recipe. I didn’t have 5 cups of cauliflower so I added brocoli to top it off.
Since I’m a vegetable lover, I also added 2 stalks of celery, I carrot, 1 small piece of turnip and cooked it altogether with 2 cups of water.
After blending it all when cooked, I also added. Cubed peppers, a handful of spinach, since I didn’t have mushrooms and of course 1 cup of peas.
I’ll be serving this delicious sauce with zucchini spaghetti.
I will top off my husband’s dish with Parmesan cheese.
Thank you so very much.
Bon Appétit! ♥️
I love that you added so many veggies! Sounds wonderful. :)
Pasta day is Wed so trying this tomorrow. I plan to use fresh onions with the cauliflower and garlic. Also adding capers at the end to make a lemon caper sauce. How long will this keep in the refrigerator?
About 5 days so long as it’s sealed well!
This sauce looks great. I try not eat pasta though; is there any other things you’ve tried it over that taste good with it?
Thanks in advance!
Hey Tracy! I’ve only had this with pasta but I think it would be good with spaghetti squash. Are you trying to avoid grains? If so there are some great pastas made from legumes. But if you’re trying to do low carb then I think spaghetti squash would be your best bet!
This was delicious, thanks for sharing! I cheated and substituted microwave riced cauliflower which made it even quicker/easier so great for a easy weeknight meal!
Loved it! I made it for my daughter who just had surgery to remove damaged nerve tissue in her spine. She wants to avoid inflammatory foods while providing all the nutrients for growing new nerves, should her body be willing. It was just delicious!!!
She plans to freeze the remainder…have you tried to freezing it?
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This was delicious! Ended up being out of nutritional yeast so substituted Parmesan cheese (we’re not strictly vegan!) and also added some red pepper flakes for a little spice. Sprinkled some sliced scallions on top for a little color at the end. SO good. Will be making this again for sure!!
Super excited to try this, but it’s very hard to find hemp seeds wehere I live. Can I used flax seeds instead?
Hey! Unfortunately flax seeds will not work the same. They have a thickening property to them whereas hemp seeds do not. I would recommend raw cashews as the best substitute!
I agree that this is a great recipe. It is delicious and so much healthier that regular alfredo.
I would rate it with 5 stars but where is the nutritional information? If you figure it out & post it – it is done 1 time. If each of us must figure it out who knows how many hours will be wasted?
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This recipe looks so decadently delicious! I am so VERY excited to try it! I have 2 questions before I try it: The 3rd paragraph of your directions reads to add garlic powder initially to the high- speed blender with the hemp seeds, lemon juice, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, and tamari. However, the ingredient list shows only 1/2 tsp. of onion powder. Which one? I appreciate all of your positive contributions to making healthy food highly enjoyable! Thanks so much for your clarification! Be well, Jordanna
Hello! Thank you for bringing that to my attention and my apologies for the confusion. It is meant to be onion powder (since we’re using minced garlic in the sauce already). That said, you are welcome to add garlic powder if you prefer a stronger garlic flavor or use garlic powder in place of the minced garlic (likely a full teaspoon). I hope that helps and thank you so much for the kind words! <3