cooking · Dinner · Vitamix Recipes

A Twist on Alfredo Pasta

What is smooth and creamy, yet isn’t what it seems? This alfredo sauce! Not only is it simple to make, it is gluten-free and has no heavy cream (and no thickeners either!) And how? Well..let’s talk cauliflower. Yeah, the big white vegetable with little flavor of its own. I think of it as the tofu of the vegetable world. When presented right, it is delicious. It just needs a little helping hand to get there from blandville.


Roasted Pepper and Mushroom Alfredo Pasta


  • 1 Tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 large head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cored and broken into florets
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • Ground black pepper
  • Fine Sea Salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 jar or package roasted red peppers, drained, seeded and roughly chopped (used 13 ounce pkg)
  • Penne pasta (13.25 to 16 ounces, whole wheat, multi-grain, gluten-free, etc)
  • Finely grated Parmesan cheese or vegan-Parm substitute, if desired


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta as directed, drain.

Meanwhile, heat a tall saucepan (a 4 quart or so) over medium heat, add oil, onion and garlic, sauté till tender, stirring often.

Add in broth and cauliflower, bring to boil over high. Put on lid, lower heat to medium-low and let simmer until fork tender, about 8 minutes.

Take off heat and carefully transfer to a high-speed blender (such as a Vitamix). Cover the top with a kitchen towel, process till smooth.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high, add in second oil and mushrooms, Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top, stirring until turning golden. Reduce heat to medium, add in roasted red pepper and heat through. Stir in cauliflower sauce, add plenty of black pepper and if desired, a nice helping of Parmesan cheese, stirring to melt. If not using cheese you will need more salt.

Toss with hot pasta and let bubble in sauce for a minute or two to thicken.

Serves 4.


Nutritional yeast can be used for the cheese, for those who like it. Add to taste.


12 thoughts on “A Twist on Alfredo Pasta

  1. I’m seeing cauliflower EVERYWHERE. This might be the post that pushes me over the edge. I keep buying it, and although I like it, I prefer it raw, dipped in hummus. Maybe I need to grow up a little…

  2. I’m with Somer…that was my first thought…I see cauliflower cream sauces…everything using cauliflower, but I haven’t tried it yet. What better way than to start with one of your awesome recipes?! Looks really good..especially with the peppers 🙂

    1. Ever had mac n’ cheeze but you use steamed cauliflower instead of pasta, and you bake it? That is very, very comfort-food!

  3. Sarah, do you drain the cauliflower before blending? I’m guessing not because you used broth.

  4. Digging through my freezer yesterday I found tofu I’d bought on sale. Reading this post yesterday reminded my of a tofu-based alfredo-type sauce I think you did awhile back. Family is anti-tofu, but pro-alfredo. What they don’t know won’t hurt them. I will add this cauliflower-based alfredo to my ignorance-is-bliss list.

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