Thursday, July 25, 2013

Creamy (Healthy!) Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

When I was six years old, I went with my parents to Germany for the first time. In a little restaurant in the tiny town of Bad Kreuznach, I tried Spaghetti Carbonara for the first time and fell in love. It became my favorite food, the only thing I would order at restaurants, just as long as the kitchen staff refrained from adding “icky green stuff” which was really no more than a garnish of parsley.  

Spaghetti Carbonara is a simple recipe: Take an alfredo sauce, which is nothing more than butter, flour, heavy cream and salt, and add bacon. How can you go wrong with that? 

Fast forward 15 years and I’m still a sucker for anything alfredo. My waistline, however, is not inclined to thank me about that. You can imagine my joy when I discovered that one unlikely vegetable could prove to be a substitute for my beloved cream sauce that would bring a calorie count of 500 calories per half cup (eek!) all the way down to 50 calories per half cup.  

Obviously I needed it in my life ASAP. 

This sauce is extremely versitile! Add ham or bacon to make your very own spaghetti carbonara. Add it to a rice or pasta casserole to for healthy, creamy deliciousness. There are unlimited options and directions you can go with this gem of a sauce. 


- six cloves garlic, minced. 
- 1 TBSP butter, softened
- 1 head cauliflower 
- 2 teaspoons salt 
- 1 generous pinch of pepper, to taste. 
- juice from 1/2 lemon 
- 1 cup vegetable broth 
- 1/2 cup milk 
- 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- olive oil, to taste. 


1. In a large saucepan, boil florets of cauliflower on high heat until fork tender, approximately 10 minutes. 

2. While cauliflower is boiling, warm butter in a saucepan and add garlic. Saute on low for a few minutes until lightly golden, but do not brown. Remove from heat and set aside. 

3. Transfer cooked cauliflower to a blender.  Add butter and garlic, vegetable broth, salt, pepper and milk. Blend on high for several minutes, stopping every so often to add lemon juice and parmesan cheese to taste. Blend until sauce is very smooth. 

4. Evaluate the consistency of your sauce. If it seems thick, add more milk. If it seems dry, add a liberal drizzle of olive oil. I like the flavor and richness that the olive oil brings. Blend through. 

Tadaaaa! Now, who's gonna try it? 


Kristin said...

THIS IS THE ANSWER TO MY PRAYERS. I remember my first taste of alfredo and I love it to death. But alas, my pants do not. This might become my new staple xD

Laurie said...

I found this recipe on Pinterest a few weeks ago, and I just made it for the first time on Monday. My husband and I loved it!

Maria Larsen said...

I. Have. To. Try. This. I fell in love with Carbonara in Italy this past summer.

Nicol Hutchinson said...

Found your blog from the sockbun tutorial and I adore it! Keep it up :)

Nicol Rene

Smith said...

Found this on Pinterest. Made it last night and absolutely loved it. Thanks for your post!

dk said...

Was missing a few ingredients so substituted unsweetened Almond Milk for milk, sautéed garlic in water, and skipped the butter, used gluten free pasta, and it was very good! Next time will add mushrooms too.

Paula said...

So delicious, thanks for the great recipe! I didn't have vegetable broth, so I just used the cauliflower cooking water. Also, YEAH for the addition of lemon juice!

Unknown said...

Oh my gosh - I made this tonight, I couldn't believe how good it was! Thanks so much! I haven't had Alfredo in years because of how unhealthy it is, and now I can have it again. My kids even liked it!

Marylou Diamant said...

The six cloves of garlic proved to be a little overpowering, so I lessened the bite with 2 tbsp of fat free cream cheese. Turned out great! I love how versatile this sauce is.

Symbol said...

I will definitely try this recipe. It sounds interesting. My husband loves Alfredo sauce, but I think this sounds better than regular Alfredo. I will point out though, that Alfredo and carbonara are two very different things. Lots of restaurants make Alfredo with bacon and call it carbonara, but that's not what carbonara is! It drives me crazy! Traditional carbonara doesn't even have any cream in it.

Don't get me wrong, I love bacon Alfredo. And it's what probably 95% of restaurants call carbonara. It just drives me crazy that they get the name wrong.


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