Veggie Alfredo Sauce is the perfect mix of decadent and healthy. Using cauliflower and milk instead of cream, this healthy Alfredo sauce is perfect for picky eaters. It tastes just like the creamy Alfredo sauce your family loves, but with the benefit of being packed with vegetables. This hidden veggie sauce is perfect for getting the picky eaters in your family to eat more vegetables. While you’ll know that they’re getting in some quality vegetables with cauliflower Alfredo sauce, your kids will just think they’re eating pasta with traditional Alfredo sauce!
When we were kids, my brother and I had our favorite foods – I was a huge fan of Chinese and pizza (some things never change) but my brother was all about pasta dishes – chicken Parm, chicken Marsala, and his all time favorite, chicken Alfredo. Any time my mom asked him what he wanted for dinner, he always said one of those three. Because of that, my mom made them all pretty regularly, and but we all loved that creamy, decadent Alfredo pasta dish best.
After I got married, I learned Alex loved the same dish. He orders it pretty regularly at our favorite Italian restaurants, but I rarely make it at home because it’s hard to be ignorant of just how bad it is for you (but so. Dang. tasty.) if you actually have to add the 18 pounds of butter and cream in yourself before putting it on pasta.
Thankfully, there are ways to combat that, like adding vegetables to add extra nutrition and reducing the other not to great for you ingredients – which is what I did for this healthy Alfredo sauce!
If you’ve been following along lately, you’ve seen me share a hidden veggie spaghetti sauce and a hidden veggie pesto pasta sauce. To round out my series of hidden veggie sauces, we’re going to finish with a healthy Alfredo sauce – the creamy, cheesy, garlicy sauce your family expects, but with the secret benefit of a bag of frozen cauliflower!
RELATED: Find all of the best Hidden Veggie Recipe here!
How do you make homemade Alfredo sauce?
Typically, Alfredo sauce is made by making a sauce with heavy cream and butter before stirring in a good helping of garlic and Parmesan cheese. Incredibly delicious, but definitely not a healthy pasta sauce. Instead, we’re going to talk today about how to make a veggie Alfredo sauce that is just as rich and delicious, but with out the guilt.
Tips for making veggie Alfredo sauce
- You can definitely save the cauliflower and milk puree for later use – it would be a great puree to add to other savory dishes like casseroles, soups, and even things like pancakes.
- This makes a huge batch of sauce – use half for your dinner and save the other half to make an Alfredo bake later in the week.
- Serve with a visible veggie to remind your kids that each meal should include a veggie – here I served it with steamed peas, but anything from spinach to corn to carrots to diced tomatoes would be perfect.
- This healthy cauliflower Alfredo sauce is also perfect for a meal prep meal – make the sauce earlier in the week and grill up some chicken. Combine sauce and chicken with hot pasta when you’re ready for dinner for a simple weeknight meal.
What can I substitute for heavy cream in Alfredo sauce?
The main reason Alfredo is so bad for you is because it’s literally cream and butter and cheese and all things amazing in life.
The thing is, you don’t need all of that. You can just as easily sub in milk – 2%, whole, skim, whatever – in it, use some broth, use a combo of both, use some ricotta – whatever.
Yes, the taste will be a little different. No, it will not be as insanely rich, but in my world, that also means you can stomach eating a ton more.
In this case, we’re using milk and – surprise! – pureed cauliflower (that we’ll cook in milk, but you can easily cook and puree in water or broth if you’re looking to make it an even healthier Alfredo sauce)
How do you make cauliflower Alfredo sauce?
The key to making this healthy Alfredo sauce is to actually make a killer cauliflower Alfredo sauce.
The key to making a killer cauliflower Alfredo sauce is to make a really awesome cauliflower puree.
The key to making a really awesome cauliflower puree is by cooking it in milk until it’s super soft and then blending it up until it’s nice and smooth.
After you make your cauliflower puree, we’re going to stir it into a creamy white sauce made with milk, flour, and butter before melting in some cheese. It’s going to taste incredibly decadent, but it won’t pack on the pounds, and you’ll feel good about eating vegetables. Winning, guys.
Like hidden veggie recipes? Try this: Over 100 Hidden Veggie Recipes Your Kids Will Love!
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A decent blender is going to make making the cauliflower puree much easier – I’ve made this with a cheap blender, but we love this Ninja Blender as well!
Want to get the kids involved?
Have them pick out a veggie to add to the meal or let them hit the button on the blender! Getting kids in the kitchen doesn’t have to be a ton of work – little ways of encouraging them really add up.
Veggie Alfredo Sauce – a healthy cauliflower Alfredo
Veggie Alfredo sauce is a simple way to make an easy, weeknight meal healthier and sneak in an extra veggie into a picky eater’s diet. Serve with grilled chicken and peas or blanched broccoli to round out the meal.
Healthy Alfredo Sauce
Veggie Alfredo Sauce is the perfect mix of decadent and healthy. Using cauliflower and milk instead of cream, this healthy Alfredo sauce is perfect for picky eaters.
- 2 cups milk
- 1 20 oz bag frozen cauliflower
- 1.5 cups milk
- 2 TBS butter
- 2 TBS flour
- 1-2 cloves garlic minced
- .5 cup grated parmesan cheese
In a saucepan, simmer 2 cups of milk and the cauliflower over medium low for about 10 minutes, until the cauliflower is soft and cooked through.
Add the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.
In the pan, melt the butter over medium heat and add the garlic, cooking about 30 seconds to 1 minute before adding the flour, stirring to cook the flour for about 2 minutes or until a light golden color. (this is a roux and will be what thickens your sauce!)
Whisk the remaining milk in. Make sure to incorporate the roux well and then cook until it begins to thicken. Add the cauliflower puree and cook down until the desired thickness.
Remove from the heat and stir in cheese and pepper. Taste and add more cheese, salt, or pepper as needed. Toss your desired amount with pasta and serve.
-Use a potato masher on the cauliflower about halfway through cooking - it will help it cook down even more and blend easier.
-If the puree is too thick, add a bit more milk, broth or water when blending.
-Use as much or as little garlic as makes sense for your family - we like garlic so I tend to use 2-4 cloves!
-Make sure you use good, freshly grated parmesan cheese! This is vital for this to be super flavorful.
Okay, so tell me – would your kids eat this hidden veggie cauliflower sauce? What was your favorite as a kid?
Got a picky eater?
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