Veggie Alfredo Sauce is the perfect mix of decadent and healthy. Using cauliflower and milk in place of cream, this healthy white 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 staple is perfect for getting more nutrition to the picky eaters in your family. While you’ll know that they’re getting in some vegetables with this cauliflower sauce, your kids will just think they’re eating their favorite pasta.
When we were kids, my brother and I had our favorite foods. I was a huge fan of Chinese and pizza 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. Because of that, my mom made them all pretty regularly, and but we all loved the creamy, decadent pasta dish best.
A family favorite gone healthy..
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. It’s hard to be ignorant of just how bad it is for you 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 bulk it up. And, bonus – it will add extra nutrition that your kids won’t even notice.
If you’ve been following along lately, you’ve seen me share my veggie spaghetti sauce and a veggie pesto pasta sauce. To round out my series of hidden veggie sauces, today we’re talking about this veggie 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!
Tips for making perfect veggie Alfredo sauce
- If you’d like to prep ahead, you can definitely save the cauliflower and milk puree for later use. It would also be a great puree to add to other savory dishes like casseroles, soups, and even something like pancakes.
- Even better, meal prep the whole 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.
- This makes a pretty large amount of sauce – use half for your dinner and save the other half to make this chicken penne pasta bake later in the week.
- I like to 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. Even if they pick the “visible” veggie out, it will still be sending a message about what makes a meal.
Veggie Alfredo Sauce FAQs
Whole milk, skim milk, and milk substitutes like unflavored, unsweetened almond or cashew milk all work well. I like to use a mix of cauliflower puree and whole milk.
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. Of course, you must top it with even more freshly grated Parm! All of this makes the dish incredibly decadent, but definitely not a healthy pasta sauce.
Instead, we’re going to talk today about how to make a sauce that is just as rich and delicious, but with out the guilt.
The main reason traditional Alfredo sauce is so bad for you is because it’s literally cream, butter and cheese.
The thing is, you don’t need all of that. You can just as easily substitute a milk of your choice – 2%, whole, skim, whatever. Other options include using some broth, a combo of broth and milk, or even a milk alternative, like almond milk.
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, so you’re coming out on top.
In this case, we’re using milk and – surprise! – pureed cauliflower. We’ll be cooking the veggies in milk, but you can easily cook and puree in water or broth if you’re looking to make it an even healthier sauce.
Related reads: Learn how to make vegetable purees here!
How do you make cauliflower Alfredo sauce?
The key to making this healthy Alfredo sauce is all is how the cauliflower is cooked. Some recipes recommend steaming it, others boiling, and others choose
Once your puree is completed, we’ll move on to finishing the sauce. But, don’t worry – you can easily make the puree ahead of time or even make the entire sauce a day or two ahead.
How to make veggie alfredo sauce:
- Make your cauliflower puree.
Make a cauliflower puree is by cooking it in milk until it’s super soft and then blending it up until nice and smooth
- Make your sauce.
Stir the puree into a creamy white sauce made with milk, flour, and butter before melting in some cheese.
- Add the cheese.
Remove from the heat before stirring in your cheese – this prevents a gritty sauce. When choosing your cheese, make sure you grab a good quality Parmesan and grate it yourself.
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.
Need more picky eater help? 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 sauce for picky eaters
This 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. The whole family will love this creamy cauliflower sauce that can be served with zero guilt.
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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?
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