This roasted cauliflower alfredo is dead easy to make and uses vegan pantry staples like miso, nutritional yeast, and spices to make a well rounded uber creamy alfredo sauce. The base is cauliflower! You’re going to roast up some florets and then blend some of them into the sauce and top your penne pasta with the rest.
You might remember when I whipped this up on the fly with Lindsay Ell on a recent episode of #hotforfoodtakeover! It was so genius I had to perfect the recipe so you could have it too. You’re going to be wowed by how creamy the cauliflower gets when ya blend it. Just make sure you have a really good high-powered blender. I always recommend a Vitamix or a Nutribullet. The latter is less expensive, but it does the trick to get things whipped into shape!
Watch how to make this easy vegan roasted cauliflower alfredo in the video below or keep scrolling for the recipe.
roasted cauliflower alfredo
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets (about 6 cups)
- 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp dried or fresh thyme
- 1 tsp granulated garlic powder
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste
pasta & sauce
- 3 C / / 275g dried penne
- 1 C reserved starchy pasta water
- 1 heaping cup roasted cauliflower florets
- ½ C nondairy milk
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp mellow white miso
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 to 2 peeled garlic cloves
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ C finely chopped fresh parsley, as garnish
- ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- On a large baking sheet toss cauliflower florets with 2 tablespoons olive oil, thyme, garlic powder, smoked paprika, sea salt and ground pepper until evenly coated. Lay out into an even layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until florets have a deep golden brown color on them and are tender.
- Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil and once at a rolling boil and a generous amount of sea salt and the penne. Cook until al dente. Before draining remove about 1 cup of starchy pasta water and set aside. Drain pasta but do not rinse. Place drained penne back into the pot you cooked it in and set aside.
- Once cauliflower is roasted, place a heaping cup full into a high powered blender. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, ⅓ cup of the starchy pasta water, nondairy milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, miso, tahini, onion powder, garlic cloves, sea salt, and ground black pepper. Blend on high until very very smooth and silky. If needed, add a bit more pasta water to get the sauce smooth.
Pour all the sauce over the penne in the pot and stir over medium low heat until heated through for serving. Add more pasta water at this stage if the sauce starts to get too thick or chalky. Stir in some of the cauliflower florets and coat in sauce and leave some remaining florets to garnish the final dish. Serve with more roasted cauliflower on top, parsley, and more ground black pepper to taste.
- When reheating leftovers you might need to add a bit of water or nondairy milk to loosen up the sauce again.
If you don’t have mellow white miso and something like red or another version that is darker you can still use it. Those variations might have a stronger flavor so start with half the amount and taste it first. If you don’t have miso at all you can substitute gluten-free tamari or low-sodium soy sauce!