roasted cauliflower alfredo

roasted cauliflower alfredo

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.

If this cauliflower alfredo isn’t your jam check out my cashew based fettuccine alfredo here and a zucchini based carbonara pasta here!

cauliflower alfredo vegan
roasted cauliflower alfredo_hot for food
4.52 from 39 votes
Print Recipe

roasted cauliflower alfredo

Course dinner, pasta
Cuisine Italian
Keyword alfredo sauce, cauliflower, pasta, pasta sauce
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Author Lauren Toyota


roasted cauliflower

  • 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


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

  6. When reheating leftovers you might need to add a bit of water or nondairy milk to loosen up the sauce again.

Recipe Notes

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!

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24 thoughts on “roasted cauliflower alfredo”

  1. Easy and delicious! Using cauliflower as a creamy sauce base instead of cashews makes for a much lighter sauce, loved it!

  2. So good! I didn’t add the extra cauliflower on top. It all went into the sauce. And that sauce was the best Alfredo sauce I’ve had… even before going vegan.

  3. I made this tonight and it tasted amazing! The sauce is tasty and amazing. I’ll try to add some coconut bacon next time, and maybe blend in some tofu in the sauce to add some protein. Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Lauren, This is my new favorite. I’m totes hot for this Cauliflower Alfredo, and because its cauliflower, I can pretend its healthy. Thanks much. You rock 🎸

  4. Aqua faba can be substituted for the oil. This is the bomb. Thank you for a healthy dish to add to my regular rotation.

  5. so so goood! the flavor and the texture of the sauce is right on. Not to mention it’s nutritious! I didn’t have plant milk so I just added like 1/4 cup of soaked cashews and some extra pasta water and it still turned out great. My non-vegan boyfriend loved it too 🙂 Thanks Lauren for another great recipe!

  6. Wow I have book marked this recipe for weeks and finally made it… I don’t know how I lived before! Haha. The sauce is fantastic and much lighter than a cashew sauce (equally amazing) but sometimes a little too heavy. I sprinkled some chilli pepper flakes on top for a little heat and OH MY GOODNESS! I pretty well live out of the Hot For Food Cook book now 🙂 <3

  7. Seriously delicious. The roasted cauliflower was so good. Pretty simple to make as well! Thank you for sharing!

  8. This is so delicious! My three-year-old helped to make it and he loved it as well, And so did my 16 month old. I forgot the thyme in the roasting process, and did not have tahini on hand but the taste was still amazing . I’ve tried other sauces in the past and they were always lacking something. This one is a keeper! Thank you

  9. This recipe is insane. Truly. I didn’t have miso so I just used a bit of President’s Choice vegan mozzarella (not that it’s the same thing, but I had it so I figured why not) and it turned out so amazing. It also blends super easily! I don’t have a high powered blender and I still managed to get it super smooth with minimal blending. Definitely recommend. Lauren is a badass.

  10. This was AMAZING. I didn’t have miso and couldn’t find any so I used soy sauce and it was just amazing. I’ve tried cauliflower Alfredo sauce before, but this is just on a whole other level. I sent the recipe to 5 different people after the first bite. This will be on my weekly rotation for sure! Insane! Thank you, Lauren!

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