Rich and Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Sauce

By Amanda Paa – Updated February 6, 2021

Even as I was growing up, I never liked alfredo sauce. All of my friends would order the heaping bowls of fettucine alfredo, and when I’d try I bite I always thought it was so bland. Too much like a plain roux of butter, salt and flour. Plus it was always such a weird texture, either too runny or so thick it too over the soft pasta.

I knew there had to a better way to make a flavorful white sauce and a more nutrient dense one at that. Which is how I landed on this Rich and Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Sauce, which became the perfect addition to my Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Gnocchi.

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Sauce

Smooth and velvety as could be, most people would never know this alfredo sauce doesn’t have lots of cheese and butter like they’re used to. In this recipe, it’s the magic of nutrient dense cauliflower and cashews. I’m always amazed at the power of these two ingredients when you combine them, just like in my Cashew Cauliflower Soup with Herb Popcorn.

Rich & Creamy Cauliflower Sauce (vegan, gluten-free)You’ll simmer the two in vegetable broth, softening them so that they’re ready for a spin in the Blendtec (high speed blender) after the garlic has been roasted, giving it a mellow sweetness. And then the cashews – they’re the secret thickener, no dairy in sight even thought the sauce is a snowy, silky white. Definitely good for you, but more importantly it tastes amazing.

Roasted Garlic Caulflower Sauce - made with cashews, vegan pasta saucYou can make this recipe a day ahead and it will last four days in the refrigerator. For a paleo meal you could serve it drizzled over roasted chicken and butternut squash. And the mister of the house loves it as a sauce for an Udi’s Gluten-Free pizza crust, topped with spinach, olives and tomatoes.

You can find the recipe HERE on the Blendtec blog, and huge thanks to them for supplying me with my blender, which makes this recipe a total breeze.

Did you make this?

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March 25, 2015


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  1. Ellen

    Several of you appear to have tried this. I use cauliflower in a lot of the recipes that I eat, but my husband doesn’t like the taste of it. I think I’m so used to it, that I don’t notice it anymore. Do you think you can taste it in this sauce or do the other flavors cover it up?

  2. Susan

    This sauce is better than any Alfredo I have ever eaten. I make it when I make your sweet potato gnocchi (for which I use part whole wheat–spelt is hard to find locally, and I am gluten tolerant). Been meat, dairy and oil free, except for nuts, for a year (cholesterol), so thank you for showing me that plants can yield richness beyond one’s imagination. This meal with a side is one of the hubby and my favorites.

  3. Drew Palacio

    Pardon but are the ingredient ratios listed above?

    I can’t seem to find them and I am dying to try this out.

    Thank you kindly,


  4. Laurie

    I agree with you on alfredo—I’d rather spend my calories on something with lots more flavor. This is a very pretty sauce—I kind of want to swirl it in mashed potatoes…or maybe mashed SWEET potatoes to follow your lead.

  5. Catherine

    Oh this looks delicious. I love it over the gnocchi. xo, Catherine

  6. GiGi Eats

    OKAY YES! Sign me upppp!

    • Amanda Paa

      gnocchi delivery needed gigi!

  7. Sarah @ SnixyKitchen

    I’ve never thought to add cashews to my cauliflower sauce! It makes it look so smooth and creamy – I’m definitely going to make your sauce very soon! (Maybe over chestnut pasta??:)

  8. Sharon @ What The Fork Food Blog

    I have been meaning to make a cauliflower sauce for ages. And your photos are gorgeous :)

  9. Beth

    We’ve been wanting to try cauliflower sauce, love this easy recipe Amanda. Now, I just need to get a blendtec :)

    • Amanda Paa

      I totally prefer it over regular white sauce. Cauliflower is such a magic ingredient. And yes to the Blendtec! I’ve never had soups or sauce come out so creamy.

  10. Christie

    I love to see cauliflower getting its due. It really is an amazing vegetable. Love that it made this gorgeous and creamy sauce.

  11. kristie {birch and wild}

    This looks delicious and so simple. I look forward to making it!

    • Amanda Paa

      hope you enjoy kristie! i loveeee how silky it is. i nearly ate it as a soup :)