pasta with cauliflower alfredo and broccoli rabe

Fusilli With Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce and Broccoli Rabe

Get your veggies in a flavorful sauce

Some days it’s hard to get enough veggies. But this recipe for Cauliflower Alfredo is a great help. Instead of topping your pasta with an artery clogger, this sauce gives you an extra serving of veggies in a surprisingly rich, creamy form. No, it isn’t a dead ringer for traditional Alfredo but it is a reliable, easy, velvety sauce. And around here, it’s a crowd pleaser.

A Cauliflower Alfredo serving suggestion

I serve it over fusilli because I find the weighty cauliflower sauce clings better to the spirals than to noodles. But you can use traditional fettuccine if you prefer. You can even use it as a sauce over chicken and rice or seafood. (I like mine with whole wheat spirals for the fiber and an extra helping of sharp, aged Parmesan. I also alter it occasionally to make a dairy-free version with vegan butter and shredded, vegan cheese.) But use it however you like serving a white sauce. This simple cauliflower Alfredo is incredibly versatile.

Chef’s tip

There are a lot of Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce recipes out there. What sets this sauce apart is the smoked salt. Don’t skimp and use table salt. For the full depth of flavor, you want that smokey note. Also, this recipe works well as a vegan dish if you use vegan butter and skip the cheese or substitute with vegan cheese, as I mentioned above.

Craving carbs? Check out more of our pasta recipes.

4.5 from 2 votes
pasta with cauliflower alfredo and broccoli rabe
Fusilli With Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce and Broccoli Rabe
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins

Traditional Alfredo Sauce gets a makeover with this easy cauliflower dish. You can serve the sauce with pasta or just make it on its own to use however you like serving a white sauce. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cauliflower
Dish Type: sauce
Cooking Style: Easy, vegan, Vegetarian
Diet and Health: Healthy, low fat
Ingredient: cauliflower
Servings: 8
Created by: Amy Reiley
  • 12-16 oz fresh broccoli rabe
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cooked whole wheat fusilli you can also use brown rice or quinoa pasta
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter* for a vegan version, I use vegan butter or avocado oil
  • 5 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 6 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 head cauliflower cut into florets, approx 5 cups
  • 1/2 cup rice or hemp milk
  • approx 1 tsp smoked salt you can sub table salt but the smokey flavor gives the dish added dimension
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese* or use shredded vegan cheese
  1. To blanch the broccoli, submerge in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, depending on thickness. Drain and rinse under cold water to help stop cooking.
  2. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and set aside.
  3. In a small saute pan, melt the butter over low heat.
  4. Add the garlic and saute, on low, for 3 minutes, or until it is soft and fragrant but not browned.
  5. Bring the vegetable stock to a boil in a large stock pot.
  6. Add the cauliflower and cook, covered, for 8 minutes or until fork tender.
  7. Transfer the cauliflower to a blender using a slotted spoon. Add 1 cup of the cooking broth plus the sauteed garlic, milk and salt.
  8. Puree until smooth, seasoning with additional salt to taste. Add a splash more milk if it is too thick.
  9. In a large saute pan over low heat, toss sauce with the pasta and broccoli rabe before serving. Sprinkle with the cheese before serving.



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