Fettuccine No-Fredo with Broccoli and Sautéed Mushrooms

by on April 9, 2006
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Fettuccine No-Fredo
Subtitle: Adventures in Cauliflower Sauce!

I was describing the Chickpeas, Potatoes and Green Beans in Cauliflower Sauce to some friends when it hit me that Cauliflower Sauce could be the best thing to happen to fatfree cooking since the invention of non-stick pans. A sauce made from cauliflower could be flavored in any number of ways, not just with Indian seasonings. And a good, creamy sauce with no fat, no soy, no gluten, no “bad carbs,” and all cruciferous vegetable could be a very handy and healthy addition to many different types of recipes.

I decided to test out this theory last night. I cooked the cauliflower as I had before, but this time I used less water (the potatoes in the last recipe provided substantial thickening that I needed to compensate for) and instead of curry leaves, coriander, ginger, and garam masala, I cooked the cauliflower with garlic, oregano, and basil. After the sauce was blended and seasoned to my liking, I tossed it with some fettuccine and broccoli and topped the whole thing with some sautéed mushrooms.

Folks, we have a winner! At least to my family. My daughter E. was heading out the door to a friend’s house, but she couldn’t resist the sight of pasta simmering on the stove. I dished her up a plate, and she wolfed it down in record time. I had to promise her that there would be plenty of leftovers when she got back–and that I would add it to her Kid-Friendly list.

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

1 SusanV August 8, 2009 at 9:06 am

Here are the comments that were posted before the blog was moved:

primaryconsumer said…

This looks so good! I have some cauliflower in the fridge, so I might just have to make this.

By the way, I made the sugar-free chai cake. It was good the first day, but it definitely tasted better the second day. I have an idea for it that I’m going to try out soon. :)

10:51 AM, April 09, 2006
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SusanV said…

Hey PrimaryConsumer–glad you liked the cake. I’ve noticed that about fat-free baked goods. It seems like they gather moisture or something after “resting” overnight and just taste better (that’s what I thought about the brownies, too). Please let me know your idea and how it works out.

11:00 AM, April 09, 2006
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Anonymous said…

Hey, I was just wondering if this dish has enough of a “cheesy” taste considering the main base of the sauce is cauliflower. I really want to make an “alfredo” dish for my meat eating family, and show them that vegan dishes actually do taste good.

9:05 PM, April 09, 2006
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SusanV said…

Anonymous, this isn’t really a very cheesy tasting sauce, but there are things you could do to make it cheesy. First, you could add one of the vegan cheese products to it, such as soy Parmesan or mozzarella. Also, you could try to make it creamier by using soymilk and more nutritional yeast. This recipe is more of a work in progress, and I encourage you to play with it and see what you can create.

9:22 PM, April 09, 2006
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KaiVegan said…

Kid-friendly list?
Can’t beat that!
When my oldest saw me pick up the head of cauliflower at the store yesterday, she asked if we could make mashed “potatoes” with it. Hey, this pasta dinner sounds better than that!

9:38 PM, April 09, 2006
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KaiVegan said…

…and the portabella m. looks so good!

9:39 PM, April 09, 2006
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primaryconsumer said…

Hi Susanv, it’s primaryconsumer again. I’ve been thinking about this, and I just wanted to ask you. I don’t like using nonstick pans and bakeware because I’m not sure how safe it is. I know that you use it, but I was just wondering how you felt about it (healthwise).

9:42 PM, April 09, 2006
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Goldie said…

I actually picked up a non stick pan at a Costco road show that does not have teflon and will not burn and there is no coating to scratch off. It is “American Professional” brand and it was about 40 I think for a large saute pan. You could also buy the whole set, but I seem to only need this one pan. I don’t remember what it is made out of but even the outside won’t stick. I think you can get a similar product at bed bath and beyoun but the price is alot higher.

11:04 PM, April 09, 2006
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SusanV said…

Hi KaiVegan! Yeah, when my husband saw the photo, he said the only thing wrong was that the portabella looked like meat!

PrimaryConsumer, I don’t worry so much about non-stick coatings, though I know that other people do. For one thing, all those reports that came out recently were about dangers in the manufacture of the cookware, not the use of it. I do try to avoid the inexpensive kind that can flake off with use. I bought some hard anodized pans last year that seen pretty indestructible.

Goldie, yours sounds similar to mine.

5:39 AM, April 10, 2006
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karina said…

Fabulous idea! I loved it that E “wolfed it down” [warming the maternal cockles of vegan hearts everywhere].

7:30 AM, April 10, 2006
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sage said…

susan,
this recipe sounds and looks wonderful…and no soy, hooray!
thanks so much, I will try this for sure!

to your good health,
sage

7:46 AM, April 10, 2006
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Freedom said…

You must have read my mind susan – I have been looking for a certain sauce for a pasta dish this week and this fits the bill perfectly. I will let you know when I make it. Any ideas for something I can sub for the wine? Just veggie broth maybe?

4:53 AM, April 11, 2006
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AngelaPaulWeis said…

Susan — I am a member of your Yahoo Group Fat Free VEGAN and I just “discovered” your blog. I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT!

I just made the Fettuccine No-Fredo … and I LOVE it. But I did modify it slightly.. added a small can of drained/rinsed white beans and one vegan bouillon cube. NIRVANA! Absolutely hits the spot. THANKS SO MUCH!

5:37 PM, April 11, 2006
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SusanV said…

Thanks everyone for your comments. Freedom, I think I would substitute veggie broth with maybe a little balsamic vinegar for the wine–something to give it a slight tang. Angela–I am so happy to hear that the recipe was a success! I think your changes sound excellent, and I will have to try it that way. Thanks for posting!

6:03 PM, April 11, 2006
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KleoPatra said…

i am so trying this recipe!

THANK YOU!!!

6:53 PM, April 11, 2006
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Anonymous said…

I made The Fettuccine No-Fredo, brought it to a Potluck and it disappeared right away, Thank you Tim

6:48 PM, April 12, 2006
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Sue said…

I was a bit lazy so I steamed a head of cauliflower and pureed it with about 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast and some garlic seasoning mix (salt-free), a splash of extra virgin olive oil and about 1/2 jar of fat-free, organic marinara and served it over sprouted whole-wheat pappardelle from Trader Joe’s. My 2-year olds ate a few pieces but they always seem to prefer leftover pasta anyway so will see how it goes tomorrow. Thanks Susan!

5:36 PM, April 15, 2006
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Veg-a-Nut said…

Hi Susan, I just had to tell you that we adapted your recipe and comments to a super comfort food last night. We love it thanks again. I posted a picture and our adaptation to your wonderful recipe! You are awesome!

4:25 PM, March 27, 2007
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Anardana said…

This recipe inspired me to make a cauliflower “cheez” sauce for pizza!
There’s a photo on my blog.

12:00 PM, July 18, 2007
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cassiopeia said…

i just made this without the nutritional yeast and it was super creamy! definitely something i would make again!

10:17 PM, January 28, 2008
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Ashley said…

I made this last night and for some reason I decided to cook the cauliflower in veggie broth. This made my sauce brown. I also used whole wheat fettuccine because that’s what they had at Trader Joe’s the other day, so my pasta was also brown. So I turned your beautiful dish into a big brown mess. However, if you could get past the appearance, I thought it was really good. Everybody at work made fun of me at lunch today when I was eating my leftovers, but making fun of “Veggie Girl” is the normal lunchtime activity anyway.

11:15 PM, April 01, 2008
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Anonymous said…

Hey Susan, do you happen to have the nutritional info for this?

Thanks so much!

7:34 PM, June 04, 2008
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SusanV said…

Here you go:

Divided into 8 servings, each one provides: 253 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (4% calories from fat); 11g Protein; 50g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 30mg Sodium; 5g Fiber.

(Almost all of the calories are from the pasta.)

10:16 PM, June 04, 2008
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OpenID ms-interpret said…

Oh wow. Nice. I had a head of cauliflower, some pasta and no ideas. Bingo. Thank you.

Things I changed:
Had no nutritional yeast, used a ‘parmesan’ substitute.

Used gluten-free pasta

Added a splash of wine to the cauliflower sauce.

Husband says to try some mustard powder in it next time.

9:27 PM, June 23, 2008
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rach said…

Susan,

I was just wondering what a decent substitute for nutritional yeast would be?

I live in the middle of no where, where veganism is unheard of! Therefore, there’s little available to me, ingredients wise.

Thanks for your help :)

<3 rach

9:30 PM, September 10, 2008
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Aericka said…

Do you think sauce would freeze well? I am single ant this is a ton of food!!

5:02 PM, November 01, 2008
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SusanV said…

Aericka, I think it probably will freeze fine.

6:24 PM, November 01, 2008
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talula_fairie said…

I’ve made this recipe a zillion times, but today when I made it I didn’t have any mushrooms. I did, however, have a head of cauliflower and broccoli about to go bad, so I had to so something about this. I looked in my fridge and found some newly purchased organic eggplants. Then a brilliant idea struck me! I made this recipe, but instead of sauteed mushrooms, I used eggplants! It was a smashing success. I figured you’d want to know about this since you’re such a big eggplant fan.

This is what I did: sliced lengthwise the eggplant and salted it, let it sit for 20 or so minutes, rinsed and dried it. Cubed it. Put about a tablespoon (give or take) olive oil in a pan (I don’t have nonstick so the oil was needed, you could probably get away with just olive oil spray or water), heated it and added 2 diced garlic cloves. I added the eggplant and sauteed for maybe 5 minutes. I added 1/2 cup red wine and continued to sautee for about 3 or 4 more minutes uncovered, then I lowered the heat to low and let it soften for another 3 or 4 minutes.

8:38 PM, March 26, 2009
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Selena said…

i made the cauliflower component today and it is delicious. granted i wound up eating half the sauce used as a “cream of” soup and topped it off with some soy parmesan but i am going to use up the rest of the sauce w/ pasta. thank you!

3:34 PM, May 13, 2009

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2 Anonymous January 21, 2010 at 4:14 pm

so it's pouring in southern california and i wanted comfort food…i used the sauce recipe and just added more water and more nutritional yeast, threw some broccoli in after it was pureed, and voila: vegan broc'n'cheese soup. mmmmm. and using the usda nutrient database to estimate calories on the ingredients, it's probably about 200-300 cal for the whole pot.

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3 Lea January 25, 2010 at 1:03 pm

I'm a little late on this recipe – I made it last night and it was great! I had some tofu that was about to expire so I grated the whole block and added it to the cauliflower about half-way through cooking. Turned out great – and very guilt free :)

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4 Meridith February 28, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Wow, wow, and wow! I am just finishing my second HEAPING bowl of this and I cannot believe how delicious and comforting this is! My hubby and 2 year old are loving it too!

As always Susan, you have not let me down. Thanks for everything!

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5 Robert March 3, 2010 at 3:07 am

Do you have the Calorie/Fat/Protein information for this recipe?

Thanks,
Robert

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6 Anonymous March 8, 2010 at 10:36 am

I've been stalking your blog for a while now, and have found many delicious recipes that my boyfriend and I have enjoyed. This one, however, I just HAD to comment on. It was so delicious, and a great concept that I had never thought of before. I'm sure I'll be make no-fredo all the time now! I'm going to have the leftovers today over zucchini noodles. Thanks so much!

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7 lovemyfamily June 15, 2010 at 8:19 am

This was good and we all liked it. the kids liked the noodles covered in the cauliflower sauce. I used frozen broccoli for ease of use and twisty noodles, although next time I would half the pasta cause we are more of a heavy on the sauce light on the pasta kind of family.

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8 Laurene September 8, 2010 at 1:27 pm

I loved this recipe but next time I will try and cut the recipe in half, cause Im the vegan in the family. I divided the leftovers up in freezer bags and now have enough leftovers for a few more dinners! Lucky me!!!!

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9 kate December 29, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Just made this for the first time, quite enjoyable! However I feel like the 4 cups of water worked against me and made my sauce a little more watery than having a thickness. Also I wasn’t sure by the directions if I had messed up-I took the cauliflower out of the pan with the seasonings into my blender, blended for a bit, then added back to the pan and simmered with the nutritional yeast. Was this correct? Otherwise I can’t wait to keep perfecting it, so tasty!!

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10 Svetlana March 12, 2011 at 4:29 pm

I found your website not long ago and first recipe that I made was Kale&Mushroom polenta wich was delish! I made it 3 times in a row untill my hubby plead me for something else,lol.Now it is one of my favorite websites to cook from. Literally every other day I cook from here including deserts. I have to say that was a great recipe, the sauce is definately a keeper- creamy and tasty.I did add some modifications as I used only have of the califlower and less water and it worked beatifuly. I am not a vegetarian nor vegan but trying to cut on meat,cheese consumption and calories.It has been two weeks and I have lost 4 pounds ! Great work Susan and keep it up!

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11 trudie March 14, 2011 at 6:56 am

first recipe i’ve gotten excited about and been inspired by in a LONG time!!

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12 Marian Hamilton April 8, 2011 at 9:56 am

This recipe sounds DIVINE also – I’ll try this one this weekend!! WOW – never thought of using cauliflower for making a sauce. I can hardly wait to try this!

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13 Liga April 9, 2011 at 8:31 am

I will try this soon! Cauliflower is underappreciated as a replacement for a variety of things. My secret replacement is pumpkin puree instead of cheese for mac&cheese. Boil pasta in broth, add pumpkin puree and something along the lines of cream cheese for a really good healthy mac&cheese replacement. I am not vegan, so I am not sure about the equivalent. So good!

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14 Jenna May 29, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Our family is not vegan, nor even vegetarian, but we are just trying to eat a little healthier. Less meat, more veggies! I came across this blog about 2 weeks ago and I must say, I’m hooked! I cooked this for my family last weekend, and all we can say is WOW! My husband despises cauliflower so I told him not to look at the recipe or even worry about what I was doing in the kitchen… of course he found out, but he let me continue on. I must say I did cheat and used grated parmesan instead of nutritional yeast (we just moved to a new town and I haven’t located a store that carries it yet). I’m going to try E’s favorite lasagna next week and I’m excited :)

I do have a question… what are a few staples in your kitchen to get me started in terms of flax seed, nutritional yeast, etc. I see a lot of things like these in your recipes but would like to get several at once to have on hand!

Thanks so much for this blog- it is so much fun because it’s so different than what we are used to!

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15 katie m. June 16, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Hello Susan,
Love your site. I am in the process of making the Fettucine no-fredo and I could stop right now and eat all of the pureed cauliflower and seasonings. It is wonderful and would make a great soup with bread.
Thanks,
Katie

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16 Charissa June 23, 2011 at 9:45 pm

I want to try making this using frozen cauliflower, any thoughts on approximately how many cups of florets go into this? It looks like a great recipe, I can’t wait to try it!

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17 Anita W July 5, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Great alternative to dairy cream sauce! Are you supposed to drain the cauliflower before blending it? I didn’t, and it came out very runny, almost like soup. And I need more reasons to eat garlic!

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18 Maree July 20, 2011 at 6:46 am

Great recipe – thank u Susan, my hubby and I really enjoyed it. I too found the sauce too thin though and had to add cornflour to thicken. Are you supposed to drain the water from the cauliflower before you blend it?

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19 SusanV July 20, 2011 at 8:01 am

No, I just blended it in the cooking water. It may depend on the size of the cauliflower, but it sounds like you handled it well by adding the cornflour (cornstarch to us Americans!)

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20 Laura July 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm

This looks awesome! I was wondering what is the calories of the sauce alone?

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21 SusanV July 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Only 77 calories for the sauce alone!

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22 Laura July 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm

That’s awesome! Thank you! I love your site by the way.

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23 moonwatcher July 26, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Hi Susan,

This recipe is one of my old favorites, and this week I made it with a fresh summer twist. Instead of the dried herbs, I cooked the cauliflower (which came fresh from farmer’s market) with a fistful of chopped fresh basil and fresh oregano from my harden. In the same spirit, I grated some whole nutmeg in. It was really tasty with the fresh herbs!

Also, since I’m by myself, the way I do this dish is to make the sauce and let it simmer. I cook just enough pasta and veggies for one big dish. Next time I have it I reheat the sauce and do the same thing. It works fine. Gluten free pasta doesn’t always stand up well to being reheated, so this works well for me.

Thanks again,
moonwatcher

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24 Kelsie August 9, 2011 at 12:22 pm

I made a half batch of this alfredo sauce because the first time I made it, I hated the texture. This time, I took half a head of cauliflower, chopped, and boiled it in “chicken” broth for EVER. I think I used about 2 cups of water and I boiled it until all the liquid was absorbed, it had to have been about half an hour or so. Then I blended it up with Italian seasoning and 2 TBSP nutritional yeast (I’m a fiend! I love that stuff) a touch of white pepper and a cup of soy milk. My GOD! It was perfect this time around. I love your idea of using cauliflower as the base. I’m going to have it tonight with Zuccini noodles, Mmmmmmmm.

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25 Andrea August 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm

I don’t mean to be a jerk, but I tried this recipe and I HATED it. Even more amazing – my husband hated it – he couldn’t even gag it down and he is a human garbage disposal.

It was so just so bland. The only thing I liked about it was the mushrooms. I don’t care how healthy it is, it’s just not worth it.

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26 Dawn October 13, 2011 at 6:47 am

This was delicious! I wanted something warm and comforting for dinner last night. I was thinking creamy pasta. So I headed here to see what I could do. I had a bag of frozen cauliflower. I used almond milk, garlic, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper,Italian seasoning blend, a little cornstarch (which I ended up thinking I could have done without). I had a bag of frozen broccoli and made the mushrooms as well. And it came together quickly. I was so pleased. I think this sauce would be delicious with potatoes and I was wondering how it would do baked. Like a baked pasta casserole? What do you think?

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27 SusanV October 13, 2011 at 7:04 am

I think it would do just fine. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

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28 Dawn October 21, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Okay–I’m back. I made the sauce again. Used a bag of frozen cauliflower again. So delicious. Boiled whole-grain rotini and broccoli. Then stirred together and topped with a light dusting of crushed crackers. I used Wasa Light and Crispy. Baked for about 30 min at 350. Oh so good!!! Thanks for the inspiration. I can see variations of this morphing into more great eats.
I will most definitely serve this to friends and family that routinely eat dairy. I know they would love it.

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29 Miranda February 5, 2012 at 4:11 pm

I really loved this recipe. It was easy and tasted really good. I actually added some grilled asparagus and red bell peppers with the mushrooms. Great tasting and I didn’t have that heavy feeling I always feel after eating sauces with a lot of milk or cheese. Plus, since I am lactose intolerant this recipe was perfect. Thanks for sharing.

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30 Leena April 10, 2012 at 12:43 pm

I have to say I really admire your creativity and your vision with your recipes. Cannot wait to try this. Thank you!!!

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31 Gabby August 14, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Oh my word. That was so good. The only problem I had was that I ended up ended up eating a FULL plate full. Perfect when you want some creamy pasta but not all of the fat and calories. Somehow it still feels just as indulgent. Yum.

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32 Teresa January 4, 2013 at 8:11 pm

This was really good. My non-vegan kids ate it without complaining! I think I will increase the amount of nutritional yeast next time I make it. I had a huge head of cauliflower, and it needed just a tad more. Excellent no-freddo cream sauce – I saved some to put on baked potatoes!!

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33 Kristyn March 4, 2013 at 1:57 pm

I made this for dinner last night. One kid loved it the other hated it. She hates everything so it was to be expected. This will go into our “recipe rotation”. I used a smaller head of cauliflower so the sauce was pretty watery. I just added some corn starch and it thickened up nicely. Other modifications were that I used whole wheat pasta and I used 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast.

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34 Becky April 9, 2013 at 9:44 am

This looks delicious. Just a quick question… it doesn’t say to drain the cauliflower but I’m assuming we would?

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35 Susan Voisin April 9, 2013 at 9:56 am

No, the cauliflower is blended in the water. If your cauliflower is small, though, I recommend using less water. I had a very large cauliflower and 4 cups was a good amount, but people have reported that they had a very thin sauce when their cauliflowers were smaller.

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36 Dana April 9, 2013 at 2:05 pm

I can’t wait to try this! It looks amazing.

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37 Alta April 9, 2013 at 2:45 pm

what could a non-alcohol user substitute for the wine? white grape juice?

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38 Susan Voisin April 9, 2013 at 3:12 pm

You can just leave it out. Juice would be too sweet.

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39 Diane April 10, 2013 at 1:04 pm

I don’t use alcohol, either, except on very rare occasions when I’m cooking just for me, but I’ve made this quite a few times (family favorite!) and thought it was missing something when the wine was left out, so I’ve been experimenting. I tried 2 tbsp. (1/8 cup) of vinegar or lemon juice and thought that was too sour and still missing something. Lately I’ve been using a few drops of either vegan Worcestershire or soy/tamari sauce plus 1 tbsp. veggie broth (low sodium) plus 1 tbsp. either lemon juice, rice vinegar, or balsamic vinegar. With balsamic, the sauce gets darker, so I don’t usually use that when company’s coming. Since I’ve never tried it with wine, I don’t know how close this comes to what you intended, but it seems to give a richness similar to the type of flavor I remember from sauces with wine in them. What do you think, am I making a mess of your recipe?

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40 Katie April 10, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Amazing sauce! I made your No-Fredo sauce (less water even though my cauliflower was good-sized, light on the herbs, heaping measurements of nutritional yeast), and served it over brown rice, then topped with a saute of onion, mushrooms, red and green pepper. The meal was scrumptious, and no one would have guessed that the sauce was primarily pureed cauliflower! I look forward to using the leftover sauce with pasta and broccoli.

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41 sara April 12, 2013 at 6:53 pm

I just made this and it is super bland. I even put more in spices in and double the nutritional yeast the recipe called for….still super bland. It’s missing the creamy fatty taste of alI would not make this again. There have got to be better vegan alfredo sauces out there. I like that it is healthy though.

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42 Almiel February 11, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Replace some of the cauliflower with soaked raw cashews. Make sure they’re not roasted/salted! This is important. I made a version of this sauce last night this way (for 8 oz of pasta: 1/2 cup “raw” cashews soaked for a few hours + 1-1/4 cups cauliflower florets or 1/2 bag of frozen + herbs/spices to taste). FYI, 1/4 cup cashews is 150 calories. You could play with the ratio for more or less fatty richness but this was a good balance for me and my carnivore hubby.

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43 Marina April 17, 2013 at 11:14 am

Thanks for this recipe. I had no trouble making it. When I made it, it looked just like your picture! My husband really liked it too! This already has become a favorite recipe and the sauce is so versatile. I became a nutritarian in Jan 2014. I’ve never felt better. More and more I find myself moving towards vegan recipes. I love your blog. Thanks for sharing!

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44 Betsy G. May 13, 2013 at 2:25 pm

I was really excited about the possibility of a cheese sauce that while it was in the final cooking step I added 1/2 c. chopped basil and 1/4 c. chopped sundried tomatoes. Sauce was amazing and plan to serve it on whole grain pasta tossed with mixed roasted vegetables (eggplant, red peppers, mushrooms, onions and zucchini). Can wait til dinner. Thank you so very much for all the effort you put into creating recipes that are ff and vegan!

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45 Betsy G. May 13, 2013 at 2:29 pm

This was the wrong comment stream…the recipe I made and modified was your original cauliflower cheese sauce…but will try this one too!

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46 janet January 15, 2014 at 3:17 pm

I love your site. I’m a newbie vegan and trying to get used to the new foods and methods of doing things. I love mashed cauliflower “mashed potatoes” and have made them for years so I thought this would be great; but there’s a “off” flavor in it that I just can’t put my finger on. I don’t know whether it’s the spices or the nutritional yeast. I’ll still eat it of course (I’m not a fussy eater) but I’m wondering if anyone else has experimented with other spices/herbs that they think blend better with the cauliflower flavor or make it more like alfredo. I’m not great at experimenting and usually just follow a recipe. Thank you so much though for your great website.

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