This easy cauliflower pasta is rich and creamy and so easy to make. It has a full serving of veggies in one bowl and is picky eater approved! This simple vegetarian pasta is healthy and perfect for a quick dinner.
Vegan sauces can be made of a whole host of things. Especially the creamy ones. From cashews, to actual vegan cheese, cauliflower, sweet potato, butternut squash and more.
This creamy cauliflower pasta is made of a base of cauliflower, parmesan (or vegan parmesan), onion, garlic, a bit of milk and spices.
The cauliflower makes it super creamy, while the parmesan adds that rich cheesy flavor that make you feel like you’re eating something super indulgent!
This recipe is for a cauliflower pasta sauce, but there are actual pastas made with cauliflower. If you are looking for a low carb version, you can use actual cauliflower pasta or the cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joe’s.
Cauliflower. Cauliflower is my favorite veggie to sneak into recipes because it doesn’t change the color or the flavor. You’ll need one small head of cauliflower which we will steam to soften, then blend until smooth.
Parmesan. I used regular parmesan which of course gives this cauliflower pasta a really cheesy and rich flavor. If you are vegan, you can use my homemade cashew parmesan or a store bought vegan parmesan.
Non-dairy milk. To help the sauce blend! I used almond milk, but any non-dairy milk will work as long as it is plain and unsweetened.
Onion & Garlic. A generous amount of garlic really rounds of the flavors of this recipe. Just one yellow or white onion will add a lot of flavor too.
How to make cauliflower pasta
Make the pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. You can use whatever pasta shape you like. I went with shells, but you can try spaghetti, penne, elbows etc.
Steam or boil the cauliflower. Add the cauliflower to a pot and cover with water. Let steam/boil until the cauliflower is fork tender, then drain.
Saute onion. Saute the onion and garlic with olive oil until slightly golden brown.
Blend the sauce. Add the cauliflower to the blender along with all remaining ingredients. Blend until completely smooth, adding a touch more milk as needed to help it blend.
Combine. Transfer the sauce to a pot on the stove and heat to ensure the cheese is fully melted. Combine with the cooked pasta and stir to combine. I like to stir in some peas, but it’s also delicious as is!
Make it a meal!
I love to serve this cauliflower pasta with some grilled chicken, either on the side or stirred right into the pasta to create a chicken alfredo type dish.
It’s also delicious with my lemon pepper salmon or lemon pepper tofu for a vegan option.
If you aren’t feeling the meat option, you can stir in a can of drained and rinsed white beans for a bit of protein! Alternatively, use a chickpea or legume based pasta for extra protein and fiber.
Frequently asked questions
Why is my cauliflower sauce watery?
Cauliflower can hold on to a lot of moisture, so to prevent the sauce from being watery, we’ll steam it then drain completely to prevent the sauce from thinning too much.
We’re also starting with a low amount of milk for the sauce so it should be fairly thick to begin.
The pasta will absorb some of the liquid from the sauce when they’re combined and naturally thicken it up. However, if you blend the sauce and notice it’s not thick enough, you can blend in a tablespoon of cornstarch.
Does it keep?
Once prepared, this vegan cauliflower pasta will keep for about 3-4 days in the fridge. I like to reheat it on the stove with a splash of almond milk to make it creamy, but the microwave also works!
Can I bake it?
Yes! You can turn this into a baked pasta or baked mac and cheese type dish. Transfer to an oven save baking dish, top with more breadcrumbs and parmesan.
Either bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 Fahrenheit or simply broil for about 3 minutes until the top is golden brown.
More pasta recipes!
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Creamy Cauliflower Pasta
by: claire cary
- 16 ounces uncooked pasta of choice
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 white or yellow onion
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup milk I used almond
- ½ cup parmesan or vegan parm
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 cup peas
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions.
- Add the cauliflower to a small pot and cover with water.
- Boil for about 15 minutes or until the cauliflower is fork tender. Drain and add to a blender.
- Saute the onion with the olive oil for about 5 minutes or until just lightly golden brown. Add in the garlic for and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer to the blender with the caulfilower.
- Add in all remaining ingredients (aside from the peas) and blend until smooth.
- Combine with the cooked pasta and stir to combine.
- Stir in the peas.
- Serve with fresh basil, parsley or chives and enjoy!
Fabulous recipe! I just made this for dinner tonight & I will definitely be making it again. I didn’t add cashews or vegan cheese (just used nutritional yeast), & it still turned out phenomenal. Thank you for another delicious vegan dinner!
Claire Cary says
Perfect, so glad it worked without those!