Cauli-fredo Sauce – Finding Ways to Pretend Like You’re Not Really Eating Cauliflower

I think I’ve mentioned in the past that I’m not really a fan of cauliflower, unless it is deep fried into a pakora.  I had bought some with this intent a couple of weeks ago, and didn’t get around to using the cauliflower.  In an attempt to use up the cauliflower, I decided to simmer it on the stove and puree it into a pasta sauce – and it was delicious!

Cheddar cauliflower was one of the items in my CSA delivery this week, so I decided to use it to recreate my recipe from last week, with some minor tweaks in technique.  I recently watched an America’s Test Kitchen episode where they made a broccoli cheddar soup (as a side note, did you know you can watch these episodes on Amazon Prime streaming for free?). I wanted to follow their technique on cooking the vegetables to see if I could get the same nutty flavour they mentioned during the episode.


  • 1 tbsp butter (or olive oil if you’re opting for a vegan recipe)
  • 1 head of cauliflower, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 20 leaves of fresh basil
  • milk to thin out the mixture after it has cooked – almond milk would work great here to keep the recipe vegan
  1. Melt the butter in a pan, and toss in the onions and cauliflower until it begins to soften.
  2. Add the garlic, pepper and mustard and salt to taste and stir to coat.
  3. Add enough water to barely cover the cauliflower, set the temperature to low heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Add the fresh basil and puree the mixture – add enough milk to thin out the sauce a bit.
  5. Toss the sauce with your favourite pasta.

I added sun dried tomatoes and a handful of fresh spinach in this week’s batch, which also gave the sauce a great flavour. The recipe can easily be made into a vegan option and would taste really great with some nutritional yeast mixed into the sauce. This was a great substitute for a traditional alfredo sauce for a weeknight dinner and a perfect way to pretend like you’re not really eating cauliflower.


  1. I’ll give that one a try for sure. How can you not like cauliflower? My absolutely favourite food is cauliflower with cheese sauce. Could eat it everyday but then i would end up looking like a cauliflower!

  2. You also try making mashed cauliflower! You basically steam it, and season it like you would mashed potatoes. People really can’t tell the difference when I feed it to them without mentioning what the mash is made of.

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