Whoever realized pureed cauliflower could be used as a healthier version of Alfredo sauce was a genius.
Have you tried cauliflower sauce before?
If you haven’t, this all might sound a little weird so I’ll explain.
To make cauliflower sauce, you boil cauliflower florets in water until they get tender. Then puree them with either some of the water, broth, or milk until you get a smooth sauce. I also add olive oil because I think it helps make the texture of the sauce.
So that’s the base and it looks a lot like Alfredo sauce.
Then you can really do anything you want with it! Add seasonings, fresh herbs, pinches of cheese or cream to add little bit of richness without making it completely unhealthy.
For this version, I added sautéed spinach and artichokes with a little bit of cheese and boom! Healthy Spinach Artichoke Pasta.
The sauce seriously takes 10-15 minutes to make so this is a perfect weeknight dinner. The pasta cooks while you make the sauce, put everything together, and it’s dinnertime. Leftovers keep for a few days in the fridge if covered.
A note about the recipe – my recipe below is a base for you to use, the amounts of cheese, cream, or milk is entirely up to you. The recipe exactly as it is below is pretty light with just a hint of richness but you are more than welcome to use less or add more depending on your dietary needs or cravings.
If you make this recipe, share it on Instagram and use #thesimplefoodie. I’d love to see it!
Healthy Spinach Artichoke Pasta
- 1 head cauliflower, cut in florets
- 1 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained & diced
- 1 ½ c. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ c. Parmesan (or mozzarella, Fontina, or Monterey Jack)
- 1 T. olive oil
- 2 T. butter or olive oil
- 1 t. salt (taste, add more or a squeeze of lemon juice)
- pinch of pepper
- 8 oz. pasta of choice (I used Penne.)
- Parmesan & fresh parsley, for topping
Bring water to a boil in a large pot for the pasta. Pour the pasta in once it’s hot, and let cook while you prepare the sauce, monitoring as needed. In a large skillet, bring water and the cauliflower florets to a boil and let cook for about 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is fork-tender. Move the cauliflower florets to a blender with a slotted spoon. Then pour about a cup of the cauliflower water into the blender. Blend until the cauliflower is completely pureed, adding about 1 T. olive oil. Pour the remaining water out of the skillet and heat 2 T. butter or olive oil over medium heat. Add the artichokes, spinach, and garlic, sautéing for a few minutes. Pour the sauce back in the skillet, stirring in the spinach & artichokes. Add Parmesan or other cheeses, stirring to combine. Drain and add the pasta to the sauce. Serve warm.