I love pasta! Who doesn’t, right? Red sauce is fairly easy to replicate as a vegan dish. It’s easy because it’s made of mostly vegetables. Simply omit the meat in meat sauce and you have a vegan red sauce (at least, usually). Alfredo can be a bit more tricky. It’s creamy and thick and has loads of cheese and dairy in it. But it doesn’t have to! This recipe is the perfect example of how eating plant-based can be easy, oil and gluten free and still just as delicious as a traditional alfredo. The main ingredient is cauliflower, and I never would have guessed that blending up this sometimes misunderstood vegetable would be so tasty!
This recipe is incredibly easy. It takes a handful of ingredients and about 20 minutes or less to make depending on how you time it out. I used gluten free fettucine, but of course you can use whatever pasta you like. Pair this pasta dish with your favorite veggies – we did broccoli – and enjoy a creamy bowl filled with pasta entirely guilt free. I think next time I’ll throw in some Beyond Meat “chicken” strips, YUM!! Let’s show you the recipe…
Easy Vegan Cauliflower Alfredo
12 oz. gluten free fettucine, cooked and drained
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets (size for this isn’t super important, since you’ll be blending it up later on, just make sure the sizes will fit in your blender)
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk (or dairy-free alternative of your choice)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Fill a large pot with water and cauliflower, cover and place over high heat until it comes to a boil.
Once mixture is boiling, reduce heat to low or medium-low and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until cauliflower is softened. (You can use this time to cook your pasta if you like, or do like I did and wait for the cauliflower to be finished so you can use the same pot.)
Drain cooked cauliflower and then place into your blender along with all other ingredients (except pasta) and mix on high until smooth.
Taste mixture to see if you need more seasonings and for salt and pepper.
At this point, you can add directly to your cooked pasta, or you can put your sauce back on the stove to stay warm.
Once you’re ready to serve, mix the sauce and pasta well. Top with pepper and fresh herbs of your choice. Serve with a side of steamed broccoli.
I’ve almost reached 2 whole months of eating vegan, and I gotta say, I like how it’s going. The food is delicious, made of fresh ingredients, and I don’t feel like crap after eating it. This particular recipe is going to be a new favorite in my house because I always seem to have random unused veggies and pasta (usually gluten-free or whole wheat). I love how the aroma of the vegetables filled the house and went so beautifully with the herbs. It was super easy to make too. The most time consuming part is chopping all the veggies, but so many grocery stores sell these pre-sliced now you could always go that route if you wanted to save even more time.
Feel free to sub in whatever veggies you have on hand for this dish. Just be sure to add them at the right times for cooking. For example, I added the broccoli first since I knew that would take the longest and the roma tomatoes last since I knew I really only wanted those warmed and not super mushy. You can also use whatever type of pasta you prefer. I like penne because it’s easy to get a good bite with pasta and vegetables in it all at once. This particular penne was gluten free so you could always do that as well, or heck make some zoodles if you’re looking for something without any carbs. Lastly, feel free to leave the oil out of this as well and instead add a small amount of water when cookies the veggies. I did use oil in this dish this time. I have been leaving oil out of my food for the last three weeks or so, so I didn’t feel like a tablespoon or two of good olive oil would hurt. I hope you enjoy!
Vegan Penne Primavera
12 oz of your favorite penne – cooked and drained
1 zucchini, halved and sliced
1 squash, halved and sliced
1 head of broccoli, chopped
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 roma tomatoes, halved and sliced
1 Tbsp olive oil (or water for cooking the vegetables)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp thyme
salt and pepper to taste
Non-dairy mozzarella for topping, if desired
Add the broccoli and the carrots to a large skillet over medium high heat with olive oil (or water) and let cook covered for about 5 minutes
Add zucchini, squash, and garlic and cover. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until vegetables reach desired consistency.
Add roma tomatoes at the end and stir to combine. Add thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
Once all vegetables are cooked, mix in the penne pasta.
Top with non-dairy mozzarella or parmesan if desired.
Lasagna is one of my favorite foods of all time. Who am I kidding, pretty much any type of pasta is my favorite food. Carbs, basically, just all the carbs. This lasagna is awesome because it’s completely vegan while still packed full of nutrients and yumminess. It combines a homemade ricotta, spinach and artichoke hearts with the classic red sauce that you can either make at home or buy premade. I did use gluten-free oven-ready lasagna noodles for this particular recipe which I didn’t care for – I didn’t care for the oven-ready part, the gluten-free part was fine. I would recommend using normal or gluten-free noodles you’ll have to boil first, but trust me it will be worth it.
This is also posted on my Instagram account (@melissaroserambles) under my Food highlights if you’d like to see this recipe in action!
Cooked lasagna noodles, at least 8
5 oz of fresh baby spinach, chopped
1 7.5 oz jar of artichoke hearts, chopped
1 8 oz bag of vegan mozzarella shreds
1 4 oz container of vegan parmesan
1 24 oz jar pasta or marinara sauce
1 batch of vegan homemade ricotta (recipe below)
Place all items in a blender or food processor and mix until smooth
Preheat oven to 450°F and grab a 13″ x 9″ glass baking pan.
Mix vegan ricotta mixture with chopped spinach and artichoke hearts. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour a layer of sauce in the bottom of your pan and layer two noodles. After the noodle layer, add a ricotta mixture layer, a mozzarella and parmesan layer, and then repeat each layer until you run out of noodles and other mixtures.
Top entire lasagna with remaining vegan cheeses and cover with foil.
Bake for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes.
Once finished baking, remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes.