You won’t believe how deceptively delicious this healthy Cauliflower “Alfredo” Sauce with Chicken and Mushrooms is. Pureed cauliflower delivers a rich and creamy alfredo-like sauce while sautéed onions, garlic, and mushrooms add depth of flavor. Fettuccini noodles bring texture throughout this dish.
For the love of Alfredo sauce. Who doesn’t love loads of parmesan cheese, whole cream and butter together in one beautiful dish? The thought of alfredo sauce over a mound of fettuccine always makes my mouth water. But then I’m startled out of my trance-like foodie state from the sheer reality of the “fat and calorie” count. Enter this Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce with Chicken and Mushrooms, low in calories, abundant in flavors, and indulgent in every way. It’s so delectable, you will never miss your traditional alfredo sauce.
Cauliflower – the Main Ingredient
Cauliflower seems to have become a household name in most kitchens across the world these days. Just do a quick internet search for cauliflower recipes and you will find anything from Roasted Cauliflower Steaks, Cauliflower Rice Pilaf, Cauliflower Tacos, Cauliflower Shaved Salad, etc, and of course, don’t miss my “Oven Roasted Breaded Cheesy Cauliflower” recipe.Needless to say, cauliflower is the base of this creamy “alfredo” recipe which softens as it simmers in a pot of chicken stock. You can use water or broth instead of the stock, but personally, I think the stock enhances the dish’s overall richness as the cauliflower draws in its flavor.
Cooking the Cauliflower to a perfect tenderness
Simply bring the chicken stock and the cauliflower to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pan and let it cook for about 20 minutes or until the florets are tender. Make sure and drain the cauliflower well, otherwise, the sauce can come out a little watery. Also, reserve about 1/2 cup of drained liquid to add to the sauce, but only if needed.
Seasoning the Chicken for this Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce
A simple sprinkling of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper is the only seasoning found on these chicken breasts. I didn’t want to go overboard with too many spices that competed with the simplicity of the cauliflower alfredo sauce.
Cooking the Chicken
Sear each side of the breasts to a golden brown for about six minutes of total pan-frying. Next, they are transferred into a 350°F oven for 20-25 minutes. What you’re looking for is an internal temperature of 160°F in the thickest part of the breast. It will continue to cook once removed from the heat. Cover it with foil and set aside.
Puréeing the Cauliflower
Add the drained cauliflower to a food processor. Depending on how thick it is during puréeing, add 1/8 to 1/4 cup of half and half along with 2 tablespoons of butter and purée until it’s smooth. Taste and see if it needs some added salt. You can also add a little bit of the cooking liquid if it still seems too thick.
Adding Texture and Flavor – Sautéed Onions, Garlic and Mushrooms
Here is the stage where this Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce finds its true glory – sautéed onions, garlic, and mushrooms. In my opinion, when you add these three ingredients to pretty much any savory dish, you will elevate that dish to another dimension of splendor. And I guarantee that’s exactly what has happened here.
The order in which to sauté
Start with the onions. On medium-high heat add one tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. A cast-iron skillet works great. Add the onions and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onions are slightly tender.
The second thing to add is the mushrooms. Turn the heat up to medium-high again. Add the mushrooms and stir often. If necessary you can add a little more oil during this process. Cooking the mushrooms on a higher heat allows the moisture to evaporate quickly causing them to carmelize better. Eight to ten minutes is a good calculation for this cooking process.
Lastly, but most definitely not least, add the garlic to the skillet. You never want to cook the garlic long, otherwise, it will burn. It only takes 30 seconds to one minute for garlic to release its aromatic magic. This is a good time to taste the mixture and see if it needs more seasoning. Adding salt and pepper is all about your personal taste preference. I’m a salt-aholic. So I always add more salt.
Look at this pan of beautiful, golden mushrooms. I could just dive into it right now before anything else is even added. Actually, true confession, I did dive into some of these luscious lovelies and then had to refrain myself in order to finish this dish.
Putting this Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce with Mushrooms all together
The puréed cauliflower is poured directly into the onions and mushrooms. It’s really that easy. Pour, stir and taste. Then taste again just for good measure. And because you cooked it, you are worthy of it.
Adding Pasta to the Dish
Fettuccini or linguini is my go-to pasta for this Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce. I want a thicker texture. But honestly, you can use whatever type of pasta you like. Just make sure you cook it to “al dente,” which is described as firm to the bite. Nobody likes mushy pasta.
Adding Chicken as the Bonus
The chicken can be added either as a sliced whole chicken breast on the side or mixed in with the sauce. If you add it in, I wouldn’t use as much pasta as both the pasta and the chicken will crowd the “good stuff” which is the sauce.
There you have it – Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce with Mushrooms. You guys, it just doesn’t get any better than this. It’s so much healthier than the classic alfredo sauce and I promise, you will find it just as appetizing. The extra fat and those calories will never be missed. This is healthy “comfort” food at its best. Dive in and ENJOY!
If you’re looking for more delicious pasta dishes, please check these out:
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Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce with Mushrooms
Pureed cauliflower delivers a rich and creamy alfredo-like sauce. Depth of flavor is added from sautéd onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Fettucini noodles bring texture throughout this dish.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 miutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Pasta
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: American
- Florets from 2 medium heads of Cauliflower
- 8 cups Chicken Stock
- 1/8–1/4 cup Half and Half
- 2 tablespoons Salted Butter
- 6 small Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
- Kosher Salt, to taste
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 large Sweet Onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced thick
- 6 large Garlic Cloves, minced
- 8–10 ounces of cooked Fettuccini
- Fresh Thyme, for garnishment
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Salt and pepper the six 6 small boneless and skinless chicken breasts on both sides.
- Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high. Add one tablespoon of olive oil until hot.
- Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for about three minutes on each side. They should have a golden brown sear on them.
- Place the skillet in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes or until an internal thermometer reads 160°F in the thickest part of the chicken breasts.
- Remove them from the skillet, cover with foil, and set aside. The chicken will continue to cook to the desired 165°F while resting.
- While the chicken is cooking, add the florets of two medium heads of cauliflower to a large pan with 8 cups of chicken stock. (You can use water if you would like.)
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until tender, not mushy.
- Drain the cauliflower well and place into a food processor. Depending on how thick it is when puréed, add a 1/8 to 1/4 cup half and half and 2 tablespoons butter. Purée until it is smooth. If it is still too thick add a little bit of the cooking liquid.
- Using the same skillet used for the chicken, heat it over medium-high heat. When hot add one tablespoon of olive oil.
- Add one large chopped sweet onion to the skillet and turn the heat down to medium.
- Sauté the onion for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until it is slightly tender.
- Turn the heat to medium-high again and add one pound of sliced baby bella mushrooms. Stir occasionally and cook for 8-10 minutes, until nice and brown with a caramelization.
- Add in 6 large minced garlic cloves. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until you can fully smell its aroma.
- Pour the puréed cauliflower into the skillet and stir to combine the cauliflower, onions and mushrooms.
- Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
- Stir in 8-10 ounces of cooked fettuccini.
- Garnish with fresh chopped thyme.
- Slice the chicken breasts and add alongside the pasta dish or dice the chicken and add it into the dish along with the pasta.
- You can use water or broth for the cauliflower instead of the stock. The stock enhances the dish’s overall richness as the cauliflower draws in its flavor.
- Make sure and drain the cauliflower well, otherwise, the sauce can come out a little watery.
- Cooking the mushrooms on a higher heat allows the moisture to evaporate quickly causing them to carmelize better.
- Serving Size: 1/6th of the pan and 1 small chicken breast
- Calories: 329
- Sugar: 6 g
- Sodium: 433 mg
- Fat: 9 g
- Saturated Fat: 4 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 4 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 42 g
- Fiber: 6 g
- Protein: 23 g
- Cholesterol: 53 mg
Keywords: cauliflower alfredo sauce, alfredo sauce with cauliflower, creamy cauliflower sauce,