Healthy Fettuccine Alfredo

Recipe By Tessa Arias
July 24th, 2013

This healthy fettuccine alfredo features a secret ingredient which makes this dish rich and creamy without all the fat and calories. Can you guess what that ingredient is?

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook: 32 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: The cauliflower taste is so minimal you really forget that it’s even there. This just tastes rich and wonderful. Don’t forget to add the nutmeg, it really adds another dimension of flavor!
Texture: Creamy and luscious, just like regular fettuccine alfredo. Cauliflower truly is a magical vegetable.
Ease: Admittedly this recipe does dirty a few dishes but it is still easy enough for a weeknight meal.
Appearance: No one would ever guess there’s cauliflower hiding in the sauce!
Pros: So tasty you don’t know it’s the healthy version.
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? Oh yes.

This healthy fettuccine alfredo features a secret ingredient which makes this dish rich and creamy without all the fat and calories. Can you guess what that ingredient is?
Healthy Fettuccine Alfredo made with a secret ingredient from

Last year I posted a recipe for pizza that was carb free and full of vegetables, though no one would immediately guess that. The reason why is because of a special ingredient that I’m also using in this pasta recipe. Cauliflower! I was so amazed by that Cauliflower Crust Pizza that I was instantly sold on the idea that cauliflower is an extremely versatile and even magical ingredient. So when I saw a recipe for cauliflower fettuccine alfredo over on one of my favorite food blogs, Pinch of Yum, I knew I had to try it. My cauliflower dreams continued because this alfredo recipe is phenomenal. Seriously, I dare you to feed this to your family and see if they notice the cauliflower. Though, it may be hard to mask the cabbage smell cauliflower omits when its cooked. That’s my only beef with cauliflower.

This alfredo can be spiced up in so many ways. Add some Cajun spice if you like a little heat. Toss in some mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli, zucchini, or whatever you have on hand. Add in some grilled chicken or shrimp if your family likes the protein. Fresh herbs are also a great addition.

How to make
Healthy Fettuccine Alfredo

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 32 minutes
Total Time: 52 minutes
This healthy fettuccine alfredo features a secret ingredient which makes this dish rich and creamy without all the fat and calories. Can you guess what that ingredient is?


  • 1 pound whole wheat fettuccine (I used whole wheat spinach fettuccine)
  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 small heads cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the fettuccine according to the package directions, or until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring the vegetable broth to a boil. Add the cauliflower, cover, and cook until very tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  4. Transfer the cauliflower and vegetable broth to a blender. Add the garlic, salt, nutmeg, pepper, and olive oil. Blend until the mixture is smooth and velvety. You may need to work in batches if your blender is too small. If the mixture is too thick, add some of the pasta water to thin.
  5. Transfer the puree back to the skillet. Add the cream and cook over low heat. Add more pasta water, if necessary, to thin the sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings. Toss the fettuccine in the sauce and serve.

Recipe Notes

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Diane @ Vintage Zest — July 24, 2013 at 4:14 am

    I have a head of cauliflower in my fridge that is waiting to be added to a faux mac & cheese recipe. However, pizza and fettuccine Alfredo sounds pretty good too! I’m definitely pinning this for later. 🙂

  2. #
    Tieghan — July 24, 2013 at 6:13 am

    This is the most amazing sauce. I made it a few months back and it is truly so good!! I love you photo, is looks so incredibly creamy!

  3. #
    Amy — July 24, 2013 at 7:15 am

    Could you use an immersion blender instead? Or is the power of a standard blender necessary to achieve the correct texture?

    Looks good, and I always love when I can “healthify” pasta!

    • #
      Tessa — July 24, 2013 at 7:27 am

      You could, I would use the highest speed setting (if your immersion blender is multi speed) and it might take a few minutes to get the right consistency. The key to making everyone forget about the cauliflower is to puree it as much as possible.

  4. #
    Heather — July 24, 2013 at 7:57 am

    I’ve seen this on Pinterest and have been dying to try my hand at it – yours looks SUPER creamy!

  5. #
    Mimi @ Culinary Couture — July 24, 2013 at 11:15 am

    I went crazy over Pinch of Yum’s cauliflower sauce too! This looks amazing!

  6. #
    Des @ Life’s Amborsia — July 24, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Whoa. That’s all I can say. Because I can only think of eating plates and plates of this.

  7. #
    Alfredo e Ines Di Lelio — July 25, 2013 at 12:50 am


    With reference of your article we have the pleasure to tell you the history of our grandfather Alfredo Di Lelio, who is the creator of “fettuccine all’Alfredo” in 1908 in restaurant run by his mother Angelina in Rome, Piazza Rosa (Piazza disappeared in 1910 following the construction of the Galleria Colonna / Sordi).
    Alfredo di Lelio opened the restaurant “Alfredo” in 1914 in Rome, after leaving the restaurant of his mother Angelina. In this local spread the fame, first to Rome and then in the world, of “fettuccine all’Alfredo”.
    In 1943, during the war, Di Lelio sold the restaurant to others outside his family.
    In 1950 Alfredo Di Lelio decided to reopen with his son Armando his restaurant in Piazza Augusto Imperatore n.30 “Il Vero Alfredo” (“Alfredo di Roma”), which is now managed by his nephews Alfredo and Ines, with the famous “gold cutlery” (fork and spoon gold) donated in 1927 by two well-known American actors Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks (in gratitude for the hospitality).
    See also the site of “Il Vero Alfredo”, which also contains information on franchising.
    We must clarify that other restaurants “Alfredo” in Rome do not belong to the family tradition of “Il Vero Alfredo” in Rome.
    We inform that the restaurant “Il Vero Alfredo” is in the registry of “Historic Shops of Excellence” of the City of Rome Capitale.
    Best regards Alfredo e Ines Di Lelio

  8. #
    Julia Shanon — July 25, 2013 at 1:21 am

    it will be better if you pour up some chicken chunks thereeee

  9. #
    Melanie @ Just Some Salt and Pepper — August 8, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    I love alfredo, but can never deal with the guilt. This is perfect! I’d probably throw some grilled chicken or chicken sausage in there too. Yum!

  10. #
    Marci — January 4, 2014 at 4:40 am

    Can this be made a day ahead?

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