Lighter Spaghetti Alfredo with Cauliflower


This cauliflower spaghetti Alfredo is a great 'bridge' recipe, helping us transition from rich, decadent offerings to much leaner fare. I also love the dusting of crispy Parmesan breadcrumbs that top this delicious pasta. This tastes and feels very rich, but is actually quite light. Enjoy!

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
4 servings


  • 3 cloves garlic, lightly crushed

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 head cauliflower, cored and separated into florets

  • 4 cups water

  • ½ teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning

  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 (14 ounce) package spaghetti

  • ½ cup fine dried bread crumbs

  • cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • salt to taste

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream

  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnishing

  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • ½ lemon, juiced


  1. Cook and stir garlic cloves and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cauliflower, water, Italian herbs, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper to taste. Bring water to a boil, cover, and cook until cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes.

  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 12 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.

  3. Meanwhile, combine bread crumbs, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir until cheese has melted and mixture is browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off heat, sprinkle with salt to taste, and mix in basil; set aside.

  4. Add cream to cauliflower mixture and puree in the pot with a stick blender until smooth and creamy. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese until melted; season with freshly ground black pepper to taste.

  5. Mix in lemon juice with spaghetti and stir in Alfredo sauce to coat pasta. Serve topped with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and the seasoned bread crumb mixture.

Chef's Note:

You can use any fresh herb in place of basil, such as thyme, parsley, or oregano.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

660 Calories
23g Fat
91g Carbs
24g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 660
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 23g 30%
Saturated Fat 8g 41%
Cholesterol 35mg 12%
Sodium 413mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 91g 33%
Dietary Fiber 9g 34%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 24g
Vitamin C 79mg 393%
Calcium 295mg 23%
Iron 5mg 29%
Potassium 620mg 13%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.