Vegetables are my muse. They give substance, inspiration and quite frankly pizzaz to everyday fare. Even though I am a devout meat + dairy lover, I started dreaming of a creamy puree that I could share on Lilly’s Table as a luscious vegan alternative to all of my favorite dairy-filled sauces, but more importantly as a way to make the ho-hum white flowering vegetable the hero of the meal. I had dabbled with this idea of using pureed vegetables to give a flavor + nutritional boost to sauces with my autumn favorite Butternut Mac n Cheese and the Squash Nacho Cheese but it still feels essential to have a sharp cheese in those sauces to complete them. I wanted something white, savory and rich in flavor while bursting with nutrients.

The very first time I made a variation of this sauce was for Thanksgiving as I took the classically heavy Green Bean Casserole and lightened it up into a nearly vegan dish, except for the Turkey broth (please note: a vegan broth would work well, it just wasn’t convenient). Stay tuned this November as this dish will be featured!
Since I typically make the sauce from a gigantic head of cauliflower, I have noticed that it usually makes more sauce than I will need for one dinner. No problem, as this is my favorite way to batch cook. I love the idea of spending a few hours prepping dishes that help you get through the week, but I have noticed it is more realistic for me to make a dish and store the additional leftovers in parts. Then I repurpose the pieces of a meal into a completely new dish. It saves me time on the next meal without requiring an extra long cooking session to prepare batch dishes. It is like a continuous rotation of fun ingredients whenever I do this batch cooking method throughout the week. This creamy cauliflower sauce has started as a pasta sauce enhanced with lemon and asparagus and then the leftovers became a garlicky-cream sauce on a pizza. I also have folded it in with breakfast sausage for a light and delightful Biscuits & Gravy. Actually, after dining on that my husband was surprised to hear it was cauliflower and not milk based.

I have made this sauce in a blender and in a food processor. Really it is not much more complicated than making a smoothie and steam-roasting a veggie. I prefer roasting the cauliflower with a few cloves of garlic for another layer of flavor.

Creamy Cauliflower White Sauce

Depending on the size of your cauliflower head and how creamy or smooth you would like your sauce, adjust the liquid, salt and even the almonds.
1 head cauliflower
2-3 cloves garlic, depending on the size
1-2 teaspoons salt, to taste
2 cups water or broth, more as needed
1/2 Cup almonds

Optional flavor boosts, add one or more of the following to taste and depending on what you are making:
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
1 lemon, zest and juice

For Biscuits + Gravy, keep it plain and add:
1/2 pound crumbled and cooked breakfast sausage
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To make the sauce:
Preheat the oven to 375. Break the cauliflower up into mostly even pieces, including the stem, although discard the greens. Spread out on a roasting pan and toss in the garlic, sprinkle with half of the salt and pour in about 1 cup of water or broth. Cover the roasting pan with a lid or tightly with foil. Roast for about 35-50 minutes until the cauliflower is mostly falling apart. Add more liquid if needed, but keep it covered. Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, whip together the almonds with another cup of water or broth, blend until the nuts are mostly smooth.
When the cauliflower is soft and cooked through add it to the liquid nuts and blend into creamy smoothness. Add more liquid for a thinner sauce. If for some reason it seems too thin, place it in a pot over medium heat and bring up to a simmer, stirring until it is your desired thickness. Stir in any of the flavor boosts, adding more or less to your desired taste.

Are you on Instagram? Or Facebook? Starting on June 1st, I am holding an Instagram Summer Recipe Party . Everyday I will suggest taking a photo of a different type of food in your kitchen. Then we will source the crowd to come up with different new ways to use the food. Do not hesitate to join the fun and receive a flood of refreshing ways to use your favorite ingredients!


Seasonal food, straight from the earth, has been an obsession for Lilly Allison Steirer since childhood. It led her to create her meal planning service Lilly’s Table, where she helps mom’s plan and create scrumptious, nourishing meals. She muses about life & food on her blog, but can also be found on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, but her favorite place is Pinterest. When she is not cooking or online she is usually hanging with her two young children, solar cell scientist husband, sweet pup and flock of chickens in their urban garden just outside of Denver, Colorado.

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