Creamy Alfredo has been a mission of mine since I started eating dairy free many many years ago. There just wasn’t a substitute for that rich and creamy taste – so obviously I had to find a way to make a dairy free Alfredo that was so good that I was NOT going to be tempted into buying the regular version that would send my stomach into the Pits of Despair. This recipe is Whole30, Paleo, gluten free, and will be a huge hit with even your non-dairy free friends!
I’ve experimented with a number of sauces over the years, but something was always lacking. I hate to say it, but the way I finally found the right texture and combination was because I had some steamed cauliflower I need to get rid of immediately… and well, it was the perfect secret ingredient I was looking for.
This could easily be a weeknight meal, especially if you have cauliflower rice in the freezer or other steamed cauliflower ready to go. If you’re familiar with spaghetti squash, you know it still takes some time to cook beforehand, but is totally worth the time!
Before we jump into this recipe, you know the drill by now! Let’s talk cauliflower and the science of cauliflower!
The practicality of cauliflower
For so long, I only thought cauliflower lived as a veggie on those veggie trays that you bring to Christmas dinner or a big gathering, and even then, it was meant to be left on the tray until it looked super gross and got thrown out. I know you all have seen how many different products cauliflower can be used in now and days, and it’s become one of my favorite ingredients to have on hand.
Pre-steamed cauliflower and even riced cauliflower found in the freezer aisle make things easy, but they can also add considerable cost to your meal. I honestly did not buy riced cauliflower for the first two years of eating mostly paleo – it was just not worth the money in my mind. If you have the means / the sale is on at your local grocery store/ you shop at Costco, pre-frozen and pre-riced cauliflower are great ways to save time. Otherwise, you can certainly make your own riced cauliflower at home, or even chop, steam, and freeze a head of cauliflower you find at the grocery store.
So, what can you use cauliflower in? Literally. Anything. For every meal.
Yes, I’m being serious. If you haven’t ever tried cauliflower rice, it is a great filler for when you want a “rice” bowl or as a side to a meal. You can mash it up and make it like potatoes but without as many starches. You can blend it into your smoothie and no one will ever know. Cauliflower is often very bland and takes on the taste of the food you pair it with – making it the perfect sneaky vegetable.
So, give this recipe a try, even if you’re skeptical about cauliflower. It’s definitely a unique and versatile vegetable.
Health benefits of cauliflower
Okay, so there are some obvious benefits that you do not need to be told in depth: cauliflower has lots of nutrients your body needs, it has a ton of fiber because – duh – vegetable, and it has lots of antioxidants. Okay, maybe you didn’t know that last one, but like, almost every fruit and vegetable has tons of antioxidants.
Some of the lesser known benefits of cauliflower are that it is a great weight loss aid. A cup of riced cauliflower comes in at 25 calories – no, that is NOT a typo. 25 calories per cup for riced cauliflower, compared to about 200 calories per cup of rice. Additionally, cauliflower is made up of a little over 90% water, meaning its high volume fills your stomach without containing a ton of calories. Seems to be a winning vegetable, in my opinion!
Okay, so here’s the next coolest part about cauliflower that you might not have known: it contains high levels of choline. And what does choline do? Oh, only maintains cell integrity, helps with metabolic processes, and is a major component in neurotransmitters. You know, important things that your body does to keep you alive.
For those people who do not consume many (or any) animal products, cauliflower is another way to get the right amount of choline in your diet. Check out the link here to find out how much choline you need to maintain a healthy diet.
For these benefits and more, cauliflower is a go-to on my list of vegetables. Hopefully this creamy Alfredo makes your home rotation so that you can experience the deliciousness and all the benefits that come with it!
How to Make Chicken Alfredo with Spaghetti Squash
This Chicken Alfredo is a savory meal that is easy to add into your rotation for weeknight meals that are both paleo and Whole30. It’s a great winter time meal to make that is both comfort food and delicious.
For making this Whole30 and paleo Chicken Alfredo with Spaghetti Squash, you will need:
- spaghetti squash
- olive oil
- almond milk
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- salt and pepper
The only real kitchen appliances you will need to make this are your oven and a blender.
First, preheat your oven and prepare your squash. Cut your spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise. You should see all the pulp and seeds in the middle. For easy removal, it’s actually easier to remove the pulp and seeds after roasting, but you can remove it at this stage also. Brush your spaghetti squash with some olive oil and place it in the oven. Cook for about 45 minutes or until golden on top.
Next, grill your chicken on either a George Foreman grill or by grilling it on a standard grill. If you are using a standard grill, preheat your grill for about 10-15 minutes before grilling, until it reads about 425°F-450°F. Add your chicken breast to the grill, and grill for about 10 minutes. Make sure to flip them halfway through so they they cook evenly. Depending on how large your chicken breast is, you might need to leave it on for a bit longer. All meat temperatures should internally reach 165°F to be considered safe for consumption.
While the spaghetti squash is cooking, steam your cauliflower if you are using raw cauliflower. Once it is steamed thoroughly, set it aside to cool. In a sauce pan, add the ghee butter, and chopped garlic and onion. Cook both until transparent over medium heat, being careful not to burn them. Stir in the salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and almond milk. Add in the steamed cauliflower as well and stir.
Separately, steam the broccoli and set aside. Once cool, chop into small pieces and set aside again.
Once all the ingredients have been added to the sauce pan, place all the ingredients from the sauce pan into the blender. Blend on high speed until the sauce becomes creamy.
Once your spaghetti squash is cooked, set it aside until it is cool enough to handle. Then, using a fork, pull apart the meat of the squash into spaghetti-like strands. Place directly onto a plate for eating. Top it with some of your grilled chicken, chopped steamed broccoli, and sauce. Enjoy!
Chicken Alfredo with Spaghetti Squash (Whole30, Paleo, Keto)
- 2 medium spaghetti squashes or 1 large
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 lb chicken breast
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 cups steamed cauliflower (or one head)
- 1/2 large onion
- 1 cup ghee butter
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups almond milk
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup steamed broccoli
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Prepare spaghetti squash by cutting it in half lengthwise and using a spoon to scoop out the middle portion of seeds and pulp.
- Lightly brush the spaghetti squash with olive oil and place the halves face up in an oven safe dish or tray.
- Place squash in oven for 30-40 minutes until cooked through. The thickness of your squash will determine how long you will need. I usually take them out once I see a slightly browned surface.
- While the squash is cooking in the oven, prepare the cauliflower by cutting and steaming it. Set aside to cool.
- Chop the onion and mince the garlic.
- Melt the ghee butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic, and cook until the onion is translucent. Stir frequently to avoid burning.
- To the pan, add in the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir.
- Add in the almond milk to the pan, and stir.
- In a blender, combine the steamed cauliflower and the ghee mixture. Blend on high until creamy.
- Grill your chicken on either a George Foreman grill or traditional grill. If using traditional grill, preheat your grill for about 10 minutes. It should reach the temperature of about 450°F. Season your chicken breast with salt and pepper. Place on the grill for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. One chicken is cooked, remove from the grill and set aside to cool.
- Steam your broccoli and cut into small pieces after cooling.
- Once the squash is done, let the squash cool until they're cool enough to handle. Then use a fork to "spoon" out the spaghetti squash into stringy squash "noodles."
- Top your spaghetti squash noodles with your chopped grilled chicken, broccoli, and lots of creamy sauce!