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Make These Swaps For A Nutritious Take On Pasta With Plant-Based Alfredo Sauce

Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer
By Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer
Eliza Sullivan is a food writer and SEO editor at mindbodygreen. She writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She studied journalism at Boston University.
Image by 1,001 Paleo Recipes / Contributor
January 18, 2021
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When it comes to updating dishes to make them a little healthier, a great place to start is with smart swaps—and this recipe is a great example of doing just that. Where traditional fettuccine Alfredo includes butter and Parmesan, this recipe uses an entirely plant-based mix of ingredients to create the creamy sauce. Plus, it uses nutrient-rich zucchini noodles in place of processed pasta.

In the sauce, there's one ingredient swap that will certainly be familiar to plant-based cooks: nutritional yeast for the Parmesan cheese. With its salty umami flavor, the vegan superfood is a good source of vitamin B12, as well as some other B vitamins while serving as that "cheesy" flavor Alfredo needs.

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The other essential component of Alfredo is its creamy texture, which comes together in this recipe thanks to full-fat coconut milk and arrowroot powder—a great tool for thickening sauces.

While making this version of the sauce does require a few more ingredients, that doesn't mean the process is any more complex. See for yourself, and enjoy this healthier take on the classic, creamy dish.

Zucchini Spaghetti With Creamy Alfredo Sauce

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients

For the sauce

  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk, canned
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot
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For the "spaghetti"

  • 3 whole zucchinis
  • 1 tablespoon butter or ghee

Method

  1. To make the sauce, place all the ingredients except arrowroot into a pot. Heat the pot on medium-high heat while stirring.
  2. Cook for about 5 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken a little bit with evaporation. To thicken further, place 1 teaspoon of arrowroot in a separate small bowl and add 1 tablespoon at a time of the coconut milk mixture to the small bowl until you have the arrowroot fully incorporated as a liquid (this helps prevent clumps of arrowroot in the sauce). Then, add the arrowroot mixture to the pot and stir continuously as the sauce thickens. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  3. To make the zucchini spaghetti, you'll need a spiralizer tool. Wash the zucchini and chop the ends off. Place each zucchini on the spiralizer and twist to make noodles.
  4. In a large pan, heat the oil on medium-high heat and place the zucchini noodles in the pan. Cook the zucchini while stirring occasionally until the zucchini is cooked and softened, about 7 to 10 minutes. Reheat the Alfredo sauce if necessary. Place the zucchini noodles in a dish and top with the sauce.
Reprinted with permission from 1,001 Paleo Recipes by Arsy Vartanian, Rachel Ball, Jenny Castaneda, Hannah Healy, Katja Heino, Nazanin Kovács, Rachel McClelland, Vivica Menegaz, Caroline Potter, Kelly Winters, and Amanda Torres, Page Street Publishing Co., 2021.
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Eliza Sullivan
Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer

Eliza Sullivan is an SEO Editor at mindbodygreen, where she writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She received a B.S. in journalism and B.A. in english literature with honors from Boston University, and she has previously written for Boston Magazine, TheTaste.ie, and SUITCASE magazine.