Secret Low-Sodium Cauliflower White Sauce

Secret Low-Sodium Cauliflower White Sauce

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Cut the top off the head of garlic so the cloves are exposed. Then tear off a piece of foil, place your garlic head in the center, drizzle the top with a little olive oil, fold the foil around the garlic, put the whole package in an oven-safe dish, and roast in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. When it’s finished, remove the garlic from the oven to cool.

Meanwhile, fill a medium sized pot with 1 cup of water and put in a steamer basket. Add cauliflower to the basket, cover pot, and turn the heat to medium. Steam the cauliflower until the florets are softened but not mushy, about 10 minutes.

Carefully remove the florets from the steamer basket and place them into a blender or food processor. Add ¼ cup of water from the steaming pot, the nutmeg, and some freshly cracked black pepper.

Then take your cooled head of garlic and remove the roasted cloves from the flakey husk. You can do this with your fingers or by smashing each clove with your hand over the flat side of a knife. Add the garlic to the blender and purée until the cauliflower mixture has a silky, sauce-like consistency. Use the cauliflower sauce immediately over pasta or on pizza. Or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Cream Sauce Without Cream: The Secret to Make Creamy Recipes Healthy

Chef John Ash shares healthy recipes for favorite comfort foods using an ingenious cream sauce without cream recipe.

Chef John Ash shares healthy recipes for favorite comfort foods using an ingenious cream sauce without cream recipe.

On cold winter nights on a Colorado ranch, Grandmother Maud bustled around her warm woodstove simmering up rib-sticking meals like hearty winter vegetable chowder for a table full of family and ranch hands. Standing over the steaming pot, she would taste the sweet carrots and rutabaga and then pour in a generous pint of fresh cream. It&aposs a scene that her grandson, renowned chef John Ash, remembers vividly. He would savor spoonfuls of the comforting soup, full of tender vegetables with a touch of smoky bacon. "It was so rich and creamy, it would warm me up all the way through," he says. "It still takes me back to childhood."

Cream has the power to transform something pedes­trian into something extraordinary. This was a lesson reinforced for Ash when he traveled around Europe in his twenties. He took cooking classes in London and Paris and worked in the restaurant of a small family-run inn in Burgundy, France. There he learned that cream stirred into a bowl of garden peas or a sauce for a simple chicken breast or fish fillet added velvety texture and delicate sweetness that is hard to duplicate. Cream, unfortunately, also brought less-desirable things like calories and saturated fat.

"Most of us love rich, creamy sauces, but the butter and cream can be of concern," Ash acknowledges. Over the years, as Ash&aposs eponymous Sonoma County restaurant gathered praise, he published cookbooks and began teaching, and his repertoire expanded beyond traditional French cuisine to include global influences and healthier cooking methods. "As I learned more about good nutrition, I was faced with the dilemma of how to cook in a healthier way without sacrificing flavor and texture," he says. "I started a lifelong search for ingredients and techniques to 𠆎nrich&apos dishes without piling on fat and calories."

A prime example is his innovative low-fat creamless sauce, which he uses to replace the cream, butter or egg yolks often used to thicken and enrich recipes. Among the substitutions Ash tried, nothing delivered the ideal lush, creamy texture until he came up with an inspired twist on a French master sauce called soubise. Starting with a base of saut onions, Ash&aposs simple technique leverages the starch of cooked rice to provide a surprising richness without any dairy. A touch of bright acidity from dry white wine rounds out the onion&aposs sweetness. The sauce is made with pantry basics and then it becomes a pantry basic itself. "I make a big batch to keep on hand to use in soups, sauces or wherever cream is called for," Ash says. While the sauce has its own appealing flavor, it is also remarkably flexible. "It&aposs a blank canvas. You can flavor it in a million different ways."

Ash deploys his versatile low-fat sauce to create comforting creamy dishes like crusty baked macaroni and cheese, elegant "creamed" mushroom toasts and a company-worthy-but weeknight-quick-roasted red pepper sauce to dress up chicken or fish. His "Cream Sauce without the Cream" even works beautifully in an Italian-inspired tonnato sauce that you can toss with pasta or serve as a dip for crunchy vegetables. Try it as a base for chicken potpie or swirl it into soups like the satisfying bacon-flecked winter vegetable chowder adapted from Grandmother Maud&aposs recipe. Even hungry ranch hands won&apost miss the cream.

How to Make Creamy Cauliflower Sauce:

With only one ingredient, this is the easiest recipe ever!

  1. Chop the cauliflower and stems
  2. Steam for 5-10 mins in a steaming basket
  3. Puree cauliflower in a blender (like this one) or a food processor (like this one)
  4. Divide into 1 cup portions and freeze if not using immediately

In my opinion, it’s wise to make this sauce thick because you can always thin it out later with milk, vegetable broth, chicken stock or water. By itself, this sauce is pretty bland, so expect to add seasonings of some sort, even if it’s just salt and pepper with a little olive oil.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a steaming basket. Just bring a pot of water to a boil, add the cauliflower, lower to medium low heat for 5-10 mins, and remove with a slotted spoon. Voila!

Now that I’ve discovered this amazing sauce, I use it as the base for my Pasta Primavera. A perfect way to eat up all those summer veggies!

How to Use Creamy Cauliflower Sauce

The best part – each serving can be flavored to suit whatever you’re cooking. You can buy one head of cauliflower and potentially end up with three entirely different flavored meals:

  • roasted garlic, butter, salt, and pepper for roasted garlic cauliflower Alfredo sauce
  • garlic and dried Italian seasoning for Italian dishes
  • cumin and taco seasoning for Tex-Mex meals (make your own taco seasoning with this recipe!)
  • season with the dried herbs from this Greek salad dressing for a creamy Greek-inspired sauce

Think of all the dairy-free dishes you can make that usually call for heavy cream or lots of cheese – Now you can sneak in one cup of this creamy cauliflower sauce instead!

  • cheddar cheese sauce for vegetables
  • cheesy enchilada sauce
  • white sauce on pizza
  • macaroni and cheese
  • cheese dip for nachos and vegetables
  • in casseroles, quiches, frittatas or stratas

Is Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Vegan and Gluten-Free?

Yes, this recipe is a basic steamed and pureed vegetable sauce that can be seasoned and tailored to any vegan and gluten-free recipe.

Is Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Healthy?

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, also called a Brassica. The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, says that cruciferous vegetables contain a variety of phytochemicals and nutrients that contribute to and promote health. Even more reason to make this creamy cauliflower goodness! YUM!

Hands-Free Cooking

Here are some more delicious ways to prepare cauliflower and other easy vegetable recipes:

Simple White Sauce

Sodium: All of our recipes are low in sodium because it is hard on kidneys and raises blood pressure. Most people should limit sodium to 1,500 milligrams per day.

Potassium: If you are on hemodialysis, limit potassium too, to 2,000 milligrams per day. If you are on peritoneal dialysis or short daily dialysis, limit potassium to 3,500 milligrams per day.

Phosphorus: If you are on dialysis, limit phosphorus to about 1,000 milligrams per day.

Protein: If you are not on dialysis but have kidney disease, you might benefit from a diet lower in protein. Check with a kidney doctor or dietitian for guidelines.


Based on 4 servings per recipe.

  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or Unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried parsley, basil, or other herbs


Nutrition Facts

Based on 4 servings per recipe.

Carbohydrates5 g
Protein2 g
Sodium25 mg
Potassium54 mg
Phosphorus43 mg

Sodium: All of our recipes are low in sodium because it is hard on kidneys and raises blood pressure. Most people should limit sodium to 1,500 milligrams per day.

Potassium: If you are on hemodialysis, limit potassium too, to 2,000 milligrams per day. If you are on peritoneal dialysis or short daily dialysis, limit potassium to 3,500 milligrams per day.

Phosphorus: If you are on dialysis, limit phosphorus to about 1,000 milligrams per day.

Protein: If you are not on dialysis but have kidney disease, you might benefit from a diet lower in protein. Check with a kidney doctor or dietitian for guidelines.

About This Recipe

So easy, so creamy. A wonderful ingredient for casseroles and vegetable dishes.

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Maybe I was being overcautious with the heat because I was making it for company (to top the Hearty Moussaka recipe) but it took 25 minutes of whisking, not 10, to get suitably thick results. So glad I started early! It's fairly bland on its own -- I wouldn't use it for a pasta sauce without lots of flavorful extras.

Delicious! As suggested in the reviews I used 4 tbsp flour and 2 cups skim milk. I added a dash of onion powder, nutmeg, garlic salt and chicken buillion and just a tsp of butter. When adding the pasta I kept a little bit of the pasta water to loosen the sauce. I'm saving this recipe!

I used 1/2 cup of skim milk and 2 1/2 cups of low sodium chicken broth. I also omitted the nutmeg but put in plenty of minced and powdered garlic. Instead of the parmesan, I used the left over white cheddar and swiss I had in the fridge. I completely omitted the egg and butter. It has made a fantastic white sauce. I plan on using it with mashed butternut squash and roasted pine nuts in a lasagna

So, I ruined my first attempt because my pan was too hot. Rookie mistake. Started again with a cooler pan and it turned out well. Its not the absolutely tastiest white sauce I've ever made- but the tastiest one has heavy cream and lots of butter.. So for the health factor this is pretty good. I'll make it again for sure. Next time maybe a bit more spices (garlic maybe?)

i made this with skim milk and gorgonzola instead of parmesan - good basic and low-fat sauce for pasta or anything else.

Good basic recipe, turns outs just like a regular bechamel. I made a half portion, used 2% milk and forgot the butter, and it was extremely thick. Next time I'll use less flour as the other comments suggested and possibly a lower fat milk. All in all, it was delicious and did seem low fat. Definitely needs doctoring, I used some garlic and onions along with some yellow squash and sweet corn.

As some others have discovered, this is a great base sauce but lacks something on it's own. I added roasted garlic and sauteed baby artichokes. Wonderful over pasta!

A great basic white sauce recipe than can be doctored up anyway you like. If using low-fat milk (such as 1%), Iɽ add the milk very gradually, as it's more watery and you may not need a full 3 cups. I used 2% milk. The end result is a sauce that's flavor is not as rich tasting as when using heavy whipping cream, but still a decent alfredo sauce with less fat. Will definitely make this again!

Made this with the hearty vegetable moussaka on Epicurious, substituting a 1/2 cup of strong feta for the parmesan cheese. Thickens nicely and is very quick.

I used many suggestions from this website, goes to show it is worth reading all reviews! I used 2 cups milk, one cup white wine, and omitted egg as suggested. I also added chopped spinach, petite dice canned tomatoes (garlic and olive oil kind, drained), and some dried garlic, onion, and basil. Also added 1/4 of asigo cheese. Cut the flour to 5 tablespoons as suggested, and simmered for 5 minutes more. SO GOOD! I made it with penne, which grabbed the sauce nicely. I live in Boston, and my roommates thought I bought home take-out from the North End. Wonderful base recipe to play with. I will say again though, is a base recipe, if made as is is a bit bland. Have fune with it!

I use evaporated skim milk to cut down on fat and it gives the sauce a good consistency and flavor.

I really liked this sauce, but I didn't have any nutmeg, so I added in some garlic salt and some basil, and it went very well together. I also didn't use an egg, and I used skim milk. I found this sauce a bit thick, however - especially when it's not super-hot. Next time I think I'll cut down on the flour (as previously suggested). Any other suggestions?

I make this white sauce often. I omit the egg and change the type of cheese used based on what I am using the sauce for. You can also add dried or fresh herbs for additional flavor and texture.

I too have made this sauce several times. Its great with the addition of chicken stock and/or wine, other wise its a little milky and bland. I also have left out the egg a few times and the sauce doesnt seem to suffer. However, I repeatedly find that 6 tbs of flour is way too much (as another reviewer noted the sauce gets very thick, more like "icing") so I use less. Not sure if its due to high altitude or low humidity but here 4 tbs is plenty. Great sauce though! Easy to alter and include veggies to go over pasta.

I followed the recipe exactly, except I `tempered` the egg before adding it to the flour/milk mixture. I was surprised at how non low fat it tasted. Makes alot too. I see endless possibilities with this recipe.

This is a terrific ingredient. I am trying weight watchers and this is only 2 points per serving at 8 servings per recipe. I just made it adding sauté mushrooms, onions, garlic & chicken with pasta. (This is a recipe that I used to make using cheese in a béchamel sauce.) This was terrific result for the calories. I plan to add some homemade tomato sauce tomorrow over pasta with shrimp and scallops! This lends itself to great creativity.

As written, I thought the sauce was okay, but a little flat. I agree with the previous reviewer that some chicken stock and wine might perk it up, I will try that. Also agree that one should simply temper the egg, preserves the sauce con-sistency better than adding cold or at the beginning.

This is good by itself but also is an excellent base for making all kinds of low-fat sauces. I used 2% milk since that's all that was at the store. I cut the milk down to 2-1/2 cups and substituted 1/2 cup chicken stock. Next time I think I would cut down on the milk even more and add a little white wine. I slowly tempered the egg with the hot milk before pouring the whole thing in the sauce. It thickened up beautifully. I served this as-is over broiled chicken. It was great! Next time I would experiment by adding fresh basil or tarragon for chicken dill, mustard, or horseradish for fish. With my revisions, my calorie counting software rates this at 61 calories and 2.5 g. fat per 1/4 cup serving. Bon appetite!

Great with the hearty Moussaka. I'm not a white sauce fan, so I don't anticipate using it again, except for when I make Moussaka. I used Romano cheese (that's what I had) and it was wonderful. Make sure you let the sauce cool a bit before adding the egg, and whisk it well until it is smooth or it will scramble for sure.

I used this for the moussak recipe. The parmesan to thicken is a stroke of genius for flavor and keeping it low-fat.

I added mixed seafood to this white sauce and poured it over egg noodles. The outcome was delicious and guilt-free. I would recommend this recipe.

I think that if you beat the egg into the cold milk before you start to heat the white sauce, there is a less likely chance that the egg will scramble in the hot liquid. I would also add just a touch of minced fresh Italian parsley.

Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce


  • 2 cup raw cauliflower florets (200g)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic, or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter or olive oil, or omit for fat-free
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • optional 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or nutritional yeast
  • optional 1/4 cup diced shallot or onion
  • Feel free to add a little Dijon mustard, lemon juice, black pepper, oregano, or rosemary if desired



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How Much Sodium is in Your Low Sodium Pasta Sauce, Melanie?

This low sodium pasta sauce recipe only has 70mg of sodium per a 1/2 cup serving! This is about 85% less sodium compared to the whopping 480mg in Prego, 460mg in Ragu and 490mg in Newman’s Own marinara sauces.

You can find low sodium or “heart healthy” versions of jarred pasta sauce. However, most of these sauces still have about 350mg of sodium per 1/2 cup. Also, low sodium products often have added potassium, which can be a problem for some people with kidney disease.

Making pasta sauce at home tastes SO much better anyway! But, the lower sodium versions of the jarred pasta sauce are certainly better than the full sodium version in a pinch!


I love to serve this Skinny Fettuccine Cauliflower Alfredo with a side of peas. There is something about the pop of green colour and the little bursts of sweetness amongst the fettuccine tangles that I love. It also works well with a crisp green salad or just a sprinkle of fresh parsley. To add some healthy fats make yourself some vegan parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top.

Leftover sauce keeps well in the fridge for three or four days and can be used in lots of different ways:

  • Add more nutritional yeast and mix with macaroni for a quick mac and cheese
  • Drizzle over pizza or use on the base of a homemade pizza instead of pizza sauce
  • Use in place of Béchamel sauce in lasagne
  • Stir through risotto to make it super creamy
  • Use in place of canned soups in creamy casseroles
  • Stir a little through soups at the end of cooking to make them creamy