Vegetable Rigatoni with Creamy Cauliflower Sauce


This Vegetable Rigatoni with Creamy Cauliflower Sauce started out as an experiment for a vegan macaroni and “cheese” dish for my boys, but ended up so much better than I had expected.

It’s not a plain cauliflower sauce but a creamy cauliflower sauce with a “cheesy” flavor.

I used this recipe for a basic cauliflower sauce as inspiration to start with, then added extra nutritional yeast to give it the “cheesy” flavor, a little tumeric and some cashews and zucchini.

And it can be made in a matter of minutes with a Vitamix.

At the last minute, I decided to add the peas and carrots for color and extra veggies and guess what?

They loved it!  And asked for seconds.

So I would say this is a good vegan recipe to get some extra veggies (cauliflower, peas, carrots and zucchini) on your kids plate!




5 Fast Facts About Cauliflower:

  • 1 cup contains 9.1% DV of potassium
  • 1 cup contains 85.9% of vitamin C
  • 1 cup contains 8.5% DV of fiber
  • excellent anti-oxidant
  • contains anti-inflammatory benefits

5 Fast Facts About Almonds (Almond Milk):

  • helps to regulate cholesterol and blood pressure
  • energy booster
  • loaded with calcium and fiber
  • 1/4 cup contains 8 grams of vegan protein
  • high in anti-oxidants

5 Fast Facts About Nutritional Yeast:

  • vegan source of vitamin B12
  • contains 18 amino acids and is a complete protein
  • boosts immune system
  • excellent anti-oxidant
  • contains 15 minerals

5 Fast Facts About Zucchini:

  • low calorie food – 94% water
  • high in manganese
  • helps lower blood pressure
  • anti-inflammatory
  • helps lower cholesterol

 5 Fast Facts About Cashews:

  • packed with dietary fiber
  • rich in “heart friendly” mono-saturated fatty acids
  • rich source of minerals
  • high in magnesium and copper
  • excellent source of antioxidants

5 Fast Facts About Garlic:

  • regulates blood sugar levels
  • lowers high blood pressure
  • contains anti-bacterial and analgesic properties
  • anti-viral
  • helps to lower cholesterol levels

5 Fast Facts About Carrots:

  • improves eyesight
  • helps to prevent heart disease
  • rich in antioxidants
  • helps flush toxins from the body
  • 1 cup contains 407.6% RDA of vitamin A

5 Fast Facts About Peas:

  • contains high levels of anti-oxidants
  • 1 cup provides 7 g of fiber
  • contains 20% RDA of riboflavin
  • 1 cup provides 8.5 g of protein
  • provides anti-inflammatory benefits


















Tip #1:  I’ve used a 1 lb bag of frozen organic cauliflower and a frozen organic peas and carrot mixture to save time.

Tip #2:  I’ve used organic broccoli (also frozen) instead of the peas and carrot mixture for variety.

Tip #3:  I used rigatoni but you can use a gluten-free rigatoni or your favorite pasta instead.


Vegetable Rigatoni with Creamy Cauliflower Sauce (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free) The Healthy Family and Home


  • 1 bag organic gluten-free rigatoni (16 ounce/1lb bag)
  • 1 - 2 cup organic peas and carrots mixture

For the sauce

  • 3 cups organic cauliflower
  • 2 cups homemade almond milk
  • 1 cup organic cashews
  • 1 cup organic zucchini (peeled)
  • 1 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves organic garlic (freshly crushed)
  • 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoon pink himalayan salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon organic tumeric powder
  • 1 - 2 pinch organic cayenne pepper powder


Prepare the pasta
Step 1 Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Set aside.
Prepare the sauce
Step 2 Put all ingredients for the sauce in a Vitamix and blend until well combined and creamy.

Taste and if needed, make adjustments with pink himalayan salt, cayenne pepper, tumeric and nutritional yeast.
Step 3 Strain the pasta and return it back to your pot.

Add the cauliflower sauce, peas and carrots and stir until well combined.

Warm on low heat just long enough to warm the sauce up and serve immediately.

Best when served hot.


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  1. Georgia says

    This looks great, especially since my son is allergic to dairy (nuts too but i’ll just leave out the cashews and modify slightly and sub coconut milk for almond). How does this reheat? if i was to make it earlier in the day would it still be good to heat up later in the afternoon? I don’t cook with cauliflower often.

    • Karielyn says

      Hi there Georgia! You could also increase the amount of zucchini to replace the cashews because the zucchini doesn’t really give it a flavor, but helps with the creamy texture. Coconut milk is another great idea too!

      I store any leftover sauce in an air tight glass container in the refrigerator.

      To reheat, I would use low heat on the stove top and keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn. I don’t use a microwave so I don’t know how it would do if it were microwaved.

      Thanks for your question and hope you enjoy it ;)

  2. says

    this looks amazing!
    I just have a quick question, do you steam the cauliflower before hand?
    I have a pretty strong blender but I don’t think it could do the cauliflower raw
    Thank you

    • Karielyn says

      Hi there Dejana! On this recipe, I didn’t steam the cauliflower before hand but actually used a frozen bag of raw cauliflower and just put it in my Vitamix and it blended it up just fine. If you have a high speed blender, it should be fine if it will blend the cashews and zucchini in addition to the cauliflower.

      However, I have another cauliflower sauce recipe I use (that I deviated from to make this one) and on that one I do lightly boil the cauliflower before adding it to the Vitamix.

      So you can do it both ways, but if you use the frozen cauliflower, keep in mind that you will definitely need to warm it up before serving!

      Thanks for your question and I hope you enjoy it ;)

  3. Evajean says

    This was very good. I was even able to get my husband to try it and he liked it as well. That in itself wins big points!
    Thank you Karielyn. :)

    • Karielyn says

      Hi there Evajean! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it and even better, that it was husband approved! I have a picky husband so it’s a happy day in my house when I get husband approval too lol!

      Thanks so much for trying out the recipe and for taking the time to let me know you liked it…I really appreciate it ;)

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