Cauliflower Alfredo Bake

Cauliflower Alfredo Bake is your gluten-free answer when you're craving classic Fettucine Alfredo but don't want the pasta. Roasted tomatoes add a sweet note and the delicious cream sauce coats everything in a delicate yet decadent manner.

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This cauliflower Alfredo bake can be served as an entrée or as a side dish. It can be served alone or over pasta. It can be made as is, or without the prosciutto if you want to make it vegetarian. It’s a versatile dish based on the classic Fettucine Alfredo (for the classic recipe, click here). Now, traditionally, Alfredo was prepared tableside (which you can read about here), but not this cauliflower version. This Alfredo bake is definitely a dish you prepare ahead of time to serve at the table. So, because it’s such a pretty recipe, remember to prepare it in a pretty dish that will look nice and make you proud.

Ingredients on a cutting board - cauliflower, prosciutto, tomatoes, parsley, cream, butter and Parmesan cheese.

Alfredo Sauce

Alfredo sauce is one of the very easiest pasta sauces to make and at the same time it feels so indulgent and luxurious. It feels that way because it is! The only ingredients in an Alfredo sauce are butter, cream and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese so the calorie count is not low, making it an occasional indulgent treat. Serving it over pasta is the classic preparation, but if you’re trying not to eat wheat for whatever reason, putting Alfredo sauce over cauliflower is a pretty perfect option. Even if you’re NOT trying to avoid pasta, however, putting Alfredo sauce over cauliflower is a pretty perfect idea!

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Cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet with a red towel.

What Goes with Alfredo Sauce?

Honestly, you can put almost anything into this Alfredo bake along with the cauliflower. The two extra ingredients included in this recipe are roasted tomatoes and prosciutto. By roasting the tomatoes before adding them to the casserole pan, you’ll intensify their sweet flavor. You can roast them in the oven OR in your air fryer while you blanch the cauliflower florets and make the easy sauce. Prosciutto is an Italian dry-cured ham that is thinly sliced and salty. Remember that because prosciutto and Parmesan cheese are both salty, you want to go easy on adding salt to the casserole on the whole.

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Gratin pan with cauliflower and tomatoes, prosciutto on the side and cheese on the side.

Gluten Free Alfredo

One of the aspects of Alfredo sauce that makes it different from a cheese sauce and very popular these days is that it is naturally gluten free. Cheese sauces tend to be thickened with flour, but Alfredo sauce is a cream sauce that is thickened by reducing it on the stovetop and adding Parmesan cheese. That makes this sauce and this recipe ideal for anyone avoiding gluten.

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Cauliflower and roasted tomatoes in a gratin dish with alfredo sauce being poured on top.

Make Ahead Tips

Once you have the cauliflower blanched, the tomatoes roasted and the Alfredo sauce made, you just need to put all the ingredients together. If you’re making this in advance, you can combine the cauliflower and tomatoes, but hold off on adding the other ingredients. The prepared vegetables, prosciutto, cheese and Alfredo sauce can all be kept in the refrigerator. When you are ready to assemble the bake, just re-heat the sauce before pouring it over the top. 

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Close up of cauliflower Alfredo bake before being sent to the oven - prosciutto and roasted tomatoes tucked into cauliflower with cheese sprinkled on top.

If you’re only making the casserole a couple of hours ahead of time, assemble the components and leave the casserole at room temperature. Pop it into the oven 45 minutes before you want to serve it. 

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Cauliflower Alfredo Bake in an oval gratin dish on a counter with a red towel wrapped around the pan and a spoon sticking out.

What to do with Leftover Cauliflower Alfredo Bake?

If you have any of this delicious dish left over, lucky you! Just store the leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Because it is made with heavy cream, it reheats very easily without breaking and you can even add a little more cream if it needs a little more sauce or thinning out. FYI, if you’re not avoiding pasta, the cauliflower Alfredo is delicious over some egg noodles too!

Cauliflower Alfredo Bake with Crispy Prosciutto & Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

  • Prep Time: 20 m
  • Cook Time: 30 m
  • Total Time: 50 m
  • Servings:
    4

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • cups Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese divided
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
  • chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°Toss the cherry tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place them on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through the cooking time. Remove the tomatoes from oven and set aside.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the cauliflower in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. Combine the butter and cream in a skillet over low heat. Bring the two to a simmer and continue to simmer gently for 10 minutes. Stir in 1¼ cups of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and continue to simmer for another minute or two, until the sauce has thickened. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Place the blanched cauliflower and the roasted tomatoes in a greased 4-quart. baking dish. Pour the alfredo sauce over the vegetables evenly and top with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Tear the prosciutto into large pieces and tuck them into the cauliflower. Top with freshly ground black pepper and transfer the baking dish to the oven.
  5. Bake at 350°F for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the prosciutto is crispy. Sprinkle the chopped parsley on top and serve immediately.
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Comments (8)Post a Reply

  1. How about cooking the cauliflower in the instant pot? Like on 0 minutes?
    This recipe looks wonderful.
    Thanks for your response.

  2. 5 stars
    This was great, easy to put together .I made one change, I used pre- cooked bacon instead of proscuitto because that’s what I had on hand. My husband and I enjoyed it.

    1. Hi Denise. I’m afraid you can’t use half and half in this because it will curdle when boiled. You could make something similar with half-and-half, but you’d have to start with a roux (butter and flour) before adding the half-and-half and then the cheese. That would give you a cheese sauce that you could combine with the cauliflower and tomatoes and bake, but we’re getting farther from the original recipe. It wouldn’t be a true Alfredo, but it would still be good!
      ML

  3. 5 stars
    looks delicious and would like to try. Is there another cheese I could use to substitue part of the parmesan. I’m not a big fan of parm.

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