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This one-pot penne alfredo is a gluten and dairy-free take on a comforting dish made with hidden veggies! It can easily be made paleo and AIP.

A pot of Easy Penne Alfredo with a wooden spoon in it.

What is Penne Alfredo?

Classic Alfredo Sauce is a creamy, white sauce that is commonly known to lay over pasta noodles. Traditionally made with butter, cream, and cheese, this comforting dish can be found at many Italian restaurants.

This version of alfredo sauce is made gluten and dairy-free with a cauliflower based sauce that has lots of flavor from garlic, onion, and nutritional yeast! Easy Penne Alfredo can easily be made paleo or AIP as well!

The Ingredients for the Dairy-Free Penne Alfredo

  • Spinach.
  • Parsley.
  • Penne. I like to use Jovial brown rice pasta, but you can also use cassava pasta from Jovial to make it grain-free and AIP.
  • Cauliflower.
  • Avocado oil.
  • Coconut milk. My favorite is Native Forest “Simple” variety
  • Chicken broth. 
  • Lemon juice.
  • Nutritional yeast. For the cheesy flavor! You can leave this out if you prefer, but it won’t have as cheesy a flavor.
  • Garlic, Onion, Sea salt, and Pepper. You can omit the pepper for AIP.

How to make Dairy-free Easy Penne Alfredo

  • Prep the cauliflower alfredo. Add the cauliflower to a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a low simmer, cover, and continue to simmer for about 8-10 minutes or until cauliflower is soft. Strain the cauliflower and set it aside to allow it to cool slightly. Using the same pot, heat the oil on low heat and saute the garlic and onion until fragrant. Add the cauliflower to a high-speed blender with garlic, onion, coconut milk, broth, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

A blender filled with alfredo sauce.

  • Combine with the pasta and spinach. Using the same large pan, add the spinach, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until wilted. Add the cooked penne and alfredo sauce to the pan and stir to combine and coat the penne in the sauce.

A pot of Easy Penne Alfredo with a wooden spoon in it.

  • Serve. Top with chopped parsley.

Can you serve this recipe with protein?

You can easily add chicken or shrimp to this recipe if you’d like to add protein!

Can you use another pasta shape?

This recipe would work great with other pasta shapes like fusilli, ziti, elbows, or even spaghetti.

Can you add different vegetables?

Yes! Here are some ideas for cooked vegetables to add to this recipe…

  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Asparagus

Can you make this recipe without nutritional yeast?

You can, though it wouldn’t have as much of a cheesy flavor.

A bowl of Easy Penne Alfredo with chopped parsley on top.

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Penne Alfredo {Gluten free, dairy free}


  • Author: Michelle
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 medium cauliflower, chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper (omit for AIP)

For the pasta


Instructions

  1. Add the cauliflower to a medium pot and cover with water. Place on the burner on medium-low heat and bring to a low simmer. Cover and continue to simmer for about 8-10 minutes or until cauliflower is soft. Strain the cauliflower and set it aside to allow it to cool slightly.
  2. Using the same pot, heat the oil on low heat and saute the garlic and onion until fragrant. Set aside.
  3. Add the cauliflower to a high-speed blender with garlic, onion, coconut milk, broth, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Using the same large pan, add the spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes or until wilted. Add the cooked penne and alfredo sauce to the pan and stir to combine and coat the penne in the sauce.
  5. Serve topped with chopped parsley

Notes

All nutrition facts are estimated and will vary.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 258
  • Fat: 11.5
  • Carbohydrates: 39
  • Fiber: 5.1
  • Protein: 7.4

Recipe by Michelle, Unbound Wellness. Photos by Eat Love Eats