Cauli-Cheese Sauce (Paleo, AIP)

Cauli-Cheese Sauce (Paleo, AIP)

If you cannot eat dairy (among the other usual suspects like gluten, grains, eggs, nuts, etc.), I have some wonderful news for you! You are about to once again enjoy the soothing warmth of a staple comfort food.

When I was little, my mom would often make broccoli with cheese sauce. Comfort food at its finest. I can still see my 10-year-old self furtively licking the plate clean. Then my teens brought with them horrific digestive distress culminating in a diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease, and it became evident that I would have to permanently break up with the scrumptiousness of broccoli smothered in cheese sauce.

But here’s where this tale takes a most amazing turn.

Something pretty incredible happened in the world of food creations this last week. I’ve been a big fan of Hayley Ziegler’s (follow her on Instagram and watch for her soon-to-be blog) for several months now. Everything started rather quietly with her “Zucchini Cheese” recipe, which has since gone viral! I’ll be honest. I’ve been burned by one too many non-dairy cheese alternatives, so I was hesitant to give it a try, but once I did, I was amazed. Hayley has created an entirely paleo and AIP-compliant “cheese” recipe that is uncannily like the real deal.

As I played around with her recipe, using cauliflower instead of zucchini as well as adding garlic, chives, and then turmeric for a “cheddar” effect, something dawned on me. What about making a cheese sauce?

My mind drifted easily back to family dinners, summoning the sight of broccoli dressed in cheesy drizzles. “Wouldn’t it be nice,” I thought, “to feel that creamy warmth on my palate once again, but without any of the accompanying digestive woes that dairy brings to sensitive constitutions like mine?”

So this thinking became testing and then creating, which finally brought about the deliciousness that is this Cauli-Cheese Sauce, and I’m absolutely thrilled to be sharing the recipe with you today!

Smother whatever you like in the Cauli-Cheese Sauce; I just had to get it on some broccoli STAT.

Thank you, Hayley, for inspiring this recipe with your creativity.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Cauli-Cheese Sauce (Paleo, AIP)
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Condiment
Serves: 4-6
  • 2 c cauliflower florets
  • ½ c reserved water from steaming
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1.5 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt, or to taste
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp granulated garlic*
  • 1 tsp gelatin (best if derived from grassfed cattle such as the Great Lakes brand)
  • ⅛ tsp dry mustard powder or ¼ tsp of mustard (This is an option provided you aren't following the strict, elimination phase of AIP.)
  1. Steam cauliflower florets until soft. Drain and reserve ½ c steaming water.
  2. Place cauliflower in a high-speed blender or food processor along with the reserved water. Add all other ingredients and process until smooth.
  3. The sauce can be used right away or refrigerated for later use. If reheating, do so in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  4. * I like to use Morton & Bassett Spices, which are free of many nasties.

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Martine Partridge, founder of Eat Heal Thrive, is an eater of whole, nourishing, real food. She is also a combatter of Crohn's Disease. Martine wholeheartedly believes that food is the fulcrum for good health and has had wonderful results in managing autoimmunity by eating to heal, and healing to thrive.