Paleo Alfredo with Caramelized Leeks & Bacon

I know it doesn’t look like it, but this bowl of Paleo Alfredo doesn’t have even a teeny tiny bit of dairy in it. And that’s not pasta. Not even gluten free pasta. Those, my friends, are noodles made out of white sweet potato! You’ve got to love your handy dandy vegetable spiralizer, right? I certainly adore mine!

Paleo Alfredo with Caramelized Leeks & Bacon from http://meatified.com #paleo #glutenfree

Usually I keep to lighter “noodles”. Mostly zucchini for hot meals and cucumber for cold salads. But the weather here has been overcast and fairly uninspiring lately. We’ve had the kind of drab skies that make me want to reach for a blanket, a book and a bowl of comfort-something, even if it is August. Man, I can’t believe it’s August. With all that in mind, I decided that I wanted something a little more filling than the humble zoodle. I wanted warmth and fullness, without the usual grain-fest that I used to gravitate towards. Enter the white sweet potato noodle! Here’s what I used to make them – my neato vegetable spiralizer!

Sweet Potato Noodles

White sweet potatoes really hit the spot for me because they don’t seem to be anywhere as, well, sweet as their more common orange cousins. The less sweet variety is perfect here, where I wanted to douse the noodles in something creamy and didn’t want the flavor of the noodles to compete with either the rich sauce or the slightly sweet caramelized leeks. Not to mention the fact that they really do look like a white pasta noodle. You can get a vegetable spiralizer just like mine here!

Paleo Alfredo with Caramelized Leeks & Bacon from http://meatified.com #paleo #glutenfree

I’m not going to lie to you, this is a multi step recipe and, as such, is more complicated than the recipes I usually post. It’s definitely one for the weekend or a less harried evenings. That said, you can make the individual components like the caramelized leeks and the Paleo Alfredo sauce way ahead if you want to, which will make it a little less daunting. Equally, although I have separated out each component with its own instructions below, those steps can all overlap each other a little, which will speed the process up some. While this recipe does take some effort, it is well worth it for those days when something equally hearty and yet decadent-feeling appeals to you. If you don’t make this now, definitely save it for a future dismal day – it will make it that much brighter.

Paleo Alfredo with Caramelized Leeks & Bacon from http://meatified.com #paleo #glutenfree

Paleo Alfredo with Caramelized Leeks & Bacon
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
It is possible to make a dairy free "cream sauce"! This Paleo Alfredo is vegetable based but deliciously creamy, paired with caramelized leeks & bacon.
Ingredients
To cook the leeks:
  • 1 tbl avocado oil
  • 2 large leeks, washed and chopped (about 4 cups)
  • ⅛ cup chicken broth
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
To make the sauce:
For the noodles:
  • 2 large white sweet potatoes (or preferred vegetable)
To garnish:
  • 6 slices bacon
  • Handful green onions, chopped
Instructions
To cook the leeks:
  1. Over a low-medium heat, add the avocado oil to a large skillet. Add the leeks, stirring them through so that they are coated in the fat evenly, then turn the heat down to low. Cook until softened and beginning to caramelize at the edges, about 20 minutes. Add the chicken stock and lemon juice and cover the pan, cooking until completely tender, about 5 - 10 minutes.
To make the sauce:
  1. While the leeks are cooking, fill a saucepan ⅓ way full of water and bring to a boil. Add the chopped cauliflower and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Drain the cauliflower and add to a blender, along with the chicken stock, coconut milk, salt and garlic powder. Puree until smooth and liquid.
  3. Once the leeks are cooked, stir them into the cauliflower Alfredo sauce. Set aside.
For the noodles:
  1. Use a spiralizer to make the sweet potatoes into noodles. Bring a pan of water to a boil. Add the spiralized sweet potato to the boiling water and cook until softened, but still al dente, about 4 - 5 minutes.
  2. Drain the sweet potato noodles.
To garnish and assemble:
  1. Cook the bacon until crisp. Allow to cool slightly and chop into small pieces.
  2. Slice the green onions.
  3. Add the sweet potato noodles to a large skillet, pour over the Alfredo sauce and leeks. Use tongs to stir the sauce through the noodles and make sure everything is coated evenly. If the sauce is too thick, add a splash or two of water.
  4. Simmer the noodles in the sauce until everything is warmed through.
  5. Pile the noodles and Alfredo sauce onto plates. Sprinkle with bacon pieces and green onion before serving.

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Paleo Alfredo with Caramelized Leeks & Bacon from http://meatified.com #paleo #glutenfree

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79 comments

    1. Thank you! It was a little more effort than my usual dinners, but it was definitely delicious! Now I’m being hounded to make it again, ha!

    1. Ghee is clarified butter: the milk solids and proteins / casein are removed. It is, therefore, a source of fat without any milk or dairy elements if cooked / clarified correctly. However, as specified in the recipe, the ghee could easily be replaced by coconut oil if needed.

      1. My oldest son is severely allergic to dairy and we would have to replace with coconut oil. Does the coconut milk give this a sweet taste? Or a coconut taste? My husband HATES coconut. I would love to try this but just wondered about it. Thanks!

        1. The actual recipe uses coconut oil and milk – because of the seasonings and caramelized leeks, I don’t notice any coconut flavor myself πŸ™‚

        2. Lindsey, I don’t care for coconut-flavored things, and I HATE coconut oil, but I use coconut milk in my cooking all the time. I have never tasted a coconutty flavor in my food.

    1. Awesome! I try wherever I can to include AIP recipes because I know that people need them πŸ™‚ You can also swap out the sweet potato noodles for other veggies to suit, if low carb is an issue. Thank you for sharing this, I totally appreciate it πŸ™‚

  1. This is definitely the first time I have ever seen SWEET POTATOES used as spaghetti and I am liking it!! I may try it with butternut squash. I already use and am totally obsessed with spaghetti squash, but it’s always nice to branch out! πŸ˜€

    1. They’re definitely way more al dente than soft. For a much closer texture, try this paleo pasta recipe. I’ve also heard that you can purchase a ready made “pasta” from Capello’s, but I haven’t looked at that or used it myself as it contains xantham gum.

  2. gosh, i was really hoping this would be great. for the amount of time it took, the only flavor i’m getting is cauliflower. i even added a lot more salt and pepper. i’m kinda disappointed in the money i spent on ingredients. better luck next time!

    1. Hi Liz, sorry to hear that, I know what a bummer it is to spend lots of time on a recipe and not have it come out as you imagined πŸ™
      Did you use all of the leeks? Usually the dominant flavor is the leeks so I’m trying to figure out why the cauliflower is coming through so much for you. I wonder if the type of stock you used had anything to do with it. Hmmm. I’d love to fix this for you!

      1. If you grate the cauliflower it works for rice or whatever you want to use it for. If you use a food processor it makes it to mushy and tastes wrong. What the difference is I don’t know. I just know it makes a difference.

    1. I don’t personally think so, the leeks pack quite a flavor punch. You could try using almond milk instead, perhaps?

      1. Oooh, heated almond milk (to me) is un-edible (undrinkable? Totally gross?). I like that this recipe calls for coconut, as I’m limited on tasty options for heated milk substitutes. I plan to try this – excited to give my lactose intolerant kids a surprise.

  3. I made the sauce for dinner last night and we loved it! I used half the garlic powder and mostly the cream from the top of the coconut milk as that is what I had leftover. It was really great and I would never ever guess this was made with cauliflower! Great recipe!

    1. I don’t know where you live, but they always have them at Safeway / Vons. They look almost the same as the usual orange varieties, just with a lighter skin.

    2. I couldn’t find them until I asked and the stock person told me they were called Japanese sweet potatoes. Maybe you need to look for them under a different name where you are? Good luck finding them!

      1. Here’s a slideshow showing you 16 different types of sweet potato! The type I use is the Hannah on slide 3. You can also see a Japanese sweet potato like the Okinawa on slide 11 and is much sweeter πŸ™‚

  4. Wondering if this will work with zucchini noodles….I’m sure the potato leek combo is ideal but giant didn’t have the white variety…

    1. It would work, you would just want to cook or salt out some of the extra moisture from the zucchini noodles so that it didn’t water down the sauce.

  5. This is soo good! I always love finding AIP recipes that are different than what I would think of preparing!! Going to use this sauce for my Thanksgiving sweet potato “au gratin!” I made it last year, but was missing the thickness I can now get from the cauliflower! Why didn’t I think of that!!! Genius!

    1. Yay, so glad you liked it πŸ™‚ I’ve got an AIP version of my sweet potato gratin in the works, but I think if you used this recipe of mine as a base, left out the almond flour and reduced the coconut milk a little, this would work out great for you!

  6. Hi-just about to start AIP after being Paleo for 2 yrs (health tanking). I’m wondering what bacon you use that is AIP approved? I live in south Florida. Thank you!

    1. Hi Tara,

      I’m not familiar with the stores you have over there since I’m in Arizona, but I know that US Wellness Meats has an AIP and Whole30 friendly bacon which has two ingredients – pork and salt. You can take a look at that here. This makes me realize I need to get an AIP bacon recipe up on the site, so thanks for asking πŸ™‚

  7. This looks a lot like the carbonara recipe I have made for years – I make it with leeks, garlic, pancetta & fresh parsley. The sauce is tempered eggs & parmiagiano reggiano. I’ve made it using zoodles for myself and regular pasta for the kids. Served with a radiccio slaw (radiccio, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar,olive oil, s&p & fresh parsley). It’s a huge hit in my house. However I’m seriously missing it cause I’ve gone paleo for health reasons and ditched the dairy. I’ve gotta try this!!!!!

    1. YAY someone who knows that carbonara is a CREAM FREE ZONE! I love cheese, I wish it loved me back. However, this recipe is nicely creamy without the dairy, so it hits the spot πŸ™‚

    1. I’m not sure why it would come out so thick when there’s 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk and broth in there. You could thin what you have down with some extra broth until it’s got a consistency you like.

  8. Hi Rachael, I am a sweet potatoe lover and have never heard of white sweet potatoes,,,,Wow,,Your recipe sounds wonderful and I will be making this dish soon. As well as others on your site,,, My question is,,, do you grow your own white sweet potatoes? And if so,, what variety are they ? If you purchase them,, do you purchase from a farmers market? As I have never seen them anywhere. When I type white sweet potato in google,,, it comes up with seeds available through the many suppliers. And burpee describes their variety as sweeter than most. I thought I read in your post for the recipe, that you described it as less sweet,,,
    Thanks for sharing such great recipes…

    1. Hi Doreen… good questions! There are LOTS of different varieties of sweet potato out there, although most of the time people see the orange varieties. Saveur has a guide to 16 varieties of sweet potato here and the variety I tend to see in stores are called Hannah. They’re definitely less sweet than the usual orange sweet potatoes. I’m not sure where you live, but here in Arizona, I can buy them at Safeway and Sprouts. I can’t recall if they have them at Whole Foods or not, I’ll have to check. Hope that helps!

  9. I thought the sauce was nice as-is – it didn’t taste overly cauliflower-y at all, to me, and the coconut was completely hidden – but I added a couple tablespoons of nutritional yeast for a little cheesiness and liked that a lot! About to serve it with zucchini noodles and looking forward to it!

    Thanks for the recipe!!

  10. This had great flavor! However my sweet potato noodles broke into small pieces when I boiled them. They weren’t over cooked, so I’m not sure what happened. They were Japanese White Sweet Potatoes, so maybe that was it? Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Christine — I’m not familiar with Japanese sweets as I only seem to be able to get the Hannah variety here. If yours don’t hold up to being boiled without breaking, my thought was perhaps you may be able to try sautΓ©ing them instead? They may have a better chance of holding together that way πŸ™‚

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