With some easy swaps, skinny fettuccine alfredo is still full of creamy, garlicky, cheesy flavor but without all of the calories of a traditional alfredo sauce.
Here’s the thing about this time of year, we know we should be eating lighter and healthier after all the the holiday indulgences, but it’s also January, so it’s cold and the days are much too short. Which, if you’re anything like me, makes you crave cozy, hearty comfort food. The big question is, how do you balance the need to eat healthier, while still satisfying those comfort food cravings? One answer is to lighten up some of your favorites, which is just what I’ve done with fettuccine alfredo, because who doesn’t love a big plate of pasta on a cold, dark winter evening.
Traditional fettuccine alfredo has lots of cream and butter which doesn’t exactly qualify it as a healthier meal. But it is oh so creamy and delicious. This skinny fettuccine alfredo has all the creaminess of traditional alfredo sauce, but with a few easy swaps, it has much fewer calories without sacrificing flavor. It’s also really quick and easy to make, so it’s perfect for any time you’re craving a big plate of pasta.
The first thing I swapped out was the heavy cream. In it’s place I used a combination of whole milk and chicken stock. The whole milk still adds a richness and the chicken stock adds to the depth of flavor, while still keeping things light. I still used butter, but only 2 tablespoons to sauté the garlic and add some further richness to the dish. To make sure the sauce had the same creaminess as traditional, I added a little bit of cream cheese and, of course, enough parmesan cheese to give it that delicious cheesy flavor.
Skinny fettuccine alfredo is also a flexible dish. Feel free to stir in cooked chicken or shrimp to bump up the protein. With this recipe, I’d use about 8 ounces of either protein. If you’re looking to reduce your carbs, use zucchini or sweet potato noodles. It will be just as hearty and comforting.
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 4 oz cream cheese, cut into cubes
- ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
- pinch of nutmeg
- ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
- ⅓ cup parsley, finely chopped, plus more for serving
- freshly ground black pepper
- 8 oz fettuccine, cooked according to package instructions.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium low heat.
- Add garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in milk and chicken stock.
- Increase heat to medium and bring mixture to a simmer that just starting to bubble.
- Add cream cheese and whisk until melted and fully incorporated.
- Whisk in parmesan and continue whisking until melted.
- Stir in nutmeg, peas and parsley.
- Add cooked fettuccine to skillet and toss until thoroughly coated with the sauce.
- Serve with black pepper and additional chopped parsley.
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