Creamy Chicken Alfredo (Even Without Heavy Cream!)

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Craving that rich and satisfying chicken alfredo but keeping an eye on your calorie intake? You’re in luck! This recipe delivers all the creamy goodness you love, minus the heavy cream. Packed with flavor and surprisingly light, this dish is perfect for a weeknight dinner or a casual weekend meal.


Alfredo Sauce without Heavy Cream
Alfredo Sauce without Heavy Cream

For the Chicken:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • For the Alfredo Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low-fat milk (1%)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • For Serving:
  • 12 ounces fettuccine or your favorite pasta
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

  • Directions:

    1. Cook the Chicken: In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Season chicken breasts with oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Add chicken to the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.

    2. Make the Alfredo Sauce: In the same skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, to form a roux. Slowly whisk in milk, one-half cup at a time, until fully incorporated. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

    3. Add Cheese and Seasonings: Reduce heat to low and whisk in Parmesan cheese, Pecorino Romano cheese, ricotta cheese, and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue whisking until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth and creamy.

    4. Assemble and Serve: Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Return pasta to the pot and toss with the alfredo sauce. Add cooked chicken back to the pan and toss to combine. If the sauce seems too thick, add a splash or two of reserved pasta water to thin it out.

    5. Garnish and Enjoy: Serve chicken alfredo immediately, garnished with fresh parsley if desired.

    Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

    Calories: Approximately 550 (depending on the type of pasta used)

  • Fat: 25g
  • Saturated Fat: 12g
  • Cholesterol: 75mg
  • Sodium: 500mg (depending on the amount of salt used)
  • Carbohydrates: 50g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Protein: 40g

  • Conclusion

    This lightened-up chicken alfredo is proof that delicious doesn’t have to mean heavy. With a creamy sauce made without heavy cream and packed with protein from chicken and cheese, this dish is sure to satisfy without breaking the calorie bank.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I use a different type of milk?
    Yes, you can! While whole milk would make the sauce richer, skim milk or even plant-based milk alternatives like unsweetened almond milk or cashew milk can be used. Keep in mind that using a lower-fat milk might result in a slightly thinner sauce.

    2. What can I substitute for the ricotta cheese?
    If you don’t have ricotta cheese on hand, you can use an equal amount of cottage cheese or cream cheese. However, these substitutions might alter the texture of the sauce slightly.

    3. What type of pasta works best with this recipe?
    Fettuccine is a classic choice for alfredo, but other long, thin pastas like linguine, angel hair, or spaghetti would also work well. You can even try using a whole-wheat pasta for added fiber.

    4. Can I add vegetables to this dish?
    Absolutely! Broccoli florets, sautéed mushrooms, or even roasted asparagus would make a delicious and nutritious addition to this recipe.

    5. How can I store leftover chicken alfredo?