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Light Fettuccine Alfredo

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Light Fettuccine Alfredo is a healthier spin on the classic Alfredo, using less butter and cream with the same great taste. Try this lightened up recipe for your next pasta night!

Try our Chicken Piccata with Pasta or Spinach Ricotta Lasagna next time!

A pot of skinny Alfredo sauce on pasta.

Light Alfredo Sauce

When Mike and I were in college, we fell in love with Fettuccini Alfredo at a local restaurant. We splurged occasionally, and went all in for pasta night, slurping up every noodle that was smothered in a heavy cream sauce. It was our favorite, and we had no idea that we were probably consuming about 2,000 calories per plate.

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So while we haven’t cut OUT pasta dishes from our meal rotation, we’ve tried to lighten them up. I’m a  firm believer in “everything in moderation”, and when I want pasta, I’m gonna have it!

Why This Recipe Works:

  1. SIMPLE – This is a quick and simple recipe that uses mostly pantry ingredients. The key is to shred your own parmesan cheese and use some extra pasta water if needed.
  2. SATISFIES THE CRAVING – We all crave pasta and this is a great recipe to enjoy.
  3. LIGHTENED UP – This healthier fettuccini Alfredo has only the fraction of the calories of that meal we ate in college or any typical Alfredo sauce.
Overhead view of a bowl of skinny fettuccine Alfredo.

What You’ll Need:

The following traditional ingredients are easy to find in your local grocery store.

  • Pasta – Use fettuccine noodles for the real thing, or substitute any pasta shape you have in your pantry. I usually rotate between using fresh pasta and the boxed noodles.
  • Olive Oil + Butter – The “real” sauce has loads of butter. This one is 2 parts olive oil/1 part butter.
  • Garlic – A couple cloves of garlic are used and make a huge difference in taste.
  • Flour – All-purpose flour helps to thicken the sauce.
  • Broth – Use lower-sodium chicken broth to control the salt content.
  • Milk plus Half and Half – A combo of 2% milk and just a small hit of half and half is enough to achieve a creamy consistency. (I don’t recommend using skim milk EVER.)
  • Parmesan Cheese – Freshly grated parmesan cheese is always best, and melts easier too.
  • S & P – For pasta, don’t skimp on the salt and pepper!
  • Starchy Pasta Water – Reserve a bit of pasta water, and add as needed.
The recipe ingredients with labels.

How to make Light Fettuccini Alfredo:

Step 1
Sauté garlic. In a medium stock pot, add olive oil and butter until melted over medium heat. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds.

Step 2
Add flour. Then add flour and stir constantly for about 1-2 minutes, or until flour is fully absorbed.

Step 3
Shred parmesan cheese. Use a box cutter to shred a block of fresh parmesan cheese.

Step 4
Add liquids. Then add chicken broth, milk, and half and half, and whisk until the mixture starts to thicken. This will take a few minutes.

Step 5
Add cheese. Then stir in parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. Stir until creamy over low heat.

Step 6
Cook pasta. Meanwhile, in another large stock pot, bring water to a boil. Add fettuccini noodles and a good amount of salt. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook according to package directions or until pasta is al dente.

Step 7
Add pasta to sauce. Use a tongs to transfer hot pasta directly to the creamy sauce. Stir well and add extra pasta water as needed to thin the sauce.

Step 8
Serve. Serve fettuccini Alfredo with extra parmesan cheese and some freshly ground black pepper.

What to Serve with Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo:

Side view of a tongs adding some fettuccine alfredo to a bowl.

Variations to this recipe:

  • Add heavy cream. If you want to go a bit heavier, you can add some heavy cream to this dish. Or whole milk works too.
  • Use a variety of pasta. Use any kind of pasta you prefer.
  • Add vegetables. We like to add frozen peas and carrots to this dish as it reminds us of that favorite pasta dish we enjoyed in college.
  • Boost the protein. Grill some chicken breast, salmon, or shrimp to go alongside the pasta.

Other pasta recipes:

A pot of creamy fettuccine Alfredo made lighter.

Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)

xoxo ~Sue

A closeup on a pot of light fettuccine Alfredo.

Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo

Light Fettuccine Alfredo is a healthier spin on the classic Alfredo, using less butter and cream with the same great taste. Try this lightened up recipe for your next pasta night!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 621kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces fettuccini – or any pasta
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic – minced
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup lower sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • extra parmesan, black pepper – to serve

Instructions

  • Make sauce. Heat olive oil and butter in a medium stock pan, over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Add flour and stir again, until flour is well absorbed, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add chicken broth, milk, and half and half, and whisk until mixture starts to thicken. This will take a few minutes. Reduce heat to low, and stir in parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper, until cheese melts and sauce is nice and creamy.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot, with plenty of salt and water. Cook until al dente and reserve a bit of pasta water.
  • Use a tongs to transfer cooked pasta directly to the Alfredo sauce. Stir well and add extra pasta water as needed to thin the sauce.
  • Serve pasta with extra parmesan and some freshly ground black pepper.

Video

Notes

Possible Variations:

  • Add heavy cream. If you want to go a bit heavier, you can add some heavy cream to this dish.
  • Use a variety of pasta. Use any kind of pasta you prefer.
  • Add vegetables. We like to add frozen peas and carrots to this dish as it reminds us of that favorite pasta dish we enjoyed in college.
  • Boost the protein. Grill some chicken, salmon, or shrimp to go alongside the pasta.

Nutrition

Calories: 621kcal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 1102mg | Potassium: 443mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 525IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 362mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!

8 Comments

  1. Can I cook this ahead and rewarm?

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Yes, you can!

  2. We had this last night for a skinny shrimp and bacon pasta dish! Love how easy the recipe is, and the taste is even better!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      That sounds DELISH, Josh! I’m glad you enjoyed the sauce!

  3. This is a delicious update to the old recipe (which some how became MY favorite to make) we had for Christmas Eve back in the day. I had all the ingredients in the house and it was so simple and easy to whip up. My friends thought it was the best EVER and wanted the recipe. I added some of the pasta water to make it extra saucy and a can of chopped artichoke hearts to fancy it up. Hmmmm, when thinking about it adding some peas would also be fun……next time!!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I’m so glad you and your friends enjoyed this pasta dish, Shari! That’s a great idea to add some of the pasta water. Will add that to the recipe! And artichokes and peas, hmmmm. Sounds great too! 🙂

  4. It was worth 2,000 calories, but this recipe is better….so less is more. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      True! Less is more! 😀

5 from 4 votes (1 rating without comment)

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