Fettuccine Alfredo: Lighter, Creamier & Healthier

Chicken Alfredo Pasta

Pasta Alfredo is one of those creamy, delicious, indulgent pasta dishes that is rich in cream and cheese. But it is very possible to whip up a delicious alfredo pasta without using lots of cream. This healthier version has a gorgeous creamy, velvety texture but without using any cream and is a lower fat version of the classic dish without sacrificing taste or mouthfeel!

Fettuccine Alfredo is named after Alfredo di Lelio, an Italian restaurateur in Rome. The story goes back to the early 20th century where Alfredo was trying to create a dish for his pregnant wife Ines who had morning sickness. His solution was a pasta dish of fettuccine tossed with butter and Parmesan cheese. It became popular and soon American celebrities like Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks tried it during their Roman honeymoon in the 1920's. The couple were so smitten that they introduced to America. It was here that cream was added to the dish. Nowadays it is very popular pasta dish in America. I don't eat it often because it is really heavy on cream and butter (ugh silly cholesterol levels) but I can see why it is so beloved whenever I do eat it. But it is very possible to make a lighter version while still being incredibly creamy and silky!

Chicken Alfredo Pasta

Tips For Making Low Fat Chicken Alfredo Pasta

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1 - Use a large frying pan that will fit the pasta and chicken, mine is 26cms/10.2inches.

2 - Use whatever pasta you like- fettuccine or pappardelle, rigatoni or other short pastas like penne work here.

Chicken Alfredo Pasta

3 - You can use chicken breast, chicken tenderloins or chicken thighs. The key is to cut the chicken up into small pieces -I call them child bite sized pieces. If the chunks are too large then the dish has a drier texture.

4 - We will be using low fat cream cheese and skim evaporated milk to create the creaminess. Evaporated milk has a slight caramelised and sweet flavour to it so I always make sure to add enough salt to counteract that. In this recipe we also use chicken stock powder to add in more chicken flavour.

5 - Alfredo sauce gets soaked up quickly with the pasta so make sure to keep some pasta cooking water to loosen it up (rather than using more evaporated milk).

6 - I know that it's not like me to not add vegetables to a dish but I did add some broccolini to this. I just added 200g/7ozs of broccolini to the pasta cooking water once the pasta was done and then stirred it through along with the pasta.

Chicken Alfredo Pasta

When I was making this, Teddy and Milo were obviously hanging around in the hopes of getting a stray piece of chicken. I gave them a tiny bit of raw chicken when I finished cutting it up but they stuck around hoping for more. After cooking I started cleaning up my fridge of all of the leftovers and shifting things into smaller containers. Then I noticed there was an egg in a carton that had just broken.

Teddy and Milo both love eggs but nobody more than Teddy Elliott. Remember the time where Teddy stole, smashed and ate a carton of 6 raw eggs? Well that awakened a voracious appetite for eggs so much so that his is nickname is "eggybébé". Teddy is 1 kilo lighter than Milo with a much smaller appetite (Teddy eats half of what Milo does) and they will usually never fight over food. But when Teddy saw me crack the egg and put it in his brother's bowl his eyes widened and he ran over in an instant.

Ham & Cheese Sliders
Triumphant Teddy

He pushed his little fluffy white head into the bowl and nudged Milo out of the way. Teddy has never nudged his brother out of the way for anything but he was single minded in his pursuit of his beloved eggys. This time I had to nudge him out of the way for Milo to get some. Imagine if he ever gets to try pasta Alfredo with chicken!

So tell me Dear Reader, what is a food that you'd nudge someone out of the way for? Do you like pasta Alfredo?

Chicken Alfredo Pasta

An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15-20 minutes concurrently

Serves 4

Oil for frying

  • 250g/8.8ozs pasta
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 white or brown onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • 450g/1lb chicken breast or tenderloins
  • 125g/4ozs low fat cream cheese
  • 200ml/7flozs low fat or skim evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon chicken stock powder
  • 50g/1.7ozs parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1 - First put pasta on to boil in a large pot of salted water for 8 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water.

Chicken Alfredo Pasta

Chicken Alfredo Pasta

Step 2 - Meanwhile, and I recommend doing this concurrently while the pasta is cooking, cut the chicken breast into small bite sized pieces. If you are using a chicken breast cut it in half horizontally and then cut it into tenderloin sized portions. Then cut these in half vertically and then into smaller pieces. You basically don't want big chunks of chicken, you want child bite sized pieces. Fry the chicken in 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan and when it starts to brown add in the onion and saute until onion becomes fragrant and softened. Add the garlic in and fry for a minute.

Chicken Alfredo Pasta

Step 3 - Push the chicken and onion mix to the side of the pan and add the cream cheese to the pan and stir and allow to melt. Once melted, add the evaporated milk and chicken stock powder. Once it becomes a smooth mixture add the pasta and broccolini back into the pan. Add parmesan cheese and toss well adding some pasta cooking water to loosen the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

Chicken Alfredo Pasta

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