Guiltless Alfredo Sauce

Alfredo sauce is one of those things that I usually only splurge on in restaurants.  Its simple combination of cream, butter, and cheese is downright magical, but also downright indulgent! I always worried that creating a healthier alfredo sauce recipe wouldn’t do the original justice but I’ve found a great combination of ingredients that maintains that creamy luxurious experience and cuts fat and calories big time.  This isn’t a recipe who’s purpose is copycat with different ingredients (like this other version of a cream sauce, using cauliflower- also super delicious.) . This recipe still uses real cheese, and real butter, just way less of it and some clever additions to make up the difference.  This healthy, low-fat alfredo sauce is one of the most popular recipes on our site.  It’s been here for almost 10 years now (originally shared in August of 2008) and I finally got around to updating the photos, and even adding a video for you!

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s made from simple ingredients that you probably already have at home.

milk, butter, parmesan, and garlic

It’s also made in under 10 minutes so if you keep this stuff around it’s great for last-minute meals.  And if you really don’t care TOO much about calories, go ahead and make it with whole milk. It’s still going to be waaay lighter than using cream, and it tastes extra delicious.

This recipe starts in the blender.  You’ll combine some light cream cheese (which adds creaminess and also adds body to the sauce), milk (anything from nonfat to whole milk works, I really like 1-2%), and a little bit of flour (which helps thicken the sauce).  Blend it up until it’s smooth.

flour, milk, cream cheese in blender

Meanwhile you’ll melt just a couple pats of butter in a pan with some minced garlic.  Your blender mixture gets poured right into that pan.

Pouring milk mixture into blender

After it simmers for just a few minutes to thicken, you’ll add the cheese.

Now let’s talk about Parmesan.  You can make this recipe with fresh grated parmesan or even the crumbled kind in the bottle.  They turn out just a bit different in texture, but honestly either one works.  I almost always have both on hand so I tend to do half and half. Just experiment and see what you like.

parmesan cheeses

You’ll take your pan off the heat and then mix that in until it’s melted.

Whisking parmesan into alfredo

Your sauce will continue to thicken a bit once it’s removed from the heat so I like to set it aside for at least a few minutes before serving it.

Pouring Alfredo Sauce over Pasta

I use this on so many different things.  Pasta, obviously.  But it’s also really great as a sauce on pizza, or a dip for breadsticks, or even drizzled over vegetables.

Pasta with broccoli and alfredo

This particular dish you’re looking at is one that I put together for our new Fit & Fast Meal Plans!  It’s a great example of the family-friendly focus of the recipes in these plans.  We’ve taken well loved dishes and just lightened them up for more wholesome family meal planning.

Bite of alfredo pasta with broccoli and chicken

You can click here for more info!

 

195 comments

  1. This was light. No one would believe it, this tasted that good. Have you ever figured out the “food label” for it?

    Our purple Cabernet noodles (home made and gluten free using grape flour) where a great contrast under the white sauce.

  2. Sara,
    Thanks so much, it looks yummy. I’m so glad my friend connected me to your blog. Your posts are amazing with all the details and pictures. Thanks, cooking and reading recipes is hobby and addiction to me!

  3. Delicious! I made this tonight so we could try the Fall Alfredo… I love it, I was “tasting” it the whole time I was making it. Thanks! …will try the pizza with the leftover alfredo!

  4. The best pasta dish I ever had was raviolis with butternut squash sauce..it was SO good! I bet this will be similar. Can’t wait to try it.
    P.S. I read every word of this post.

  5. This is so yummy! We had it tonight, and you REALLY can’t tell it’s a lighter version.
    Thanks for the recipe-no more of those icky packets of the powdered version for us!

  6. Heather- I’ve doubled this many times and it works great. It just may take a little longer to thicken the milk/flour mix, but that’s it. Good idea!

  7. Oops, can’t edit comments.

    Does this recipe double or triple ok? I want to make enough to freeze in smaller portions for a few dinners and then even smaller portions for lunches. Mixed with some elbow noodles and tossed in a thermos this would be an easy lunch for my son. He loves alfredo sauce!

  8. I’m a different Adrienne, but I love Alfredo sauce and would even lick the pan it was made in. I like it with ravioli as well as adding cooked chicken and mushrooms to the sauce.

  9. I just made it, and it was good! I had some plain, and I added tomato sauce to some too. I was babysitting, and the kids ate a ton too. There were no leftovers. Thanks sara!

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