Guiltless Alfredo Sauce

Traditional Alfredo sauce is insanely delicious and sometimes considered a splurge with its indulgent amounts of butter, cream, and cheese. This version still gives you a creamy luxurious experience but lowers fat and calories significantly.  This isn’t a recipe who’s purpose is copycat the original with different ingredients. 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 and continues to be a family staple in households all over!

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
Bite of alfredo pasta with broccoli and chicken
Cream sauce over pasta and broccoli

Guiltless Alfredo Sauce

5 from 1 vote
This lightened up alfredo-style sauce is easy to make and delicious on pasta, veggies, or even used as pizza sauce!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings8 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 3 ounces low fat cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Place milk, cream cheese, flour, and salt in a blender and blend until smooth. 
  • In a non-stick sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter and add garlic. Let the garlic saute for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the milk mixture to the pan. Stir constantly for about 3 or 4 minutes or until it just comes to a simmer. Keep stirring and let it cook for a few minutes more. It should be much thicker now.
  • When it's nice and thickened turn heat to low. Add the cheese, stir it up to melt and then remove pan from heat and cover.
  •   Let stand for 5-10 minutes before using. It will continue to thicken upon standing. Season with additional salt if needed.  

Notes

Store leftovers in the fridge. The sauce will thicken almost into a solid. Just re-heat and add a little milk and it will be back to normal again.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup, Calories: 120kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 564mg, Potassium: 140mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 316IU, Vitamin C: 0.4mg, Calcium: 241mg, Iron: 0.3mg
Course: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: light alfredo sauce
Calories: 120kcal
Author: Sara Wells
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!
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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. I found this site, and this recipe, via pinterest. I tried it and I LOVE IT! Quick question; can I make a bunch of this and then freezez it? Would it be any good that way? Just askin’ in case anyone else had tried it 🙂

    1. I was wondering the same thing!! If anyone gets brave enough to try it let me know 🙂

  2. This was amazing! My toddler ate it right up too! Thank you so much! I’m never buying the jar stuff again!

  3. I’m a little slow on the up-take, but I found this recipe on Pinterest and knew I had to try it. My lighter-version-hating boyfriend and I used this sauce with lobster ravioli from Trader Joe’s, and when he caught a peak of the recipe, told me he was more than skeptical that it would taste good.

    Much to both of our amazement, he LOVED it, told me it was a winner, and asked me to keep the recipe for the future. It seriously is SO good (especially compared to the icky jarred versions)!! Thank you for the recipe!

  4. Yum!! Best Alfredo sauce I ever made or tasted, definitely does not taste healthy I am so happy I can enjoy this sauce and not feel guilty 😉

  5. I am on a low sodium diet and halfed the salt and used nosalt butter but it turned out AMAZING!!! I will make again thank you.

  6. My family just loved this. What I loved the most was there was no grease left on our plates after we had finished, like the kind made with cream & butter.
    Winner, winner, winner.

  7. Yum! I made this last night and felt like I’d had a little piece of heaven! It’s so good! I just got my library to order your cookbook and can’t wait until it gets here! Love you girls!

  8. I just made this for dinner but added pesto in the blender. Cooked some fresh mushrooms and set aside and in a separate pan I cooked some chicken breasts, chopped into squares and threw in some extra pesto (thank you Costco – easy, cheap and HUGE jar so you can freeze it) then threw in some garden tomatoes and let that simmer. In the mean time I made your recipe, added the mushrooms to the chicken tomato mixture and mixed it together… OH MY GOODNESS!! It was amazing! I served it over Costco’s chicken ravioli with spaghetti squash.

    THANK YOU!!! It tasted really guilty but wasn’t at all compared to my regular (famous chain) recipe.

  9. I used this sauce to make a creamy chicken and spinach lasagna. I’ve had a recipe using a different sauce for a while, but I thought I would try it with your sauce instead. It was FANTASTIC! Loved it!

    Thank you for all your wonderful recipes. My friend bought me your cookbook a few weeks ago and I have been pouring over it every day. We’ve tried several recipes and have found many winners. I love to cook and love trying new recipes, but I rarely find so many recipes from one source that are consistently amazing. Thank you and keep up the good work!

  10. Each first Sunday of the month I gather together a group of friends for a potluck. Usually sometime on Saturday I start whining to my kids, ‘what should I make, what should I make?” While I have (very often) sent people to your site after their “ooo, they’re so cute!” and “what a great idea” comments regarding PIZOOKIES (of which the missionaries are particularly big fans)
    for some riduculous reason, I have never thought to look here for ideas!! BIG DUH. I’m a week ahead of time and already have ideas for entire rest of the year and it doesn’t matter how large the crowd gets! woo hoo – thanks for all your posts, ideas and time! you guys rock. oops, girls!

  11. This sauce can be made Gluten-free by substituting Almond Meal or any other bean free flour substitute. The Almond meal adds an awesome flavor…I love this sauce for gluten free chicken alfredo pizza.

  12. I can’t believe how creamy this “low fat” sauce is! I served it on linguini with broccoli and it was very tasty. I plan to use an alternative version (more cream cheese, no parmesan) on cauliflower and potatoes “au gratin”.

    Can’t wait for tomorrow to eat the leftovers pasta! 🙂

  13. This is a keeper! It was quick and easy. The entire family loved it. I brought the leftovers to my assistant, she scarfed it down and agreed! I almost like it better than the “real” thing because it isn’t rich and heavy. My tummy felt much better afterwards than it does with a cream version.

    1. I love this sauce and make it regularly for my little family. I want to make some for a bigger family dinner, but I have no idea how much sauce or noodles I would do. There will be 7 adults, 6 kids ages 10-16 and 4 kids 3-9. Any ideas on how many pounds of pasta and how many batches of this sauce? We will be having this over noodles with some grilled chicken, a green salad and garlic bread.

      Also, how far in advance could I make the sauce and then just plan on heating it up the day we have it? Or maybe I can at least just get it all blended and do the stove part just before we will eat…thoughts?

  14. Thank you for alfredo sauce. My kids LOVES it. My MIL (italian american) ate 2 bowls! Definitely use this recipe for a long time! *thumb ups*

  15. I tried this recipe out of your book, Our Best Bites. I am hooked! I have never tried to make Alfredo sauce from scratch because it always looked too hard. This was easy to make and OH SO GOOD!
    The real Parmesan makes a huge difference. I splurged (when I usually substitute the Kraft kind) and am so glad I did.
    Thank you for a keeper!

  16. Of the many “guiltless” alfredos I’ve tried, this one is by far the absolute best. Thank you, thank you and thank you for giving me my favorite “treat” and not feeling too bad about it. I have yet to find a recipe that I donn’t like!!

  17. This was really fabulous! I made it tonight and still can’t believe how good it was. I’ve made the “full of guilt and shame” versions with sticks of butter and cups of cream and, although they tasted great, I felt horrible serving it to my family. This version made us all happy. Thank you!

  18. AMAZING! This passed the I-don’t-like-anything-light test with my hubby! Making it again tonight! YUM!!!

  19. This was DELICIOUS!!! I was blown away, and I'm typically not an alfredo fan. I'm thinking very seriously about making a massive batch of it and canning it in smaller jars. I hate buying the alfredo sauce from the store and only using half a jar. The leftover sauce sits in the fridge for about 2 weeks and then gets tossed.
    Even my super picky kids loved it. Thanks for another great recipe!

  20. I made a double recipe and my family loved it over fettucini. With the leftovers I added some homemade pesto I had in the freezer. It made a great creamy pesto sauce.

  21. Made this for dinner tonight, my 5,6 and 9 year loved this! My hubby who isn't a Alfredo fan is taking the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I was surprised how easy it came together. I added diced chicken and it was perfect!

  22. I want to make this for a potluck lunch and am wondering how much pasta to cook for this amount of sauce. Thanks so much. Love your blog!

  23. Rebecca, yep I usually just toss with a little olive oil. The key is eating right as soon as it's ready!

  24. Hi Sara! This looks great! I can't wait to try it. How do you usually keep your pasta fresh looking and warm at a pasta bar party? Do you just use olive oil, butter, or something? Thanks!

  25. yummm!

    a really good friend of mine is on a diet and really wanted alfredo pasta so we made this!

    it was delicious, and it was a "healthy" way to satisfy her craving! thanks! 🙂

  26. I have to admit that I was skeptical about guiltless alfredo sauce, but my husband and I LOVED it! Thank you for sharing this recipe so we can enjoy fettuccini alfredo with a lot less calories!