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Fettuccine Alfredo on the Lighter Side

183 A Fettuccine Alfredo Lighter Side.JPG
183 A Fettuccine Alfredo Lighter Side.JPG

Fettuccine Alfredo on the Lighter Side


I absolutely adore fettuccine alfredo but I can’t tell you the last time I tried it, before this recipe of course! I tried making a variation that was just as delicious and only sacrificed on fat and calorie count but not flavor. It took me a bit to find a recipe that kept the thickness and richness but finally found the perfect balance. Best of all, you might not even know the difference!

Yield: 4 servings

Oven: N/A

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

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1 1/2-ounces (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter

3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup 1% milk, heated to just below simmer

3 tablespoons low-fat (not fat-free) cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

as needed, kosher salt


1, 16-ounce box fettuccine noodles


optional, 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to garnish

optional, fresh parsley, roughly chopped, to garnish



To make the sauce:

1.   In a medium size saucepan over medium heat, add butter and allow to melt. Add flour and whisk constantly until thick, approximately 1 minute. Add milk and whisk until thick, approximately 30 seconds. Add cream cheese, Parmesan, salt and pepper whisking until combined and melted, approximately 30 seconds.  Remove from heat and set to the side.

To make the pasta:

2.   Cook fettuccine pasta according to package direction, approximately 10 – 12 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.

3.   Return pasta to the pan and add prepared alfredo sauce along with 1/3 cup of the reserved pasta water. If too thick, add additional pasta water until desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper and if desired, garnish with freshly grated Parmesan and parsley right before serving.


Kitchen Note:  It’s important to not use nonfat milk or nonfat cream cheese as some fat is needed to give it thickness and richness. Adding 2% or whole milk is another option if a thicker richness is desired. I use 1% in this recipe and it’s perfect!