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Healthier Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

Fettuccine Alfredo That Won't Kill You

Here, OnSugar blog Fresh Tart shows us how to cure that craving for fettuccine alfredo without the caloric setback.

My son is a big fettuccine alfredo fan.  Restaurant versions are terrifyingly caloric, unnecessarily soaked in cups of cream and cheese, some even enriched with egg yolks. I've come up with a not-so-over-the-top version for him that I actually prefer.  I use real cream, but not too much.  A little goes a long way.

See what makes this dish health-conscious yet craveworthy when you keep reading.

Nathan likes his as pictured, but if I were making this for myself I'd saute a handful or two of spinach leaves with the garlic.  Or a handful of peas would be pretty too (and a bit of diced ham?  That's a classic, for good reason, yum.)  Fresh herbs are always a delicious finish, or a pinch of truffle salt.  Lots of options, all good.


Nathan's Fettuccine Alfredo
Serves 2-4

1/2 lb. dried fettuccine (or spaghetti, good with cappelini too)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper

Cook pasta in salted water according to package instructions.  While the pasta cooks, heat a small skillet over medium-low heat.  Add olive oil, then garlic, and gently saute until garlic is tender and about to brown at the edges (do not fully brown the garlic, it will be bitter).  Stir in the cream and a generous sprinkle of salt.  Simmer for 1-2 minutes, stirring a few times, then remove from heat and set aside.  When pasta is done, before draining it, remove 1/3 c. of the pasta cooking water.  Drain the pasta, return it to the pot, and add the cream, Parmesan cheese, pasta cooking water, a sprinkle of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper.  Toss until sauce is creamy and pasta is coated.  Serve immediately.

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FreshTartSteph FreshTartSteph 7 years
I love your ingenuity ladies! Keep me posted...
pixiedusk pixiedusk 7 years
simple enough to someone who never cooks.... like errrr ME!
roseate roseate 7 years
I use fat-free evaporated milk in place of the cream in sauces like this one, too. It doesn't taste quite the same, but it is still delicious. I haven't tried, but I bet you could partially replace the cream with evaporated milk for a sauce that's lighter than the original but that still has some of the creamy taste.
tidakpedulidengananda tidakpedulidengananda 7 years
I'll try both fat free evaporated milk and the cream version. I adore simple recipes that's delish. SML, you have a lovely website, btw.
redchick152 redchick152 7 years
holy crap...that's easy! i will definitely try it and add in lots of veggies.
FreshTartSteph FreshTartSteph 7 years
Oh good nevaeh, I hope you like it. It's a great technique, works really well with just olive oil and garlic too (vs. cream and garlic). We add a pinch of red pepper flakes to either version, adds some nice heat (saute briefly with the garlic). The key is the pasta cooking water, a great way to stretch the more caloric ingredients (cream, olive oil, or butter, whatever you like) into a "sauce." Mess around with it, it's fun.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 7 years
I'm going to try and make it! I've never made one before, and it's been years since I ate one, and thank you so much SML for sharing the lighter version, and it seems so simple and good :drool:
FreshTartSteph FreshTartSteph 7 years
Thanks for the comments everyone, and thanks to YumSugar for the link! Her link now says "healthier" vs. "healthy" for anyone who was confused. In the end it's just tasty and I agree completely - all things in moderation (especially if not loaded with preservatives/artificial ingredients).
FreshTartSteph FreshTartSteph 7 years
FreshTartSteph FreshTartSteph 7 years
Only if you link through YumSugar because that's how she titled her post. If you go directly to, you'll see my title, Fettucine-Alfredo-Wont-Kill-You.
FreshTartSteph FreshTartSteph 7 years
Ah ha, I get it now - it's a link in from YumSugar, who titled it "healthy." Sorry for the confusion! (And thanks to YumSugar for linking to my post - love that!) My own title/copy doesn't say healthy, don't mean to mislead anyone! Serving 4 people would mean about 2 Tbsp. of cream/serving, about the same as a large dollop of whipped cream (200 cals). Maybe not healthy, but not disastrous either, at least in Alfredo terms. Enjoy a small serving and savor it! Fill it out with spinach or other veggies, call it dinner.
FreshTartSteph FreshTartSteph 7 years
And thanks to YumSugar for linking to this post!
FreshTartSteph FreshTartSteph 7 years
Wait, I'm confused - where does it say healthy? My title is "Fettucine Alredo That Won't Kill You" - could it be there's a link to the post appearing somewhere else? Let me know what you're seeing (esp if it's from another site/Twitter/wherever)...thanks for letting me know and sorry! Fuzzles - niiice :)
fuzzles fuzzles 7 years
I'm adding bacon to mine!
FreshTartSteph FreshTartSteph 7 years
I didn't say healthy - just not as heavy as typical alfredo. This recipe is meant to serve four, at about 400 cals/serving. Compared to more than 1,000 cals per usual serving of fettucine alfredo, it's an improvement! But it's still pasta with cream, no getting around that :)
jwnola jwnola 7 years
The title of this post go me really excited, but when I looked up the calorie and fat content of 1/2 cup of heavy cream, my excitement waned. The half cup of heavy cream adds 410 calories and 44g of fat (27g saturated fat) to the recipe. While this may be healthier than most alfredo recipes, I think "healthy" is a stretch.
Liss1 Liss1 7 years
that sounds yummy :)
FreshTartSteph FreshTartSteph 7 years
Yes, have tried with whole grain pasta, works well. Even whole grain pasta releases a fair amount of starch into the cooking water, which is what you need to stretch the cream into a sauce. Thanks for the note!
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