Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo

Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo -- lightened up with a few simple tweaks, and so delicious and creamy! |

Mmmmm, fettuccine alfredo.

I don’t know about you, but this rich and creamy and oh-so-decadent pasta is pretty much the ultimate comfort food in my book.  It has long been a favorite dish of mine, and one that I always looked forward to ordering out at some of my favorite Italian restaurants on special occasions.  But I made the mistake of peeking at the nutrition facts for fettuccine alfredo a few years ago.  And after seeing just how much (hint: so much) extra butter and heavy cream restaurants usually toss into this dish, I felt like it was probably time to swear it off for good.

But let’s be real — a girl needs her favorite fettuccine alfredo every now an then.

So I set to work a few years ago experimenting and tweaking with ways to lighten up this classic dish.  I stuck with the traditional ingredients (no cauliflower sauce here), although I completely nixed the heavy cream in place of low-fat milk with a roux.  And lo and behold, it actually worked!!!  Turns out you can have rich and creamy and oh-so-decadent fettuccine alfredo made at home — bonus, in just 20 minutes! — with this lightened-up easy recipe.  And I’m obsessed with it.

And today I thought I would bump it back to the top of the blog to re-share it with those of you who might have missed it and need some healthier fettuccine alfredo in your lives.  :)  I went ahead and updated the pictures from the original post that I shared about 3 years ago, but the recipe is the same and just as good as ever.  So put on some water to boil, and let’s make some pasta!

Skinny Fettucine Alfredo 4

This recipe, of course, centers around its two namesake ingredients — fettuccine and alfredo sauce.

You’re welcome to use any kind of pasta you’d like for this recipe — traditional semolina, whole-wheat pasta, gluten-free pasta (if so, check out my gluten-free alfredo sauce recipe), totally up to you!  My one tip as always is just to be sure that you generously salt the water before adding the pasta.  This is your one opportunity to kick up the flavor in the actual pasta itself, so don’t skimp!

But the sauce — this magical sauce — is the rockstar of the recipe.  As I said, no heavy cream or cream cheese is used in this recipe.  All you need are:

  • olive oil (a healthier fat, or you’re welcome to use butter for the flavor)
  • fresh garlic (a must!!)
  • flour (to thicken)
  • chicken broth (more flavorful than milk; you can also sub in veggie stock)
  • low-fat milk (you can use any milk, even soy)
  • Parmesan cheese (if you freshly grate it, it will be more flavorful)

Both the sauce and pasta cook quickly.  So when you’re ready, drain your pasta and then add in the alfredo sauce.
Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe |

Then toss them together until everything is nice and creamy and evenly coated.

Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo -- lightened up with a few simple tweaks, and so delicious and creamy! |

Then a delicious pan of fettuccine alfredo is yours to enjoy!  You’re welcome to just serve it plain…

Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo -- lightened up with a few simple tweaks, and so delicious and creamy! |

…or you can top it with a little extra Parmesan, some fresh parsley or basil, or whatever sounds good.  :)

Skinny Fettucine Alfredo 5

But the best news?  As opposed to the fettuccine alfredo recipe from Olive Garden, which clocks in at a whopping 1220 calories a serving, one serving of this alfredo sauce clocks in at 141 calories, and when combined with the fettuccine it is 450 calories a serving.  Not too shabby for a thick and creamy pasta.  Perfect when served with a light salad like this one.


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Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo

This easy fettuccine alfredo recipe is made “skinny” with a lighter alfredo sauce recipe — but it’s as delicious and creamy and flavorful as ever!


  • 12 ounces fettuccine (or any pasta shape)
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or finely-minced
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup low-fat milk (I used 1%)
  • 3/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • (optional toppings: chopped fresh parsley, extra Parmesan)


Cook pasta al dente according to package directions, in generously-salted water.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil (or melt butter) in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute one minute, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. Sprinkle with flour, and stir to combine. Saute for an additional minute to cook the flour, stirring occasionally.

Slowly add chicken broth, whisking to combine until smooth. Whisk in milk, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let cook for an additional minute until thickened, then stir in Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until the cheese melted. Reduce heat to medium-low until pasta is cooked.

Drain pasta, then immediately add pasta to the saute pan with alfredo sauce. Toss to combine. Serve topped with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

All images and text ©

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

*Nutrition facts calculated with My Fitness Pal.

Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo -- lightened up with a few simple tweaks, and so delicious and creamy! |

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559 comments on “Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo”

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  1. Turned out really well! The family lived it thanks!

  2. Made this for my boyfriend and I tonight and omg! Soooo delish! Was a little worried when the sauce wasn’t thickening up but after adding the parmesan and mixing it with the pasta, it all came together nicely. Added in some chicken breast and mushrooms! So satisfying, so simple and so much healthier than traditional alfredo recipes!

  3. Great recipe – and just as decadent as ‘real’ alfredo (as long as you have fresh pepper & good parm!!)
    I’ve sometimes used only chicken stock, when I’ve discovered that I have no milk or cream, and it’s still really satisfying!

  4. Would it be ok to sub the milk for almond milk?

  5. Absolutely delicious–creamy and flavorful. I split the tablespoon of fat into 1/2 evoo and 1/2 butter and didn’t add any additional salt to the sauce because I figured the cheese and chicken stock had a decent amount of salt and that I could add it after if needed–i didn’t think it needed the 1/2 tsp of salt, so I added the same amount of nutmeg. 
    The sauce turned out very well, and I served it atop zucchini noodles and steamed broccoli, with a Parmesan and parsley garnish. Thanks for the recipe! 

    • Thanks for sharing, Jacklyn — we’re so happy you enjoyed this, and we bet it was delicious over the zucchini noodles (great idea)! :)

  6. I just made this and it was amazing!, I used soy milk, added squares of ham and left the garlic out!.. turned out amazing!!

  7. Made this for dinner tonight with some cheese tortellini w/spinach, cherry tomatoes and a bit of grilled chicken. Every one LOVED it! The best thing is that I always have the ingredients on hand! Thank you.

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  9. Delish!  Super easy and fast!  Made the gluten free version and added some pesto!

    • Thanks, Kris — we’re so glad you enjoyed it and we bet the pesto was a fantastic addition! :)

  10. always turns out delicious. fast and easy to make. thank you :)

  11. This was awesome!!! I added lump crab meat and red pepper flakes. So delicious!!!!

  12. Hello! I love this recipe. Whenever I put the flour in, it gets chunky and I can’t ever get rid of all the chunks. Any suggestions? 

    • We’re glad to hear that, Susan! As for the chunks, have you been whisking the flour in? That’s the best way to break up those chunks. You also want to make sure you’re cooking the roux long enough (it should look like a paste), and have more of a golden color to it. That should help keep it smooth. We hope this is helpful!

  13. I didnt take any pics because I had a hungry audience, but i combined the skinny shrimp scampi ( i added chicken because i had a leftover breast needing a meal to call home) and it turned out amazing! I do not know how to cook, but ever since I found your blog I have been cooking meals at home, and it is easy, fun, and everyone wants to know how I did it- your ravioli lasagna has become my niece’s favorite dish, she is 6 and she already knows how to make it when I’m not around! I will definitely be making this again, thank you so much for what you do, I actually feel somewhat confident for the first time in the kitchen- or even the grocery store- i even have a little collection of spices now, thanx again, I’ll be sure to snap photos next time

  14. It was very good made it for lunch just now getting finished😍😇

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  16. This was delicious! I had no chicken broth on hand so I used a small can of condensed cream of chicken soup and the result was extra thick and creamy. I would definitely make it again!

  17. This has become a staple recipe with my family! I add onion in with the garlic, saute chicken (and if I am feeling naughty I will add crumbled bacon). It is great on its own, and great with the mentioned additions!

    We love alfredo and it’s so great to have a recipe that makes us feel less guilty about loving it!


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  19. It was easy and so tasty.  I added chunks of blue crab.  My husband and I loved it!

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  21. Made this today & yum! So good! Thank you for sharing!:)

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  23. I dont have any chicken broth or heavy cream, is there anything i could use to substitute those ingredients?

    • You could use vegetable broth, and this actually calls for milk, not heavy cream, so as long as you have that, then you should be good. We hope you enjoy!

  24. How much fat is in this? I am pregnant and DYING for my favorite dish, but I have a gallbladder full of stones :(

    As long as I keep my portions small and under 5g of fat, I don’t experience any pain :)

    • Hi Kimberly! First of all, congrats on your pregnancy! Secondly, we’re sorry about your gallstones (not fun)! :( Unfortunately though, we aren’t sure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  25. I was excited to find a skinny version of this dish, because I have a son who loves it but needs healthier. He ended up eating just garlic bread for dinner. He wolfed down a plate full of fettuccine with cauliflower sauce (and he hasn’t eaten vegetables for 12 years), but couldn’t even tolerate one bite of this. It’s not creamy, it’s sticky; and yes, I cooked to directions. I ate the shrimp I added. Will NOT make this again. 

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  27. Made this for the first time tonight- yummy! I think next time I’ll reserve a little pasta water for the sauce because it got a touch sticky as it cooled but we wolfed this down. Also cut up some rotisserie chicken for extra protein and it worked perfectly. We will eat this again for sure.

  28. very good. family really liked it

  29. This is legit one of the best things I have ever eaten, and it was SO EASY. I have always thought alfredo sauce would be a ton of work and was intimidated to try at home – until now!

    I used my homemade veggie broth and plenty of pepper – out of this world!! SO MUCH FLAVOR! Way better than any restaurant sauce! I really liked that I could taste the broth; it was a really delicious – and surprising – addition to the profile.

    I think I used too much cheese (I didn’t know this could be a thing), because it was SUPER thick, but I thinned it with stock and all was well. I am eager to try the GF version (I had some roux issues and had to run the sauce through a fine mesh sieve – nbd), and I might even forego thickener completely in further experiments.

    Thank you!!!

    • Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Amanda! We’re thrilled to know you love this recipe!

  30. Only had rigatoni on hand, said the want to go out 
    cause it’s cold here today. Added some diced up chicken sausage, otherwise I filled the recipe. It was 
    fantastic !

    • We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Chris, and we bet the chicken sausage was a yummy addition!

  31. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not much of a cook. I can follow directions on recipes pretty well, and that’s about it. :P
    I made this, and it doesn’t look like the picture at all. Mine came out a brownish color, and tasted like chicken stock with a hint of cheesiness to it. What did I do wrong? I followed all the steps. I saw that the ingredients say stock, but when I printed it out, it said chicken broth. Should I have used broth vs stock?

    • Ah, sorry to hear that. Different kinds of stock definitely make a difference in this recipe — some have stronger flavors, some more mild, some with different ingredients highlighted. I usually use Trader Joe’s or Kitchen Basics stock in this recipe, and have good success with both. Maybe try more milk vs. stock the next time?

      And feel free to use either stock or broth. :)

  32. Do you think this could be made without the garlic? If so would I need to substitute it with something? Thanks. Can’t wait to try this!

    • Hi Holly! We wouldn’t recommend making it without the garlic (you could reduce it though). If you hate garlic though, you could try replacing it with another herb seasoning you like. You could use some onion powder, or you could try some hot sauce. The garlic really gives it the best flavor though.

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  34. I have made this three times. The numbers (calories, sodium, fat) are very reasonable, especially compared to standard recipe made with cream. My family loves it. ProTip: don’t undercook the flour, don’t burn it.

    Rating: 5