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 Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe | 1-Minute Video

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.


5 / 5 (34 Reviews)
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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)


  1. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions, in generously-salted water.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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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636 comments on “Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo”

  1. How many calories are in this recipe? I can’t seem to find it using my phone.  Thanks in advance

    • Hi Jackie! We’re sorry but we are unsure 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!

  2. This was so good! Tasted no different from than a version with heavy cream. I added some grilled chicken and everything was amazing! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. I do this too.  May I recommend to kick it up just a notch and make it seem so much classier.  A squeeze of lemon and a dash of nutmeg.  

  5. Got inspired and decided to cook this for my parents. I just used milk and then tossed some frozen greens in there as well and it was absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing.

    • Those greens sound awesome Maya — good thinking! We’re glad you and your parents enjoyed this! :)

  6. This sauce is awesome! Do you know if it will feeze well?

    • Hi Heather! Unfortunately this doesn’t freeze very well due to the high amount of dairy (it tends to separate once frozen).

  7. I have made this several times and it never disappoints!!  It is creamy and delicious!  My 5 and 2 year old grandsons love it too!!  This is a recipe that I will  use regularly!

    • We’re so happy to hear that Tracy — thanks for sharing with us! :)

  8. Wow!! This was so good! It was very easy to follow the steps and it turned out so delicious!! I was so happy to find a leaner version of Alfredo. My husband and I demolished it and I can’t wait to have left overs tomorrow. 

  9. Hi! I’m from Indonesia. Cream is kinda difficult (not to mention expensive too!)  to find here in my country so when I came across your recipe without having to use one, I was so overjoyed! Tested the recipe and it turned out quite delicious. Definitely a keeper! Thanks so much :) 

    • Thank you Sisi — we’re so happy you enjoyed this! We appreciate you giving the recipe a try! :)

  10. Hi Haley,

    How many does the above recipe serve…? I’m looking forward to trying this. Thanks for sharing!! :-)

  11. I don’t have parmesan cheese on hand.  Can I use regular cheese (mozarella or cheddar)?  Thanks!

    • Hi Mel! Unfortunately parmesan is the main ingredient that makes alfredo. You could certainly use cheddar (we wouldn’t use mozzarella), but it’s not going to have the same taste.

  12. This was brilliant – substituted the pasta for spiralized Celeriac – outstanding!!!!  Thank you!

  13. Amazing recipe! I didn’t have all the needed ingredients so I tweaked it a little (didn’t add chicken stock and used almond milk instead of regular milk) and it still tasted great! Thank you for this!

    • Thanks Maggie! We’re happy you enjoyed this, and that’s great to know the almond milk worked out well! :)

  14. What about subbing the flour? Coconut? Brown rice?

    • Hi Stephanie! We would actually opt for cornstarch or arrowroot powder instead, if you’re looking to sub the flour. We hope you enjoy this!

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  16. Hi,

    Do you have the macros for this recipe?


    • Hi Mecan! Unfortunately 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!

  17. I’ve been looking for a skinny Alfredo sauce.  Thanks so much. it’s delish!

  18. i was thinking add canned salmon to the sauce? i love crab Alfredo but all i have is canned salmon and tuna…i personally do think adding salmon will be a great touch. i also am planning on adding 1 roasted red pepper to the sauce also. i can not wait to try it. i am a sucker for a alfredo sauce but since i am trying to watch my waste line, i thought i had to cut it out completely. 

    i will be using whole wheat penne pasta. i am so excited for tomorrow night to try this!

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  22. Hi – could I replace the flour for the same amount of cornstarch to make this gluten free?

    • Yes, definitely, but instead of making a roux like you would with the butter and flour, you’ll make a “slurry” with cornstarch and stock/water. Sauté the garlic and then take the 1 cup of stock, pour into a medium bowl and whisk in cornstarch until smooth (you’ll need 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch for this amount of liquid). Then add that mixture to the pan with the garlic. We hope you enjoy! :)

  23. I’ve made this several times and it’s a hit every time! I love that it’s a lighter version. All the goodness without the guilt!

  24. Hi :) can i use chicken broth instead of chicken stock?

  25. I made this and used three cheese noodles. I did add salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and oregano to the sauce and whisked it in with the cheese I melted in. It was amazing with garlic knots too.

    This made an amazing night with fewer calories.. everybody loved it and then happily enjoyed dessert too with less guilt.

    • Thanks for sharing Sarah – we’re so glad to hear you and your family enjoyed this! :)

  26. The only kind I’ll make now! Thanks a ton!

  27. Hi! Curious if I could put the sauce in a jar and refrigerate to add to fresh pasta through the week. Do you think it would hold
    Up? If do how long? 

    • Hi Savannah! Yes of course, that would be just fine! We’d say it would probably last 5-7 days.

  28. Yum! I’m making this tonight and adding in sautéed shrimp, and fresh tomato, spinach, & broccoli! :)

    • Those all sound like super delicious additions Angie! We hope you enjoy! :)

  29. It looks so good. I am definitely going to try this one but I would rather add chicken or shrimp for extra flavor.

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  31. Used unsweetened almond milk instead… Super easy and super yummy! This is a keeper.

  32. How many calories would you estimate if using almond milk instead of low fat milk? I’ll be making this amazing Alfredo for the 2nd time. Planned on making this with chicken this week and saw another post about it.

    • Hi Odie! We’re sorry but we are unsure 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, and that you enjoy this! :)

  33. I’ll tell you a secret…my 6 & 11 yo boys think this is my recipe ;-) They love the skinny alfredo sauce over all restaurants’. I get requests to make this every week, even my vegetarian 7 yo niece loves it! Luckily, it’s quick and easy so I do make it quite often. I tweaked it a little by adding either a cup or two of parmesan cheese, no salt or pepper, I also add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed and any (I mean any like roasted, grilled, KFC, etc.) leftover chicken (chopped up) and it’s a meal with side of veggies. Yum. Thanks for the recipe!

  34. I love garlic, but I felt the 4 cloves were a little overpowering.  Trying to temper it with freshly shredded mozzarella. Any other suggestions?

    • Oh no, we’re sorry to hear that Ana! You could try adding more cheese for sure, and also some chicken broth and/or milk. We hope that helps!

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  37. SO GOOD!! Tasted like the fattier version. I got so excited about this recipie I made ot during breakfast so I could have it ready to go post-gym for lunch. Yowza! I’m gonna add chicken too. Absolutely scrumptious.

  38. Did you mean chicken stock (as referenced in Ingredients list) or broth (as referenced in directions)? I used chicken stock and almond milk in my sauce and it tastes amazing but is a light brown rather than white.

    • Hi Kaitey! You can use either one — both work great! As for the color, it sounds like the roux may have burned or cooked a little too long (it would explain the brownish color).

  39. This is SO good! WOW Yumm

  40. I love this recipe, but my sauce came out very watery. What did I do wrong? Any suggestions?

    • Oh no, we’re sorry to hear that Gaby! We’re not sure what could have gone wrong if you made the roux (that is what thickens the sauce). It sounds like maybe it just needed to cook a little longer to thicken more.

  41. The recipe calls for 3 tbsp of flour. I definitely do not recommend the flour, not that much at least. It made the texture weird; the sauce way too thick; and I could still taste the flour. I’ll try to alternate the recipe the next time I make it.

  42. Found this recipe a while back, and it’s become a staple in our house.  Relatively quick and easy, and uses ingredients I always have on hand.  I’ve added shrimp, leftover chicken, ham and or peas.  I have sometimes struggled with the flour not getting completely incorporated, despite trying different techniques.  I may just try adding less.  Definitely a keeper!

  43. I would love to try this recipe as there’s no cream in it which is good as I can’t have cream ,I can’t have butter either only dairy free butter 

  44. Hi.
    I love your site–so elegant, love your creativity with food, so, of course, I love your recipes! THANK YOU!!

    I usually find your instructions crisp and clear; however, in this recipe I got a bit confused by the following, a double ‘al dente’:
    Cook pasta al dente according to package directions, in generously salted water.
    Meanwhile, …
    Slowly add chicken broth, … … Reduce heat to medium-low until pasta reaches al dente.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to share your delicious recipes with us all.

  45. Make this for the kids all the time and they love helping. Great recipe!

  46. This is not a no fat alfredo recipe!!!!

    • You’re right Leslie, it is not! That’s why we were clear to specify it’s just a lightened-up version. While this is not a guilt-free recipe, it’s significantly lower in calories than traditional alfredo. We hope you enjoy this if you give it a try! :)

  47. Is there a cheap alternative for parmesan cheese?

    • Hello Eman! Hmmm, not that we’re aware of, however, you can buy a smaller block or container of it and the price is cheaper at certain stores (like Aldi). We hope this helps!

  48. This sauce is sooooo tasty! I don’t even miss the cream and butter. I did use whole milk because that’s what I had on hand for my toddler, but that doesn’t make too big a caloric dent for just one cup in the whole recipe. I mixed in a bag of baby spinach, and a bag each of (nuked) frozen broccoli and frozen peas. Delicious, healthy, and my picky husband ate it too!

  49. Hello! Just came across this recipe on Pinterest. I so want to try it right now. But I have just ONE problem. I do not have Parmesan cheese on hand. Can I replace it with cheddar?! How much will this swap affect the taste?!

    • Hi Ifrah! Unfortunately we would advise you to make it when you’re able to get some parmesan, as that’s one of the main flavors in this dish. We love cheddar cheese, but it will be really different with cheddar instead of parmesan, and won’t taste like an alfredo sauce.

  50. So easy to make! I didn’t have cream cheese. So i opted for this recipe. No regrets! Very easy to make & tastes just like alfredo sauce! Healthier & less ingredients. This is a better option, same consistency too!!! Loove, will continue to use this recipe.