This secretly healthy Alfredo sauce is irresistibly creamy and rich, without any heavy cream or butter. Ready in under 20 minutes, it’s lightened up with low-fat cream cheese, parmesan, and skim milk—making it the perfect quick and easy weeknight dinner!
Best health alfredo sauce recipe
I’m thrilled to share this healthy Alfredo recipe with you all! If you enjoyed my healthy penne alla vodka, you’ll love this one too.
This lightened-up Alfredo sauce is unbelievably rich, creamy, and cheesy—without the heavy cream or butter! It’s a simple blend of parmesan cheese, skim milk, fresh garlic, low-fat cream cheese, salt, and pepper.
You might be skeptical about the cream cheese but trust me, you can’t taste it, and it’s a perfect heavy cream replacement. Plus, it’s high in protein!
In just 15 minutes, you can whip up this perfect recipe for weeknight dinners, date nights, family gatherings, or meal prep. It’s easy to make, even for beginners. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
Why you’ll love this healthy recipe:
- The Real Deal: This sauce tastes like the “real deal,” it’s that good. You can’t tell it’s lightened up.
- High-Protein: This recipe is made with low-fat cream cheese, making it higher in protein compared to classic recipes.
- Healthy: This recipe is way lighter than classic ones and has a fourth of the calories.
- Kid-Approved: Everyone will love this recipe (you can’t tell it’s healthier).
- So Creamy: Get that creamy Alfredo fix without the calorie overload, thanks to skim milk and low-fat cream cheese.
- No Heavy Cream: It’s the classic Parmesan and garlic goodness, but it lightened up and not heavy.
- Gluten-Free Friendly: Enjoy this delicious plate of creamy pasta with gluten-free pasta!
- Try this creamy lemon caper pasta and healthy chicken penne alla vodka next!
You only need seven ingredients to make this rich, creamy, healthy alfredo sauce. It’s made with skim milk, parmesan, low-fat cream cheese, garlic, cornstarch, olive oil, and seasonings. Here is a list of everything you need so you are prepared:
- Olive Oil: Adds a rich flavor and helps sauté the garlic. You can also use avocado oil.
- Garlic: Use freshly minced garlic for the best flavor!
- Cornstarch: This acts as a thickening agent to help the sauce achieve that creamy consistency without flour. You can also use arrowroot starch or tapioca flour if you’re gluten-free.
- Skim Milk: This is the best lighter choice compared to heavy cream and whole milk. It maintains the sauce’s richness without the added calories.
- Low-Fat Cream Cheese: This is my go-to for turning Alfredo into a creamy (healthy) dream. It replaces heavy cream and reduces calories.
- Sat & Pepper: Essential for seasoning.
- Parmesan Cheese: Adds a classic cheesy flavor; a small amount goes a long way in elevating the sauce’s richness.
Kitchen tools needed
Here is a quick list of kitchen utensils you’ll need to make this 20-minute healthy alfredo recipe:
- Wooden Spoon + Whisk
- Cutting board + Chef’s knife
- Measuring cups and spoons
How to make healthy alfredo sauce
This healthy alfredo sauce comes together in under 20 minutes. It’s an easy weeknight dinner and meal prep recipe everyone will love. Here are detailed step-by-step instructions with pictures for visual reference so any level cook can make them; scroll to the bottom of this post for the full recipe and ingredient measurements.
First, boil a pot of water with salt and cook your favorite pasta noodles according to package instructions.
Drizzle olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add minced garlic. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the garlic becomes fragrant and starts to turn golden.
Slowly pour in the milk and sprinkle cornstarch over it. Lightly whisk the cornstarch into the milk, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens.
Then, whisk in the cream cheese until it “melts.”
Stir in the grated Parmesan, salt, and black pepper until the Parmesan cheese is fully melted. Taste and adjust any seasonings.
Once the noodles are cooked, add them to the creamy sauce and stir to combine. Garnish with some fresh parsley, and enjoy your healthy alfredo pasta!
Expert recipe tips:
- Fresh Parmesan: For the best flavor, use freshly grated Parmesan cheese (from a block of REAL Parmigiano Reggiano). Pre-grated options often contain anti-caking agents, which can affect the sauce’s texture.
- Add More Protein: Add 11 – 15 grams of extra protein per serving of protein or chickpea pasta.
- Don’t Overheat: Avoid boiling the sauce once the cream cheese and Parmesan are added to prevent curdling. Keep the heat at a gentle simmer.
- Get Creative: Feel free to add cooked chicken, shrimp, or veggies to complete the meal. The versatility of the sauce allows for endless possibilities.
- Make it Vegan: Use vegan cream cheese and a plant-based parmesan blend.
Why this alfredo sauce is healthy:
This Alfredo sauce recipe is considered healthier than traditional versions for several reasons:
- No Heavy Cream: This recipe is made with low-fat cream cheese and skim milk. No heavy cream!
- High Protein: This sauce on its own has 10 grams of protein per serving. If you add chickpea pasta or protein plus pasta, each serving will contain over 22 grams of protein.
- Low Calories: This alfredo sauce contains 183 calories per serving, one-fourth of the typical recipes.
- Gluten-Free Options: You. You can use any gluten-free pasta – that’s the beauty of this recipe. Plus, there is no flour in it.
Easy ingredient substitutions:
- Cream Cheese: You can use blended cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, or regular cream cheese instead.
- Fresh Garlic: Minced garlic paste or garlic powder can replace fresh minced garlic.
- Cornstarch: Arrowroot starch or tapioca flour can be used instead of cornstarch.
- Skim Milk: Unsweetened almond milk, 2% milk, whole milk, or a dairy-free alternative can substitute for skim milk.
- Noodles: Any pasta can be used instead of specific noodles. You can also use chickpea, gluten-free, protein, brown rice, or black bean pasta.
- Fresh Parmesan: Pre-grated Parmesan cheese or Parmesan cheese powder can be used instead of grating fresh Parmesan.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Alfredo sauce?
Alfredo sauce is a creamy Italian pasta sauce made with butter, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese. It’s known for its rich and indulgent flavor, typically served with fettuccine pasta. This recipe lightens up classic versions, while still holding the same flavor profile.
Is Alfredo sauce good for you?
Classic Alfredo sauce recipes are not considered healthy since they typically include lots of butter, heavy cream, and cheese, making them high in calories and fat. However, this version lightens things up by using light cream cheese and skim milk, making it a healthier option!
Can I use a different type of milk other than skim milk?
Certainly! Feel free to use any milk you like—whole milk, 2%, or plant-based alternatives work well in this recipe. You can also use half skim milk and half chicken broth to lighten this sauce up further.
What’s a good substitute for cornstarch?
Arrowroot starch and tapioca flour are excellent substitutes for cornstarch in this recipe. Both work well as thickening agents and are gluten-free alternatives.
What’s the best pasta to serve with Alfredo sauce?
Fettuccine is classic, but you can use any pasta you like – linguine, tagliatelle, or even penne work well with Alfredo sauce. It’s all about your preference!
Is this recipe gluten-free?
You can make this alfredo sauce 100% gluten-free by using gluten-free starch and pasta alternatives.
What to serve with this healthy alfredo sauce:
Serve this healthy Alfredo sauce over your favorite pasta, whether it’s whole wheat, gluten-free, chickpea, or traditional. We love pairing it with grilled or roasted vegetables (try this air fryer broccoli & cauliflower) or a salad (try this cucumber carrot salad) for added freshness and nutrition. For a complete meal, add grilled chicken, shrimp, salmon, steak, tofu, or sautéed mushrooms. My favorites are these oven-baked shrimp skewers and this juicy Greek yogurt chicken.
How to store and reheat Alfredo pasta:
Storing: Refrigerate any leftover Alfredo pasta in an airtight container. Ensure it’s properly sealed to prevent the sauce from drying out. Consume within 2-3 days for the best quality.
Reheating: To reheat Alfredo pasta, gently warm it on the stovetop over low to medium heat. Add a splash of milk or broth to maintain creaminess. Alternatively, use a microwave, reheating in short intervals and stirring to distribute heat evenly. Adjust the consistency with a bit of liquid if needed.
If you loved this recipe, try these ones next!
- Healthy Mac and Cheese
- Zucchini Turkey Meatballs
- Chicken Bolognese
- Creamy Lemon Caper Pasta
- Healthy Chicken Penne Alla Vodka
- Sweet Potato Gnocchi Recipe
- Tuna Pesto Pasta
- Chicken and Broccoli Lasagna
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Healthy Alfredo Sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp cornstarch, you can also use arrowroot starch or tapioca flour
- 1 ¼ cups skim milk, or unsweetened almond milk
- 4 oz (½ cup) low-fat cream cheese, also called Neufchatel cream cheese
- ½ tsp salt, more to taste
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 12 oz favorite pasta noodles, fettuccine, spaghetti, ribbon are the best
- Boil a pot of water with salt and cook your favorite pasta noodles according to package instructions.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, drizzle olive oil and add minced garlic. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the garlic becomes fragrant and just starts to turn golden.
- Slowly pour in the milk and sprinkle cornstarch over it. Lightly whisk the cornstarch into the milk, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens.
- Whisk in the cream cheese until "melted."
- Stir in the grated Parmesan, salt, and black pepper until the Parmesan cheese is fully melted.
- Once the noodles are cooked, add them to the creamy sauce and stir to combine. Garnish with some fresh parsley and enjoy!
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