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Lightened Up Alfredo

So I think you guys have pretty much got it by now, if I am going to cheat (on my diet, not my husband) it’s going to be with pasta. I’d like to blame it on my Italian mother but, let’s be honest, it’s just the pasta’s fault for tasting like a freaking dream. And this Lightened Up Alfredo is a dream — just not a heavy one.

Speaking of tasting like a dream, can we talk alfredo sauce for a minute? Good Lawd that stuff is gooood but I don’t know about you guys but after I eat I feel. like. crap. If you are in the same boat as me I’ll tell you why it hurts– it’s because it’s filled with heavy cream, a ton of butter, and has absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever. I’ve made a much lighter, pain-free version of alfredo in my kitchen that my kids and I just love. I’m not saying this Lightened Up Alfredo is packed full of nutrients, you’ll find that I still use butter and milk in my recipe, however, it’s a helluva lot better than the real deal and it tastes fantastic too!

So, for all you alfredo lovers out there that want to lighten it up a bit, this one is for you. And for all you mommas out there, I add steamed broccoli and carrots to mine and my kids love it! And for an even easier recipe — for you or the kids — try my One-Pot Penne Alfredo!Lightened Up Alfredo

Lightened Up Alfredo
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
  1. 1 box pasta (try using Jovial Gluten Free Brown Rice Pasta!)
  2. 2 tbsp. butter
  3. 2 tbsp. unbleached, all purpose flour
  4. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1 1/2 cups 1% milk
  7. kosher salt, to taste
  8. black pepper, to taste
  9. 1/2 cup - 1 cup of reserved pasta water (see below)
  10. 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  11. Parsley, for serving
  12. Grated parmesan, for serving (optional)
  13. crushed red pepper, for serving (optional)
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the box of pasta and a large pinch of salt once boiling and cook according to package instructions BUT before draining the pasta, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water from the pot in a bowl. Set aside and drain the pasta from the remaining water. Set the pasta in a large bowl and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and season with a little kosher salt, Toss to coat so it doesn't all stick together!
  2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat with olive oil and the butter. When the butter has melted add in the minced garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, being careful not to burn.
  3. Add in the flour and whisk until the flour is combined with the butter and no longer has clumps in it.
  4. Pour in the milk and whisk, bring to a simmer and let simmer (whisking often) until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
  5. Add in the shredded parmesan cheese and season generously with kosher salt, and a little black pepper (you can add crushed red pepper flakes too for some heat).
  6. Now, it's your time to decide what type of consistency you want your sauce by adding a little of the pasta water to thin it out (you don't even have to if you don't want to but pasta water will thin out your sauce yet still leave it nice and creamy). Start by adding 1/2 cup and see what you think, then slowly add a little more if you like a thinner sauce. Your call!
  7. When the sauce is where you want it, and the cheese inside is melted nicely, pour over the pasta and toss to coat. Add some freshly chopped parsley for garnish, serve and enjoy!
The Defined Dish

Welcome! I’m Alex.

I’m a food lover sharing healthy, simple, delicious, recipes from my kitchen to yours. Here you’ll find lots of Whole30, lots of healthy, and a little indulgence here and there because…it’s all about balance y’all!

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  1. This looks so delicious, my mouth is watering, haha! I’d love to try it!
    I found you on your Whole30 recipes IG takeover, and I absolutely love your blog and your recipes, keep up the good job Alex!
    Much love from Chile 🙂

    1. Hi from Texas, Valentina!! Thanks for your sweet note, I am so glad you enjoy my site! I really enjoy doing it. 🙂

  2. Hey Alex! How much flour does the recipe call for? Not mentioned in the ingredients list. Thanks!

  3. Can’t wait to try this for my kids (and myself) I didn’t see in the ingredients list flour and/or how much but the instructions mentioned flour…