Lighter Blackened Chicken Alfredo

I used to always shy away from alfredo sauces. Even though I’m not usually a calorie counter, I just couldn’t bring myself to choose the fatty, rich alfredo when I enjoy a healthier tomato-based sauce just as much. However, a few months ago I came across a “lightened up” version of alfredo in Food Network Magazine and I couldn’t resist.

Now I’ve modified this from their version so I can’t be sure on the exact cal counts, but by using skim milk, low fat cream cheese and tangy parmesan (which is naturally a lower fat cheese), you significantly reduce calories and fat without sacrificing the luxurious alfredo texture or flavor. Pair it with some spicy blackened chicken and you won’t go back to the standard version.

“Lighter” Pasta Alfredo
adapted from Food Network Magazine
2 Tbsp butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp flour
2 oz reduced fat cream cheese
3/4 C skim milk
1/4 C half and half
2/3 C parmesan cheese, finely shredded
freshly cracked black pepper
1 box pasta

Add water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add pasta of your choice, along with a generous sprinkle of salt, and cook pasta according to box instructions to al dente.

In a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and saute lightly. Next, whisk in flour. Slice cream cheese into small chunks and add to pan. Add liquids and continue whisking until cream cheese is whisked smooth. Whisk in parmesan cheese and reduce heat. Let cheese continue melting and thickening slightly while you finish your pasta and chicken. Finish with a sprinkle of freshly cracked pepper.

Blackened Chicken Tenderloins
slightly adapted from This Week for Dinner
1 lb chicken tenderloins
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper

Combine spices in a shallow bowl. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a grill pan over medium-high heat. Dip tenderloins in spices, lightly coating and transfer to your pan. Sear on the first side for 4-5 minutes. Use a tongs to flip and sear on the other side for another 4-5 minutes. Use a meat thermometer or slice one piece of chicken in its thickest part to check doneness. If chicken is not fully cooked through, reduce heat slightly and continue cooking for another few minutes.

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3 Comments

Filed under Main Dish

3 responses to “Lighter Blackened Chicken Alfredo

  1. Andrea

    I could have written that first paragraph about alfredo sauce. Those are my thoughts, exactly. This recipe looks great, can’t wait to try it! Thanks!

  2. mmmm i like that this is a lighter recipe! xoxo jillian:: cornflake dreams

  3. I’m with you, I don’t love alfredo so I usually avoid it because I’d rather save my calorie intake for something better, like dessert. But I will admit, with the blackened chicken and knowing this isn’t a complete splurge, it looks pretty amazing! Will have to give this a try, I know my husband would be thrilled!

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