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This Healthy Chicken Alfredo is a creamy and craveable dinner that showcases pan-seared chicken breasts and al dente noodles tossed in a veggie-loaded homemade alfredo sauce. It’s the lightened-up version of classic fettuccine alfredo!
If you’re looking for an irresistible dinner with a ton of rich and comforting flavors, a fantastic option is always going to be chicken fettuccine alfredo. Fettuccine noodles are tossed in a cream-laden alfredo sauce, then topped with chicken. It’s easy, delicious and quite rich.
Not my Healthy Chicken Alfredo recipe, though. Think of it as the lightened-up version of traditional fettuccine alfredo; It has all of the rich and decadent flavors of the crave-worthy classic, but a fraction of the calories and fat.
The healthy qualities in this chicken alfredo are all thanks to the almond milk-based garlicky alfredo sauce that’s thickened with creamy cauliflower. You get to skip the heavy cream without sacrificing flavor! All-in-all, this is an easy 30-minute meal that’s healthy enough to make multiple times a week.
- Even without the heavy cream, this recipe is just as savory, creamy, and comforting as restaurant fettuccine alfredo.
- The noodles and chicken are coated in my healthy alfredo sauce that’s enhanced with pureed cauliflower. This way, every bite is given a boost of extra nutrients!
- It’s an easy 30-minute weeknight family dinner that everyone will love.
Alfredo sauce - What makes this pasta dinner so special is that it’s made with my 5-minute healthy alfredo sauce. Unlike traditional alfredo sauce, it skips the cream and uses almond milk instead. The result is a lighter version of the classic sauce that’s just as creamy and indulgent.
Cauliflower - Pureed cauliflower helps thicken the sauce and gives the dish a boost of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. You can boil or steam the cauliflower, but roasting intensifies its naturally sweet and nutty flavors. Check out this curry roasted cauliflower recipe for roasting instructions but omit the lemon and spices.
Milk - Blending the cooked cauliflower with milk makes it extra smooth and creamy. You can use regular or unsweetened dairy-free milk, like almond, oat, or soy.
Chicken breast - I used chicken breasts, but boneless chicken thighs also work. The chicken is seared before it’s added to the pasta but if you have leftover cooked chicken already in your fridge, go ahead and use that instead.
Pasta - Fettuccine noodles are the best noodles for chicken alfredo because their long, wide, and flat shape scoops up the sauce with ease. If you don’t have fettuccine, use linguine, tagliatelle, and pappardelle instead. Gluten free pasta works, too!
Step 1: Make the alfredo sauce. If you haven’t already, make my healthy alfredo sauce and season it to taste with garlic powder and black pepper.
Step 2: Thicken the alfredo sauce. Cook the cauliflower until soft, then add it to a blender with the milk. Blend until smooth. Transfer the cauliflower puree to the alfredo sauce and whisk until combined.
Step 3: Sear the chicken breasts. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, sear the chicken on both sides until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. Set it aside.
Step 4: Cook the pasta. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Reserve some of the water, then drain the noodles.
Step 5: Combine the garlic, pasta, and sauce. Heat some more oil in the now empty skillet, then add the garlic and cook until it’s fragrant. Add the pasta, alfredo sauce, and reserved pasta water (if the sauce is too thick), then toss to combine.
Step 6: Add the chicken, then serve. Nestle the chicken into the skillet with the pasta, sprinkle fresh parsley over the top, and enjoy!
Tips and FAQs
- Cook the pasta until al dente. The noodles should have a slight bite by the time they’re done boiling. If overcooked or soggy, they may not hold up as well under the weight of the sauce.
- Reserved pasta water is like liquid gold! Adding a splash or the full amount will thin out the sauce and help it stick to the noodles.
- Don’t forget the garnish. This healthy chicken alfredo is excellent as is, but topping it with fresh parsley, shredded parmesan, and a pinch of red pepper flakes takes it over the top.
- My alfredo sauce comes with a ton of other uses. Try it with my Cajun shrimp alfredo, baked shrimp alfredo, and chicken broccoli ziti. It’s even good on pizza!
Can it be made low carb?
What goes well with chicken alfredo pasta?
The beauty of this lightened-up fettuccine alfredo is the countless ways you can make it your own. Here are a few delicious variations to get you started:
- Stir in some veggies - Like cooked asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, shallots, peas, spinach, and sweet bell peppers.
- Make blackened chicken alfredo - To kick things up a notch, generously season the chicken with Cajun, Creole, or blackened seasoning before searing it in a sizzling hot skillet.
- Switch up the protein - Instead of chicken breast, top the creamy pasta with slices of steak, steak bites, juicy shrimp, Cajun salmon, or crab meat.
Make ahead: Save time by making the sauce 2 to 3 days in advance. You can also cook the chicken 1 to 2 days ahead of serving or by using the leftovers from a whole chicken, air fryer chicken, or grilled chicken.
To assemble, cook the pasta, then toss it with the premade sauce and chicken in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through.
Refrigerator: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
Reheating: Warm the leftovers in a skillet over medium heat. If the sauce is too thick, add a splash of chicken broth or milk to help loosen it up.
More family-friendly pasta recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Healthy Chicken Alfredo
- Healthy Alfredo Sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- black pepper to taste
- 1 cup cooked cauliflower
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 lb chicken breast (see notes)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoon olive oil divided
- 8 oz fettuccine pasta cooked; reserve ¼ cup salted pasta water
- 2 garlic cloves
- fresh parsley for garnish
- Optional: shredded parmesan cheese and/or red pepper flakes
- If you haven’t already, make the healthy alfredo sauce, then add an additional 1 teaspoon of garlic powder to the pot, along with black pepper to taste.
- Cook the cauliflower until soft, then transfer it to a small blender with the milk and blend until smooth. Pour the cauliflower mash into the alfredo sauce and whisk until combined.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep skillet, then place the chicken smooth-side down and cook for 5 minutes. Flip the chicken over and cook for 4-6 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165. Remove the chicken and set it aside.
- While the chicken is cooking, bring a pot of salted water to a boil then cook the pasta. Reserve ¼ cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta.
- Add the remaining oil to the skillet the chicken was in, then add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the pasta to the skillet, then pour in the alfredo sauce and use tongs to toss. Nestle the chicken into the pasta, sprinkle with fresh parsley and enjoy!