Home > Dinner > Chicken Alfredo Chicken Alfredo July 1, 2020 | 10 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. Chicken Alfredo combines tender bowtie noodles, succulent seasoned chicken, and the most amazing (lightened-up!) Alfredo sauce. We swap a few ingredients to bring you all the Alfredo flavors you know and love, with a fraction of the calories! Chicken Alfredo There are few dishes more comforting to me than a big plate of Chicken Alfredo. And when the comfort food cravings hit, this is the dish I prepare. Since comfort food cravings hit frequently, it’s great to have a lightened-up Chicken Alfredo recipe, which is what I’m sharing today. We swap a few ingredients in the sauce to lighten it up a bit without sacrificing flavors. While a typical Alfredo sauce can have loads more butter, cream cheese, and heavy cream, we replace all of those ingredients for lighter alternatives. Trust me, you won’t miss them! QUICK TIP How did Chicken Alfredo get its name? The dish is named after an Italian chef named Alfredo Di Lelio, who featured the dish at his restaurant in Rome in the early 1900s. He prepared the dish tableside with dramatic flair and it became quite popular. Alfredo really took off, so the legend goes, when silent-film stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks enjoyed it while on their honeymoon in Rome, around 1927. They turned it into their family signature dish and served it often at parties. And admit it: Alfredo sauce sounds a lot better than calling it Al’s famous chicken! Lightened Alfredo sauce ingredients Olive oil and butter: Just a little of each gets the sauce started and sautés the garlic. If you’d really prefer to shy away from the butter, add 1 additional tablespoon olive oil. Minced garlic: Freshly minced garlic lends maximum flavor, but jarred garlic works in a pinch. Flour: This ingredient thickens up the sauce. Chicken broth: Instead of using heavy cream, we substitute milk and chicken broth; this cuts tons of calories and infuses the sauce with additional flavor that complements the sautéed chicken nicely. Low-fat milk: The lowest-fat milk I found to work in this sauce is 1% milk; 2% or whole milk will also work. I don’t recommend skim milk or milk alternatives like soy, almond, or oat milk. These milks don’t thicken well and change the overall flavor substantially. Seasonings: Italian seasoning, chicken bouillon, salt, pepper, and a dash of red pepper flakes give depth to the sauce. Feel free to increase any of these seasonings to personal preference, making sure to add the salt slowly so you don’t end up with an overly salted Chicken Alfredo. (Remember: the chicken, pasta water, and chicken broth are all salted.) Neufchâtel cheese: Neufchâtel is sometimes labeled “1/3 less fat than cream cheese.” Cream cheese and Neufchâtel cheese are extremely similar, but the Neufchâtel keeps this sauce on the lighter side. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese: Good Parmesan makes a big difference to overall flavor. Avoid canned Parm and go for the blocks of cheese to freshly grate. We love Parmigiano Reggiano best in this Alfredo. If you’re a cheese lover, I highly recommend this cheese. (While a bit spendy, a little goes a long way, it lasts a good amount of time, and it is so good!) When grating the cheese for this dish, use the small holes of your cheese grater. Chicken Alfredo tips and variations Tailor the sauce to your preference. If the sauce tastes too heavy, cut it with some fresh herbs (such as Italian parsley or thyme) or a drizzle of fresh lemon juice. For some heat, I recommend adding in some extra red pepper flakes. For additional flavor, I try a sprinkle of a this garlic herb seasoning blend. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. This helps to ensure quick and even cooking. Season the chicken. Salt and pepper add a lot, but I like to include a seasoning blend as well. My favorite with Chicken Alfredo is this garlic herb seasoning blend, as well as a sprinkle of paprika. Any Mrs. Dash® chicken seasoning blend will also work great, and if you don’t have a seasoning blend, use some Italian seasoning. Add some veggies. If you want to add in some veggies, I’d recommend some roasted broccoli or roasted asparagus on the side (or mixed into the dish). A few handfuls of baby spinach could also be stirred into the Chicken Alfredo. Add some crunch. Toast some panko breadcrumbs in a skillet with butter (or olive oil) and garnish individual plates with a handful of the toasted breadcrumbs. These Chicken Parm Stuffed Shells describe how to make this crunchy topping in more detail. Swap the pasta. Really, whatever pasta you have on hand will work. Penne, linguine, fettuccini, and spaghetti are all great choices. Fettuccini Alfredo is legendary! QUICK TIPDon’t forget to season the water with plenty of salt before adding in the pasta; otherwise, this entire dish will taste under-seasoned. As a general rule of thumb, I add 1 teaspoon salt per 4 cups of water. More easy dinner recipes One Pan Italian Sausage and Veggies reader favorite recipe! One Skillet Lemon Chicken and Potatoes Creamy Orzo with chicken and veggies One Pot Sausage, Cabbage, and Potatoes One Pan Jambalaya with sheet pan rice FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Chicken Alfredo 5 from 4 votes - Review this recipe Chicken Alfredo combines tender bowtie noodles, succulent seasoned chicken, and the most amazing (lightened-up!) Alfredo sauce. We swap a few ingredients to bring you all the Alfredo flavors you know and love, but with a fraction of the calories! SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Chicken Alfredo 5 from 4 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Chicken Alfredo combines tender bowtie noodles, succulent seasoned chicken, and the most amazing (lightened-up!) Alfredo sauce. We swap a few ingredients to bring you all the Alfredo flavors you know and love, but with a fraction of the calories! Course Dinner, Main Course Cuisine Italian Keyword chicken alfredo Prep Time 20 minutes Cook Time 20 minutes Total Time 40 minutes Servings 4 servings Calories 661kcal Author Chelsea Lords Cost $7.56 Ingredients▢ 3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces▢ Salt, pepper, and chicken seasoning blend (See Note 1)▢ 1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil▢ 1 tablespoon unsalted butter▢ heaping 1/2 tablespoon (2 cloves) minced garlic▢ 1/4 cup white flour▢ 1 cup chicken broth▢ 1 cup 1% milk (2% or whole will work, but not skim)▢ 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning▢ 1/4 teaspoon EACH chicken bouillon powder, pepper, fine sea salt▢ 4 cups bowtie pasta (measured when uncooked)▢ 2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (or full fat)▢ 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese▢ Optional: fresh parsley, fresh lemon, red pepper flakesUS - Metric USMetric InstructionsPREP CHICKEN: Dry chicken breasts with paper towel. Remove any fat from the chicken and cut into bite-sized (1-inch) pieces. Sprinkle all sides of the chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and a chicken seasoning blend.COOK CHICKEN: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large (12-inch) non-stick skillet over medium heat; add in the chicken pieces. Brown the chicken until cooked through (6-10 minutes; chicken juices should run clear or read 165 degrees F on a thermometer). Once cooked through, transfer chicken to a plate and tent with foil. No need to wipe out the skillet; there will be bits of flavor left by the chicken! Proceed with preparing the Alfredo sauce in the same pan.PASTA: While the chicken is cooking, bring a large pot of water to boil. Once water is boiling, generously salt the water (I add 1 teaspoon salt to every 4 cups of water). Add in the bowtie pasta and cook according to package directions for al dente. Drain and set aside.ALFREDO: In the skillet used to cook the chicken, heat 1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Add in the garlic and sautee until fragrant. Stir in the flour and briskly whisk until a thick paste forms. Cook for about 1 minute over medium heat. Slowly and gradually pour in the chicken broth, while vigorously whisking. Whisk until completely smooth.SAUCE CONT.: Slowly add in milk, whisking constantly. Whisk until mixture is slightly thickened. Add seasonings: the Italian seasoning, chicken bouillon, salt, and pepper. (Adjust salt to personal preference; chicken will be salted, chicken broth is salted, and pasta water is salted, so don't over-do it!) Add in the softened cream cheese and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Reduce the heat to medium low. Stir until cream cheese is smooth and Parmesan is melted. Taste and adjust sauce to taste preference, adding in any additional seasonings if desired. If the sauce tastes too heavy, add a squeeze of lemon juice.FINISHING: Return the chicken to the pan and stir. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for a little touch of heat. Enjoy immediately. Recipe NotesNote 1: Seasoning blend: I like McCormick's® garlic and herb chicken grilling seasoning blend; any chicken seasoning blend will work here. I also like to add a sprinkle of paprika to the chicken. Nutrition FactsServing: 1serving | Calories: 661kcal | Carbohydrates: 79.5g | Protein: 41.2g | Fat: 18.8g | Cholesterol: 92.4mg | Sodium: 608.9mg | Fiber: 3.3g | Sugar: 6.9g We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.