Chicken Alfredo Pasta

chicken-alfredo-pastaMy family and I love pasta with alfredo sauce, but I am not a fan of the fat and calories that go along with traditional alfredo sauce recipes. Our recipe for June is Chicken Alfredo Pasta and it is an alfredo sauce makeover that you will enjoy. It has all the creamy cheesiness of a traditional recipe with fewer calories and less fat.

The goal of a meal makeover is to improve the nutrition of a recipe. This can be done by adding fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and by reducing or replacing ingredients that are high in fat, sodium, or added sugar. In this alfredo sauce makeover, nonfat milk and low fat cream cheese are used in place of cream and butter. This switch reduces both the fat and calories. Combine the alfredo sauce with whole wheat noodles, broccoli, and chicken then add some fruit on the side and you have a complete meal.

Put this recipe on your menu soon, and you will have your whole family asking for more!

-Justine

Chicken Alfredo Pasta

Serving Size: 1 1/3 cups
Serves: 6
Ingredients: 
  • 1 pound boneless,skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon oil (canola or vegetable)
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat penne or rotini pasta
  • 1 package (16 ounces) frozen chopped broccoli
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 8 ounces low fat cream cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
chicken-alfredo-pasta-label
Instructions: 
  1. Remove fat from chicken and cut meat into bite sized pieces on a cutting board. Wash hands.
  2. Begin heating water to boiling in a large pot for pasta.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium high. Add chicken cubes to skillet when oil is hot and stir to coat with oil. Cook the chicken for 20 seconds before stirring again. Cook the chicken for 7 to 9 minutes. Turn the chicken cubes every 20 to 30 seconds.
  4. Remove chicken from skillet when it is done cooking and is 165ºF. Cover it to keep it warm.
  5. Cook the pasta using directions on package. Add the frozen broccoli the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain the water from the pasta and broccoli. Return food to the pot. Do not cover.
  6. Add the milk and cream cheese to the skillet. Stir the mixture constantly over low heat. The mixture will thicken and be smooth.
  7. Add the garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir mixture. Then add cooked chicken and heat mixture.
  8. Combine meat mixture with the pasta and broccoli mixture. Serve.
Tips: 
• You can use boneless chicken thighs and legs or leftover chicken instead of chicken breasts.
• You can use other vegetables instead of broccoli.
• Add a few red pepper flakes for color and spice.
• Be sure to use a clean cutting board. Wash your hands before and after handling raw chicken.
Justine Hoover

Justine Hoover

Justine Hoover is a Registered Dietitian and mom who loves to cook for her family.

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