Healthy, Budget Friendly Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccini Alfredo

Healthy isn’t a word that is usually associated with Fettuccine Alfredo. But just because we like to eat healthy doesn’t mean we don’t like creamy pasta! Unlike traditional Fettuccine Alfredo that is rich with heavy cream and lots of butter, this recipe uses ricotta cheese for its creaminess. There are lots of tips following the recipe, so keep reading. (4 servings)

2 T butter

1/4 tsp instant minced garlic

1 cup milk

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 cup ricotta cheese

12 ounces fettuccine

black pepper

1. Cook fettuccine acording to package directions.

2. Add garlic to fettuccine and water during last 2 minutes of cooking.

3. Melt butter in a small bowl in the microwave.

4. Blend milk, cheeses, and melted butter in a blender, or using a whisk.

5. Add to drained fettuccine and toss to coat.

6. Garnish with plenty of course ground black pepper.

I added about 3/4 lb. of chopped, fresh broccoli to the cooking water once the fettuccine was boiling. I also topped each plate with halved cherry tomatoes.  Adding cooked chicken or a chicken substitute would be good here too. You may find that there is too much sauce for you. After tossing the sauce and fettuccine let it sit for about 5 minutes. The pasta will soak up most of the sauce, yummm. The secret to re-creating that true Alfredo flavor is to use a good quality Parmesan, Romano, or Asiago cheese that has lots of flavor. Avoid that green can of “Parmesan” and look for tubs of shredded cheese near the deli.  You can also substitute 1/3 cup of milk with 1/3 cup of Chardonnay. Just remember that the alcohol won’t burn off since the sauce isn’t cooked. How is this dish healthy? Well aside from the fact that it has lots less fat, you can cut the fat even more. I used low-fat ricotta. Fat-free evaporated milk makes the sauce creamier than using regular milk.  This recipe is from the Fast and Simple section of my cookbook, I Want My Dinner Now! – Simple Meals for Busy Cooks.

Better yet, this whole meal (including the broccoli and tomatoes) was prepared for about $3 per serving. You certainly can not go out to eat for that! Adding lots of broccoli helps stretch the pasta, and it’s an easy way to get your veggies too.

BTW – don’t believe the conventional wisdom that pasta is bad for you.  If you don’t overcook pasta, and you do add veggies and sauce, pasta is a healthy, low-glycemic meal.

There are lots of ways to make this dish your own. Did you use different veggies? Add shrimp? Let me know how it turns out!

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About the Author

Renee Pottle, an author and heart-healthy educator, loves to explore and write about the Mediterranean Diet. She blogs at and

Comments (1)

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  1. Thank you Laila, it really is. Let me know if you try the recipe, and any variations. And thanks for reading. Our first comment, yay!

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