Looking for a good homemade Alfredo sauce recipe? This Healthier Alfredo Sauce is half the calories of classic Alfredo, but just as good! And it’s so easy to make!
I have fond memories of making full fat Chicken Alfredo from scratch for my husband back when we were dating. The poor guy was batching it, and while he did an amazing job of keeping up with laundry, cleaning, organizing and the like, he kind of suffered in the food department. He hated to cook (that hasn’t changed!) and didn’t like to spend more money that necessary (that hasn’t changed either!), and since he’s not really a big foodie, he just found it easier to eat very simply…and cheaply. As in every day for lunch, he had cheap bologna sandwiches with no cheese on the least expensive store bought white bread he could find. Ugh. It about makes me gag thinking about it! Thankfully he also consumed lots of fruit and veggies too, so hopefully that helped counteract some of the awful ingredients in some of the “cheap” food he consumed!
At any rate, his food left a lot to be desired most of the time in the taste department. So when he came to visit me at my parent’s place on the weekends, I liked to try to feed him well! And because I’ve always loved Alfredo, I’d often whip up a recipe of homemade from-scratch Chicken Alfredo with fettuccine for him- you know, the classic recipe made with heavy whipping cream and lots of cheese? Boy was it good- even if it was a couple hundred calories per bite! 😉
Fast forward several years and I was now a young mom with a few stubborn extra pounds, facing the realization that I could no longer eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and maintain a healthy weight. For the first time in my life, I started caring about how many calories were in the food that I ate. In fact, in an effort to get rid of those stubborn extra pounds, I began calorie counting, and it of course didn’t take me long to figure out that traditional Alfredo sauce isn’t exactly going to be your best friend when you’re calorie counting!
I started looking for a way to make it healthier and stumbled across the idea of making homemade Alfredo sauce with cream cheese and milk instead of heavy whipping cream. What?! Now that sounded doable! And I loved that it was cheaper to make too!
After some experimentation and tweaking, I finally came up with this healthier Alfredo sauce recipe that we love. In fact, it’s so yummy that I don’t think you’ll even realize it’s not the classic full fat Alfredo! And while it’s still definitely not a health food recipe, I love that I can enjoy it occasionally without guilt, since it has right around half the calories of classic homemade Alfredo sauce. And of course if you compare it to store bought sauce? It’s a total win! Because it contains just 8 simple ingredient, unlike any jar that you pull off the shelf.
We love this homemade Alfredo over pasta, as a sauce on pizza (I often mention our Chicken Alfredo Pizza in my frugal menu plans) and mixed with tomato sauce as a bread dip. Of course, I’m sure you can also find lots of other delicious ways to enjoy it too!
Healthier Alfredo Sauce
- 2 cups 1% milk*
- 3 oz neufchatel cheese (low fat cream cheese)*
- 2 1/2 Tbsp. flour
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. pepper (1/4 if you don't like it very peppery)
- 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning (optional)
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 3 garlic cloves or 3/4 tsp. granulated garlic
- 1 C grated Parmesan cheese
- (If using granulated garlic, you can skip this step and just add it and the melted butter to the blender mixture.) Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn it!
- Place milk, neufchatel cheese, flour, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning in a blender; blend until smooth.
- Add milk mixture to the saucepan. Stir constantly for about 3 or 4 minutes or until it just so simmers. Continue to stir and let it cook for a few more minutes until it thickens. It won't be super thick, but will not be as liquid as it had been.
- Once thickened, remove pan from heat. Add the Parmesan cheese, stir until melted. Cover and let stand for at least 10 minutes before using- the sauce will continue to thicken as it sits. Add additional salt if needed.
* Full fat milk and regular cream cheese can be used instead, your Alfredo Sauce will just have more calories. 🙂
This Alfredo sauce will become almost solid when refrigerated. Once reheated though, it thins down again. If it still is thicker than you prefer, just add a bit of extra milk to get it to the desired consistency.
This Alfredo Sauce also freezes well! I often make a double batch and freeze half of it.