• Brianna Rhodes, RD, CD

Chicken Alfredo Pasta

Creamy, delicious, and surprisingly light, this is Alfredo done right! Made with cream cheese and milk instead of heavy cream, you get all the flavor of your favorite comfort food, and none of the heavy feeling when you’re done.

This recipe came from my mom and I experimenting in the kitchen one night before I left for college, many years ago. I showed you before how recipes are more like guidelines for me—I’m always tweaking and trying to make it better. My mom taught me how to cook, and I definitely picked up this skill of experimenting from her. It takes cooking to a new level. If you haven’t tried it before, you should!

This was intended to be a quick easy meal, and it really is. It truly takes 30 minutes from start to sitting at the table. You know those days when your kids start asking for a snack and you look at the clock and realize it’s dinner time NOW—this recipe will save the day. Better still—double the sauce recipe and freeze half of it in a mason jar. Then all you have to do is thaw and serve.

Over the years I’ve continued to tweak this recipe a little, and I think I’ve finally perfected it. Even my kids agree. Hands down, their favorite pasta dinner is Mac & Cheese--it’s hard to compete with those little orange noodles for some reason. But this one is a close second for them. Even my baby loved it! (Admittedly, he loves just about anything off my plate these days!)

Just a quick comparison to traditional Alfredo sauce—a comparable recipe made with heavy whipping cream, Penne pasta and chicken would have 810 calories per serving. My version only has 520 calories per serving. That’s significant enough to leave room for seconds, if you are still hungry.

I like to pair a pasta meal with non-starchy sides—vegetables primarily. But I also added some peach slices for color, and because I love peach season. A garden salad would be another great pairing with this meal.

Meal:

  • 1 cup Chicken Alfredo Pasta

  • ½ peach, sliced

  • 2/3 cup broccoli

  • ½ cup cucumber, sliced

  • 1 Tbsp Ranch dressing

Recipe Used in this meal:

Chicken Alfredo Pasta

Serving size: 1 cup

Servings per recipe: 7

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Penne pasta, cooked

  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced

  • 1 1/3 cup 2% milk

  • 1 cup water

  • ½ cup 2% milk

  • 1/3 cup flour

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 8 oz Neufchatel cream cheese, cubed

  • 1 cup parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Any variety of pasta can be used.

  2. Dice raw chicken (bite-size pieces), then cook in large pan until cooked through. Set aside.

  3. In a medium sauce pan, mix 1 1/3 cup milk and 1 cup water. Bring to boil stirring constantly.

  4. In a separate bowl, mix the ½ cup milk and 1/3 cup flour. Mix rapidly using a fork. Add to saucepan, stirring constantly about 3 minutes. (this will thicken the sauce).

  5. Add cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic and salt to the saucepan. Stir until the cheeses are melted and well blended.

  6. Combine pasta, chicken and sauce into one bowl. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts Label for the Meal:

Nutrition Facts Label for Chicken Alfredo Pasta:

RD and Me

Brianna Rhodes, RD, CD

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© 2016 RD and Me Nutrition Consulting, LLC