10 Minute Lighter Alfredo Sauce

by Andie Mitchell on February 11, 2013

alfredo sauce


This sauce was born from a near-empty, vast wasteland of a fridge.

Doesn’t that just sound terribly romantic?


alfredo sauce


Scanning my dinner options, I found: a stick of butter, a crown of broccoli, half of a half gallon of milk, a wedge of Parmesan…and more variations of mustards than I felt comfortable staring at all at once.

And then there was pasta. Ever-dependable pasta.


butter flour


Within minutes, I had a large pot of salted water rolling to a boil to cook the rotini, and a smaller saucepan alongside it to create a simple alfredo sauce. Melting the butter, I found myself with a spare moment to contemplate the overpopulation of mustards on my fridge door, but then, just, no.

I added the chopped broccoli to the boiling pasta pot just to blanch it in the final two minutes of cooking. Once drained, I tossed the piping hot pasta and broccoli with the creamy alfredo sauce and coarsely grated a bit more Parmesan cheese over the top.

For a meal that came together in no time at all, it was satisfying and delicious. The alfredo itself was mild, with hints of garlic and Parmesan. Despite the fact that I made it lighter than most traditional versions, it was still creamy and buttery enough to taste rich.

What I love about this recipe is its versatility. I’m already dreaming up ideas for new ways to use it. Linguine and shrimp alfredo, anyone?

Better yet: mustard, anyone?


alfredo sauce



10 Minute Lighter Alfredo Sauce

makes about 2 cups; 4 servings


3 tablespoons butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3/4 cup (1%) milk

3/4 cup chicken broth

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

½ cup finely grated good quality Parmesan cheese


In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 full minute, until the garlic is fragrant and beginning to turn golden.

Whisk in the flour until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk, chicken broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring gently, until the mixture thickens, 2-3 minutes. Add Parmesan cheese and stir once more to incorporate.

Nutrition Information for 1 half-cup serving of sauce (1/4th of entire recipe): Calories 175, Total Fat 13.0 g, Total Carbohydrate 7.2 g, Dietary Fiber 0.2 g, Sugars  2.6 g,  Protein 7.6 g

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsay February 11, 2013 at 6:02 am

Man. I am straight as an arrow, love my boyfriend dearly (but have no issues with whomever and whoever anyone wants to love, btw!!) but ummm, I’m ready to say I, do – to you Andie! You are brilliant and amazing and I can make this in South Korea with my limited ingredients! Thank you my strangerfriend! You rock my culinary world. Hearts and smiley faces to you!!


Diane @ Vintage Zest February 11, 2013 at 8:41 am

Whenever I get down to my emptiest of fridges, I tend to think of it as a cooking show on the Food Network.

“You only have these three ingredients and whatever is in the pantry to make something resembling food. And go!”

I have made a few inedible items, but also a few things that I end up actually making over and over again. This is definitely looks like a winner, and I’ll have to try it out!


Aubrey February 11, 2013 at 10:00 am

This came at fantastically opportune moment for me because I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately on the culinary front. I still want to make my own dinners, but after a whole lot of creative experimenting for our superbowl party I’ve been feeling uninspired, lazy, and constantly unsure of what I’m craving.

This. Looks. Perfect.

I’m planning on this for dinner tonight and I can even finish off the broccoli in my fridge by roasting it, (one of your suggestions that has truly served me well.)


Christina G February 11, 2013 at 10:29 am

I would definitely add 1/2-1 t of dijon mustard to this! I bet it would be delish.


Cassie @RedLetterDaye February 11, 2013 at 12:11 pm

If I had to choose red or white sauce, I’d pick white, but my waistline would hate me. Making your own alfredo though, makes me feel so sophisticated– I’ll have to try this!


Hootie February 11, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Hmm….I read a diet memoire (can’t remember which one) where the girl who had lost the weight was shocked that her live in boyfriend had only a few items to eat in the pantry/fridge. Your Nutella recipe made me think of it the other day. I relate to her. I got sick a few weeks ago and got paid by the month when in college and have found that now and then I can go up to a month without visiting a grocery store when needed. I don’t know how much that says about my food hoarding. How much is a normal pantry stock? People rarely let you into their pantry’s. Perhaps a post on that Andie? And I agree with Aubrey roasted broccoli (and pumpkin donuts) are forever a part of my life now :) thanks!


Hootie February 11, 2013 at 11:09 pm

The Nutella reminded me bc whatever book it was Nutella was her trigger food and that was one of the only items in her BFs house and she couldn’t understand how one old let Nutella sit idle in a house with no food :)


Kelly February 12, 2013 at 8:42 am

Ummm, bacon and shrimp?! :D


Aubrey February 12, 2013 at 10:02 am

I made this for dinner last night and it was even better than I expected! It reminded me of a cauliflower pasta dish that I made a couple of weeks ago. Adding a veggie as a main component to a pasta recipe is my new favorite trick. It stretches the dish out so much farther, which means I can eat a lot more of it. ALWAYS a good thing.


Erica February 12, 2013 at 2:48 pm

This looks so delicious, and the shrimp variety sounds great too! Hope you’re having a good week and that happy surprises are heading your way.


Stephanie February 12, 2013 at 9:23 pm

I had no idea alfredo sauce could be so easy to make. Not only that but it’s a light version. And delicious. Genius!


Suzanne February 13, 2013 at 12:59 pm

This sounds really yummy so think I will prepare it tonight and add chicken and mushrooms!


Brittanie @ Three Bracelets March 6, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Andie, I just whipped this up and it was AMAZING!!! I added grilled chicken and a squeeze of lemon and it was perfect. Definitely something I’ll be going back to again (and again and again)!


Melissa M July 22, 2013 at 7:30 pm

I have to say this may be the first blog I will actually regularly follow. Loved this alfredo sauce! Thanks so much for the recipe.


Ashley September 8, 2013 at 6:14 pm

My roommate and I LOVE this recipe!


Carol Lang September 28, 2013 at 1:22 am

Love these simple what ever I have in my fridge meals


Carol Lang September 28, 2013 at 1:23 am

Love these simple what ever I have in my fridge meals. And they are healthy


muskelwachstum beschleunigen January 23, 2015 at 5:37 am

Ive to say, I dont know if its the clashing colors or the unhealthy grammar, but this weblog is hideous! I imply, I dont want to sound like a know-it-all or anything, however may youve probably put slightly bit extra effort into this subject. Its really attention-grabbing, but you dont symbolize it well in any respect, man. Anyway, in my language, there arent much good source like this.


ali mitchell January 31, 2015 at 6:09 pm

Omg! So I made this sauce for my fiance and myself last week with homemade fettucini. Instead of chicken stock I used veggie broth(we are pedestrians) and it was amazing. I love trying new things in the kitchen and this was a home run !


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