So. We have Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Wing Wednesday…what about Friday? Even though Etienne and I usually have curry on Friday nights, I’d like to propose a new take on the dinner before the weekend officially begins. Fettuccine Alfredo Fridays!!
If you were friends with me in high school, there’s a good chance that you sampled my infamous fettuccine alfredo. It was one of the first dishes that I made for my family and friends with rave reviews. Unfortunately for everyone’s waistlines and arteries, this special recipe of mine involved a lot of butter and a lot of cream. Delicious, yes. Healthy, no. Luckily I ate most of this buttery goodness when I was 17 and had a wonderful metabolism.
I wrote off fettuccine alfredo for a few years, thinking it was far too unhealthy for me to enjoy, but it was never far from my mind. And then, I got pregnant. The craving was fierce. It’s all I wanted!! I was so not that pregnant lady with twiggy arms and legs and a cute little belly. EVERYTHING got bigger, so I was really trying to avoid feeling like a giant puffball by eating very healthy. And so, skinny fettuccine alfredo was born.
The trick to keeping the alfredo sauce low fat and yet still with that buttery, creamy flavor we all know and love is to create a thick sauce based off of low-sodium chicken broth and low fat milk. I use 5 cloves of garlic in this recipe (yes, 5) as I LOVE the taste of garlic and I think it is essential to alfredo sauce. The garlic is sautéed in 2 tablespoons of butter before adding some flour for thickening and then your liquids. The finishing touch is a heaping cup of fresh parmesan cheese, to create that creamy classic taste to the sauce.
The sauce and noodles come together in about 20 minutes, which is just enough time to grill your chicken. For this recipe, I pounded two large chicken breasts until they were fairly flat, and then placed them in a Ziploc bag with a garlic-lime marinade for about 6 hours. I really like this marinade with the fettuccine alfredo. The hint of tangy lime juice is the perfect contrast to the creamy, buttery sauce. Plus, the marinade is so easy to whip up, you can easily do it in the morning before you leave for work; better yet, do it the night before and let those flavors mingle together even longer!
I like to begin my sauce while I’m waiting for my pasta water to start boiling; the sauce is usually done and running at a simmer when the noodles are ready to toss into the pot. Begin grilling your chicken at the same time that your water starts boiling; the breasts take about 3 minutes per side at high heat. Stir the pasta into the sauce, top with grilled chicken, and garnish with fresh parsley.
Dinner is served!
Skinny Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
Yield 4 servings
A lighter take on a classic dish. Freshly grilled chicken with a hint of lime and garlic atop a bed of creamy fettuccine noodles - you'd never guess it's skinny!
- 2 large chicken breasts, pounded flat
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- juice and zest of 1 lime
Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo
- 375g fettuccine noodles
- 2 tbsp butter
- 5 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 4 tbsp flour
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup low fat milk (I used 1%)
- 1 heaping cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- fresh parsley, for garnish
- In a large Ziploc bag, place flattened chicken breasts along with the garlic, olive oil, and fresh lime juice and zest. Place the sealed bag in the refrigerator overnight or 6-8 hours prior to grilling.
- Place a large pot of water on the stove and turn to high. While waiting for the water to boil, begin melting the butter in a large saucepan. Add the diced garlic and saute for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk to combine. Slowly pour in the chicken broth and milk, continuously whisking until the sauce begins to bubble and thicken. Add in the parmesan, pepper and oregano and allow the sauce to simmer until the pasta and chicken is ready.
- When the water begins to boil, salt generously and add in the fettuccine noodles. While the noodles are cooking, grill the chicken, about 2-3 minutes per side on high heat.
- When the pasta is ready, after about 8-10 minutes, drain and stir into the saucepan, fully coating with the sauce. Slice the grilled chicken and add it to the saucepan.
- Serve immediately, garnishing with fresh parsley and pepper.
Recipe makes enough to feed 4 adults; any leftovers can be refrigerated for a day or two, and reheated.