Lighter Fettuccine Alfredo

This lighter fettuccine alfredo is so scrumptious! A deliciously fun and lighter twist on the beloved and classic fettuccine alfredo.

Ohhhhh heyyyy there pretty pasta.

Lighter Fettuccine Alfredo l

Please don’t let this bowl of deliciousness fool you… it’s not just a pretty face-err pasta. It’s actually not so bad for you. Note that I didn’t say the word healthy because it’s still a pile of saucy carbs. What I did manage to do is shave off… ohhhhhh like over a THOUSAND  or two calories. Give or take.

Typically I don’t like to brag. But in the case of fettuccine I just have to. So here it goes. Actually, you might want to sit down. I’ve been working on a fettuccine recipe that didn’t call for butter and particularly one that wouldn’t curdle on me. So I’ve scaled it down from two sticks of butter to… wait for it… two tablespoons of olive oil. I know. I know! It’s pretty much all kinds of ridiculous. Now I didn’t skimp on the cheese, so don’t worry there. It’s just lighter and well great.

FUN FACT: Two sticks of butter is 1,680 calories. I Googled it.

Lighter Fettuccine Alfredo l s and p

First things first get all your prep done first.

Easy Fettuccine Alfredo diced shallots and garlic

Grate and measure your cheese, measure the broth and heavy cream and finally, dice up a medium shallot and two cloves of garlic.

Easy Fettuccine Alfredo pour wine

Oh and measure out a quarter cup of dry white wine… or if you prefer not to use wine then just add a quarter cup more of the broth.

Easy Fettuccine Alfredo olive oil

In a deep skillet, measure out two tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium temperature.

Easy Fettuccine Alfredo shallots

Once hot, throw in the diced shallot.

Easy Fettuccine Alfredo sautee

Cook until soft, about 2-3 minutes.

Easy Fettuccine Alfredo shallots and garlic

Mine got a little too brown while I tried to snap the picture… don’t be like me. Now add in the minced garlic and cook for a minute.

Easy Fettuccine Alfredo white wine

Add in the white wine and let bubble for a minute or two.

Easy Fettuccine Alfredo broth

Next pour in the cup of chicken broth…

Easy Fettuccine Alfredo cream

Along with 1/3 cup of heavy cream. Traditionally fettuccine calls for 3/4 cup that’s 616 calories, folks… crazy.

Easy Fettuccine Alfredo stir

Stir and simmer until the sauce thickens and starts to coat the back of your spatula.

Easy Fettuccine Alfredo add in the fresh pasta

Meanwhile, season the pot of boiling water and drop in the fresh pasta.  It should only take about 3-4 minutes, so now is the perfect time to drop it in. I personally prefer fresh over a box of dried fettuccine. Until I get my pasta attachment for my Kitchen Aid, it’s the best I can do.

Here’s where I forgot to take a picture of stirring in the cheese. Gah! I know! TRUST me on this, you’ll want to grate the cheese yourself. Buying pre-grated cheese is a bad idea. It won’t really melt into the sauce, I bet it’s because usually pre-grated cheese is coated in an anti-caking substance that keeps the cheese from clumping together which then clumps in your alfredo sauce, riddle me that? If you aren’t up for grating it by hand then cut off pieces and process it in a mini food processor until it’s finely “grated”.

Easy Fettuccine Alfredo toss

Reserve a 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining the pasta into a colander. Kill the heat under the pan, add the pasta into the cheesy sauce and toss to coat. If you find the sauce to be a tad too thick then pour in a little of the pasta water.

Easy Fettuccine Alfredo pepper

Taste and season with salt and black pepper to your preference.

Easy Fettuccine Alfredo l

Serve with more black pepper and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Lighter Fettuccine Alfredo l

I have to say, my husband is my official fettuccine taste-tester.…and he approves. 

Oh and guess what?! This lighter fettuccine alfredo didn’t curdle. WIN.

Lighter Fettuccine Alfredo -

The moral of the story is this; if you’re looking for that ultra rich and buttery classic fettuccine recipe this lighter fettuccine alfredo clearly isn’t it. But if you’re looking for a way to enjoy alfredo without feeling like you need to run a mile after each bite… then this is your jam.

It’s alfredo on the lighter side and the fresh noodles really takes this dish over the top… well that and the cheese, of course.

Lighter Fettuccine Alfredo

Speaking of bites… NOM!


Enjoy! And if you give this Lighter Fettuccine Alfredo recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

Lighter Fettuccine Alfredo l

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 


Lighter Fettuccine Alfredo

A lighter take on a classic recipe.

Yield: 4 depending

Prep Time: 10 minutes {if that}

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium shallot, diced small

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1/4 cup dry white wine (or substitute with chicken broth)

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus more for serving {NOT PRE-GRATED!}

1/4 to 1/2 cup reserved pasta water

12 ounces fresh fettuccine noodles

kosher salt

coarse black pepper


Heat a large {10-inch} skillet over medium-medium/high heat and bring a pot of water to boil.

Drizzle in the olive oil and add in the diced shallots. Cook for 2-3 minutes until softened.

Add in the garlic and cook for one minute. Once fragrant, pour in the 1/4 cup of dry white wine. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until reduced slightly.

Pour in the cup of chicken broth and the third cup of heavy cream. Simmer until the sauce starts to thicken and just starts to coat the back of a spoon.

Season the pot of water with a heavy pinch of kosher salt and drop in the fresh fettuccine. Cook according to the package directions. {about 3-4 minutes}

Stir in the freshly grated Parmesan until smooth.

Kill the heat and add in the cooked pasta. Taste for salt and pepper and toss to coat. If the sauce is too thick go ahead and pour in a little of the reserved pasta water.

Serve immediately with more black pepper and Parmesan.

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29 Responses to “Lighter Fettuccine Alfredo”

  1. #
    Kathryn — March 5, 2014 at 4:30 am

    I’m not a big fan of the traditional fettuccine alfredo but this lightened up version sounds right up my street. Going to be making this asap!

  2. #
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert — March 5, 2014 at 7:36 am

    I love this recipe! Sounds like you still get all the creamy flavor while cutting back on the added fat – good one!

  3. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — March 5, 2014 at 8:08 am

    This looks delicious Laurie! Love that you lightened it up–I usually do a version of alfredo that is literally just some butter and a LOT of parmesan, but yeah, that’s definitely not good for you either 😉

    YUM! Want a big bowl of this now.

  4. #
    Anna (Hidden Ponies) — March 5, 2014 at 8:43 am

    This is beautiful, and as long as there’s still plenty of cheese involved, I’m in! Great recipe!

  5. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — March 5, 2014 at 8:47 am

    I seriously want to dive into that bowl of pasta! It looks amazing and stacked perfectly 🙂

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — March 5th, 2014 @ 10:33 pm

      Ha-ha! Thanks so much Rachel! 🙂

  6. #
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — March 5, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Gorgeous pics in this one, Laurie! There’s nothing more comforting than a giant bowl of noodles in a creamy sauce 🙂

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — March 5th, 2014 @ 10:34 pm

      I totally agree! Thanks Gina!

  7. #
    Liz@Virtually Homemade — March 5, 2014 at 10:01 am

    OOOHHH. I love creamy pasta without the guilt. Pinned.

  8. #
    cassie — March 5, 2014 at 11:15 am

    I love all that black pepper on top!

  9. #
    jennifurla — March 5, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    NOM NOM NOM, gorgeous pics too!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — March 5th, 2014 @ 10:36 pm

      Those words pretty much sum up how I feel too! 🙂

  10. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — March 5, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    This pasta sounds dreamy!!! Love it!

  11. #
    MeredithB — March 5, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Glorious mound of carbs. Those photos are what dreams are made of. Yum!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — March 5th, 2014 @ 10:36 pm

      Thanks Meredith! Long live carbs!

  12. #
    Happy Valley Chow — March 5, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    Absolutely love your photography and love this recipe! Great job 🙂

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  13. #
    Megan {Country Cleaver} — March 5, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    You just get me – alfredo is my down fall – but I haven’t had it in YEARS (no joke) becuase of the guilt… I know will be freebasing this whole pan to MYSELF!

  14. #
    Vanya Petrova — March 6, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Thank you for all the recipes Laurie! Amazing job!
    Best regards,

  15. #
    Aggie — March 6, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Oh hey pretty pasta is right! Great dish you’ve got going here, want!

  16. #
    Meredith — March 6, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Amazingly delicious!

  17. #
    Angie E. — March 6, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    This sounds so yummy, and I can’t wait to try it! I wonder if instead of using 1/3c. heavy cream, which is about 274 calories, close to 30g of fat, about 2.5g of carbs, and over 1.5g of protein, you could use fat free half and half. The Fat Free Half and Half has 106.6 calories, 0 fat, 15.99g of carbs, and 5.33g of protein. There’s also a great recipe in Woman’s Day Magazine for another great makeover of fettucini alfredo:

  18. #
    Rebecca {foodie with family} — March 7, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Wowza, Laurie! This looks so good. Regular old Fettuccine Alfredo is nice for special occasions, but way too heavy to eat regularly. This would be great for a weeknight!

  19. #
    Carmen — March 11, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    I tried this recipe this weekend, and it was wonderful! Very light but filling! We added a grilled chicken breast split between 2 to ours. I have a question if anyone else experienced this, but the Parmesan cheese got a little gooey and clumpy while stirring. Any way to prevent this, do think I did anything wrong?

  20. #
    Carol at Wild Goose Tea — March 14, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    OMG do I love pasta! I didn’t really realize it, until I started limiting myself for all too obvious reasons. It would be fun to have a reward day that was
    delicious as well as still pretty much on the straight and narrow path. Gosh that sounds boring. I am a woman. I like wide and meandering paths! What was I thinking?

  21. #
    Renee @ Awesome on $20 — March 18, 2014 at 4:12 am

    Usually I’ll skip over “light” recipes, but this one has real ingredients, not low-fat substitutes. Though I’m not sure anything can replace butter, I’m definitely willing to give this sauce a try.

  22. #
    Jen — June 2, 2014 at 12:54 am

    i would LOVE to make this but my hunny HATES parm cheese what would be a suitable sub?? thanks!!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — June 4th, 2014 @ 10:04 am

      Hates Parmesan?! Jk hmmm I would say Romano or Asiago or both!

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