I live in a family of picky eaters, and one of the most stressful parts of my day is deciding what to cook for dinner. One thing that typically does well is any sort of pasta dish, but as we’ve all learned over the years, pasta isn’t necessarily a healthy or calorie-friendly option. That’s why this dish is one of my favorites: because it’s delicious, has fewer calories than a typical fettuccine alfredo, and my family actually likes it. A lot. It’s one of my most requested items, and it’s actually pretty easy to make.
So, the next time you’re trying to come up with a nice family dinner idea that won’t bust your button or take up half the afternoon, consider trying this one out. I prefer pairing it with a Caesar salad and a nice glass of wine.
Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
- 2 tsp flour
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 2 tbsp low-fat cream cheese (or Neufchatel)
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus additional for topping (I prefer shaved parmesan)
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb chicken breast
- 12 ounces fettuccine
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to a pan and add the chicken. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165. Remove from pan and cover with foil.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccini and cook to al dente. When done, reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Start by melting the butter over medium heat in the same pan where you cooked the chicken.
- Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook until the garlic is slightly soft (roughly 1 minute).
- Add the flour and cook for about 1 minute, continuously stirring to avoid clumping.
- Whisk in the milk and about 1 tsp salt. Whisk constantly until just thickened, or about 3 minutes.
- Add the cream cheese (Neufchatel) and the parmesan cheese. Whisk until melted, about 1-2 minutes, then stir in the chopped parsley.
- Add the sauce and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water to the pasta and toss to combine. Add more cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce.
- Divide pasta among bowls and top with the chicken and shaved parmesan — season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pairs Well With…
My favorite wine to pair with this dish is a Cabernet. Well, to be fair, it’s probably my favorite wine to pair with any dish. However, if you’re looking for a new wine to try, I recommend Josh. It’s been at the top of my list for several years, and it never disappoints.