Guilt Free Chicken Alfredo
Learning lower-fat, nutritious ways to prepare indulgent recipes makes sticking to a healthy eating plan easier. Bonus: we’ve packed this alfredo pasta with tons of vegetables from winter’s harvest.
Total Time:45 Minutes
- 0.5 oz garlic
- 1.5 oz shallot
- 2 oz dino kale
- 3.5 oz broccoli
- 3 oz spinach
- 3 oz mushrooms
- 4 oz cherry tomatoes
- ½ tsp thyme
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- ¼ tsp ground mustard
- 1/16 tsp nutmeg
Proteins and More
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1, 8 oz Banza chickpea penne
- 1, 32 oz unsweetened almond milk
- 1 vegetable broth packet
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
1: Prep the Vegetables
Mince garlic, shallot. Set aside for sauce. Chop into bite-size pieces: broccoli, mushrooms; de-stem kale chop into bite-size pieces. Chop tomatoes in half.
2: Cook the Chicken and Vegetables
Salt and pepper chicken. Chop into bite-size pieces for quicker cooking.
In large saute pan add 1 tbsp olive oil. Add chicken and saute until golden, 5 minutes.
Add broccoli, mushrooms, kale, and spice mix. Cook 3 minutes.
Add spinach and tomatoes. When spinach begins to wilt, remove from heat. Put vegetables in a bowl and set aside until ready to assemble pasta.
3: Make the Sauce
In a medium bowl, whisk 1 cup vegetable broth and 2 tbsp cornstarch. Set aside.
Add 1 tbsp butter to saute pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and shallot. Cook until translucent, 2 minutes, being careful not to brown.
Add 2 cups almond milk, vegetable broth mixture, and cheese. Simmer on high, just below a boil and stir frequently until sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Continue cooking until sauce reaches desired thickness, about 7 more minutes.
4: Make the pasta and assemble dish:
Bring 6-8 cups of water to a boil.
Add 4 cups pasta. Stir to prevent pasta sticking together. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook pasta until tender, about 10-12 minutes.
Drain and immediately add pasta to the sauce.
Add vegetables and toss to combine with the pasta and sauce.
Spoon pasta onto plate and enjoy!
Chef Tips: White Sauces
When making a low- or fat-free white sauce you have a few options for thickening the sauce. You can add cornstarch like we did here, by creating a “slurry,” -- mix of cornstarch and liquid from the sauce whisked together and added in while cooking the sauce. Starting with a roux is another option. A roux is a mix of fat (oil or butter) mixed with the same amount of flour by weight. It’s approximately a 1:1 amount. Add butter or olive oil to the pan, sprinkle in the flour, and whisk constantly to get out the lumps. White sauces require just a few minutes of cooking to get out the fresh flour taste, but cooking a roux longer will cause it to brown. A golden or dark roux creates a richer, darker sauce, and is the beginning of a traditional gumbo, for example. If you have the time and patience, you can also simply cook your liquid down until it begins to thicken. If you choose this method, cook the sauce over medium heat, at a steady, high simmer and eventually the sauce will thicken. Timing depends on how high the heat and how much liquid is in the pan, but plan for between 10-15 minutes. A good rule of thumb for knowing when your sauce is done is to “coat the back of a spoon.” Dip a wood or metal spoon into the sauce, run your finger down the back of the spoon, and if a clear path is left behind, the sauce is ready.