Chicken, broccoli, and fettuccine with a deliciously creamy and light alfredo sauce recipe (377 calories)! Everyone loves this classic comfort food makeover!
Did we all go through a phase with chicken, broccoli, ziti? Like, did you or did you not order chicken, broccoli, ziti in alfredo sauce at every restaurant for at least 5 good years there? I swear I was really on a bender from ‘95 to 2000, and then I don’t know what happened…buffalo chicken?
Whenever I see it on menus, I remember it like it was a decade. The stirrup era, the braces era, the Leonardo DiCaprio era that never ended. Sometimes I even think to order it, and I wonder if I’d be warping nostalgia somehow, or if I’d be upset when it didn’t come with that long, seasoned breadstick. But mostly, I just end up browsing the dessert menu and then ordering something lighter.
The loveliness of alfredo sauce is in butter and heavy cream and Parmesan. But if we want to cut down on the butter, we need to find a way to either lose the heavy cream (not happening) or cut out the roux (the butter and flour mixture that later thickens the cream into a silky sauce). Cooks Illustrated solved this problem with their lighter alfredo (of course they did). They nixed the roux by simply bringing cream and cornstarch to a simmer until thickened and then stirring in a solid amount of Parmesan cheese. It’s brilliant. Leaving out the butter and flour cuts down on calories significantly. We can choose to add some of those back in the form of high quality cheese, which is really where you’ll taste the calories, anyway–and that’s something I’m always mindful of: spending calories where I’ll taste them…where they’ll appear to matter.
Another quick way to lighten the sauce itself is by swapping half and half for the heavy cream. It still tastes rich by most standards, but with about half the calories.
For the overall meal, adding more broccoli to bulk up the volume of food you’re eating is always a key to making a richer meal more satisfying. And the last secret? Shirataki fettuccine noodles. I can’t praise these enough–especially here, where the sauce is rich and the additions aren’t necessarily calorie-free. If we’d used traditional fettuccine, we’d be tacking on an extra 200 calories per cup to each serving, but with the Shirataki fettuccine? 20 calories. It’s unbeatable.
Now that chicken broccoli alfredo has made a comeback, I’m kinda thinking it’s never leaving…And it just may be even better than the ones we remember having years ago. You know what–I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. Because again I’m messing with the memory of yesteryear. It doesn’t come with a breadstick. But it’s damn delicious, and a lot better for us.
Healthy Chicken Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo
For the Alfredo Sauce:
- ¾ cup half and half
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 ½ pounds broccoli cut into florets
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 ¼ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast cut into ¾-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 8- ounce packages House Foods Shirataki Fettuccine Noodles rinsed and drained well
- Press the drained Shirataki fettuccine noodles with paper towels to dry them well. This will ensure the sauce adheres to them even better. Take a sharp knife or kitchen scissors and cut the strands in half (they are very long) if you’d like (optional). Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the broccoli florets and let them cook until they turn a vibrant, darker green and are just softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, whisk the half and half, salt, and cornstarch. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese until smooth. Remove from heat.
- Season the chicken breast pieces all over with the garlic powder, salt, and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add half of the chicken and cook until browned on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil and the remaining half of the chicken and repeat the cooking process.
- In a large serving bowl, toss the chicken with the broccoli and the fettuccine noodles. Give the alfredo sauce a final whisking and pour it over the top, tossing to combine with the noodles, broccoli, and chicken. Divide the mixture among 4 bowls and top each with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese.