lighter weeknight alfredo sauce

lighter weeknight alfredo sauce

This lighter weeknight alfredo sauces pairs perfectly with orecchiette and roasted mushrooms, letting you indulge without destroying your gym session progress. Serve alongside roast chicken and you’ll be enjoying a delicious, healthier meal in no time!

Traditional Alfredo sauce is made with butter and cheese. Two delicious ingredients that don’t lend themselves well to our healthier weeknight commitments. To make a lighter version of alfredo sauce, I developed this recipe with a classic roux (butter and flour) to thicken my mixture of whole milk and broth. With a fraction of the butter and cheese as classic alfredo sauce, this recipe is perfect for those watching their calories.

I opted to serve this creamy sauce with orecchiette because the shape holds little cups of sauce from plate to mouth, what could be better? The roasted mushrooms give this pasta a meaty bite, making it a great stand alone dish. For extra protein, add some sliced grilled chicken or buy a rotisserie chicken from the store in a pinch.

Pin this recipe to your weeknight dinner board for easy access!

lighter weeknight alfredo sauce
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lighter weeknight alfredo sauce

lighter weeknight alfredo sauce


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  • Author: Sepideh Esmaili Campos

Description

A lighter alfredo sauce made with classic roux, milk, and broth. Serve with orecchiette and roasted mushrooms for a unique twist. 


Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced 
  • Olive oil 
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound orecchiette
  • ½ medium yellow onion, held together with a toothpick
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk 
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
  • Fresh cracked black pepper 
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar 
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. 
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and scatter the sliced mushrooms over the foil. 
  3. Drizzle the mushrooms with olive oil (about ¼ cup) and sprinkle with kosher salt. 
  4. Roast the mushrooms on the center rack of the oven until fragrant and golden brown around the edges, 20-30 minutes. 
  5. Remove the roasted mushrooms from the oven and set aside. 
  6. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat (hint: covering the pot with its lid will help the water boil faster). 
  7. Add 2-3 tablespoons of kosher salt to the water (taste the water to make sure it’s very salty). 
  8. Add the oriecchette to the boiling water and bring back up to a boil (uncovered). 
  9. Once the pasta begins to boil, set a timer for 1 minute less than the lowest recommended cooking time on your package of pasta. 
  10. Place a colander inside your sink to drain the pasta. 
  11. While the pasta is cooking, cut your onion in half, then slice one half into a wedge. Push a toothpick through the onion wedge to keep the layers secure. You will use this onion wedge to flavor the sauce – wrap the rest of the onion and place in the refrigerator for another use. 
  12. When the timer beeps, test the pasta and drain once the pasta is al dente (it has a bite but is not crunchy in the middle). 
  13. Keep the pasta in the colander and use the now empty pot to prepare your sauce. 
  14. Add the butter to the pot and melt over medium heat, 1-2 minutes. 
  15. Add the flour and whisk until the flour and butter are well combined, bubbling, and semi-liquid in consistency, about 5 minutes. 
  16. While whisking, slowly add the milk to the flour a little at a time, whisking in between additions. 
  17. While whisking, add the chicken broth until combined. 
  18. Place the toothpick-secured onion wedge in the milk mixture and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, about 15-20 minutes over medium low heat. 
  19. lighter weeknight alfredo sauce
  20. Add the parmesan to the thickened sauce, stir until melted. 
  21. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt, some generous cracks of black pepper flakes, and the vinegar to the sauce. Taste and add more salt if desired. 
  22. Remove the onion wedge from the sauce and add the roasted mushrooms and cooked orecchiette to the pot. Toss to coat the pasta and mushrooms with the sauce, transfer to a serving dish and top with fresh parsley. Serve alongside roast chicken or a store-bought rotisserie for a delicious meal. 

Notes

This recipe if for lighter alfredo sauce with orecchiette and roasted mushrooms. To make the sauce alone, omit the mushrooms and orecchiette, replacing with any pasta you like. 

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