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Loaded Alfredo Pasta With Chicken and Vegetables Recipe

We ditched the typical cream, butter, and cheese Alfredo sauce for something much better for you—and just as delicious.
Loaded Alfredo Pasta With Chicken and Vegetables RecipeMitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Here’s how restaurants make Alfredo: cream, butter, and cheese. We ditched the cream and made a basic béchamel sauce with flour, milk, butter, and Parmesan in our version of an Alfredo pasta recipe. We solved the other major shortcoming of pasta Alfredo (that is, a dearth of any true nutrition) by adding chicken, broccoli, mushrooms, and, for good measure, sun-dried tomatoes.

Nutrition: 540 calories, 14 g fat (6 g saturated), 520 mg sodium

Serves 4

You’ll Need

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp flour
3 cups 2% milk
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan
Salt and black pepper to taste
1⁄2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups bite-size broccoli florets
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
1⁄4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
8 oz cooked chicken breast, thinly sliced (store-bought rotisserie chicken works well)
12 oz whole-wheat fettuccine

How to Make It

  1. To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
  2. Whisk in the flour. Cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk to prevent any lumps from forming. Add the garlic and simmer, whisking often, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until nicely thickened.
  3. Stir in the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  5. Add the broccoli and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and tomatoes.
  6. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables have lightly caramelized.
  7. Stir in the chicken. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
  9. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot, add the sauce and the chicken mixture, and toss to coat.
  10. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the pasta water to thin it. Serve immediately.

Eat This Tip

That powdered stuff you’ve been shaking out of the green can all these years? That’s not Parmesan. Parmigiano-Reggiano, as dictated by the Italian government, comes only from cows from northern Italy and is aged a minimum of 12 months. The result is one of the world’s finest cheeses, at turns salty, nutty, and sweet. Look for the dotted stamp on the cheese rind, a sure sign of authenticity. It’s pricey, but an $8 hunk will hold you over for months.

RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

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