I wasn’t certain that this Light Fettuccine Alfredo would pass the family’s taste test. But they gobbled it up without a peep. And asked for more!

This Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo isn’t exactly low-cal, but it’s certainly lightened up from the heavy cream, butter, and Parmesan version we all love!

Light Fettuccine Alfredo in a white bowl garnished with parsley.

Why You Must Make

Light Fettuccine Alfredo??? You may be thinking that “Fettuccine Alfredo” and “Light” in the same recipe is contradictory and maybe even impossible! The traditional Italian pasta dish consists of long flat noodles mixed with a rich sauce of emulsified Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and butter, though most of the recipes I’ve used in the past call for heavy cream. How can this be made light and still delicious??? I’ve found a way.

  • This post may be somewhat of a shocker to my devoted readers, but it’s actually a healthier version of our favorite fat-laden pasta dish. A typical Alfredo sauce is not for the calorie-conscious.
  • But when I first made this Light Fettuccine Alfredo a few years back, nobody even noticed the changes. I knew from both my first bite and my family’s reaction that it was a winner.
  • Plus it’s super easy! My family loves simple, comforting pasta dishes like Penne alla Vodka, Pasta with Sausage and Tomatoes, or this Creamy Pesto Pasta. We also enjoy this Spinach Alfredo Pasta. My family gave this healthier fettuccine Alfredo their hearty approval!

Ingredient Notes

  • Kitchen Staples – Butter, Salt, Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Garlic – Minced
  • Wondra Flour – This granular flour made by Gold Medal doesn’t lump. All-purpose flour may be substituted.
  • 1% Milk – Less fat helps decrease the calories in this recipe.
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese – Use real Parmesano Reggiano. never the green can.
  • ⅓ Less Fat Cream Cheese – Adds richness with fewer calories.
  • Fettuccine – I use De Cecco brand but any brand will work.
  • Fresh Flat-Leaf (Italian) Parsley -Minced.
Overhead view of a bowl Light Fettuccine Alfredo.

What Makes this Recipe “Skinny?”

  • Low-fat 1 or 2 percent milk and light cream cheese replace the heavy cream sauce in this Cooking Light version of Alfredo sauce. That cuts a lot of calories.
  • But the butter, garlic, and Parmesan cheese ensure it has plenty of flavor!
  • It’s comfort food without the guilt!

How to Make

  1. Cook fettuccine according to package instructions and drain.
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan, then add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  3. Stir in flour, then gradually whisk in milk, and stir until the sauce thickens.
  4. Mix in part of the Parmesan, cream cheese, and salt, stirring till the cheese melts.
  5. Add hot pasta and toss.
  6. Serve with a sprinkle of the remaining Parmesan, flat-leaf parsley, and black pepper to taste.
Light Fettuccine Alfredo in a white bowl with bread and salad in the back ground.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Fettuccine Alfredo Italian?

Yes! It was created by a restaurateur from Rome in the 1920s. His name was Alfredo di Lello.

What Is in the Classic Alfredo Sauce?

The rich pasta sauce is traditionally made with butter, grated Parmesan cheese, heavy cream, and black pepper.

What Else Can Be Added to this Pasta?

There are plenty of variations, from adding broccoli to chicken to salmon. Other ingredients like shrimp and even different varieties of pasta can be used, too.

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Light Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

Light Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 4 servings

A lightened up Fettuccine Alfredo that past my family's scrutiny!


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon flour (I used Wondra)
  • 1 ⅓ cups 1% or 2% milk
  • 1 ¼ cups Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons ⅓ less fat cream cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces fettuccine, cooked and drained
  • 2 teaspoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cook fettuccine according to package directions, and drain.
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook just till fragrant, about a minute, stirring frequently.
  3. Stir in flour, then gradually whisk in milk, stirring constantly till the mixture thickens.
  4. Add 1 cup of the Parmesan, cream cheese, and salt, stirring till the cheese melts. Add hot pasta and toss.
  5. Serve with a sprinkle of the remaining Parmesan, flat-leaf parsley, and black pepper to taste.


Adapted from Cooking Light.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 313Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 913mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 15g


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